Paleo diet Food List / Guide – Paleo Plan

Here at Paleo Plan, we believe in having a great framework that helps you easily say “yes” or “no” to certain foods. In addition to our Paleo diet food list, you should also consider using our freePaleo recipes and easiest of all you should try our Paleo Meal Plan. The Paleo Plan meal plan makes following a Paleo diet really easy, since your menus, recipes and paleo shopping lists are all laid out for you.

In general, eating Paleo means eating veggies, fruits, meats, fish, certain fats, nuts, and seeds. And it means removing grains (breads, pastas, rice, etc), beans, soy, dairy, certain vegetable oils, and refined sugar from your diet. But you probably want more details than that, right?

Below, you’ll find our Paleo diet Food List. This is a list of foods and to what extent they are accepted as Paleo. Our guidelines are created using a mixture of all of the Paleo gurus’ philosophies and research, our own beliefs, and what is realistic to implement in your daily life.

For all of the foods listed, our hope is that you choose those that are free of pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, animal abuse and that the food the animals were fed was appropriate for their species.



All veggies are acceptable, including sweet potatoes. Here’s a blog post on sweet potatoes and Paleo. Organic veggies are great. Local and organic is even better. The less transit time there is between the farm and you, the more nutrients the produce retains. You can become part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) where you’ll receive in-season produce from a local farm every week. To find a CSA in your area go to 


In general, fruit guidelines are the same as veggie guidelines. Organic and local are best. If you’re really trying to lose weight and you’re not active at all, limit your fruit intake to one or two pieces a day, as the carbs can add up.


Eat meats and eggs freely, but in order to mimic our ancestors best, eat these products from animals that were grass fed/pasture raised.  At the least, steer clear of meats with preservatives and color or flavor enhancers, particularly added nitrites, as they can be pretty toxic.

  • Game Meats
  • Organ Meats
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Goat
  • Lamb
  • Eggs – from chickens, ducks, emu, quail, etc.


All species are fine – just be conscious of mercury levels and ecological practices.  Know that smaller fish like anchovies generally have less bio-accumulation of heavy metals and toxins, and high levels of omega 3 fatty acids.


All are good, as well as the butters that are made from them. Also on this list are coconut flour and almond flour. Peanuts are NOT NUTS – they’re legumes, and thus are not on the list. If you’re trying to lose weight, limit nuts and seeds to about 1 or 2 ounces per day, as the calories add up quickly!


kombu, wakame, other seaweeds, algaes, etc.  They’re all good – great, in fact.


  • tallow (rendered beef fat)
  • lard (rendered pork fat)
  • coconut oil/milk/manna
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • walnut oil
  • avocado oil
  • macadamia oil
  • hazelnut oil

Note: Unrefined palm oil used to be on this list, but because of its production is directly associated with the ensuing extinction of orangutans, we’ve removed it from the list. For more info, go here.


  • Filtered or spring water
  • Herbal tea
  • Coconut water
  • Freshly juiced fruits and vegetables
  • Bone broth


There’s a fantastic resource that describes what all of these products are and how to use them on here.

  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut manna/butter
  • Coconut vinegar
  • Coconut aminos
  • Coconut sugar
  • Coconut nectar


  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Sesame
  • Dried fruit
  • Alcohol (all kinds)
  • Caffeinated teas
  • Sweeteners – Raw honey, stevia, coconut sap, grade B maple syrup



That means flour, even white flour (especially white flour, actually), so conventional bread, pasta, cookies, cake, bagels, muffins, tortillas, and any other white fluffy thing you may love.

Grains mean rice, corn (including tortillas, chips, corn flour, etc.), quinoa (yes, it’s a grain), amaranth, buckwheat, wild rice, spelt, rye, sorghum, oats, and even gluten free oats. No more grains, even if they’re gluten free grains. Okey dokey? Here’s a blog post on why.

The ebook also explains it in much more depth. Basically, though, if you were to only do one thing differently for your health, in my opinion, it would be to cut out all grains. I’ve seen everything from weight loss to psoriasis clearing up when you get those buggers out of your diet. They’re inflammatory and difficult to digest. Give it a try.


That means milk, cheese, butter, ghee, yogurt (yes, even your most favorite Greek yogurt – sorry), kefir, whey protein powders, cottage cheese, sour cream, and check all the ingredients of everything you eat for those words. Even if it’s raw dairy. You can do it – I promise. Here’s a blog post on why.


That means soy in any form (again, check the ingredients of ALL the foods you eat), lentils, black beans, pinto beans, red beans, peanuts (sub out your peanut butter with almond butter), white beans, garbanzo beans, you get the gist. Here’s a blog post on why.

Snap peas and green beans are fine. Here’s a blog post on that.


Vegetable oils aren’t really made from vegetables, which is why we’re still really confused over here about how they came upon that name. What they ARE usually made from are soy, cottonseed, corn, sunflower, and safflower.

These oils are very high in omega 6 fatty acids, which promote inflammation (as opposed to omega 3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory). They are debatably one of the major causes of heart disease.

Get the ebook and/or read this blog post to find out why saturated fat and cholesterol are not actually bad for you. Unfortunately, we’ve been duped for the last 60 years into eating vegetable oils that don’t come from actual vegetables, which are causing inflammation of all kinds. Oh, and definitely stay away from anything that says “hydrogenated”.

Read more about all this on the blog here.


By sugar, I don’t mean fruit. In fact, you’re encouraged to eat fruit on this diet in moderation. I mean “sugar”, “fructose”, “high fructose corn syrup”, “corn sugar”, “corn syrup”, “malt syrup”, or anything with “dext-” in it, for that matter. Also Splenda, aspartame, Equal, and anything else that is a man-made chemical sweetener is out. Check the ingredients on everything you consume. Oh, and no juice bought from a store; it’s just as sugary as soda.

Too much sugar can make you fat, lethargic, and grumpy. Period. End of story. It’s gonna hurt to take it out of your diet, and you will have cravings for it. I give you some tips in the ebook for combatting cravings. Just know that the longer you eat this way, the fewer sugar cravings you’ll have. I promise!


The vitamins, fatty acids, and overall quality of pasture-raised/grass-fed animals are all much better for you. Not to mention that being raised naturally is way better for the animal. Go to to find local, well-raised meats in your area. Consider buying a half-cow or pig like I do. It’s way cheaper in the longrun.

Here’s more info on how to do that.

REFINED, IODIZED SALT – use unrefined sea salt instead

There you have it.
Remember, there is a time and a place for being really strict with your diet, like when you have debilitating food sensitivities or when you’re preparing for an athletic competition. For everyone else who’s trying to live a long, healthy life AND have fun while doing it, give yourself a break sometimes and eat what feeds your soul. That’s why we give you the Flex Days if you want them on our Paleo Meal Plan. It’s good for two reasons. One, you get to live a little. And two, the bloating or headache or (enter symptom here) you might get after indulging will help you remember why you’re eating Paleo in the first place ;)

If you have questions about specific foods that you don’t see here, let me know by posting a comment or writing to


  1. Isaac

    I am about 350 pounds and desperately want and need to lose weight. On average, how many pounds per week will I lose by following this program if I include some daily moderate exercise?

    • Neely

      It really depends on your size and activity level, but you might expect to lose a couple pounds per week, probably more in the beginning. Please email me (I’m the Paleo Plan nutritionist) if you have any other questions at

  2. Laurie

    I’m curious about the “no dairy” rule. Do you suggest calcium supplements (or for that matter, any multi-vitamin or other supplements to replace some of the nutrients you’d be missing on the plan? Thanks for any info. you can offer.

    • Neely

      No, I don’t. Please read my post on how grains and legumes can inhibit absorption of calcium, and my post on why dairy isn’t Paleo (it also talks about calcium). In the Why Paleo? post, I also go into it a little bit. The idea that we need dairy in our diets is false – you can get everything you need and more from meat, veggies, fruits and some nuts.

  3. Penny

    Hi Neely,
    I’m wondering if you’ve had anyone with hypothyroidism be successful with the Paleo diet. Feels like everything I’ve tried has failed for me. I’m reading this and thinking of giving it a try.

    Thank you

    • Neely


  4. sara james

    Hi I am a product of todays fast food eat on the go world…I am reading your blog and hoping to god it will work! I am going to try it I doubt I will get a response but I am as of right now 250lbs and 5’5….. I will be starting my diet June 6th on food stamps i’ll write back in a few months.

  5. Jess

    I am interested in doing this but I don’t eat meat. I eat eggs and all kinds of fish. Will I be able to get the right amount of protein and nutrients without meat? Thank you

    • Neely

      Well, you’d have to eat a lot of fish, and a lot of fish has mercury and other toxins in it. Eggs are good, but not super high in protein. You’d just have a lower protein Paleo diet, which can totally work. Good luck!

  6. Allan

    Hi have heard that Quino is more like a seed than a grain. It is also very high in protein. What are your thoughts on this?? I have a great quinoa / asparagus / tabasco recipe that I would hate to lose……haha

    • Neely

      Hi Allan,

      Hate to break it to you, but all grains are actually seeds, so I’m not sure why quinoa gets singled out all the time for this reason. I say if it acts and looks like a grain, and has the same anti-nutrient qualities, then it’s a grain. By that logic, quinoa is a grain (and you can find it listed as a grain on wikipedia). It’s actually not that much higher in protein – around 4.4g protein per 100g cooked as opposed to 3.5g per 100g of millet. But compared to, say, 25g in 100g of ground beef, all grains are low in protein. People will try to tell you that it’s a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids, too, but it’s actually very low in one of them (can’t think of it right now). Anyway, those are my thoughts on quinoa…


  7. Allan

    Thx Neely. Looking forward to eating Paleo. Looks like you have a great and trusted resource here.

  8. robert wurtz

    I have a question: in all of the paleo readings I see grains are listed as ‘bad’ why? and I am not asking from a ‘nutritional’ side I am asking as it is a food that all hunter-gathers (that I have read about) not only looked for but prized highly. I can see saying ground, leavened, bleached baked grains are not paleo, but whole boiled grains? it seems too much like picking and choosing what is and is not ‘old enough’. wheat, oats, rice, barley, did not just ‘happen’ in the days of Moses they were eaten when they were found… what gives? Robert

    • Neely

      Can you tell me where in your readings you’ve found that HG people sought out and prized grains? Even if they did, they would not have eaten them (until rather recently) in very high quantities, which is one of the main tenets of Paleo. If you eat too many grains, which contain a whole lot of the anti-nutrients we’re trying to avoid, you’re going to see problems. Most people can handle some lectins, phytates, saponins, etc., but when you start eating them every day at every meal and snack, that’s when you run into problems. Hunter gatherer groups, by virtue of their name, didn’t farm grains. They collected seeds and ate them (likely after crushing and soaking them to make them more digestible) when they could. I don’t disagree with Sally Fallon that a lot of people could eat certain grains and legumes if they processed them correctly (pressure cooking, sprouting, soaking, etc), but most people aren’t going to do that, and almost no food manufacturer is, either. Plus, a lot of people have wrecked their guts by eating so many refined grains, GMO legumes, pasteurized dairy and refined sugar throughout their lives that they’re going to have a hard time ever successfully eating those things again in large quantities, even if they are soaked, sprouted, etc. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have questions – I’m happy to continue this discussion.

  9. Emily

    This sounds a lot like the low carb diet by Atkins, what is the main difference? Thanks!

    • Neely

      This doesn’t necessarily need to be a low carb diet. In fact, hunter gatherer people (who we’re trying to emulate) ate up to 70% carbohydrates and still remained thin and healhty. It naturally ends up being low carb for most people because you take out the common sources of (often empty calorie) carbs – grains, refined sugar and legumes. There’s also no dairy (usually) on the Paleo diet, whereas it’s a main staple on Atkins. Atkins doesn’t have regard for the quality of meats, meaning whether or not they’re grass-fed, etc., while Paleo does. The closer you can come to eating wild, or at least pasture-raised animals, the better off you’ll be. Atkins has some pretty seriously processed foods on their diet, too, containing fake sugars, etc., and Paleo’s not into that kind of thing. Only all natural, whole foods. The weight loss concept is very similar, though, in that we understand that excess carbs make people gain weight. It’s just a fact, so they’re definitely the same in that regard.

  10. Barbara

    Anyone with crohns been successful on this lifestyle?

    • Neely

      Yes, for sure. Here’s Cordain’s take on why.

  11. Heather

    This is a great plan for me. I have celiac disease.. and milk sensitivity. The only problem I face is that most of my consumption now is rice based foods. It will take some adjustment.. but this has got to make me feel better. Thank you for the website!

  12. Larry

    I read in an old blog while searching on ‘wheat’ that “All grains and legumes (including soya and peanuts) contain harmful substances namely Lectins which increase intestinal permeability” could eating bread have led to my attack of diverticulosis?

    • Neely

      Yes. Definitely.

  13. Larry

    That’s an audacious statement.
    Rice included?
    How does one change from a sandwich, rice & pasta diet that I thought was healthy?
    Lettuce salads ok?
    Thanks for your time!

    • Neely

      What’s an audacious statement? Rice isn’t included in the diet. How do you make the switch? Sign up for Paleo Plan! Lettuce salads are fine – just add some meat. Good luck!

  14. kenzer013

    I have just started the Paleo Plan and I am truly enjoying the benefits that I have seen such as clear skin (for the first time in my life) and the increased energy (which my husband is loving)! I have spent one month focusing on getting my eating adjusted and just found your site a week ago. This is my first week following your plan (Which has saved me over $75 in one week alone!! Thank you for the shopping list) and even my husband likes your recepies he is a French chef and thankfully enjoys making your recepies for me.

    So I started working out with a personal trainer this week in an effort to get physically fit. I am currently 60 lbs over weight at age 24 with pre-diabetic symptoms. Also I started experiencing knee pain & popping about six months ago due to the extra weight my joints are carrying so I decided enough is enough. My trainer also follows the Paleo diet which is very nice because he helps to motivate me but he mentioned that I should be taking a protein shake on the days I work out. I was very confused by this since the only protein shakes I could find are whey or soy based. Is there a protein powder out there for the paleo plan? Or is there a natural protein shake I can be making for myself? Or better yet is it even necessary on your plan?

    • Neely

      Hi there,

      Congrats on your success so far on the diet! We’re always happy to hear about people feeling better and losing weight. As far as protein powders go, here’s an article I wrote on them. I personally don’t see the use in protein powders unless you’re a body builder, since you can get all the protein you need (and more) with just food. Plus, a lot of people have problems with whey or they develop problems with it (or rice protein or egg protein, etc.) when they start drinking it all the time. They’re not whole foods, and your body doesn’t necessarily like that. If you’re absolutely convinced that you need protein powder, try a grass-fed whey powder or organic egg white, but again, I really don’t think you need it. Let me know if you have questions – hope that helps.


  15. Lisa

    I’m considering the Paleo. I’m 56 and ready to eat better. Any suggestions on how to kick the Diet cola habit? I’ve been drinking it for years – up to 4 a day. Will starting the diet help me curb the craving for the soda? Also – can you eat any bread at all? No whole grain breads?

    • Neely

      Hi Lisa,

      No whole grain breads on Paleo – that’s kind of the main point since grains are so bad for us. How to kick the diet cola habit depends on your personality. It might be easiest to just go cold turkey with that stuff, but be prepared for some detox symptoms like headaches, mood swings and fatigue. The diet will probably help the cravings for sugar, but aspartame and all those other artificial sweeteners are a whole different story. It might take some good old will power to get you through it. However, after you’ve been off the diet sodas for a couple weeks I bet they’ll taste disgusting to you if you have them again. That’s the good news :) Good luck!

  16. Angela

    I am very new to this so I apologize if I sound ignorant! I had a friend tell me I could eat a slim Jim with paleo. Well, that sounds very processed to me???

    • Neely

      Yep, sounds pretty processed to me. Here are the ingredients:

      Slim Jim® Original Smoked Snack
      0.28oz sealed package.

      Ingredients: beef, mechanically separated chicken, water, corn syrup, salt, less than 2% of: spices, dextrose, paprika and paprika extractives, flavoring, hydrolyzed soy, corn and wheat proteins, lactic acid starter culture, sodium nitrite. Contains soy and wheat

      The last sentence should be enough to let you know that it’s not Paleo. What I think your friend was probably trying to say is that you can eat beef jerky? Beef jerky is fine, but it also often has these kinds of additives and wrecked foods in it. You can make your own pretty easily. Also, know that Paleo stresses grass-fed animal products, and Slim Jims are probably the farthest thing from that, as are most conventional beef jerky products. That’s why we suggest you make your own – it’s MUCH cheaper that way. Hope this helps.


  17. Marian

    Just getting exposed to the benefits of the paleo diet through my trainer. I am 59 and have been 25lbs overweight for years, even tho I am active and thought I ate a healthy diet (organic meats, fish, brown rice, organic fruits/veges, + supplements, etc.) Could not shake those pounds, however. In the past 25 years have developed high blood pressure, and have been diagnosed with a small calcification on my left descending coronary artery. So i am anxious to experience the befits of the paleo diet! I have two questions: (1) With so much protein in my diet, am I stressing my kidneys (read about this negative reaction vis-a-vis the Atkins diet); and (2) may I eat an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla when I feel I need some additional carb? Thank you for your very informative blog and website!

    • Neely

      Here and here are articles on high protein diets that should shed some light on the kidney issue. The short answer is that unless you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, a high protein diet is fine, and it’s what our ancestors and hunter-gatherer groups have thrived on for 2.5 million years. As for the Ezekiel bread, sprouted grains are way more tolerable by people than unsprouted grains, but sprouted legumes still contain anti-nutrients, and that product contains sprouted soy (and malted barley, a source of gluten and other anti-nutrients. Here’s what Cordain said recently about it. If you want something carby, eat this or sweet potatoes or squash or even potatoes occasionally. Hope that helps – good luck!

  18. Kyle

    I’m doing this just be healthier…however, as I learned today, doing this diet where no carbs are ingested makes a high intensity workout a major challenge….any suggestions?

    • Neely

      Well, first of all, this diet doesn’t necessarily advocate zero carbs. We recommend you eat lots of fruits and veggies, even the starchy ones in moderate quantities when you’re an athlete. Here’s a good post to answer your question. Good luck!

  19. Lee

    What if you are diabetic? Some of the things I see here I have been told not to eat?

    • Neely

      Hi Lee,

      This diet is for diabetics. The diets and guidelines the government and American Heart Association and American Diabetic Association don’t work – or at least not as well as this does, and studies have proven that. Besides that, though, there are countless diabetics eating this way who are in essence no longer diabetic. Be careful eating this way if you’re on insulin, though, as you may find very quickly that you don’t need it. Watch your glucose levels carefully. Good luck!


  20. miki

    I am going to give a go to paleo. I am very skinny and not able to gain weight. i just realized that i had no idea what proper nutrition is. i eat a lot of carbs all kinds of grains, bread, lots of sweets etc. and not so much meat. And i am still skinny. I did a research on the internet but nobody seems to care about people underweight :) I think if i would nurture my body with the right food it would be possible to gain weight. i know i am not going to have excess weight around my waist i am not like that genetically but i never gave enough protein to my body, maybe there is a chance that my body reacts positively to paleo. any experiences or thought on this? thank you

  21. Sandy

    Would this be something for a diabetic to foloow-I am NIDDM.

    • Neely

      Hi Sandy,

      Yes, absolutely. See our FAQ answer to that question here.

  22. Orson

    What is the affect of this diet for people with acid reflux problems. I need to avoid fat and acidic foods such as oranges, tomatoes. I eat a lot of grains to take the place of many acid causing foods. I don’t have a weight issue.


    • Neely

      @Orson – The diet often gets rid of acid reflux. It’s difficult when you’re on medication for it, though, because inhibiting hydrochloric acid inhibits protein digestion. So if you’re on meds, start off on the diet and see how you feel and maybe experiment (with the aid of your doc) with coming off the meds after a while. Keep the acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes out at first, but eat the healthy fats in moderation and see how you do. Keep us posted!

  23. FtMSebastion

    I have a serious issue with not being able to eat certain foods.

    -Bell Peppers (unless thoroughly cooked out)
    -any type of shellfish
    -any type of crustacean.

    I’m working hard to introduce a food a day, this past week, I had a complete aversion to meat, but, I made a meal and forced myself to eat the meat, and…I was craving it, so I hope it’ll be as easy as that. I’m working on avocados, since they’re really good for you.

    ANYWAY, back on subject, are these essential foods? Or can I live without them?

    • Neely

      @FrMSebastion – You can definitely live without them. Eat what veggies and protein you can, and I hope your aversion to meat continues subsiding!

  24. Angela

    Is grapeseed oil ok? I do not see it on your list to avoid or to use.

    • Neely

      @Angela – Grapeseed oil is 9.6% saturated, 16.1% monounsaturated and 69.9% polyunsaturated. That’s a lot of unstable polyunsaturated fatty acids to be cooking with, so I wouldn’t mess with it. Among those polyunsaturated fatty acids, none of them is omega 3, meaning you’re just adding to your inflammatory omega 6 load every time you use it. That profile is close to corn oil, actually, so I say don’t eat it very often at all. Hope that helps.

  25. Claire

    Can you please tell me a savoury Paleo snack. I can follow the plan pretty well and really enjoy it, but have been struggling to find any snack foods other than nuts and dried fruit, which I don’t want to eat too much of since weight loss is my main goal. I’m also on quite a tight budget which makes it more difficult. Any suggestions?

    • Neely

      @Claire – Homemade beef/buffalo/turkey/chicken/salmon jerky, part of a chicken breast with avocado slathered on top, hard boiled egg with a bit of seasoning, leftover lunch, smoked salmon with some berries, small tuna salad, etc. Start thinking about snacks as just small meals, and they’ll all be savory. There are plenty of snacks on the recipes page that are savory if you need more ideas. Good luck!

  26. Debbie

    How does this diest adjust for a vegetarian? Beans are a great source of protein. Currnetly I suppliment with nutritional shake by usana (low glycemic, and dairy free). Thank You

    • Neely

      @Debbie – The diet isn’t really set up for a vegetarian, since beans are a potent source of anti-nutrients and not a rich source of protein.

  27. Cynthia

    Neely, Thank you for your super great information. I love how you help everyone that comments. Not normally seen and very much appreciated.

    • Neely

      @Cynthia – Thanks! I appreciate you appreciating me :)

  28. Sharon

    Where do vinegars fall in this plan?

    • Neely

      @Sharon – Please read this post.

  29. Denise Cripps

    I’m new to Paleo Lifestyle so I’m trying to make sure I get things straight. I’m allergic to dairy, so for the last year or so my breakfast has been a protein shake made from 1 c. So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk, a banana, and 1 scoop LifeTime Life’s Basics Plant Protein (pea, hemp, rice and chia seed) powder. It has 22 g. protein, 5 g. total carb, and 2.67 g. sugars. This shake would NOT be considered Paleo, right? First, because the protein powder is made from grains, right? But what about the So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk? Would that be okay, or is only 100% coconut milk considered Paleo? Thank you!

    • Neely

      @Denise – Right. The protein powder is not paleo for those reasons. The So Delicious has sugar in it, I believe, so it’s not technically paleo either. Try eating a heartier breakfast like the ones we have on the site. It’ll do great things for your blood sugar and weight loss goals if you have any. Good luck!

  30. Tori

    I am confused about the legumes and some of the grains… They are natural growing. Hunters and Gatherers gathered them… I know some of them we have changed and eat waaay to much of but I just dont understand why they are foods to avoid. That doesnt make sense to me at all.

  31. EricaRs2002

    What about Hemp seeds? are these Paleo friendly or no?

    • Neely

      EricaRs2002 – I would say that hemp seeds are pretty paleo. I just forget about them and didn’t put them on the list. They contain ALA, the plant source of omega 3’s, they have no phytic acid in them (a very good thing) and they’re not super high in omega 6’s. They’re best used whole, just like flax seeds. As soon as you start making things into meal (or protein powder), they start to get heated and/or more exposed to air and thus oxidized. Store them in the fridge or freezer to avoid oxidation and rancidity. Thanks for the question!

  32. medgemont

    Hi! My question is about drinking water – in the food guide post it says that we should try to find water to drink that isn’t bottled for from the tap. Will it really deter my diet that much if I drink tap water? I have a seltzer maker at home and pretty much only drink carbonated tap water with a little squeeze of lemon – what are your thoughts on this?


    • Neely

      @medgemont – Well, no – it’s better than drinking soda, juice or other standard drink options. It’s just that the chlorine etc. isn’t optimal for health. As for carbonated tap water, some think that the carbonation increases acid load in your body. You are, after all, trying to rid your body of extra carbon dioxide by breathing, etc., so adding to it is also not optimal. Filtration systems are rather inexpensive – it may just be worth it!

  33. Jackie

    Why can’t you have legumes or some of the grains??

    • Neely

      @Jackie – It’s actually ALL of the grains and legumes. Here’s a post series on why. Hope that helps!

  34. Angie

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s after having my daughter last year. Since then it’s been a battle for me trying to find the right diet that helps with all of my symptoms (fatigue, irritability, WEIGHT GAIN) and nothing seems to have helped. Is the Paleo diet good for people with thyroid disease? Will my Cholesterol go up by eating so much meat?

    • Neely

      @Angie – The short answers to your questions are yes, it’s absolutely good for people with thyroid issues. With Hashimoto’s, since it’s an autoimmune disorder, consider also taking out nightshades from your diet (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes) as they’ve been shown to aggravate autoimmune problems. And yes, your cholesterol might go up, but not in a bad way. Often people’s HDL goes up and LDL comes down. Or even if their LDL goes up, it’s not the “bad” LDL, so it doesn’t matter. Good luck to you!

  35. AJ

    What is the classification of green beans? I realize that “beans” is in the name, but I’ve read that they fall into the vegetable category. Is it similar to the peanut not being a nut situation or are green beans actually considered beans?

    • Neely

      @AJ – Green beans are legumes. However, they’re younger and contain fewer anti-nutrients because of it. We also don’t eat them in such high quantities as, say, black beans or soy. The pod takes up the bulk of the veggie. Eat them as you please – they’re Paleo.

  36. shelly

    I have crohns disease (8years).
    i do not digest vegetables very well at all. cooked or raw.especiialy raw.
    how do i lose weight?

    • Neely

      @Shelly – lots of meat and fat. Well cooked, that is. Crohns is tricky, though. You might want to work with someone who’s a Paleo specialist. Good luck to you.

  37. Amanda

    What about condments and salad dressings are we supposed to read the ingredients in Mayo or italian dressings to see if it contains the oils that are restricted. How do we judge things like that.

  38. amatthai

    What about Chia seeds and squash? I saw squash mentioned in some other spots as a food to eat in moderation but don’t see it on the list. Thanks!

    • Neely

      @amatthai – Chia seeds are fine. And squash has fewer carbs in it than sweet potatoes or cassava, but still more than, say, broccoli. Use at your own discretion :)

  39. Jackie

    Would quinoa be ok since it technically a seed and not a grain?

    • Neely

      @Jackie – Sorry, but no. This is a common misconception. All grains are seeds – quinoa is no exception. If it looks like a grain, acts like a grain and has the same anti-nutrient properties as a grain, then it’s not paleo…

  40. Denver

    I’m a total newb to Paleo thinking and am currently reading “The Paleo Solution” (only to chapter 3!). To piggy back on Jackie’s comment, everything I’ve read and understand of quinoa is that it is related closer to beets and spinach than wheats and grain. You state it has the same anti-nutrient properties as grain – can you expand on that? I’m trying to wrap my head around all of this – sorry if I’m being redundant in questions.

  41. Denver

    Update: I found the answer to my own question from a speech by Robb Wolf: “Quinoa is technically gluten free however it does contain a protein fraction which extracts in aqueous media that causes a positive Celiac reaction in susceptible individuals. Translation: It can still cause gut problems in many people. It is quite carb dense so anything over a 1/4 cup serving is going to pack a serious insulin response. It is very heavily weighted towards the n-6 fatty acids…the n-3’s exist at pretty trivial levels. If i were going to choose wheat vs quinoa the quinoa would win hands down, but like all grain type items the nutritional density is pathetic compared to other paleo type items.”

  42. ko

    what about mung bean noodles, the thin clear vermicelli made from mung beans? and how about soy beans? and nuts in general?

    • Neely

      Hi Ko,

      Please read this page, and all your questions should be answered.

  43. Keith

    How about olives?

    How about olive oil?

    • Neely

      Hi Keith – Yes and yes. Read this resource to find out all the acceptable foods.

  44. Darius

    I need some help as I have issues with nuts. I happen to be quite allergic to all types of nuts ie walnuts, peanuts, almonds (almond flour etc). Do you have any plans for people with food allergies? Or perhaps any suggestions or substitutions available? Any help would greatly be appreciated!!!

    • Neely

      @Darius – At the moment we don’t have any options for people with nut allergies, although we will soon. In place of almond flour, you can use half and half of tapioca flour and coconut flour. You may need to add more liquid to the recipe in the form of eggs, oil or even fruit, though, because coconut flour absorbs a lot. As for the other recipes, just substitute with seeds, jerky, or leave the nuts out altogether and don’t sub anything. Like with the nut encrusted meat dishes. I hope that helps.

  45. Jennifer Smith

    I’ve had severe sinusitis for almost a year now and have been on antibiotics and steroids almost the entire time. I did find out I had to have sinus surgery due to polyps but even after surgery, my symptoms have not cleared. Has the Paleo diet proven to help with allergies, sinusitis, etc.?

    • Neely

      @Jennifer Smith – Yes. I’d give it a try. I’ve heard of countless people, including my dad, who’ve gone off their sinus meds after starting to eat Paleo. It makes sense because you’re helping to take a burden off your immune system by not eating such anti-nutritive foods all the time. So your immune system is less confused about what it’s supposed to be doing. It doesn’t need to react to every little thing all the time, and as you know, your sinuses have everything to do with your immune system. Good luck!

  46. C

    What about raw organic milk and raw organic goat milk? I currently follow the Weston A Price diet, with raw organic dairy only (nothing pastuerized). I noticed that you mentioned PASTEURIZED milk, which leads one to believe that raw milk would be OK.

  47. Clara

    What about consuming raw organic milk? Raw milk has the lactace already it to assist in the digestion of the lactose.

  48. Cheryle

    Help! I’m vegetarian and have been for about 15 years. I want to be healthy and am very interested in this paleo diet but can’t imagine eating meat or fish. I’m not vegan so I can eat eggs but how can I participate in this diet without meat?

    • Neely

      @Cheryle – You’d have to incorporate raw dairy, particularly fermented raw dairy products. Otherwise you won’t get enough protein to heal whatever it is you’re trying to heal, and you’ll probably have trouble losing weight, if that’s one of the issues. Protein is very satiating, too, so you’ll have to eat a lot of fat to compensate for the lack of meat and fish. Let me know if you want more help with this – I do private coaching.

  49. Nancy

    I notice a lot of the recipes include coconut. I am allergic to coconut so is there a subsitute for the milk or flour in recipes?

    • Neely

      @Nancy – You can use almond flour and tapioca flour to substitute for the coconut flour. You’ll want to use fewer eggs and less liquid in general, though, because the coconut flour is very dense and absorptive. As for the milk, it depends on the recipe. Sometimes you can use almond milk and sometimes you can use oil. You’ll have to get creative. Let me know if you have specific questions on recipes.

  50. Misty

    Hi, I want to try the Paleo plan but I cannot eat nuts. What can be substituted? Thanks.

  51. elam

    It is interesting that this article mentions Weston Price in connection with the paleo diet and includes a link to a website with his name. But if one looks at that website; I have studied it and eat according to it and am well and very healthy, anyhow, Weston Price advocated a traditional diet, rather than specifically a paleo diet and he found that when people went from their traditional diets to a standard western diet, their health failed. Weston and his website include grains and beans in a traditional diet but only if they have been soaked, fermented or sprouted. This neutralizes the phytic acid, etc…Well, see below, I cut and pasted what it says on the Weston Price website. I find that when eating grains and beans that have been prepared by the means expresssed below, i have no problems at all healthwise…, but if I eat them without traditionally soaking, fermenting or sprouting them, I have serious digestion problems. The same goes with dairy, if i eat fermented raw dairy products like kefir, I feel very healthy but if it is pasturerized, I can’t digest dairy. Fermented dairy is also listed as a healthy traditional food choice on the Weston Price website. See below one excerpt from the Weston Price website. So, if you feel you need the nutrients from whole grain and beans, check out the Weston Price site in detail.

    Use whole grains, legumes and nuts that have been prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors and other anti-nutrients

  52. Amanda

    what about ham, I LOVE fried ham with eggs in the morning, I have just decided to start Paleo and am wondering if that is ok for a Paleo breakfast

    • Neely

      Amanda: Ham is fine if it doesn’t contain nitrates or nitrites, and preferably if it’s organic or pasture raised. This goes for all deli meats and otherwise processed meats.

  53. Jen

    I didn’t see anything about using grape seed oil. Is this okay to use?

    • Neely

      Hi Jen – I’ll add that to the list of no-nos. Grapeseed oil is 9.6% saturated, 16.1% monounsaturated and 69.9% polyunsaturated. That’s a lot of unstable polyunsaturated fatty acids to be cooking with, so I wouldn’t mess with it. Among those polyunsaturated fatty acids, none of them is omega 3, meaning you’re just adding to your inflammatory omega 6 load every time you use it. That profile is close to corn oil, actually, so I say don’t eat it very often at all. Hope that helps.

  54. nori21

    I am taking this life style into consideration and would like to know if there are sertain foods from the menues that I can exclude? I am trying to loose weight (doctors orders) and know that some of the foods on the menus are not of my liking. Can we make our own menus with receipes that we know we will enjoy?

    • Neely

      @nori21 – Very happy you’re considering this diet. Sorry to say we don’t offer individualized plans at this time. But you can always change the menu and shopping list to fit your needs. Good luck!

  55. Mich

    Hi, what about mayonnaise, ketchup, cheese?

  56. rottiesaffy

    What about solified (sp?) butter. is this a no no!? What do you use for coffee creamer? Coconut milk?

    • Neely

      Hi rottiesaffy – Not sure what solified butter is, but we’re a no dairy Paleo site. It’s up to you whether you eat dairy, and its effects on people are very different from person to person. I always say take out dairy for a month then put it back in and see how you feel. Go for dairy from grass-fed cows, and preferably whole fat, fermented, unpasteurized and unhomogenized. Coconut milk is a great coffee creamer.

  57. Georgia

    thanks for the informative website. I’m new to eating Paleo-style and a bit confused with some disparities amongst the paleo community. Namely:
    1) If brown rice is gluten-free, which is it to be avoided?
    2) You say it is ok to eat sugar snap peas and snow peas but in the “Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, it is advocated that they are to be avoided. Not sure who is right??
    3) I’ve been eating Paleo for a few days now but I am left feeling hungry after each meal (i.e.-a large salad and 5-6 ounces of chicken or beef). I drink 8 cups of water daily. Any other suggestions. (BTW, I’m female, 38 years old, 5’7” and 208 lbs and trying to lose 58). Thanks. I follow your website now like a new religion :-)

    • Neely

      @Georgia –
      1. I think you meant “why is it to be avoided”? All grains are to be avoided, unless you are an endurance athlete and you just can’t get enough carbs with veggies. In which case you’d eat white rice, which has fewer anti-nutrients than brown rice. All grains have potentially inflammatory effects, even if they’re gluten free.
      2. Sugar snap peas and snow peas in my mind are in the same category as nuts and seeds for this reason: yes, they contain phytic acid (a mineral-binding anti-nutrient), but if eaten in moderation, they’re ok. They don’t contain the same amount of toxins as dried up old beans like pinto, black, etc. So every once in a while if you want to put them in a stir fry or a salad, go for it. The info you found from Cordain may be outdated – not sure.
      3. Make sure you eat enough calories (go to or to find out how many you need based on your size, etc.). Make sure you eat plenty of fat, especially in the beginning of the diet. Eat fatty cuts of (grass fed/pasture raised) meats and lots of oil in the beginning. It will help you stay full, make the detox period easier, and hasten your body’s ability to use fat as energy instead of depending on carbs for it.

      Good luck!

  58. maria

    Are legumes and omega 6’s avoided because they can cause inflamation?

    • Neely

      @maria – Omega 6’s are, and legumes are avoided because they’re very high in carbs and phytic acid and they’re often not prepared and cooked properly. That’s why we all get gassy when we eat them: they’re difficult to digest.

  59. Amy

    What if they are prepared properly? Many people know how to prepare foods that takes the gas-producing properties out of legumes. I cook a potato with mine and then toss the potato. No gas. To me, if the Bible tells us it is good to eat, it is good to eat. People on a Bible diet that consists of good grains, meats, and vegetables are extremely healthy and free of disease. In fact, I know of one man that began the diet while infected with cancer and within a few weeks was cancer free. The Jews in Biblical times were incredibly healthy while the surrounding peoples were riddled with disease. And on that diet, pork and shellfish are forbidden and potatoes and corn are allowed. I can certainly understand limiting them if you are not as active. That makes total sense, but a lot of times, those harmful chemicals can be eliminated simply on how the foods are prepared. So I guess what I’d like to know is what makes the Paleo diet superior to other diets such as the Mediterranean diet or the Maker’s Diet.

  60. lilsnack

    Is mustard allowed on the plan?

  61. crystal caccamo

    @georgia….the thing that helped me the MOST was to make paleo mayo and to eat it with all meat in large quantities. to up my fats seemed hard for me but once i did that it helped TONS bc the mayo is all oil (healthy) and then i cooked all of my veggies in bacon grease that i saved. i ate bacon and eggs every morning which helped me tons. the bacon i used is from trader joes which has no nitrates and also from our grassfed pig. i know bacon is debatable from the sugars and sodium but in my opinion you gotta do what ya gotta do in the beginning to stick with this lifestyle to get your calories up! paleo comfort foods has great recipes by the way! goodluck! i am 5’4 and 200lb. ~i lost 9lb in 6 weeks and 3 inches of waist. im still breastfeeding my son who is 15 months and that seems to hinder my weight loss but also bc i incorp. sweet pot into my diet for healthy carbs.

  62. Mike

    How is almond milk as a substitue for cocunut milk, and at what level of moderation should either of these products be consumed?

  63. Joanna

    Ive been eating Paleo over 2 months and I feel much better. However I will say to anyone starting that sometimes you DO have to make some changes for YOU! We are all different. I am allergic to eggs, coconut, and almonds which make it VERY hard. So yes I do grass fed raw goat and cow milk in moderation. I also do some peanut butter and lentils. They dont bother me AT ALL. I would say eating more veggies and staying away from ALL grains is most important and of course high quality grass fed meats

  64. Linda

    Just wondering if the coconut oil has to be unrefined…I’m still reeling with sticker shock from the jar I bought yesterday!

    • Neely

      @Linda – Yes, it should be unrefined if you want the least adulterated kind :)

  65. carol bloom

    please comment on pickles, olives, sauerkraut, miso and tamari

  66. T.J.

    @Linda –
    Try – they have a whole slew of unrefined coconut oil products, and they’re constantly having sales.

  67. hlpoppy

    Are Jerusalem Artichoke allowed on the Paleo Plan?

    • Neely

      @hlpoppy – yes.

  68. Angela

    I had just yesterday heard about this way of eating, so I made a shopping trip to Sprouts and found Pecan Crackers that were wheat and gluten free. I was so proud of myself until I got them home only to find the word Rice on the box. Then went to the Paleo website and learned that I can’t have RICE! Rather discouraged. I also bought Silk brand soy milk and am not sure yet if I can drink it. I think I’m going to need lots of help. I suffer tremendously with pain from a condition called Fibromyalgia and my sister has had RA for 40 years. We definitely need the help!

    • Neely

      @Angela – This diet is perfect for fibromyalgia as well as RA. I REALLY hope you ladies stick with the diet. And you’re right – soy milk is off the list. It’s on the list of foods not to eat on this page under legumes. Please let me know if you need anymore help!

  69. vanessa pugh

    Ive recently watched an information video on the Paleo diet and in the video the lady said spelt bread was ok to eat-now i read that it definately is not-v confused. Please could you clarify for me,thanks.

    • Neely

      @Vanessa -I’d really love to see that video. One of the main tenets of the Paleo diet is to cut out grains, especially gluten grains. Spelt is a gluten grain, so it’s definitely part of the diet. At least not on a regular basis. Do you have the link to that video?

  70. Shericka Presley

    would you mind sending me a detailed list of allowed foods and a couple weeks of sample menus. my rheaumatologist recommended this diet but gave no details or sites to refer to. please help!

  71. Brenda

    Hi, why does it say restrict/reduce intake of omega 6 (like seed oils?)..I just bought a supplement with 3-6-9 in it. From flax seed and black currant and borage help? And can you eat olives?

    • Neely

      Brenda – Omega 6’s are necessary in the diet, but we get plenty of them from meat and nuts (if you eat nuts) and other foods. They create an inflammatory cascade that is supposed to be balanced out by anti-inflammatory omega 3’s. I don’t know why supplement companies are still putting omega 6’s in their products with this knowledge. I personally wouldn’t take it.

  72. Laura

    Can agave nectar be used to sweeten things?

    • Neely

      Laura – Agave is very high in fructose and more heavily processed than, say, raw honey. I’d use raw honey instead.

  73. Rich

    How about things like benefiber or metemucil?

    • Neely

      Rich, it depends on the ingredients. I know those companies make several products each, so just look at the ingredients and try to figure it out from there. Or let me know the ingredients in question.

  74. Anna

    Neely, thanks for a wealth of information. My question…How do I do Paleo as a vegetarian? I’m vegetarian for principle reasons.

    • Neely

      Anna – it depends on what kind of vegetarian you are. Do you eat eggs, dairy, or fish?

  75. Lauren

    I am new to this. What about soy sauce, balsamic vinegar & chocolate??

    • Neely

      Soy sauce no. Balsamic vinegar yes (in our opinion), and chocolate in moderation (like not every day).

  76. just Neeka

    Are most vinegars allowed, like white wine, red wine, sherry? I use these a lot in my current cooking, which I am modifying to start eating Paleo. I have RA and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 18 months ago. I kept hearing about the Paleo Diet and know intuitively that I feel better not eating grains, but hadn’t considered cutting dairy as well. Four days today and already down 3 lbs. Probably water weight, but I’ll take it. Very excited to start this journey. Thanks for putting so many great resources on your site!

    • Neely

      just Neeka – Like many things on the diet, it really depends on your tolerance of vinegars. In the beginning, perhaps remove vinegar and substitute lemon juice just for a few weeks. Then add it back into your diet and see how you feel. Some Paleo experts don’t like it because it’s been shown to cause intestinal damage in a couple of studies, but there are plenty of benefits to fermented foods, too, so I don’t have a problem with vinegar in general.

  77. Lisa

    I was just wondering if I could have Aloe water ..I have been Paleo now for about 5 weeks & loving it …have gone done 11/2 dress sizes ….I just feel better …thank you for your site its been a huge help :)

    • Neely

      Lisa – I don’t know the ingredients, so I can’t really say. Can you tell me what they are and what the nutritional info is please? And thanks for your kind words – so glad the diet is working for you!

  78. Kendra

    My husband and I have been eating Paleo for a couple of months now. He has nut and seafood allergies, so we avoid those foods. I’m wondering if there’s another alternative to almond flour for making recipes like the pumpkin muffins? Thanks!

  79. sharon freewoman

    Since quinoa is considered a seed not a grain is it okay to eat?

    • Neely

      Sharon Freewoman – I always say, “If it looks like a grain and acts like a grain, then it’s a grain.” While quinoa doesn’t contain gluten, it does contain phytic acid, lectins, and saponins, just like other grains. So it’s not part of the Paleo diet. Sorry!

  80. Tyler

    no saponins? thats weird. there are tons of them in herbs that do loads of good. does paleo incorporate herbs?

  81. Douglas

    This webiste says a tablespoon of soy sauce is 7mg of Omega 6. Which is almost nothing. So, why not allow a little soy sauce with paleo?

    scroll down and on your left..

    • Neely

      Hi Douglas – Soy’s issue isn’t really omega 6’s in soy sauce form. It’s that it’s soy, and it’s very hard for people to digest and assimilate. However, fermented soy is the best kind to eat if you’re going to eat it, like soy sauce and tempeh. Soy sauce also has wheat in it, so tamari would be better – there’s no wheat. Here’s a blog post on soy’s issues:

  82. Kim

    FINALLY! A food plan (aka: diet) I can follow and eat! I’ve tried others but they are so dairy heavy and well, I can’t eat dairy so when I followed their plan I was left starving! Can wait to give this one a try!!!!! Thanks for putting it out there! :)

  83. just me

    Im a vegetarian or rather a 3/4 vegetarian :), I eat eggs and seafood. Help with how to eat best on the Paleo!

  84. Sandy

    I notice that Grade B pure maple syrup is on the staples shopping list but not listed above in sweeteners. Is maple syrup OK, and why Grade B?

    • Neely

      Sandy – I added it to the list. I’ve gone back and forth about condoning any of the sweeteners, but grade B maple syrup isn’t the worst thing in the world if you eat it rarely. Grade B because it’s less refined and has more nutrients in it and its glycemic load is a bit lower.

  85. lauren

    The only thing I find very weird, is that this Cordain allows diet soda drinking. YUK YUK YUK. That stuff is horrid. I would have a hard time taking advice from someone who “condones” this. Not trying to be controversial just stating my feelings. I like a lot of the info on this web site though thank you.

  86. BeachBum

    What if I am a vegetarian? Is this diet going to work for me?

    • Neely

      BeachBum – It really depends on what kind of vegetarian you are. Do you eat eggs? Dairy, fish? If so, then it’ll work, but if not it’s going to be pretty impossible…

  87. Duda

    What about honey? Sometimes I have cravings for sweet. I don’t consume sugar for over 2 years but sometimes I take honey. Please advise.
    Also what about 75-80% cocoa chocolate?

    • Neely

      Duda – Honey is on the list under “Eat In Moderation”. That’s what I suggest people do – eat it sometimes, but not as a staple. We all get cravings sometimes and raw honey is going to be better than refined sugar any day! Same with that chocolate.

  88. LAUREN

    Can one do the Paleo diet if they cannot eat egg yolks, are egg whites acceptable?
    Also, are sunflower seed ok?

    • Neely

      Hi Lauren – yes and yes :)

  89. Whitney

    What about egg noodles?

    • Neely

      Whitney – I’m not sure. You’ll need to read the ingredients and see if there are grains, legumes, etc. in them.

  90. Diane Cachenaut

    I am a type 2, non-insulin diabetic and would like to start the Paleo diet. Any modifications I should make to begin? Thanks, Diane

    • Neely

      Diane Cachenaut – Nope! It’s perfect for you as is.

  91. Providence

    Hello, I have fructose and sorbitol tested malabsortion… Find it very hard to know what veg and fruits are ok for me. I am sometimes worried of not comsuming enought of what could actually good for me. Maybe you could help? I want to get my all familly on the diet, we all have auto immune disease problems…

    Breakfast is also problematic, I hate breakfast and it has to be quick and easy to do and consume. Any suggestions?

  92. Raquel

    Hi, it was suggested to me to take 3000 mg of Borage Oil every day for the GLA/Omega 6 benefits…is Borage Oil OK on the Paleo Diet? I am going on this diet to help with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome/high prolactin levels/15 years of acne. Thanks

    • Neely

      Raquel – Yes, it’s fine. That seems like a lot, but it sounds like you’re seeing a practitioner. If you’re trying to combat inflammation, omega 3 fatty acids in the form of fish or cod liver oil might be beneficial, as well.

  93. h

    i saw tea and coffee, but what about caffeine in general (avitae is a caffeinated water)? also someone told me pickled foods like (saur kraut, et al) was not on paleo either (im assuming cuz they didn’t pickle things?)–is that also true and does that mean vinegar is a no go?

  94. tami

    What supplements and/or vitamins should be taken with the Paleo diet? (e.g. vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, etc.) Maybe it is on this site and I just have not found it yet, but scanning the basics of the diet, I did not see any mention of “extras.” Thank you.

  95. Bill

    Can one use “Sugar in the raw”? It would only be around 2 tbsp daily

  96. Jordan Nicole

    Hello, I’m a mom of 3 and 1 year old boys… We are already gluten and dairy intolerant and have excluded those from our diet. I have noticed my children have problems digesting peanuts and refined sugars so this week we went Paleo. The problem is my 2 sons are also allergic to coconuts and I notice alot of paleo’s and recipies use a lot of coconut products. My children being so young have relied on Soy milk and rice a lot, is there anything other then coconut that I can replace thier milk and foods, flower’s ect. with? I would love any input, thanks!

    • Neely

      Jordan Nicole – Have you tried almond milk? Or no milk at all? Good luck!

  97. Natalie

    Why not quinoa if it’s a seed and very high in protein? Also, what about agave as a sweetener?

    • Neely

      Hi Natalie – Here’s my response from a recent interview with about quinoa.

      Here’s the deal with quinoa, since so many people seem to think it’s totally different than a grain. If it looks and acts like a grain, it’s a grain, and quinoa contains some anti-nutrients that other grains contain, such as phytic acid, lectins, and saponins.

      Even if quinoa is properly prepared, meaning it’s soaked and cooked for an adequate amount of time, some of those substances will still remain.

      Now for some people it’s fine. But for others with more compromised guts and therefore sensitive immune systems, quinoa may not be ok. They may have digestive symptoms or skin irritation or asthma or fatigue after eating it, just like they would with other grains.

      The same goes for legumes like lentils and other beans. Once again, it just depends on the person.

      I don’t think these foods are inherently bad. I just think that after a lifetime of eating improperly prepared, highly glutenous refined grains, pasteurized dairy, toxic seed oils and tons of sugar, a lot of people have compromised guts and immune systems and they can’t handle these foods like native people who’ve never eaten those kinds of foods.

  98. Kim

    Hello, My lo has had digestive issues all of her life. She is now 4 and I am trying her on Paleo. I have been doing it myself for 2 months and feel great so I hope it will help her too! My concern for her is that she has a tree nut allergy, so essentially all nuts other than peanuts. This means no Almond milk or flour for her also. Is there an acceptable alternative to Almond flour other than coconut flour? What about hemp flour??

    • Neely

      Kim – Try tapioca flour, sweet potato flour, or any other root vegetable flour. They’re continually coming out with more and more at health food stores. I’d say no to hemp flour, as it’s full of phytic acid and other anti-nutrients.

  99. Christine

    Hi Neely. I just discovered the Paleo Diet and am curious…. would it be ok to follow if i’m nursing my 3 month old?

  100. clsr67

    Almond Milk?

  101. Nicole

    Is Almond milk ok?

    • Neely

      Nicole – It’s fine, but it’s best if you make it yourself from soaked almonds. A lot of the products in the stores are full of extra ingredients and sugar…

  102. hannah

    can I have butter on paleo? if not what can replace butter? I really like crab but it’s not the same without butter.

    • Neely

      hannah – No, butter isn’t Paleo per se. It’s more “primal” per Try it with some melted coconut oil. You’d be surprised how delicious it is…

  103. roxy

    Are ketchup and mustard ok to eat on the paleo diet? Also what about soy sauce?

  104. Josh

    Neely what do you recommend as a sweetener for coffee 1 cup daily? Also as an endurance athlete what would you recommend for fuel for the long workouts prior and during, last 3-5 hours. Thanks

  105. amelia

    can we use truffle oil? just to drizzle over prepared foods and not to cook with?

  106. Joe

    Hi, I am wondering if going on the Paleo diet could cause you to become gluten intolerant- due to restricting wheat and gluten from your diet?

  107. Harmony

    So reading a bit of Cordain’s book it seems like we need to avoid all grains and would that include hemp seeds? I found something called Hemp Hearts, raw shelled hemp seeds from a company called Manitoba Harvest.They are high in fat and I’m not sure if the amount of protein is of enough value but we were looking to add more protein to a Paleo Apple Muffin recipe we found in “Everyday Paleo”. Mom and I have just started (3 days ago so still in the crabby phase without our sugar, grain and butter) to help digestive issues/systemic inflammation and just wondering. We would like to be a bit more strict in the first 30 days of this and eventually plan to ease up and enjoy a non-Paleo treat from time to time ( If I’m correctly reading Cordain’s 85/15 rule of eating…Paleo at least 85% of the time and up to 15% sneaking out of the cave…the Paleo equivalent of falling off the wagon). I guess we could add hemp protein to the recipe but since I have the raw shelled hemp seed on hand, I’m trying to decide if I can use these up.

  108. Lisa

    I just found out that I am pre-diabetic. My sister recommended that I go back on the paleo diet (was on it for a little while 6 years ago), but absolutely no fruit whatsoever. Paleo mentions the minimal use of fruit, do you think it’s safe to have fruit if pre-diabetic?

  109. Anonymous

    Can you please elaborate about raw shelled hemp seeds as a source of protein? Is that a NO on this diet if auto immune?


    • Neely

      Tricia – Raw shelled hemp seeds fall into the same category as nuts and seeds as I described them in the Why No Grains & Legumes (and Nuts?) post. No Paleo food besides meat is a “good” source of protein, so you’d have to eat quite a bit of hemp seeds/powder to get the amount of protein you’re looking for and that’s where the anti-nutrient content starts to get out of hand. Meat is king when it comes to protein. No powders necessary :)

  110. Charmaine

    Thank you, clear and concise information without any BS. I’ve been looking for something straightforward to explain Paleo to my elderly parents and this is it!

  111. Gabrielle

    Can you change what on the meal plan to something eles if you can’t have it? We as a family can’t mushroom, Bell peppers, wheat, or pork any of those above we can’t and don’t eat is there a way to change what on the meal planner?

    • Neely

      Gabrielle – You can change whatever you’d like on the meal plan, but at this time there’s no way to individualize the meal plan that you receive from us. What I mean is that you can change it once it comes to you from us, but you can’t request that certain foods be left off or be added to your personal meal plan. Sorry for any inconvenience!

  112. Lex

    I was under the assumption that Quinoa was a Seed?

  113. Angie

    I was wondering if unsweetened almond milk was okay on the Paleo plan?

  114. Michelle Kuhnle

    I am trying the whole Paleo thing since I have rheumatoid arthritis. Since I am autoimmune, I understand for the first month eggs and nuts should also be eliminated from my diet. I am struggling because I am not a meat eater – I never crave it and it is all I can do to eat one full serving of it. I often replaced meat in my diet with nuts, eggs, or plain greek yogurt for protein. Is there anything else you can recommend to me to help me get protein in other than meat?

    • Neely

      Hi Michelle – I don’t really have any other suggestions besides plain old meat. I’d say try to make it as delicious as you possibly can with herbs, a smoker perhaps, and veggies and fruits with good recipes. I’ve heard more than one person say that the more they eat meat, the more they crave it, so just give it some time.

  115. Amber

    Neely – I have the wonderful autoimmune hypothyroid disease. (Straight faced, “Yippee!”) I was diagnosed at 16 (I’m 30 now) and am still learning about the ups and downs of this disease and how my body works. Ugh! Can we say roller coaster! lol I have been suffering from anxiety and depression for years (2005 to current) and the past two years have had so much unexplained and until recently, undiagnosed pain, muscle weakness and joint stiffness, you name it. While I am aware that with Hypothyroid patients you can expect a wide range of symptoms that affect your body, never in my wildest thoughts would I have suspected that a added Vitamin D deficiency was the culprit to my moans and groans. I did read that fish is one of the items that has a great amount of Vitamin D for deficient persons. I…am not much of a fish person but enjoy some if cooked with much flavor. I too, have read something about the Hashi-Gluten issue. Will the Paleo diet help in both general areas for my health? My main concern is getting healthy first. Though I truly enjoy meat and veges, I am concerned about gaining more weight or losing weight but not keeping it off, due to my thyroid gland – even if I were to eat with the Paleo Diet from here on out (high-fat?). From my understanding, it doesn’t matter how many carbs or calories you cut, a thyroid patient still may gain weight. Or…is this perhaps it is because of the damage that the grains, etc can do on them that they are still gaining? *So confused!* Oh!! I forgot to mention, my daughter (7) is allergic to milk/dairy, eggs and wheat. She may benefit also, u think?

    • Neely

      Amber – I think you should just give it a shot (and your daughter) and see how it works for you. There’s really no way to predict what will happen, unfortunately. Some autoimmune people have a lot of luck with the diet – they lose weight and keep it off. Some people, whether they’re autoimmune or not, have problems and need more help with losing weight and keeping it off. If you do the diet for a month or so (check out our meal plan or ebook for help), and you’re not losing weight, contact me at if you want some coaching. Good luck!

  116. Mollie

    My husband has been reading a book about preserving the length of telomeres and this book suggests a diet very similar to the paleo diet. The benefits seem endless (i.e. longer life span, become healthier, lower risk of cancers and other diseases, etc.). We have two school-aged children, an 11 month old, and I’m 18 weeks pregnant. Is it safe or appropriate for all of us to do the paleo diet? The baby would still get his milk, obviously. I’m especially concerned about the baby and myself while pregnant as all of the literature I’ve read suggests grains and dairy are necessary during pregnancy and through the toddler years, but these sources are all based on the food pyramid so it is to be expected. I want our family to become healthier, but I’m just not sure if now is the right time. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Neely

      Mollie – I think there’s never a bad age to go Paleo. We’re trying to mimic our hunter gatherer ancestors by eating this way, and they ate that way (their babies and all) for millions of years. So now is a fantastic time!

  117. Susan

    Why should you stay away from potatoes if you have an autoimmune disorder? I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease and had thyroid cancer 2 years ago.

    • Neely

      Susan – Thanks for asking this, as it’s prompted me to write a blog post about it. The evidence isn’t actually clear about potatoes as I thought it was when I wrote this. I’m about to update our info on potatoes on this page and hopefully clarify. Potatoes have glycoalkaloids in them that have been shown in studies to harm the gut lining. But those studies were done on mice who already had compromised guts, so it may not tell us anything about people at all. Try eating potatoes after not eating them for a few weeks and it’ll be easier to tell if they have an effect on you personally.

  118. Lisa

    What would you say to the critics that say red meat is awful for your body and digestive system? I know I was always told it can take 7 hours to digest a steak…..what are your thoughts on this? And is there really any way to do the paleo diet without eating a ton of meat? I have been vegan for the past couple years and I realized my dairy intolerance once I made the change. I am considering adding meat back to my diet but sparingly. Would that be okay?

    • Neely

      Lisa – I would say to them that some people have problems with too much red meat, but we evolved eating red meat from all kinds of game animals. It’s ridiculous to think it’s bad for us. Mark Sisson did a good write up (and there are several more on his site, too) about red meat: Basically there are a lot of poorly designed and wrongly interpreted studies out there about red meat. As for having to eat a ton of meat on a Paleo diet, no, you don’t have to. You could also eat more fish/seafood than red meat if you just don’t have a taste for it. There are plenty of healthy hunter-gatherer and traditional groups of people who didn’t/don’t eat much meat at all. They just don’t eat grains (or at least not grains the way they’re processed today) and sugar, pasteurized dairy or other crappy stuff in our diets today.

  119. Samantha

    Hi. Is there an easier “meal plan” for people who don’t cook or have time to cook? I work full time and have a part time fitness business that requires some travel and a ton of work in the off hours and really I hate cooking – I bring hard boiled eggs with me to work everyday and just eat the whites along with a banana and maybe some oatmeal or a natural peanut butter sandwich on flax seed bread. For dinner my boyfriend makes a chicken breast or turkey burgers (no buns) or some kind of fish and we eat raw veggies with it. Is there a “meal plan” that’s really basic and maybe says for breakfast, eat something from this category and something from that category and gives the amounts or are they all recipes? 4 oz. of chicken and 1 cup of green beans for example.

    • Neely

      Samantha – There’s probably something out there, but unfortunately we don’t have a product like that. Good luck to you!

  120. Janeen

    Really no beans? Hmmmm

  121. Claire

    Why no beans?? Beans would have also been gathered from plants by hunter gatherers – they’re not exactly invented by humans!

  122. Sarah

    I am new to the Paleo diet and am a bit confused about the legume restriction. Surely hummus and raw veggies can’t be THAT bad for an afternoon snack?

    • Neely

      Hi Sarah – This is a really common question, so I’m going to add a link to the legumes section above. Legumes contain phytic acid and lectins, among other properties that are detrimental to your health. Lectins can contribute to leaky gut. Here’s a list of blog posts on the topic:

      They’re not the worst thing in the world you can eat, but when you eat them every day, as so many people do with soy and other beans, it adds up. Does hummus give you gas? It gives a lot of people gas, which is a good sign that it’s not so great for your digestive system.

  123. Amber

    Hey. I’ve been trying Paleo for a little over a week now and I’m running out of new ways to make things and I am pretty confused on how to tell what meat/chicken to buy. I’m 22 so I have a pretty tight budget but I get so bored eating the same thing over and over again. I feel like I’m doing something wrong because I’m still breaking out more then I would like to. Cravings for candy, salty things have really gone down but I still feel like I’m not doing something right. I don’t want to give up on this at all because of all the good things I’ve heard and I’m really looking to slim down and improve my Crossfit performance. Any suggestions or ideas that you can give me would be great! Thanks so much!

    • Neely

      Amber – Well, we have a couple hundred recipes at that you could scan through and pick out a few that you like. As for your breakouts and feeling like “you’re not doing something right,” if you want help, just let me know. I do personal coaching with this stuff so we can figure out what’s going on and find a solution. Without knowing anything more about your situation it’s really hard for me to give you any suggestions or ideas. Email me at if you’d like.

  124. nat

    Thinking of trying the Paleo diet as one of my friends who’s a naturopath and also a diet/fitness coach suggested (and also my chiropractor recommended it and has done it himself for weight loss) but was wondering if I can use raw agave nectar as a sweetener in my coffee? I’m trying to cut back my coffee intake so I won’t be reliant on it for energy in the morning, but while I’m cutting it back and switching to water-processed decaf, it would really help to use agave or some sweetener besides stevia (sorry, it tastes yukky).

    • Neely

      nat – If you must sweeten your coffee with something (although if you ask me you should give up the coffee for a while as well as the sweetener :), try raw honey. Agave is more processed than honey and it’s way higher in fructose, which is something we’re trying to get away from in bulk on the Paleo diet.

  125. Sonia

    I have a lot of heart disease in my family. I have high cholesterol and take medication to control it because it is inherited and not from my diet. I am a healthy eater as to not add extra cholesterol to my body and a very active person. I want to start eating the paleo way but am concerned this will not work well with my cholesterol issue. Any advise would be appreciated.

  126. Leslie

    I have a blood clotting disorder (ITP) and PCOS. I’m going to start Metformin soon for my PCOS and i’ve heard that dairy can be a trigger for ITP. I’ve been doing research on different diets and found that the Paleo diet fits into both dietary restrictions. Any advise on how to get started?

  127. Rosemary Euringer

    My husband had debilitating neuropathy and gout. He went on the paleo diet religeously for a month and was pain free. He has since discovered that some foods are OK, but others he suffers immediate reaction to. Finding where he can cheat has been a great relief since it’s pretty restrictive. He can eat some dairy. NO cheating in quantity for sure. It’s been a life changer.

  128. Rosemary Euringer

    My husband was shocked that he couldn’t tolerate any rice or quinoa. He had bad nights after trying each of them.

  129. Amber R.

    I have an organica tomatoe sauce but it contains a slight amount of “organic cane juice sugar”. Is this acceptable?

    • Neely

      Amber R – That’s one of those things you have to decide for yourself. It’s certainly not the worst thing you can do to yourself and I make exception like that sometimes, too.

  130. betty

    thank you i like this diet i need to loose 20 pounds how do i make this work with no meat thank you for your help

  131. Michael

    This is exactly what America needs;)

  132. Leslie


    I’m just beginning my research and Paleo diet due to several autoimmune disorders that I have. I was wondering if you could tell me why we should not eat whole, unrefined grains?

    Thank you!


  133. Jen

    I am a backyard homesteader and have long believed that the “secret” the the obesity epidemic is not only the modern lifestyle but the modern, highly refined food loaded with fillers.

    It’s neat to find out that my “back to land” diet has a name. We have a garden, we raise ducks for eggs and meat as well as other poultry, dexter cows and nigerian dwarf goats for meat and milk, and hunt when the season allows.
    We don’t yet source all of our own food, but it’s good to know what went into what we do produce. No hormones, no antibiotics, all natural hay and grass, and our animals are treated with dignity and care.
    It’s a good life!!

    • Neely

      Jen – Someday I’d love to lead the life you’ve chosen. If I weren’t so attached to my rock gyms and rock walls and constant vacationing, I would. Lucky you!

  134. Ana

    Do you think it’s possible to live a Paleo life style without eating meat? I only eat fish and im doing the whole30 ( day12) and Ive felt just fine. I read that they suggest you to really eat meat, but im not going to change my mind about meat. what are your thougths?

  135. ron

    I’m sorry to even ask this. I’m trying to get healthier and lose weight but I’m confused. vegan diet claims that you can get the same health benefits without eating meat but eating the grains and legumes and the Paleo diet claims the same health benefits by eating the meat but not grains and legumes. I’m very confused by the contradiction. could both be right on some level? I want to live a healthier life without heart disease and cancer but Im afraid to pick the wrong one because in my opinion both seem very healthy. what should I do and how do I approach this subject. Thank you in advance.

    • Neely

      ron – Sometimes it’s just a matter of what works best for your body (although of course I believe that a Paleo type diet – even in a vegan template) is better than vegan with grains, legumes, tons of sugar, etc. I guess I can only tell you to read, read, read. But moreover, try them both out for yourself in the healthiest way possible for 2 weeks to a month and see which one makes you feel better. In other words, if you’re going to do a vegan diet, stay away from the processed “foods” that are vegan. Here’s a good post on the best vegan diet you could eat.

      And if you’re going to eat grains and legumes, whether on a vegan diet or not, make sure you cook and prepare your foods properly. Improper processing is part of the problem with today’s declining health. Go to and read Sally Fallon’s stuff for more info on that.

  136. dustinmurrell

    How horrible would it be to drink Diet Soda on a regular basis? I drink a lot of Diet Mt. Dew or even Sugar-free Red Bull in the morning, and Diet Mt. Dew or a caffeine-free diet soda in the evening. Just getting ready to make the switch, so trying to figure out all of my options.

  137. Stacey

    What juicer do you recommend? I’m looking forward to starting the Paleo diet or I prefer lifestyle in our house. My kids love juice so want to be sure I have a way to make orange juice for them.

  138. Elizabeth

    I started the Paleo diet and have seen immediate results with my blood sugar levels and my weight loss . I don’t crave carbs and actually took all the processed food I had and gave it away . My way of doing it is to always have my meals planned and always have some instant snacks available , avocados , sweet potatoes and since I have always loved sweets , I keep fresh pineapple cut and ready , it’s an instant sweet treat , peaches and bananas are great too , I love a juicy mango and pomegranates . Good luck everyone , I feel great and my clothes are fitting better and every time I weigh in I get a little more joy and Paleo ambition !!!

  139. Lisa Kelly

    I know we are supposed to stay away from store bought dehydrated foods because of added sugars, but can we dehydrate our own? I wanted to make sweet potatoe chips!

    • Neely

      Lisa Kelly – There are tons of store bought dehydrated foods that don’t have any added sugars in them, especially at health food stores. And of course you can dehydrate your own. Let us know how the sweet potato chips turn out. Maybe we’ll add the recipe to the site (if you’d let us)!

  140. Susan

    what about soy milk?

    • Neely

      Susan – No soy milk on this diet. It’s a legume and a pretty bad one at that. Mostly GMO, too. Try almond milk, coconut milk, or just water instead.

  141. Reka


    Do you need to take vitamin supplements on the Paleo diet? I heard an opinion that said modern food is not as nutritious as it used to be in paleolithic times so one could develop deficiencies on this diet. I haven’t tried paleo yet but I’m dairy free and almost entirely grain free due to my celiac disease and don’t eat much legumes either so I feel that I’m on my way to eating Paleo anyways. It sounds controversial though if your diet is not providing you with the right nutrients and you need to take ‘medication’, on top of that most supplements also contain grain starches as binding agents. I also want to know your opinion on tapioca. Is it the same cathegory as starchy root veggies?

    Thanks a lot,

  142. Ro


    I´m just starting with paleo, but right now I can´t afford to buy all my veggies organic or my meet grassfed. What can I do?


    • Neely

      Ro – I’d start with just buying what you can organic and definitely check out this list that tells you what foods are important to buy organic and which aren’t so important, judging by their levels of pesticides, etc.

      Just do the best you can!

  143. Carol

    I was wondering if organic popcorn popped in olive oil is alright?

    • Neely

      Carol – I believe it says “corn” up there as a no-no food. It’s a grain, after all. So no. Sorry! I know how people love their popcorn :)

  144. Sharon

    I have been on the Paleo diet for eight weeks. I have lost nine kilos but better still, something I didn’t expect ,was my asthma has gone. I had seretide every morning to prevent asthma and if I didn’t have it I would get asthma within a day. I decided to not take it or a puffer and see what happened, low and behold no asthma. after 4 weeks of no asthma I had a visitor and went off the diet and had some bread. By the end of the day I had asthma. I went back on it and it went away. No asthma for 4 weeks then I had two bits of toast and a sandwich and banf within a couple of hours I had real bad asthma. Si if I hadnt tried the Paleo diet I would never of known that I must be allergic to wheat and it gives me asthma. I love the Paleo diet feel great and asthma free.

  145. Mery

    In addition to an autoimmune problem, I developed a bad case of diverticuliis that ruptured and resulted in surgery. Between the autoimmune and colon problems I lost more than 20 pounds. I am really inderweight rigjt now. How does one go on a paleo eating plan and gain weight at the same time? I know nuts and oils are allowed, but hardly seems like enough to actually gain. Thanks!

  146. Christy

    Mollie I am a dietician and I think the Paleo diet is great in small doses. If you are pregnant and are set on doing this diet be sure to take a calcium supplement because a high protein diet in hard on the liver and kidneys and also leaches calcium out of your system. Grains are beneficial in small amounts as you need carbs for your brain and it is hard to get enough daily from vegetables. Being pregnant can already make you spacey. Good luck

  147. Chris

    Chisty…I’m sorry but you are pretty far off as a dietician. “The paleo diet is great in small doses”? There are literally hundreds of ancestral and native cultures that eat a strictly paleo diet. In fact, this was never a “diet” at all until recently it has been classified as such. This is simply the way people ate and were relatively disease free. A high protein diet is only hard on the liver if you are eating extremely lean meats and commercially raised meats. You do not need “carbs” for your brain in the sense that most people think of carbs and if you never ate another grain in your life you would be better off for it. The brain needs glucose not carbs. And the biggest culprit causing “leaching” of calcium is refined foods such as grains…not protein. If you are pregnant do not eat grains based on someone telling you in a comments section claiming to be a dietician. Dieticians are also the ones who told the US population as a whole to cut out fat and eat lots of carbs…

  148. Sam

    Chris and Christy, at least please spell the word “dietitian” correctly if you are going to use it. Thanks

  149. monica

    Sam…there are 2 ways of spelling ‘dietician’ and ‘dietitian’…The variant spelling “dietician” is found in print in a 1917 issue of Nation and in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1906. (Wiki)

  150. Jake

    I got someone onto the paleo diet and he lost 4 stone. Sadly, his cholesterol went up and it panicked him, no matter how much I explained the complexities of cholesterol.

  151. Jenn

    We can’t have bread? Only free range meat? How do you know if it’s free range? Can you have peanut butter or almond milk?

  152. Jenn

    One more question we cant have dairy accept for eggs, correct?

  153. Shohreh

    Hey — fabulous post. I am so glad to see so many passionate people raving about a diet that has transformed my life. For those addicted to diet coke, I have found that this diet coupled with another devise has been truly amazing. Acne gone, high blood pressure gone, no more acid reflux, no more constipation, my skin is GLOWING and I feel GREAT! Here’s to a healthy, happy life!

  154. Judy

    Love your post about eating pizza occasionally…I have been doing paleo for a week now and I’m feeling amazing. I tried pizza last night for the first time in a week, I felt so crappy and bloated. It’s a great reminder why I started it in the first place.
    Great job on all the feedback

  155. shelby

    Hi I’m 19 and looking to flatten out my tummy andd thin out my thighs. would this help?

  156. Matthew

    I love this guide. As a guy who used to be 296. And now I am 186 paleo works. I am not a purist persay. Once a month I might have like natural rice meaning no bleach or processing but I keep to it with exception of something like that

  157. Bert

    I just came off the Master Cleanse and decided to try the Paleo Diet. I am halfway through Robb Wolf’s book. My current diet includes Meat, eggs, roasted peanuts with sea salt, wasabi peas, and rice crackers. Should I lose the rice crackers? I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis and have not had to take my medicine in a week after the cleanse. I here conflicting stories that Peanuts are bad but I haven’t had any inflammation issues yet. Am I on the right track. These posts and comments are great.

  158. Kate

    Thank you so much for all of the great information. This has been the most helpful Paleo website that I could find. I have gone to a no dairy and no wheat diet, and friends are telling me I should just go for it and go Paleo. This site has helped answer a lot of my questions and clear up the what to and what not to eat dilemma I was facing. Thank you!

  159. Krystal B.

    My husband is on the Paleo diet and with the holidays coming up, I want to make some desserts that he can eat. I know it says chocolate in moderation (Im thinking of using unsweetened dark chocolate).

    — Is unsweetened dark chocolate acceptable?
    — Also, I know he avoids artificial sweeteners but what about Nectresse (or Truvia)? These are 100% natural and no calorie yet I am sure they are processed to an extent. Can he eat these?
    — Can anyone suggest a website for Paleo Desserts? A google search just produced a bunch that said they were “paleo” but in reality were crammed with sugar.

    I really appreciate any help!!!
    Thanks in advance and happy holidays! :)

  160. Natasha

    Hi, I have been eating paleo for about 9 months now and love it! I totally believe it promotes a healthy lifestyle and I would recommend it. However, I am coaching a softball team and one age group I am coaching is 12 and unders. I have decided to provide the parents with nutrition coaching for their children to hopefully help with traveling and help our young athletes learn healthy habits as young athletes. My question is…is paleo a good choice for 9, 10, 11, and 12 year olds? They will be active with practice and tournaments and I want to make sure I provide them with healthy solutions that won’t deplete their energy. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Neely

      Natasha – Great question, and I’m so glad to hear you’re taking such an active role in your students’ health! My one suggestion to you is to make sure these kids are getting enough carbs. Growing, active kids should not be on a very low carb diet or they’ll get fatigued or worse. Make sure they’re getting around 40% of their calories in carbs in the form of veggies, starchy veggies, fruits, honey, and tapioca flour works great with kids. Good luck to you!

  161. kimo

    hi,could u tell me please what will be the paleodiet for crohn disease and ankylosing spondylartris disease. thank you

    • Neely

      kimo – Just start with the basic Paleo diet and if you have issues with it, start removing foods from there. You might want to work with a nutritionist/naturopath on this who’s familiar with Paleo and your conditions. I do coaching if you’re interested.

  162. Stella

    I have a niece who has polysyclic ovarian disorder and is overweight. I have read an article in the Primal Blueprint about paleo eatting and how it can basically reverse the effects of POSD. I had my niece read the article and it lit a very fair light of interest. Do you have any other suggested easy reads about the correlation of paleo and POSD? She is 20 and has lived with this for the past 5 years of her life.

    • Neely

      Stella – I’m assuming you’re referring to PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome? Here’s a great anecdotal success story on for your niece. That might get her interested enough to start down a long google trail of “PCOS and Paleo”:

  163. Gena

    Hi, I am wondering how you get around being at social functions? Being Italian, big holiday meals are the norm for my family. I get frustrated trying to explain my restrictions to family when I pass on food. If I eat before hand, I get chastised for being on a diet. I do not want to explain my choices to my entire family. I just need some guidance on how to handle these things, thank you.

    • Neely

      Gena – Thanks for this question. I’ll actually write a blog post on it right now. Basically, though, you might be forced to explain your choices if you really want them to leave you alone. Otherwise, they just will assume you don’t like the food, you’re eating disordered, or you think negatively of them for eating that food. It usually works well to say, “I’m allergic to x food” or to be very blunt about it and say, “If I eat that I’ll have diarrhea later/get a headache/feel awful tomorrow/or whatever symptom you get when you eat the food.” Even if it’s just that you know you’ll gain weight and you don’t want to deal with losing it later, if you give them an explanation, they might be more inclined to leave you to your own devices. More to come in the blog.

  164. maddy

    Hi I’m 15 I don’t care about losing weight I just want to eat healthier so would you recommend I follow this list to a t or should I eat some dairy and stuff?

  165. linda

    I don’t eat eggs at all. Can you suggest what i could eat for breakfast? Want to get started but no idea how to start my day. Thank you.

    • Neely

      linda – You can just eat any of the dinners or lunches for breakfast if you don’t mind savory foods in the morning. We actually have an ebook that includes a meal plan now for people who don’t eat eggs. You can find that here:

  166. Ingrid

    – I have a weird regimen when it comes to food…I can eat the same meal every day and not get tired of it. Do you think the following plan would go with the characteristics of the Paleo Diet? I do not need know veggies or whole fruits. When it comes to fruits, I can have them as a juice after I have placed them in the blender. I am trying to loose fat by the way.

    The following plan will fill me up for the day:
    Breakfast- Scramble eggs (Would you recommend that i have strawberry and blueberry juice if I am trying to loose)
    Lunch- Chicken or Steak only (no sides)
    Dinner- Chicken or Steak only (no sides)
    Water- 104 oz daily
    Should I take a spoon of olive oil during the day?

  167. sarah

    Hi there.
    Im a beauty therapish and i find my job is very physical, will this diet leave me low on energy? Im a person if i dont eat prperly or have enough energy i become ill or faint.
    Help :)

    • Neely

      sarah – It will possibly leave you low on energy during the detoxification phase, which can last anywhere from 1 day to a few weeks. Everyone is different. After that, if you feel low on energy, you’ll need to determine if you’re not eating enough calories or if you’re not eating enough carbs. Those are the two biggest reasons people experience fatigue on Paleo. But again, everyone’s different. I’d say give it a try and see how it goes!

  168. ileah

    So is soy sauce not allowed? Say it ain’t so! And if not, what do you recommend to replace it?

    • Neely

      ileah – Yeah, it’s technically out, but you can substitute with “coconut aminos”. Just google it and you’ll be able to find a source, including most health food stores and

  169. Danielle

    Since becoming gluten and lactose intolerant, I unknowingly started the paleo plan because I simply felt best when I didn’t eat processed foods and was very afraid of gluten contamination. All of my digestive issues disappeared, my energy increased, my skin was better, and I lost 40 pounds. Since learning how to cook gluten free, I have started slowly gaining weight again (many gluten-free products are higher in calories than their wheat counterparts) and my digestion is slowing yet again. That is all the proof I needed to realize that paleo really is the way to live. I am back on the paleo diet and already feel better even after 2 days. DEFINITELY worth it, everyone! It is hard at first, but you can do it!

  170. ingrid

    Sorry to repost Neely; but I would like to start on my Paleo Plan in the next day or so. Can you please take a look at my question which is two comments above. Thank you so much ahead of time!! Please helppp!

    • Neely

      Ingrid – can you please email me at and I’ll get back to you tomorrow?

  171. kate

    just starting this (a bit overwhelmed & not so literate – read “haven’t read all the books yet”). we eat LOTS of pasta and cheese at our house. financially i cannot just throw out/give away the food in my cabinets so i plan to “buy future” ie. eat what we have and ease into paleo by buying for the next few weeks of meals. SO, absolutely absurd question I know but, what would suggest as a sub for pasta? we are grain heavy in our house and i really need to find an EASY go-to to replace our pasta/cheese/bread habit. any ideas? encouragement? hope? thanks.

    • Neely

      kate – Try spaghetti squash or grated zucchini. Or kelp noodles.

  172. Shauna

    Hi! I have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Hashimoto’s disease and followed the advice of my doctor to follow this diet. I have only been at it a week and am fine so far, but my concern is that I weigh 110# and can’t really afford to lose any weight. Can I maintain a healthy lifestyle on this diet? My husband is concerned that I am not getting enough to eat!

  173. Laurie

    I would like to see a response to Krysta B on December 8th, I am just starting the Paleo FULL FORCE now.
    I dabble with it from time to time. my son is on it and WOW! 249 lbs down 189. AMAZING! I have a weekness for Pasta.and speg squash is not doing it for me. will keep trying. Good Luck everyone, It does work.

    • Neely

      Laurie and Krystal B – Yes, unsweetened dark chocolate is acceptable, but it’s not very delicious :). For Paleo desserts you can always leave out the extra sugar or substitute it with applesauce, bananas, or dates. But desserts kind of imply that they’ll be sweet, so they’re usually going to have some sweetener in them, even if they’re a Paleo sweetener. Try eating fruit for dessert if the added sugar is an issue. Truvia is subpar in my opinion, but I know a lot of people like it. Most of the stevia sweeteners are sweetened themselves with corn sugars – look at the ingredients.

  174. mdl9482

    Hi Neely,

    Just wanted to say that I’m really excited to be starting on the plan and what I’ve seen so far is actually getting me excited about trying new foods and eating REAL food!

  175. Jenna

    Just a thought for everyone – the Special Carbohydrate Diet is excellent for managing/curing Chrohn’s Disease, Lyme’s Disease, Ulceritive Colitis, Celiac Disease, Diverticulitis, IBS, and other digestive conditions. The Special Carbohydrate Diet has helped me immensely. You might find it interesting that it is much like the Paleo Diet. Check out for some answers to your questions.

  176. Lisa

    What about balsamic vinegar?

    • Neely

      Lisa – balsamic vinegar is totally fine.

  177. shayna

    hi, just starting paleo diet & wondering are chia seeds allowed? i take a spoonful every day with a spoonful of slippery elm as its the only thing that makes me regular & i would hate to give it up…. also what about stevia & raw honey? thanks : )

    • Neely

      Shayna – yes, all are Paleo.

  178. heather

    I call BS. I’ve tried all these “cure ” diets and found EVERYperson is different. It did not cure me and actually made me sicker. Don’t be fooled people! May work for some but not everyone. There’s a lot of quacks making money off this. Eat balanced and healthy but don’t avoid important foods We evolve and so did our digestive tracts. We move forward, no need to go back as if we still live in caves. Please be careful of quack diets.

  179. Sara

    For those wondering whether this diet will leave you nutritionally deficient, I had the same concern myself. When I started paleo, I got an app on my iphone that let me track everything I ate ( is good). It then allowed me to track my calorie breakdown (%of carbs, protein, fats) and total nutrition (am I hitting the RDA’s for vitamins and minerals?)

    I was shocked at how many vitamins and minerals I was getting each day (way better than before), and while even a “moderate” paleo diet felt super high in protein to me, I was still getting a good amount of carbs just through vegetables. I lost tons of weight, my skin got better, my hair and nails were thick and shiny… you could tell I was eating better. Grains really are empty calories for the most part.

    If you have any concerns at all, try it and track your nutrition for a while. If you are concerned about cholesterol or blood pressure, measure it when you start and track it with your doctor. You’ll be shocked at how well you do!!

  180. Leigh

    Hi Neely!

    Can you tell me… are olives allowed? I can’t seem to find anything regarding this.


    • Neely

      Leigh – yep!

  181. Stacie

    What can you use for energy? I feel sluggish around 1:00.

  182. Christina Griffith

    Hi!! I would like to try this lifestyle. I work out everyday and have come to a plateau. Is this for me? What is the website? Neely do you work with people?

    • Neely

      Christina Griffith – Wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. We have a meal plan, a couple ebooks that include meal plans, and a fitness program all on this page: if you want to read more about it. If you need personal coaching with Paleo, yes, I do that and you can email me at if you’d like to get more information or set up an appointment.

  183. Z

    I’m just starting this plan and have a few questions. Do I have to follow the paleo recipes or can I make up my own variations for meals? I have a new baby and don’t have a lot of time to put towards all the different meals. Also, could I make smoothies with fruits and veggies?? And what about whey protein shakes?? Are those ok? Thanks for any advice!

    • Neely

      Z – Yes, of course you can make up your own recipes if you follow the Paleo guidelines. Yes, smoothies are fine. Whey protein is dairy, so read up on the dairy debate on this blog and others for more info there.

  184. Carrie

    I just started a week ago and already I feel better and can notice a little difference in my body!! I love all the recipes I have found on here!! My friend created a “Pale Page” on FB and we all share and encourage each other!!! I LOVE PALEO!!!

  185. Nicole

    Hi there,

    Is Agave Nectar ok ? What about Xylitol ? I have read through most of the comments but can’t seem to find where anyone asked about these two products.

    Thanks !!

    • Neely

      Nicole – You can always search the site using the search box at the top right whenever you have questions. Here’s a blog post that I talk a little:

      I don’t love agave – it’s usually highly processed and it’s very high in fructose – higher than a lot of high fructose corn syrup. Xylitol is one of those things that can keep your sweet tooth around, from what I’ve seen. Same with stevia. Just use all those sweeteners in moderation, as in not every day.

  186. Sydney

    Are pickles paleo?

    • Neely

      Sydney – Yes, but look at the ingredients on the jar and make sure it’s just cucumbers and spices. A lot of them have nasty preservatives and other non-Paleo ingredients in them.

  187. sarah

    Hi there.
    Just wanting to let you no that iv been doing Paleo for abit over a week now and already notice how much weight iv lost by the scales it tell me Iv lost 2-3kg! yay! i feel great and i love being able to munch on healthy food all day and not being weighed down by bread and bad foods. I am still finding im low on energy and am having some mild headaches but its all worth it, iv slowed down my exercise which was very entense for 5 days a week, and the weight is still coming off!
    My question is though if im not as active and i still want to lose weight like i am, how much carbs can i eat per day. i dont want to undo the weight iv lost.
    For example if im having the Paleo pancakes for breakfast and sweat potato salad for lunch, is that over loading my carbs or will i be fine?

    • Neely

      Sarah – it just depends on your body. If you’re eating that without much exercise and still losing weight, then I’d suggest you start at that amount with exercise and move up with the carbs from there, watching your weight loss all the while. It’s a constant experiment…

  188. Lee

    I have a question about the type of meats to eat. I try to buy grass fed meat when I can but most of the time I have to buy conventional meats . I’ve heard some paleo people say lean meats and some say fattier meats are just as good but only from grass fed cows. Not sure which is correct. personally I like the not so lean cuts of meat and since I’ve been on Paleo (1 week) I’ve been getting dark meat on chicken , chuck roasts and pork ribs (no sugary sauces of course) . Just wanting some clarification.

  189. Jenna

    Hi Neely….I have MS and am wondering if a Paleo Diet would be good for me? Thanks.

    • Neely

      Jenna – Yes! :)

  190. Lee

    Hi Neely….I have a question about the type of meats to eat. I try to buy grass fed meat when I can but most of the time I have to buy conventional meats . I’ve heard some paleo people say lean meats and some say fattier meats are just as good but only from grass fed cows. Not sure which is correct. personally I like the not so lean cuts of meat and since I’ve been on Paleo (1 week) I’ve been getting dark meat on chicken , chuck roasts and pork ribs (no sugary sauces of course) . Just wanting some clarification.

  191. David

    I just read an informative article about the toxicity of chlorine from a ten minute hot shower here:
    I was wondering if you have a practical solution, outside of bathing in a river like a hunter gatherer. Also, I know that the chemicals listed on the ingredients on the back of my body wash container weren’t commonly used by our hunter gatherer ancestors. If you could please explain why I should opt for organic shampoo, soap, deodorant and toothpaste etc., considering the modern options seem like they would clean better. Scrubbing chemicals into my scalp right next to my brain just seems wrong when I’m refusing to eat slightly processed foods.

    • Neely

      David – you can buy a water filter for your shower head. And your skin absorbs way more of what you put on it than you think, so the cleaner the product the better. Some people say of you can’t eat it you shouldn’t put it on your skin.

  192. David

    Thanks for your response Neely. A filter for the shower head.. Guess I should’ve thought of that. Anyway, I have another:
    Is cocoa powder really paleo? I saw some people saying to use it everyday, but my friend told me all chocolate is out. So, do you have pros and cons for chocolate, or is it just a no-go?

  193. Myra

    Great blog here. Just some information about pickled vegetables and olives. Commercially made pickled vegetables are pasteurized (heated), and so do not contain most of the valuable nutrients. As for olives, buy only natural types, which would mean black Greek olives or naturally prepared green olives, which are often a cracked olive. Commercial olives are picked when UNRIPE, then dipped in a caustic soda bath, then are pickled in a salt brine or first died black for black olives.
    For a lot of valuable nutritional information, I highly recommend Sally Falon’s book ‘Nourishing Traditions’. While she is not at all Paleo, there is still much to learn from her research into the foods we eat and how they are prepared. website:

  194. sarah

    Ok so iv realised i need some carbs st lunch time otherwise im brain dead. Wat carbscan i eat and how much exercise should i do to not put my kilos back on?

  195. Macy

    Hi, thanks for all the great information. Im wondering if CHIA seed is allowed? thanks

    • Neely Quinn

      Macy – Sure, chia seeds are great.

  196. Jude

    Hi Neely- I urge you to remove palm oil from your list. While it may be good for us the palm oil industry is the biggest threat to the few orangutans that are left in the wild. These poor animals are killed with machetes so that the palm oil industry can flourish. Here is a link for folks who want to know more. Thanks for your good work!

    • Neely Quinn

      Hey Jude (sorry, I had to…) – Thank you so much for saying something about this. I’ve removed it from the list and explained with a note.

  197. Steezy

    How should we approach eating seeds? I.e pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. also is sunflower seed butter allowed? I started paleo plan a week ago and love but have been eating sunflower oil butter for some snacking.

  198. Judah

    Why are almonds considered ok on a hunter gatherer based diet? Aren’t wild almonds toxic?

  199. Ava

    I saw a doctor on the news explaining how the paleo diet could lower your blood pressure, your tryglycerides, and your cholesterol, and a side effect was losing weight. She had gone on it for only 8-9 days and test results proved it worked for lowering all three of those risk factors. I was skeptical but thought it was worth a try since I was on meds for high blood pressure, and my doctor wanted me to go on meds for my cholesterol and tryglycerides. I started on 12/1/11. I tested on 12/19/11 and already my tryglycerides had dropped from the 500 range to under 200, and my cholesterol went from being in the high 300s to under 300. When I started I weighed 144 lbs. I had already lost 5 lbs. not even trying and eating all I want in just 19 days. I eat 80-90% for 6 days a week, and give myself one day a week where I eat whatever I want (except hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup, which I don’t eat ever). Now over the past year, I am down to 120 lbs, my tryglycerides were last tested at 166 and my cholesterol at 239. I still want to work to get it down a bit further. I also am off the atenelol blood pressure medicine. I think that just for the health reasons, and not even considering the fact that I wasn’t trying to lose weight, this diet is more heathful. I do take some vitamins, but I’ve always done that even prior to going on paleo so that didn’t change. Anyway, just wanted to share that this does work if you follow it. My girlfriend follows a low fat diet, and it doesn’t work for weight loss even though she claims that low fat is the way to go. She’s been trying it for years and does lots of exercise, and although she hasn’t gained weight, she hasn’t really lost much either. Just saying….

    • Neely Quinn

      Ava – Thanks so much for sharing this! I hope you don’t mind, but I omitted your name and shared this success story on Facebook :)

  200. Sarah

    Are leaveners acceptable in the Paleo diet? I don’t see any mention of baking powder, baking soda or yeast? I see many Paleo recipes using chemical leaveners but they are all either mined and refined or chemically produced. Yeast is the only non-refined leavener that was available in the Paleolithic era, but I doubt cavemen could figure out how to grow and maintain a starter. Advice?

    • Neely Quinn

      Sarah – yes, all of those items are fine. Make sure you get baking soda that doesn’t have aluminum or any other weird ingredients in it. And I’d just suggest you watch your reaction to yeast carefully, as many people are sensitive to it.

  201. Swati


    I am thin (ultra thin actually), have PCOS without Insulin resistance and I workout 4-5 days a week. I wanna try Paleo to see how it can help with improving my health and wellness. I’m facing some hurdles in my way – resources and cooking style. I have some grasp of the basics of Paloe diet.

    RESOURCES: For “clean” non-veg, I only have access to chicken, goat meat, fish (freshwater and sea) and chicken egg

    For veggies, nuts, seeds and fruits, I have quite a lot of options to work my way out.

    For sea veggies, none

    For fats, I have access to ghee, coconut oil/milk, olive oil.

    Will this be sufficient for going Paleo?

    COOKING: I hardly know a thing of cooking and my schedule doesn’t permit me time to learn cooking and then adapt it to Paleo.
    1. FOR VEGGIES: My mommy cooks for us and she is in no mood to even taste Paleo. However, I’m planning to use easy-peasy method of boiling/steaming the veggies. I’m not bothered about taste – I plan to manage it with herbs and spices.

    2. FOR fruits: Yay! It needn’t be cooked

    3. FOR FAT: I’ll just have it separately, like not cooking with the fat (it will be difficult for someone as unskilled as me) but adding it on the top of my veggies…

    4. FOR MEAT: I can coax my mom to just marinate with spices and herbs (?) and cook it without fats (I doubt meat and coconut oil or ghee would go well with meat)

    Is my plan reasonable enough for going Paleo?


    • Neely Quinn

      Swati – yes, all of that is sufficient for going paleo. And all of those oils actually taste great with meat. You’ll figure it out :)

  202. Swati

    Thanks so much Neely for taking time to read my long newbie’s question and respond…

  203. Leah

    I also have PCOS but with insulin resistance. I have tried everything to combat this and overcome the impossible hurdle that is losing PCOS weight and nothing has worked. PCOS has also given me mental health problems like depression. Have you had any success stories with PCOS women and can paleo help with mental health as well?

    • Neely Quinn

      Leah – Yes, definitely. I encourage you to google “PCOS paleo” and “depression Paleo” and see how many success stories you come up with. has a TON of success stories, and I can remember a few off the top of my head that were about PCOS sufferers and many who improved mental health.

  204. Samantha

    I am starting my diet this weekend and so far so good. I have always struggled with my weight and have reached the point of i’m just tired of being fat, unhealthy, and sick all the time. I also was diagnosed last year with Celiac Disease and up until now still continued to eat foods that I shouldn’t. I am not just looking to lose weight with this change of life, but to also feel better and have improved health. I start my new journey at life today at 330 lbs.

  205. Samantha

    I just read the comments above and they give me tremendous hope. I have pcos and endometrosis as well as a thyroid problem.

  206. Swati

    Hi Neely!

    On 23rd of January, I had discussed some of issues I’m facing about getting started with Paleo. Since I am planning to go Paleo from next month, I decided to recheck on my resources – turned out I only have access to clean seafood and chicken eggs. The rest of the animals/poultry are all grain fed. So will it be a good idea to go ovo-pescetarian version of Paleo?

    • Neely Quinn

      Swati – Well, that may be a little difficult, but go ahead and try it out! I think getting the proper amount of protein in the beginning of going Paleo is really important in the healing process of your body, though, so make sure you get a lot of those sources of protein.

  207. Robyn

    Last September my husband was told his blood sugars were too high and eventually would have to be on medication. We immediately started Paleo and within 2 months he had dropped 10kgs and “officially” told he was non- diabetic……cannot recommend paleo highly enough!

  208. jimmy

    Hi Neely. I read a lot about paleo before starting. You, Mark, and Robb have been most helpful. On Dec. 26 I weighed in at 269. Using the paleo plan and IF, I weighed in today and near had a stroke. (A healthy one!) I am -43 lbs in one month and feel great. The fat is rolling off and now I have picked up the exercise pace since I can now do so much more without being winded or feeling the pain in my back and joints. I am thinking of adding some calories back in and my question is which veggies have the best bang for the buck, especially carbs? Thanks for everything!!!

    • Neely Quinn

      jimmy – Nice work! Congrats to you on your success :)

      The most bang for the buck? Sweet potatoes, potatoes, bananas, apples, pears, mangoes, tapioca flour, and plantains are all high in carbs and still Paleo.

  209. Chris

    Hi Neely. First off thank you for all your useful information. I have a question for you. I am heavy into lifting and tend to take a creatine supplement and a amino acid stack. I have cut out my preworkout drink since starting the paleo since it contained so much sugar(NoXplode). Is there a preworkout I can take that works with paleo (I miss the kick) and should I consider ditching either of the other supplements? Thanks in advance.

    • Neely Quinn

      Chris – I wouldn’t take creatine, but that’s just me. You have to do the research and make your own choices about it. There’s been some research done on it, but none of it seems conclusive. As for the pre-workout boost, this isn’t Paleo (it’s corn), but it’s becoming pretty popular among Paleo people: The Generation UCAN sports drinks. Check those out. It’s way less sugar – more starch – than typical sports drinks.

  210. Ava

    I forgot to mention that my husband went paleo after he saw the results that I had. He wanted to do it for the weight loss only, because his cholesterol levels were already excellent. In just a matter of 3 months he went from 210 to 175. He lost the roll of fat just above his waistline.

    Like me, he has a one day a week where he eats outside of the paleo food list, but this one day does not seem to effect the positive results of eating paleo the majority of the time.

    Also, I noticed that before I had heartburn at least once a week and sometimes gall bladder pain episodes. Since going paleo, I haven’t suffered from heartburn. That in itself, is a relief. Could be the change in foods or the fact that going paleo makes you lose your belly fat and since your thinner your food sits in your stomach better without going into your esophagus.

    I don’t think either of us will ever go back to our prior lifestyle of eating because we’ve seen the positive effects.

  211. yesenia

    so on the paleo diet, am i suppose to eat all organic?

    • Neely Quinn

      yesenia – If we’re trying to eat what our bodies were meant to eat due to evolution, then pesticides and herbicides are definitely not on the menu. So yes, organic is best. But sometimes the cost of that is prohibitive, in which case just do your best to eat the cleanest Paleo foods you can afford.

  212. Ava

    Samantha: By not eating grains your appetite will decrease. I guarantee that if you eat all you want of mostly paleo foods your appetite will be satisfied, you won’t feel like you’re on a diet. It’s the grains that make you crave more food. People told me that my blood sugar would go up if I ate so much fruit and vegetables, but not so. I make a smoothie for my me and my husband in the morning and we aren’t hungry for hours afterwards, and our blood sugar levels are consistently low. It consists of a lot of healthy foods. Here’s what is in it. A handful of frozen blueberries, about 8-10 frozen strawberries, an handful of frozen raspberries, a handful of frozen blackberries, and a mixture (from Costco) of frozen pineapples, mangoes and peaches, and a banana. Sometimes I add fresh frozen fruit from my own yard). Then I add a cup of crushed ice, 1/4 cup of OJ, 1/4 cup of apple juice, 1/4 cup of grape, pear, cherry juice (I get from Target), 1/4 cup of carrot juice, and 1/4 cup of coconut water. Then I add 1 cup of pure almond milk (it’s not milk-it’s just almonds and water-don’t buy the kind with vanilla or sugar in it). Then I use the Ninja blender that has 3 blades in it because it works the best for blending this into the best no sugar and healthful smoothie you have ever tasted. You won’t be hungry for hours after drinking it.

    BTW: I usually have vegetable juice with my lunch. I have my own chickens so I get my own fresh eggs from them.

  213. Jacque

    Have you seen/heard of ladies with PCOS/PCOD having good results with Paleo? I feel like I have tried everything! My husband I and eat mostly clean, organic foods right now. I have been “observing” a friend of mine that eats Paleo, and have become intrigued. My down fall is dairy, always have been. What is your best advice on giving it up?

    • Neely Quinn

      Jacque – YES! Just google “PCOS Paleo” and you’ll find all kinds of success stories and information. My best advice on giving up dairy is to take it in steps. Start by saying to yourself you’ll try giving it up for a week, so it doesn’t seem so daunting. Then if you make it (even with a couple cheats), try for another week and so on. In my own experience I can say that my hormonal issues have gotten way better since I stopped eating dairy. Also, get to know coconut milk (canned – not the cartoned stuff), coconut oil, bacon grease, and coconut butter – they’ll be your friends :)

  214. Amy

    My boyfriend and I are sooo excited to start this diet. We are going to ease our way into to avoid cheating. We had a question…. I tried to find the answer on here and in the Paleo Diet book why can’t we eat smoked meats?

    • Neely Quinn

      Amy – you can eat smoked meats :)

  215. Tamara

    You have wild rice as a big no no…you do realize that wild rice is a wild grass and not a grain…correct? If so, then why is a wild grass excluded from the diet?

    • Neely Quinn

      Tamara – Yes, I “do realize that wild rice is a wild grass.” But grains – also called cereals – are grasses by definition. Wheat, corn, rice, all of them are grasses. Doesn’t matter if it’s wild or not – they all have the anti-nutrients (some more than others) that make them difficult for many people to digest and assimilate. If you want to eat wild rice, by all means, go ahead :)

  216. Pamela Elmstrom

    I started the Paleo lifestyle (hate the word diet) and in less than 2 weeks I no longer had stomach issues, acid reflux and went off all the meds they kept saying I needed. I will not go back to grains, dairy or beans…I have 3 Paleo cookbooks and haven’t run out of ideas yet..Kale chips are my favorite followed by stuffed dates wrapped in bacon(stuffed with Italian sausage…) I told my husband that if he wanted to eat it was this…we have both lost 20+ pounds! We are active but this certainly changed our lives! I also have fibromyalgia(16 years) and have been able to cut my meds in half…I loved finding this website and a new resource and information..thank you!!

  217. Susie

    Hi Neely,

    First, thank you for your post’s and answers, they are very helpful. My husband and I began eating paleo on Jan 7th, the 1st week 1 had a few headaches, and cheated a little. Since then, I have been totally strict. My 4th week ends Monday Feb 4th and I am happy to announce to date, I have lost 10 lbs. But the best is how great I feel, how luminous my skin looks. I am 48 and in the middle of peri menopause with full blown symptons, that since I began paleo have subsided substantially, especially the look and feel of my skin. Friends are asking me if I had botox or fillers, lol.. I have incorporated 3-4 days a week of cardio, 3-4 days a week of light weight training. I am 5’5″, began @ 145 lbs, now 135, just need 5 lbs more to loose, any suggestions ????

    • Neely Quinn

      Susie – sounds like you’re doing everything right already. Keep it up!

  218. Ava

    I forgot to mention earlier that I also include 1/4-1/2 cup of superfood (either Naked or Odwalla, but you can make your own) in my smoothies.

    Don’t know how many of you saw the program about wheat on the Dr. Oz show, but it was very interesting. There was a doctor on the show that explained that the way wheat is grown now, that it is very bad for you. It’s not like wheat was originally and so the wheat that is available these days actually makes you crave more food rather than satisfying your appetite. Look up the term “frankenwheat” on the Internet and you’ll probably find something about it.

    I’m not a soda drinker; even artificially sweetened. But I know a lot of people who do drink them. So, one other piece of information that I recently learned is that all artificial sweeteners have chemicals in them. This means your liver has to process the chemicals. Since your liver also helps you burn fat, if it’s busy processing chemicals it’s not processing fat, so you will retain more fat the more you drink these artificially sweetened beverages.

  219. Ava

    Question: Why is sunflower on the list of oils not to use? I was thinking that sunflower oil is from sunflower seeds and on the list of good seeds to eat.

  220. Brooke

    The amount of meat in the Paleo diet concerns me a bit. Does consuming meat every day at lunch, dinner, and often breakfast really match the meat consumption patterns of our hunter/gatherer ancestors? It seems to me that meat would not be as readily available all year round then as it is today.

  221. Mistylilacs04

    I am struggling to find a substitute for butter. I am lactose intolerant. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Neely Quinn

      Mistylilacs04 – Try coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, tallow, lard, bacon grease, or ghee (some people who are lactose intolerant can handle it).

  222. Mandy

    Hi, I am really new to Paleo. I am needing to change my families diet and am feeling very overwhelmed. My 5 year old has been diagnosed with celiac. I have heard allot of good things about this diet, but my kids are very picky eaters. Just wondering if you have any advice where I should start this change and any ideas of kid friendly recipes? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Neely Quinn

      Mandy – Check out Paleo Pals and Eat Like A Dinosaur (both books on Amazon). Those lady authors are the real experts on kids…

  223. Shannon

    I was told by my doctor this diet would be good for me as my husband and I have had problems getting pregnant. When you say ‘in moderation’ to things like caffeine, chocolate, etc. What type of chocolate is allowed and how often would it be allowed and how much? Same thing with caffeine (I assume no soda is allowed but coffee or tea would be, but how is that limited? one cup a day? a week?). The dairy thing will be very hard as I love a good glass of milk with dinner at night. By the way, LOVE this website!!

    • Neely Quinn

      Shannon – It depends on the person, so I really can’t say. I don’t know what else you’ll be eating, if you have any sensitivity or problems with chocolate or caffeine (I can’t consume either of them), or if they cause you to have cravings or other symptoms. So I suggest giving up the caffeine for a month and see how you feel without it. Then add it back in if you want to with the knowledge you’ll have after removing it from your diet for a while (it may be incredibly educational). Chocolate – go for organic dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa). Some people have it every day, even up to a whole bar, and some people have a square once a week. It really just depends. I can’t have it in my house because it’s all I’ll eat if I’m near it, and it gives me migraines, so you have to make that choice. Sorry I can’t be more specific! Good luck.

  224. Sam

    My husband and I are thinking about going paleo. Thanks for all the tips on here! But I was wondering if protein shakes are ok?

  225. Carmen

    i have issues with honey, what can i use in place of it in recipes

    • Neely Quinn

      Carmen – Grade B Maple Syrup and coconut sap are good options.

  226. Alden

    I’m am trying the paleo diet as a last resort. I’m a 15 year old girl that has done just about everything right for my health. I weigh about 120 pounds and im close to 4’10”. I am moderately active. I used to do yoga for an hour every day and I try to run about 2 miles once a week. I also do gymnastics once or twice a week for a couple hours. I would say that i am about 10 pounds overweight with all of it being on my hips, stomach, and lower rib cage. My family eats as close to non-gmo organic as possible. We don’t eat anything that sweet either (we don’t buy any type of cereal at all). I don’t drink milk but the rest of my family drinks raw milk. I still have cheese and yogurt as it doesn’t bother me. When I was 11 or 12 my brother and I went on an allergy elimination diet in which we found out we were allergic to gluten. Also last year we got tested for a gene mutation called MTHFR. My family now takes a lot of supplements because having the gene mutation causes us not to be able to methylate b vitamins. Also living in seattle we need a lot of vitamin d supplementation. We went gluten free for awhile but slowly deviated from that plan. I used to have no food allergies at all besides milk and no other allergies besides being allergic to cats. It has now expanded to not being able to eat soy, peanuts, legumes of any kind, apples, cherries, peaches, along with dogs, cats, and a bee sting allergy. I recently moved to the Seattle area and my seasonal allergies are so terrible that last year they caused me to get a sinus infection, ear infection, tonsillitis, and strep throat all at the same time. As you can see, I’m already eliminating a fair amount of the foods that aren’t paleo friendly. All that’s really left is completely eliminating dairy and wheat. I’ve been on it for 3 or 4 days now and I noticed a difference in the way my stomach looked. I immediately went back to being bloated after having my “cheat meal” of crepes. I can see that this is really going to work for me as long as I can stick to it. I like this because it is an allergy diet for me but it doesn’t make me feel weird for not being able to eat the way other people do, it just justifies why I should be eating like this.

  227. Princess


    So basically there is no “plan” to follow? ie Day 1: 1 ounce of blah blah blah etc?? (Like the other 101 diets I’ve tried) Just sticking to these foods, eating them in any order any day should do?

    Thanks!! :)

  228. Everis Blanco

    Hey, I want to give this diet a try, but I’m wondering how many times a day should we eat?? And does the amount of food on your plate matters??

    • Neely Quinn

      Everis Blanco – Yes, the amount of food on your plate always matters. Just try to eat until you’re full, but not stuffed. Start out eating 4 times a day – breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. Then move from there to skipping meals if you feel like you don’t need to eat. Just follow your body’s cues. We have a meal plan you might be interested in at

  229. Jo

    What is an acceptable dairy replacement? I haven’t seen soy milk mentioned. I did see a no no to coconut milk (the kind found in the dairy case), what about almond milks?

    • Neely Quinn

      Jo – Soy is mentioned in the legumes portion of this post. No soy. Coconut milk is my favorite dairy replacement. Almond milk is ok, but it has a ton of weird ingredients in it if you buy it commercially instead of making it yourself. Your choice.

  230. Sydney

    Hi, for this diet can you eat whey or protein powder?

  231. Judy

    My friend told me about the Paleo diet and how great she is feeling. My issue is that I’m highly allergic to fruits which is a staple here. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • Neely Quinn

      Judy – What about cooked fruits? Sometimes people can tolerate cooked fruits but not raw fruits. I’d say you’ll just need to get your carbs from different sources – potatoes, sweet potatoes, tapioca, plantains?, and obviously veggies. Other than that, it should be great!

  232. Sarah

    Hello! I am going to be trying out this diet and my only problem is that I am not good at putting meals together.
    I was hoping you could give me a meal plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I don’t like any type of fish, but I love chicken and turkey. I would appreciate any help. Thanks.

    • Neely Quinn

      Sarah – We have a meal plan subscription service as well as an ebook that contains 6 weeks of meal plans, which you can find at We only use fish once a week on Sundays, so you can always just sub it out for chicken or turkey. As for doing smoothies for lunches, I don’t see why not unless you’re trying to lose weight and limiting your carbs. You may want to add a little protein (meat) on the side and/or coconut milk to the smoothie to make it a more filling lunch so you don’t get hungry an hour later :)

  233. Sarah

    Another question! Can smoothies be okay for lunches? I usually just have strawberry’s, bananas and oranges with a raw egg and almond milk which I saw in an earlier comment that you suggest cocoanut milk over almond which I will start trying.. Is this okay?

  234. RustyWildcat74

    Hi Neely,
    I just purchased your 21 day cleanse ebook for autoimmune diseases as I have psoriatic arthritis. I’m on day 4 and have the “detox sickness” that I have experienced with previous pill form detox programs. My question is, since I’m not actually sick and contagious I’m continuing to work but am a health care provider. Wanting to stick to this cleanse as closely as possible I was wondering what I can use to soothe my throat throughout the day(throat lozenges, etc) as I talk a lot with patients for 6-8 hours daily. I know most throat drops are full of sugar, aspartame and food dyes and was trying to find a compatible one that will keep me true to the cleanse program.
    Thanks for any tips and advice

    • Neely Quinn

      RustyWildcat74 – All of the throat drops and sprays are going to have sugar – or at least honey – in them, but it’s a pretty minimal amount. I actually like Ricola, as I believe they use tapioca starch as their thickener, and they work for me. Also the tea called Throat Coat is a good option. And I’ve had good success with flower essences like Rescue Remedy and homeopathic throat sprays that you’d find in a health food store or natural pharmacy.

  235. Christy

    Hello! I have switched to a paleo diet and I am loving it. I am dowm 9 lbs in 3 weeks! I am actually surprised how easy the transition has been except for one thing. I can not seem to give up the coffee. Even more of an issue is that I can’t drink it without milk and splenda. I have even tried stevia. So, right now I am a paleo poser until I can give that up. Do you have any suggestions of what I can change while I try to ween myself off the sauce? Thank you.

    • Neely Quinn

      Christy – First of all, coffee isn’t necessarily not Paleo – a ton of Paleo/primal people drink it. I’m one of the few Paleo endorsers who suggests trying to cut it out for a month to see if it’s negatively affecting you. If you want to try living without coffee, maybe try weaning off with black tea, coconut milk, and honey? Get an unsweetened chai tea or some other yummy flavor, put a dollop of canned coconut cream in it with a little bit of honey. The honey is better for you than the splenda in my opinion. From there, if you want to get off caffeine in general, go down to green tea, then white tea, then herbal tea :)

  236. sherrylou

    I am considering the diet to treat my many ailments including eczema, hives, cystic acne, joint problems, etc. but am feeling a conflict. I have recently seen the film “forks over knives”. The point of the film and according to their research, eating animal products leads to cancer and other degenerative diseases like diabetes, hypertension, etc. I have also heard that hunter and gatherers did not have long life spans.
    What are your thoughts. Your response would be greatly appreciated.
    Many Blessings,

    • Neely Quinn

      sherrylou – Good question! There were MANY flaws with the China study, which that film is largely based on, which discredit what they’re saying about protein causing cancer. They were looking at casein (from dairy) and then extrapolated to ALL PROTEIN. Not really very accurate. The person to explain all that to you is Denise Minger, who wrote up a very large critique on T Colin Campbell and the China Study here:

      I don’t worry about meat consumption, unless your protein levels get beyond about 35%, which is actually very difficult to do.

  237. Est

    I’m just looking for some advice on how I should approach paleo with low blood pressure. My BP seems to be naturally low all of the time which means I get diziness several times each day and can be prone to passing out if I’m not careful. I haven’t worked out why my BP is low, but it has always been like this. I have been on low calorie diets in the past that were designed to give me all the nutrients I need with few calories. and I ended up in trouble with dizziness, fainting and eventually taken to hospital (even though other people who were on the same diet were fine).

    I’m interested in paleo because the focus is on quality foods rather than quantity (correct me if I’m wrong!). So I’m thinking my approach could be to drink lots of water and if I am feeling dizzy or light-headed, just eat something paleo-friendly. Does that sound OK? On a low calorie plan, I would have been told just to drink some water and sit down if I felt dizzy but, as I described above, that just doesn’t work for me. So would strict paleo be suitable for me? Can you advise anything else I shold be doing to prevent any more problems with LBP? I’d really appreciate it if you could suggest anything.

    I’m female, 33, I’d like to lose about 15-20lbs, I’m also very active, about 7 hours hard workouts per week, 4 hours medium, and lots more hours brisk walking which I consider light.


    • Neely Quinn

      Est – I’d say start off not paying much attention to calories on Paleo except to make sure you’re eating enough of them, since you’ve already figured out you don’t do well on low calorie diets. If you’re working out that much, you’re going to need more carbohydrates (probably) than others who are less active than you eating Paleo. Here’s an article I wrote on athletes’ needs on Paleo:

      So when you get hungry, yes, eat :)

  238. sharon

    I am trying to eat as paleo as i can but im getting confused with the use of coconut.
    I thought that coconut milk, flour, oil, is fattening, and in a lot of the paleo recipes there seems to be a lot of use of coconut.
    I am 45yr old female and i am in the early pre menepausal stages so i am worrying about weight gain, I exercise 3 times a week and i am fairly active however i suffer with bad knee joint pain so i just do incline walking on a treadmill when at the gym.
    I would be so disheartend if i gained weight by using coconut as the whole point of eating this way is not just to be healthier but loose weight, my current weight is 66kg / 10st 61b i want to loose about 8-101b.

    Your reply would be apprieciated.

  239. Helanea

    I have been fighting with my weight my whole life and was just diagnosed with Graves’ Disease. I was just wondering if or is there success with this lifestyle change for people with this disease?

  240. Casey

    Can you eat corn tortillas on this diet?

    • Neely Quinn

      Casey – Corn is in the “No” list under grains. I’m not saying you should never eat a corn tortilla again, but they’re not technically part of the diet.

  241. Michelle

    I’m having a hard time seeing this lifestyle as realistic in today’s busy world, much less affordable. I work full time with 2 kids and barely have time to whip up simple things, not to mention live on a budget. I eat in moderation, am healthy, with good cholesterol/blood pressure, etc, and am a thin, athletic weight. I also am active and workout regularly. To me, as long as you don’t put more calories in your body than you burn, you will not be overweight. How do you motivate someone like me to transition to paleo?

    • Neely Quinn

      Michelle – Well, there are all kinds of health benefits to the diet that you may not have considered, like lower inflammation, fertility, skin improvement, menstrual cycle improvement, mood balancing, energy increases, etc. If you have any of those issues, then it’s worth considering. But there are some people who just don’t actually “need” to eat this way. There are some people who really are very healthy eating a well-balanced diet including grains, dairy, and other non-Paleo foods.

  242. Richard

    Come on people do you really truly think that this Paleo diet is the right way to eat First we did not come from Caveman This world did not develop from nothing It was made by a creator and the creators name was God He Set up the way that we are supposed to Eat in Genesis We were never supposed to eat meat in the first place Read Genesis to see how the earth was formed and what God wanted us to eat in the first place It was not meat ike caveman Because cavemen never existed Eating nuts greens Seeds fruits and vegetables and herbs are not bad for you God created this world and he knows best what we Should Be eating Read Genesis I don’t mean to step on people’s toes but I am sick of hearing the Paleo diet say that we should eat this way Because we were design to But we would not designed to eat that Paleo away We did not come from caveman

  243. Krys

    Hi – can you have soy milk on the paleo diet? I know coffee is allowed in moderation, just seeing if i can have a soy milk coffee occassionally.

    Also i’ve only just started the paleo diet 3 days ago, but i’m feeling very tired, faint and never satisfied with food, i’m quite small so don’t generally eat alot but i’ve been eating nearly every 1 – 2 hours like fruit and veggie etc.. is that normal?

    • Neely Quinn

      Krys – Sorry, no soy milk. And you’re probably going through detox. You can search “detox” in the search box at the top of the page and you’ll find some articles on what to do about it.

  244. Stacie

    I LOVE the paleo diet! I started to follow it towards the end of 2011 and it was the best I’ve felt in my entire life. Then I sort of fell off the wagon, and our food budget got drastically cut and I used that as an excuse to go back to eating a poor processed and gluten filled diet. I’m about to have my second child, and am more than ready to go back to the paleo lifestyle, but just wanted to get your advice on breastfeeding on the diet as well as nutrient requirements and whatnot.

  245. sherrylou

    I began Paleo about three weeks ago for the purpose of healing my leaky gut. So far, my eczema has improved, my moods are more stable, I sleep better and I have lost 8 pounds. I was really hoping that my plantar fasciitis would improve but it hasn’t changed much yet. Would you recommend any supplementation to will help with this.
    I already take fish oil.

  246. Flynn

    Hi Neely, just wanted to know if there is any age restriction to this diet. The only issue I have with this diet is that I am a teenager, and a sudden change of diet may affect me badly, as well as my Mum and Dad, who seem to insist I eat a modern diet and stand by the need of dairy and wheat ‘myth’. I am thirteen, is this too young? To me the Paleo diet makes so much sense and I am eager to try it, as I am overweight. How can I convince my parents that this lifestyle is perfectly healthy? Thank you.

    • Neely Quinn

      Flynn – No, you’re definitely not too young. There’s nothing dangerous about it at all. Search the blog on this site for “kids paleo” and you’ll get an article I wrote that you and your parents will like.

  247. Paul

    I tend to eat like a bodybuilder. Oatmeal and eggs in the morning, Tuna and veggies, Chicken Breast, Brown rice and brocolli. My fat sources are typically olive oil, or the fat naturally found in meats. I also use whey protein powder, and skim milk and blend it with frozen bananas and blueberries. I keep a food log and on my smart phone using myfitnesspal. I weight my cooked food and store them in single serving containers. I have been able to successfully lose fat, and get stronger, leaner and more active. No negative side effects. But I do like the idea of less processed more natural whole foods. My only food allergy is to shellfish… shrimp, lobster, crab.

  248. Julie Sayre

    Hi Neely, I am really enjoying your posts, and am impressed with your responsiveness! I apologize if this question has already been asked. I noticed you said no to iodized salt. Where will us land-lubbers get our iodine? LOL

  249. JKay

    RED FLAG: “can I eat this?” “Can I eat that?” “Why can’t I eat that?” … It goes on for miles!!! Here we have people desparate to lose weight, feel good… It’s the latest buzz. Ask yourself this ” can you really follow this as your lifestyle pattern?” You know why most of these people who are losing weight say they feel great and have more energy… Bottom line, if you lose unwanted weight you feel better! I disagree with this! Poor people that always seek new diets to lose weight. Grains, legumes, yogurt (probiotics!) are “bad”… NOT!

  250. Tammy

    You mention avoiding nitrates/nitrites, but I was wondering about the celery and sea salt that are being used to replace them in “nitrate free” meats. I’ve read conflicting things about whether or not these are just as toxic as added nitrates, or even more so, since such high doses are used. Do you have any knowledge in this area? I’m just starting out on this, and would love some quick no cook meat options, but I don’t want to replace one bad thing with another. Thanks!

  251. Matt

    What do you consider “in moderation”?

  252. mandie

    I am starting this diet tomorrow, I have recently started jogging and I am wondering if I will still be able to jog 3-4 times a week? thanks, mandie

  253. Rhonda kormos

    I am 9 post pardem and exclusively breastfeeding my LO. I’s Paleo a safe diet to begin while breastfeeding? The paediatrician suspects that my LO may have an allergy to casein and I am beyond willing to start an elimination diet. I have looked at a few options and what I have researches is incredibly complicated, reading labels for one ingredient versus another…. It’s exhausting and most of my focus is on caring for my newborn! I decided to choose Paleo because its really getting back to he basics…it’s good and healthy or me and is naturally gluten and casein free. In your experience, is this safe to do without sacrificing milk supply?

  254. wendy

    Paleo perfect! Love it, feel wonderful,sleep well,energy plus. I workout 4-6 days a week, i have competed in figure comps, protein shakes are needed for muscle gain but are not Paleolithic,i now use a beef protein called CARNIVOR made by MuscleMeds… Its great,gentle on your tummy,tastes great muscle gain is slow but sure! I will never eat the way i used to,i always ate clean (,so i thought). Now i eat clean,lean and full of taste.Coconut oil is fabulous for your skin too,i never waste any food. Love this lifestyle!

  255. Theresa Baeza

    Hi all. I would recommend looking more into the info Atkins and other doctors such as Bernstein have uncovered, about Doctors being basically bullied into endorsing high carb low fat diets with absolutely no proof that its linked or helps cholesterol and how important fats are for our diet. I m not endorsing Atkins etc, but rather the idea about what our bodies dont need and how fat is actually not bad for your heart. I am interested in paleo because it seems healthier than atkins, and Im looking for a lifestyle that I can live with

  256. Cristina

    Hi Neely,

    I’m thinking about starting on the Paleo diet but my biggest concern is where to buy the grass-fed/organic foods without breaking the bank (not sure if this has been asked before). I am constantly tired, depressed even on meds, and I live mostly on coffee, bread, cheese, meat, and veggies. I know I have to make a change to my eating habits like NOW. I know it’s going to be tough, but how difficult is it for some people to make the change? Can you have the occasional cheat day or will that make things worse?


    • Neely Quinn

      Cristina – If you’re struggling with being tired all the time, I strongly encourage you to lay off the coffee for 3 weeks and see if you feel better just by doing that. The bread would be great to stop, too :) But I’ve seen a lot of people change their lives just by getting off the coffee. As for the cost of Paleo, here’s a blog post i wrote on it the other day. Please search the site for any other questions you have – I’ve likely written about all the stuff you’re wondering about.

      And yes, you can have the occasional cheat day :)

  257. Mike

    Is it ok to use Organic Hemp Protein powder? I can’t find any reference to “Hemp” in the banned list.

    • Neely Quinn

      Mike – I’m not a huge fan of those heat-processed seed products, but if it’s cold processed go ahead. It’s not in the banned list at all.

  258. Jane

    So no peanut butter??

  259. zach

    i am a football player i am 190 right now and need to drop to about 185-180 and i also need to define my muscle i also do crossfit on the side and want to know if this will help me in my health and competition

  260. Anonymous

    Quinoa isn’t a grain. It’s part of the greens family.

    • Neely Quinn

      Anonymous – What, exactly, is the greens family?

  261. Lee

    Hi, I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia for several years along with IBS. I do not eat dairy or gluten. I am still having some problems with stomach problems. I am considering trying the Paleo diet to see if that helps with the pain and to help with the Fibro. I am curious to know a way to cook these meals for a “meat and potatoes’. family. My husband likes a lot of potatoes, rice etc with dinner. He is not a salad kinda guy! How can I incorporate this eating lifestyle for my entire family(I have an 8 year old who doesn’t care for meat at all!)?

    • Neely Quinn

      Lee – There’s really no one answer for that question – I’m really sorry… If your husband loves potatoes and rice and he doesn’t want to give those up (he doesn’t have to give up the potatoes – they’re Paleo), then make him potatoes and rice :) And your son can start slowly into this, but at a certain point if he wants to eat he needs to eat what you give him, right? Paleo isn’t just about salads! :) I eat meat and potatoes often, to be quite honest. I’m a meat and potatoes kinda girl, too. I just stick other veggies in there with ’em.

  262. mark

    Can I get all my fats only from almonds? let say i want to have 100 grams of fat per day, I would eat 200 grams of almonds. (50 grams of fat per 100 grams of almonds)
    Or should I get my fat from variety of the foods.

    • Neely Quinn

      Mark – not sure why you’d want to do that, or how you’d even accomplish that without eating 100% lean fat free chicken as your only protein… I’d say it’s important to get your fat from a variety of sources. It’s good for you :)

  263. Nanny

    Hi! I just found out about this diet very recently. Since it is a diet based on how cavemen used to eat, does it mean that eating raw is better? My next question is whether pepper (powder) is included in this diet?
    Thanks for the very useful information above!

    • Neely Quinn

      Nanny – No, we evolved for a very long time eating cooked food. Some say it’s why our brains were able to get so big :) Raw food is great (usually), but it’s not necessary to eat your food raw. And pepper is fine. Have fun with it!

  264. Bernadette

    is soy yogurt allowed?

    • Neely Quinn

      Bernadette – Sorry, but no :) Soy isn’t allowed.

  265. Nick

    Hi, I’ve got a question please. I’m 14 1\2 stone and have been doing Paleo completely for 5 weeks. The thing is, I’ve got MS and I can’t walk let alone exercise for very long. My question is, ‘do you have to exercise fully to get the benefit of the Paleo diet?’. Thanks

    • Neely Quinn

      Nick – No! No, you don’t. A lot of people do this and lose weight/feel better without exercising. Hopefully in time you may feel good enough to get some exercise in, however you can. Best wishes to you!

  266. Vanessa

    I have just started and I am feeling hungry a lot. Can you give me some advice to help me control that?

    • Neely Quinn

      Vanessa – Eat more :)

  267. Tzviah

    I started the Paleo diet about 8 days ago. Almost immediately I could hardly move my bowels and it’s not getting any better. What is happening?

    • Neely Quinn

      Tzviah – I honestly don’t know. It’s really hard to give any insight because I don’t know what you’re eating. If you could shed some light on that, I’d be happy to give my input.

  268. Vanessa

    Nice answer Neely. That sounds good- Can you give me some ideas on what to snack on? I have been told only 4 oz of nuts a day and only eat fruit in the morning. I am up at 6am and go to bed about 11pm (sometimes 1am). It’s a long day. I love fruit, but if I can only eat it in the morning then that leaves a lot of day time. I am used to eating things like yogurt and granola bars for snacks and I am not sure what to snack on other than fruit and nuts. Do you have any other suggestions?

  269. Anita


    I was wondering about oatly milk. Is that a no go? The milk of almond and hazelnut in my local store has added sugar, and not everything works well with coconut milk. What are your thoughts on this product?

    • Neely Quinn

      Anita – Oats are grains, so my opinion is no…

  270. Kevin


    I’m currently easing my way into the paleo diet.

    I’ve started each day by eating:

    3 eggs (either boiled, with added black pepper or an omelette with 1/2 a small onion and a whole bell pepper.)

    I snack on fruit throughout the day

    At lunch I usually eat some sort of meat, mostly chicken breast but I struggle to replace the bread i used to eat regularly with paninis and sandwiches. I tried eating soup but its not the same without some sort of bread on the side!! I need a ready replacement.

    Dinner is also a problem because I always ate a lot of pasta, rice and potato, I’m wondering if there is any easy ways to substitute them? For example, tonight I am making tandoori salmon, but all I can think to eat with it is broccoli and cauliflower! It sounds very bland.

    Have you any tips for substituting the above?

    • Neely

      Kevin – There are probably over a million recipes online for Paleo and Primal eaters nowadays, so you’re in luck :) Check out our recipes at and google all over the place for other delicious ways to make salmon and broccoli sound more appealing.

  271. tabutony

    Great front door and great explanation of the plan!
    I really think you knocked it out of the park. I always
    start my explanations (You are sure looking lean!)
    with the last 10,000 years discussion. I will save my breath from
    now on and refer folks to you for the in depth explanation!

    Thanks for posting this. Good stuff!

  272. Melissa

    Hi – I kind of get the no grains bit – because of the gluten but I am wondering is it ok to make/use gluten free products – like bread? Or is it a case of its not just the gluten its the other stuff too in the grain used to make the gluten free flour?

  273. Tara

    Great job Neely! I don’t envy you answering the same questions over and over. I started Paleo 6 weeks ago. After getting over the initial sickness I noticed I felt clear-headed, I was sleeping better and I didn’t feel bloated anymore. I have no cravings whatsoever and eat better than I ever have before. This is my lifestyle now and its easy! I’m eating a lot and certainly can go for hours without refuelling. Also, I find its cheaper! So after all that, my question is this- I lost 8 pounds in the first 2 weeks and have since gained back 2 without any change to my diet. Is this normal? I would like to lose 40 but at this rate it’s a little discouraging no matter how committed I am. Thanks and keep up the good work!

    • Neely Quinn

      Tara – Thanks for the kind words :) I think one of the things people often do wrong is they start to eat way too many nuts, and the calories in those things alone can cause weight gain. It’s happened to me. Just record what you’re eating for a couple days in a free online diet tracker like and see if you’re eating too much. If you’re not, then contact me at if you want to set up an appointment with me to help you figure it all out. Good luck!

  274. Tara

    I don’t want to hog the forum but one more question… It does get confusing with the different takes on the paleo diet. One even suggests that you can eat all the fat you want. The more the better. So in your opinion, should we also be counting calories or keeping track of how many carbs/fats we eat? Thanks again. I will check out that site too.

    • Neely Quinn

      Tara – Well, sometimes when you eat “all the fat you want”, your body is actually satisfied for once in its life, so you’re not hungry for any more food than you need. Know what I mean? As for calorie counting, here’s an article I wrote about that:

  275. Dianne

    So paleo almond n coconut bread found in stores is out??

  276. Marissa

    Hi! I have just begun on my journey to weight loss. I am at least 30 pounds more than I want to be, but have always had trouble losing weight. My problem definitely isn’t exercise, because I’m very active and never eat “junk food” like chips or soda, fast food, etc. I am a very picky eater however (don’t like the taste of onions, tomatoes, peppers, a lot of common foods found in home-cooked meals), so I find myself surviving on more than 50% white carbs and cheese. I know how bad this is! I am willing to take the challenge of the Paleo diet/ lifestyle change despite the mixed review on the success of women on this plan, however, I need a bit of guidance in terms of what I can eat as staples. I have read the information above and many of the comments (not all, too many) but all I understand so far is that I can eat a lot of grass fed meat. So many of the foods have a clause “unless you’re trying to lose weight” or “limit if you’re trying to lose weight”. For the average person, it seems like there are a lot of options, but or me it seems that I need to avoid the obvious, grains, dairy, etc, but also limit or avoid nuts, fruit, potatoes, cooking oils, fatty meats, etc! What can I eat?? Lol. Eggs are the only thing I’m sure of right now. While I work toward my goal weight, I don’t even mind eating the exact same meals every day, with the same ingredients etc, if I know that it will get me results and that eventually I will be able to change it up and incorporate new flavours. Please let me know some sure staples that will help me toward weight loss or even what would be the ideal day for me in terms of a meal plan that I can continue until I reach my goal weight (e.g. Eat two eggs an veggies for breakfast, a salad with leafy greens, carrots and egg for lunch and … Etc). I want to start my journey toward losing right away, not set myself back right away because I didn’t have all of the information. THANK you so much.

    • Neely Quinn

      Marissa – Why don’t you try out our meal plan here: and that’ll get you on the right foot with Paleo and probably start the weight loss process. If you’d like any other help, please email me at and we can set up a call. Good luck to you!

  277. Sara

    Hi! Im wondering if the diet would work for me.
    Im successfull with atkins but I hate not being able to eat fruit. My body is very sensitive to carbs so will I just gain the weight back?

  278. jeanne

    I have begun eating paleo, and am wondering what I can do instead of eggs . . . I do not eat eggs or mushrooms.

  279. Kami Harrison

    Quick question about Maintaining the Paleo diet for Hypoglycemics.

    I was diagnosed post pregnancy and I always weight train in the mornings.
    I tried eggs with fruit or veggies for breakfast and texted my glucose and it was spiking. Which I should be spiking since I’m “hypo” not “hyper”.
    If I eat oatmeal (with flax and coconut) I don’t have a problem with my sugars.

    So how can I maintain a Paleo diet with the need for morning grains?

    • Neely Quinn

      Kami Harrison – Well, you can’t really maintain a true paleo diet with a “need” for morning grains. Try eating eggs and meat cooked in oil with veggies and see what that does to your sugars. It may have just been a reaction to the fruit. I can’t have fruit in the morning either because of my blood sugar, but if I have meat with eggs in some fat, I’m all good. Either that, or try some grainless oatmeal (search for “oatmeal” recipes), or the muffins we have on there and see if those work for you.

  280. OrlaTravis

    Hi, i am 130 pounds and i am woundering how much fruit and nuts (in grams) is the average recomended amount per day if you are trying to loose weight.

    • Neely Quinn

      OrlaTravis – It completely depends on your height, activity level, how quickly you want to lose weight, and how many other calories per day you’re eating. If you’d like some individual counseling, please email me at and I can help.

  281. Sue

    Can I have almond milk on the diet?

  282. Chuck

    Neely – Saw that you said hemp is OK but not to grind it into a meal, like a powder, because it oxidizes quickly. What about grinding it into a powder and then imediately mixing it in with raw fruits for a shake? Also, I had read that flaxseed is best to ingest as a meal because the coating of the seeds render them indigestible and thus pass whole through the body. So the suggested method to make the nutrients inside available is to grind whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder and use them in shakes or on top of salads. Your thoughts?

    • Neely Quinn

      Chuck – Yes, that’s a perfect interpretation of what I said. If you grind it fresh, you won’t have a big opportunity for oxidized fatty acids. If you really want to pre-grind it, just make sure you keep it in the freezer.

  283. Terry

    Hi, I don’t have time right now to read everything but what I haven’t seen is why onions are not on the list and tomatoes. Otherwise, it sounds great and very simple to do. Looking forward to some major weight loss results and actually feeling better. I also wondered if those people who have 100 or more lbs to lose had trouble with loose skin after losing weight?

    • Neely Quinn

      Terry – Onions and tomatoes are perfectly fine on a Paleo diet :)

  284. Pam

    What do you suggest for someone who is a “sweet-aholic” on this diet? That is my big downfall.

  285. Ari

    Hi! I am very interested in bringing my body back to it’s healthy state.
    Two things though, my body doesn’t process nuts, whey protein or oats very well. As nuts, at least, seem to be a large part of healthy and clean eating, what can I eat instead?
    Thanks so much, can’t wait to get started. :)

    • Neely

      Ari – I don’t eat any of those things either, actually. Whey and oats aren’t Paleo, and nuts can be avoided by eating more of everything else :) Sorry to be vague, but with all the ingredients that are a-ok on the Paleo diet, the options are endless. Check out our recipes at Good luck to you!

  286. Jessica

    So glad I found this list.Last august to October I followed the paleo diet. I wish I never stopped it following it. It was easy to follow. I lost nearly forty pounds. MY blood sugars were perfect ( no meds needed). Since I stopped doing it the bloating came back. Gained some of the weight back. Headaches came back. I will be sticking to it this time and the rest of my life. Anyone wanting to lose weight and feel better I recommend this for you.

  287. Jonny ok

    Hi there,

    I eat a mostly primal diet for close on 3 yrs now and by and large I have seen good results . My main gripe though is things like smoked bacon which is super high in cancer causing nitrates being reccomended over and above a breakfast of steel cut oats for instance. The reason I say this is because I recently changed my diet a little at breakfast time so instead of bacon and eggs I will have steel cut oats with flaxseed and a teeny bit of maple syrup. I must say I feel so much better and my digestion is very good . Why is bad bacon reccomended ?

  288. Lisa Odegard

    Is Teft Paleo friendly

    • Neely Quinn

      Lisa Odegard – I’m assuming you mean teff? It’s a grain, so no. I should add it to this food guide…

  289. Ream


    I’ve been wanting to try this, however I still nurse my 7 month old son. Is there anything I should or shouldn’t do because I am nursing him and wanting to try Paleo?

    Your help is greatly appreciated!!! Thanks so much!

  290. Sara

    Hello there!

    I’m just starting to go with the diet for about 2 weeks now, and I’ve noticed a difference in my energy levels. Due to certain food allergies, I can’t eat red meat and certain things on the diet. What i have been eating and like a lot is quinoa. I think its so good, and I dont wanna give it up! I noticed you said to avoid grain like foods. I have asked around and come to the conclusion that quinoa is in fact a seed. What are your thoughts on the subject?

  291. Emma

    I’m new to paleo and an about two weeks in now. I’m finding eating this amount if meat and fish just you much. I’m eating eggs or low carb rice cakes with almond butter for breakfast, salad and chicken for lunch, fruit snack and chicken, fish or turkey with vegetables fr evening meal. I’m worried that too many oft calories ate owning from vegetables and fruits and not enough from meat but I simply can’t eat any more!
    Does anyone think that this balance is ok for weight and fat loss? I work out three rough sessions per week and a couple of low intensity sessions too.
    Thanks everyone. Emma

  292. Marta Sankovich

    Hi Neely
    Has anyone with ITP (auto immune disorder, have low platelets) have success with the Paleo diet to increase their platelet counts? Thank you, Marta

  293. Ashley Dawn

    I was wondering about seasonings for the meat?? Is that okay and how can I adapt this for my four young kids

    • Neely Quinn

      Ashley Dawn – As long as the seasonings are just herbs and spices, and not anything you can’t pronounce, then they’re totally fine. As for adapting this for your young kids, often it just takes time for your kids to adapt to this way of eating, rather than the other way around. Look at,, and many other blogs written by moms for more advice on that.

  294. Karrie

    Hi, I’m considering doing the paleo diet for my family & I. We have a son with ADHD and we suspect some kind of GI issue. My husband also suffers from GI issues. Are Almond flour & almond milk okay?

  295. Abby Bernardo

    I’m interested with this Paleo Diet. Yes I have been doing some workouts for 3 days. I want to be more in good shape as for my age which is 18. I have 32 inches for waist line and 40 for my hip :( Is the program is compatible for my age? Also Is it ok to continue the program even if the school starts again?

    • Neely Quinn

      Abby Bernardo – Yes, it’s perfectly safe for someone your age and it’s totally fin to continue when school begins again. Good luck to you!

  296. Ginger

    What about veggie burgers?

  297. Barbara

    You mention certain autoimmune disorders, but i was wondering if this eating plan is good for all autoimmune disorders. I have sarcoidosis, and was wondering abou this one. Thanks for any information you may have about it.

    • Neely Quinn

      Barbara – Yes! Autoimmune disorders all have their beginnings in the gut, so this diet is perfect for treating all of them.

  298. Carilynn

    Hi Neely,
    I am such a foodie, but only for healthy, wholesome, unadulterated food that I can truly enjoy eating. I have so much enjoyed reading lots of info on the Paleo eating plan (I don’ like using he word “diet”). Specifically the Paleo Plan Food Guide. To my amazement, I have found no mention of canola oil. And in all the 488 comments, no one has inquired about canola oil. I would very much like your opinion about consumption of this product in general, and specifically as it pertains to the Paleo eating plan. Many thanks!

  299. Fernando

    As a recruiter, we are always on the go and tootting around a lunch box isn’t always possible. Early mornings and late hours etc. when I’m in a jam for dinner or lunch, what can I do?

  300. Elize

    I am overweight and would love to loose it in a a natural and healthy way. I heard about the Paleo diet and want to try it, although I do have one concern. I have a family historyof kidney problems and I have been told that if you eat a lot of protein your kidneys takes a lot of strain? Is this true?

    • Neely Quinn

      Elize – If you don’t currently have a kidney problem, you should be fine. Maybe ramp up the protein very slowly if you’re concerned about it. All the studies saying that protein hurts your kidneys were done on people who already had kidney disease…

  301. Kris Simms

    Just started the paleo lifestyle and am loving it. I always felt bad eating meats but now feel liberated from this and am embracing the non-grain diet. I always felt sluggish and my belly would always bloat. My mother lives w us and she has scleroderma, husband has psoriatic arthritis, so I’m looking forward to improving their health as well. As they say no health, no wealth!

  302. Dee

    Any advice on how to eat paleo in a dining hall?
    I’m interested in giving it a shot, but unfortunately my food selection is pretty limited. Aside from the obvious ones where the meat is all from Sodexo, so definitely not grass-fed or anything, there are very, very limited vegetables. Usually one cooked vegetable and then the salad bar. There aren’t always a lot of fruits either. I’m trying to figure out a way to maintain the most important bits of the diet without totally starving myself!
    So here’s my question – if I was going to add in only a few extra things that they might have, what could I do? Potatoes, beans? Nuts? (I’m only about 6 pounds over my goal weight, so that’s not as high priority for me)
    I’d love some advice =]

  303. Eva Lee

    Can you drink coconut milk?

  304. Georgina

    I am going to start Paleo on Monday. I have a few questions. Can you have green beans, chia seeds, almond flour and unsweetened almond milk? Also vitamin D and omega 111 is recommended is this correct? I am 58 years old and 100 pounds overweight. I have been on every diet. I lose weight and then put it back on. I am very excited to try this so I want to make sure I understand. I have read alot about this program and it is very encouraging. reading different receipts on different sites I have notice products I mentioned above, but they are not on your food list. Thank you

  305. ASilver


    Hi! I have an auto immune disease, Ulcerative Colitis. I am beginning Paleo for the healing aspect and hope to one day come off of meds. I have a moderate case and so far, following this diet is working. I am, however, 5’4 and weigh 107…high metabolism runs in my family ( my mom was 98 lbs when she got married.) I am deathly afraid to loose weight, as I have none to loose. How can I counter act the weight aspects of this diet, as I do also enjoy working out and have a job where I am acitve all day. Please HELP!

    • Neely Quinn

      Asilver – Make sure you record what you’re eating now on a normal diet in or something similar online. Get a baseline for calories. Then make sure you match that on Paleo and you should be fine. If you start losing weight, start adding calories, and in particular, carbs.

  306. Candance

    Can I eat coconut on the Paleo diet? I want to loose about 10 pounds and I’m looking for a snack for in between meals. I see you can drink coconut milk and use coconut oil but can I eat coconut as a snack baked and unsweetened?

  307. mary

    Neely, saw on the blog where kale noodles are ok…what about glass noodles? And any harm in plain, no calorie or sweetened soda water w/lemon? I’m fluffy and am dedicating a life style change and hope Paleo is the answer. Many Thanks

    • Neely Quinn

      mary – I’m actually not aware of what glass noodles are… And as long as the no calorie beverage has no chemicals or fake sweeteners in it, I don’t see any problem with it at all :)

  308. Nivea

    what vitamins are recommended ? one a day , centrum , etc..

  309. Darlene

    Are chia and sunflower seeds allowed on Paleo?

  310. Georgina

    Can you have mayo with olive oil?

  311. Joann

    What would you change in the Paleo diet for people with Crohn’s disease?

    • Neely Quinn

      Joann – Nothing. I’d go strict Paleo for a while and if it didn’t help after about a month I’d start tweaking things from there. Give it a shot!

  312. Tracy

    I am on week 3 of the Paleo diet….and I fel amazing. !!!! My energy level is much higher than before and I went from 216 lbs to 204 lbs in the three weeks I have been following the diet. I am CRAVING sweets (cake, cookies, pastry,chocolate) in a horrible way, But can now see the results and am going to avoid those foods. Maybe every other Sunday, I can have a treat to reward my hard work? I am a little worried about my blood labs, years ago when I was on Atkins, I was depleted in potassium and was hospitalized for that….Just wondering if this is going to happen again?

    • Neely Quinn

      Tracy – You get tons of potassium (way more than you get from grains and legumes) from fruits and veggies. Paleo includes all kinds of fruits and veggies, so just don’t skimp on them and you’ll be fine.

  313. Mandy

    I have 5 young children, and I’m wondering how the paleo diet translates to young children.

  314. Alexa

    I’m 156 pounds and need to lose about 30 pounds ASAP!!!! What do you suggest I eat for breakfast lunch and dinner. I’m only 5’1 and the extra weight is really making my health suffer.

  315. Nicole

    I’ve been following the paleo plan on and off for over 6 months. My husband and I love the plan because we love vegetables, meat and fish, and wholome food. We realize that we might not have the nutriments we need, for example calcium. Would your book explain how to get all required nutrients and daily recommendations.

  316. Colleen

    About how much Money would one expect to spend on groceries per week if I subscribed to your plan? My doctor has suggested use of this for diabetes and weight loss. Thank you

    • Neely Quinn

      Colleen – It depends on how many things you buy organically, in bulk (including meat), from farmers in your area, and online. It can vary between $250 and about $600 a month total.

  317. Mindy

    I have been doing Paleo for 3 weeks now. I absolutely love it! It’s been a little difficult knowing what I can and cannot have, but totally worth it. I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis which is an auto-immune disease and the diet has helped tremendously. It has also cleared up my skin and I’ve lost almost 10 lbs. I will definitely be sticking to this one.

  318. Clayton

    These are honest questions that probably have too much info to answer right away, prior to some research. There is a lot here. Feel free to take your time getting back to me. We may learn that (some)beer can benefit us, or learn better how it can harm us by your research. I’m sure a lot of people would love to learn of some beer styles they could drink, or ones that are more dangerous and should be avoided for more than just a ‘recommendation’). I’m sure that UC Davis would love to help with this. Dr. Charlie Bamforth is happy to speak with anyone who wants to get real nerdy with beer. They are currently doing lots of tests on the health of beer at UC Davis so this would likely fit right in. Also the American Homebrewers Association would probably be of help, especially Zymurgy magazine(produced by the AHA). They could put you in contact with several sources to help with your research or show you previous findings others have made to help you.

    Going back to July 2, 2011 in your conversation to Robert Wurtz you mentioned that people wouldn’t take the time to soak and spout the grains in order to make them healthier to digest(I believe that’s what you were saying). This got me thinking on the beer-brewing knowledge I’ve been accumulating

    1. Have you looked into the malting process and the brewing process of making beer from grain?

    2.* Is the processing the barley, wheat, rye, oats for making beer sufficient to meet the specifications you referred to?(see last section on grain processing for brewing)

    (This is the setup for question 3, it takes some developing, please keep reading:
    Beers typically use Sacchromyces Cerevisea yeast to ferment. A lot of people are enjoying the spontaneous fermented beverages from Belgium known as ‘lambics’, ‘Flanders’ ales, or the German ‘Berlinerweiss.’ Berlinerweiss is strictly a Sacch. yeast and thenthe bacteria lactobacillus ‘Delbrekii’. The lambics and Flanders also have the bacterias Pediocuccus ‘Damnosus’ and ‘Parvulus’. Also, varying strains of ‘Brettanomyces’ yeasts, which are very tenacious and persistent, are in all spontaneously fermented beers, along with Acetobacter(vinegar bacteria) and probably more than listed in smaller roles and amounts)

    3. Do these yeasts and/or bacteria benefit us? Are they strong enough to A) survive in our gut, B) suppress candida yeast(especially the strong Brettanomyces?), C) how does lactobacillus Delbrekii compare to Acidofollus or Regularus as regards digestion, other? D) are these strains harmful instead of helpful?

    4. Hops also contain mellowing agents but also have antibacterial qualities(kept to a minimum in lambics and Flanders beers for this reason), what benefits/detriment do hops have on us?

    5. Yeast do produce diacetyl, acetaldehyde and other compounds, though usually mostly reabsorbed in a properly fermented beer. What yeast/fermentation by products can benefit/harm us?

    *(‘Brewers grade’ grain is the highest grain there is.(probably doesn’t mean much, though, considering modern farming practices), then malted(which is soaking and sprouting),stewed(more soaking), then dried for storage/shipping until a brewer ‘mashes'(soaks the malted grain again), ‘Lauters’ (separates the starch, proteins, beta-glucans, and enzymes from the husks), boils for 60-90mins(soaking again for ever(until consumed – atleast 2weeks, upto 3months normal range, maybe upto 10+ years), at this point, right?), then ferments with yeast/bacteria which fermented foods are typically appreciated in a paleo diet.)

    Sorry for all of this and thank you for your time,

  319. Kirsty

    Eggs?? They have anti-nutrients ?? Trying Paleo and finding eggs are discomforting. Please advise me on this :)

  320. Robyn

    Hi there, I have been doing the Paleo diet for just over a week. During this time I have kept up with my normal fitness routine… but have been struggling with stiffness a lot more tgan usual. What does this mean inlight of my dietary change? Is it calcium or magnesium? Other people have suggested it is due to a lethargy in my blood because of my increase in fat on the paleo diet? Is that true? What suggestions do you have?

  321. Debbie

    What’s the verdict on using balsamic vinegar? Can it be used often? Salads with olive oil and lemon juice are getting boring. Thanks so much! Debbie

    • Neely

      Debbie – Yes, it’s fine unless you personally have a sensitivity to it.

  322. Mary

    I don’t know if you will be able to help with this question, but I thought I would ask out of desperation. My family and I have gone Paleo by default because of my daughter’s food allergies. I am considering a small flock of 6 chickens for laying eggs. My daughter is allergic to wheat, oat, barley, millet, soy, and pea among many other things. I am struggling with finding a source for feed that will not include these ingredients.

    Do you have any suggestions or recommendations? Thanks!

    • Neely

      Mary – Do you know that your daughter is for sure allergic to eggs that have been produced by hens that eat those things? I hate to ask a dumb question, but you may be going to more trouble than you need to by trying to avoid those things. I’m not a chicken expert, unfortunately, but I’m sure you can find something online about feeding chickens without those things. Maybe use rice and other grains to supplement the bugs and veggies?

  323. Sarah

    Hello , I am getting on well adjusting to the paleo diet, except when it comes to breakfast. I enjoy so much a bowl of porridge ( with nuts and seeds and honey). Do you have any good breakfast ideas that fit with the plan that will fill me up as much. I think I have got too used to my main source of calories and carbs coming from these oats.

  324. Kathy

    I cannot digest poultry and meat well. I don’t want to eat fish everyday what is the alternative. Thanks so much–I am going into my 4th week and I feel so much better.

    • Neely

      Kathy – I always suggest that people take an enzyme spectrum supplement along with hydrochloric acid (also in supplement form) if they have trouble digesting meat. You just have to do it for a couple weeks to help jumpstart your body’s own ability to produce those things. Then from there if that doesn’t help, we can talk about what to substitute your meat with. Basically, it’s just less meat and maybe a very high quality protein powder that works for you.

  325. DominiqueT

    I have signed up for your meal plans as of last night and cannot wait to receive the first menu as it seems like you’ve really taken a vested interest in helping just about everyone!

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s end of last year (although the doc says its actually at the end stages which means it’s been there and undiagnosed for many many years). My thyroid scan is today – hold thumbs! I have massive weight problems which I’ve tried just about every “diet” on the market and nothing is sustainable.

    I read that the Paleo way is idea for Hashimoto’s sufferers – is there any particular reason for this?

    • Neely

      Dominique – Thanks for signing up! You can always access your meal plans in the dashboard on the site by signing in here: As for Paleo being good for Hashimoto’s, I encourage you to look at Dr. Datis Kharrazian’s work and Chris Kresser’s as well. They explain how eating grains of all kinds can wreak havoc on your intestines, creating “leaky gut”, which can lead to autoimmune diseases of all kinds. Good luck to you!

  326. Lauren

    I’m a little bit confused on some of the research I have been doing while I contemplate adopting a Paleo lifestyle. Do you think coconut oil/flour is an acceptable alternative for other flours and oils? Some articles I have read state that coconuts can do more harm than good. I have been doing research for sometime now and am thinking about making the switch, just trying to figure it all out before I “dig in.”

    • Neely

      Lauren – Yes, coconut products are amazing. Not sure what sites you’ve been seeing that say they’re bad?

  327. Lindy

    Hey there, My friend told me to try the Paleo way of living but I’m a big sweet eater I love sugar esp from chocolate or ice cream. With Paleo you can’t have hydrogenated and dairy and refined sugars. I know fruit have natural sugar in them but they don’t cut the edge off of my cravings! I’m addicted and I don’t know if I can go without sweets! plus it doesn’t help I’m overweight and have pre-diabetes. Please help! what can I do?

  328. Shaina

    I LOVE paleo! I started in August of last year (2012) for 3 months until I left for Italy in November and I immediately started feeling and looking great! I had so much energy and just didn’t understand why I ate so poorly before! I lost 17 pounds in 3 months and didn’t even work out but maybe 3 times… I just started up again 3 weeks ago and already lost 10 pounds! However, this time around I am SUPER TIRED and fatigued. I think it’s because I only eat meat, veggies and eggs and am not getting enough carbs. I have been dancing quite a bit this week and it’s hard to keep myself up past 7/9pm when I used to go to bed around 1/2am… Should I add more carbs or do you have any other suggestions? It got so bad yesterday that I scarfed down a cheeseburger because I thought I would pass out if I didn’t.

    • Neely Quinn

      Shaina – Yeah, definitely try upping your carb intake – fruit, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other veggies. It may just be that you’re not eating enough food in general, though, so play around with both concepts.

  329. Yus

    Hey I have a question. Can use any kind of spices?

    • Neely Quinn

      Yus – Yes, herbs and spices are fantastic. Just make sure they don’t have any ingredients in them other than the herbs and spices if you can avoid it…

  330. KSL

    I am trying to get started on the paleo diet. I need to lose a lot of weight and my biggest addiction has been soda. I am 3 days soda free and that is a major major feat! I have started exercising too. can you really lose weight on the paleo diet and if so, do you just follow the allowed foods or do you also need to limit the amount of the allowed foods per serving? also, can you not eat red or white potatoes? and is broccoli and cauliflower ok? every website seems to have different info :/ thanks in advance!

    • Neely Quinn

      KSL – Yes, every website has different info, unfortunately. Potatoes are fine if you don’t have a sensitivity to them. Some people get joint pain, stomach upset or other symptoms from them, but if you don’t, then go ahead and eat them. Yes, you can absolutely lose weight on the Paleo diet. I always suggest that in the beginning – the first month or so – you just eat the allowed foods to satiety and don’t overeat. If you’re still having trouble losing weight after that month, then look at your calories/carbs, etc. All other veggies are fine, but remember that corn is not a vegetable :)

  331. Pat Mills

    What does margarine fall under- dairy or oils? Can you use Becel margarine? Also salad dressings…can you use the creamy type?

    • Neely Quinn

      Pat Mills – I’d stay as far away from margarine as humanly possible. Most of them are made from hydrogenated oils, which even the government warns against eating. I don’t know of a margarine that’s Paleo friendly.

  332. Joyce

    How so very generous of you to provide this comprehensive food list! I am on a budget and cannot buy any paleo books until next month, so this is SO helpful to get started.

    Any tips for paleo on a budget? Some of us just can’t afford grass-fed meats. Thanks.

  333. Zoe

    I have been paleo for 3 weeks now. i lost about 3-4 kg in the first 2 weeks but seem to have plateaued already! I’m upset! I am 5ft9, and at 79kg at the minute (shamefully). I don’t know what i’m doing wrong! i’m exercising for about an hour a day, alternating between high intensity cardio and strength training. and i’m eating under 100g of carbs and between 1300-1800 calories a day. should i reduce this? Sorry, i’m probably an idiot. I haven’t really done calorie or carb counting before.

    • Neely

      Zoe – I’m really not sure to be honest. There’s so much more that goes into weight loss, like overexercising for one. Your body may not actually like all that cardio you’re doing. And if you’re not getting enough sleep (8 hours), you may be stressing your body out. And if you’re drinking too much caffeine, same thing. Read this article and see if it helps:

  334. Rachel

    Thanks for great info, best site I’ve seen since looking into Paleo. I do have one question – my husband has a genetic blood cholesterol issue (absorbs too much) and has been told that he should limit certain things, e.g. eggs, fatty meats, nuts. Are there many quick and filling breakfast options that dont use eggs. He works early so is unlikely to be able to cook a hot breakfast. Thanks so much for your time xx

  335. Sal

    Can you please comment on condiments as well as salad dressing. I’ve been paleo for two weeks already.

  336. felisa

    Are you allowed to have beans on the diet or are you not?

  337. sophia

    hi! so I was looking all through the comments. answered majority of my questions but one.
    I looove hemp milk! and I saw that hemp seeds are okay, but since its a milk(?), is it crossed off the list?

  338. Kristina

    Can you have almond milk on the paleo diet?

  339. Tim

    I was wondering, with this paleo plan.. How much would I spend avg. a week on groceries for one person? Male, 18

  340. robbin

    I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and just stopped all my meds. My son’s are personal trainers, marathon runners and compete in other areas. So my question is this, I am going to try this with my son and at the fact that I can’t have nut’s of any kind due to allergy, what is the suggestion and has or do you know of anyone who has what i have and how did they do with this?

    • Neely Quinn

      Robbin – I don’t eat nuts, either. Just eat more of everything else :) Yes, I do know of a few people with RA who’ve gone Paleo. Some people are off their meds and others are totally Paleo and still have to be on meds to keep pain in check. You’ll just have to see how it goes and experiment if things aren’t going well. There’s a lot of info out there about modifying Paleo for autoimmune.

  341. Tarak

    Hi Neely,

    Thank you so much for this website. I noticed you said that hemp seeds are okay, but I wondered about the preservative free frozen hemp bread they sell in whole foods.


    • Neely

      Tarak – Not sure – I’d have to see the ingredients…

  342. Anonymous

    what about chia seeds???

    • Neely

      Anonymous – Sure, they’re fine!

  343. Caiti

    I just came accross here and found all of the comments, I came across the paleo diet when I became more active in my crossfit classes, and for those of you just starting stick with it! I have been full paleo for a little over 3 weeks and have seen huge differences, I’m 5’5 and when I started weighed in at 150, 3 weeks later I’m at 143, not only am I losing weight but I feel more satisfied when I eat, my energy has gone up, and I’m in a better mood all of the time. I can honestly say I don’t miss fast food and all of the sugars, and empty carbs I use to eat on a daily basis.

  344. angela

    Hi There

    I have multiple sclerosis & I am starting the Paleo diet tomorrow. I don’t need to lose weight, but I am hoping that the diet will help with all my pains. How long will it take to see results?

    • Neely

      angela – Could be a few days or it could be a month. Just be patient, but I have a feeling it will be sooner than later that you’ll see results if you dive in and do it right! Good luck and please keep us posted!

  345. Erica

    Hello! Thanks you for all of your advice and insight. Would you recommend the So Delicious Almond milk? If not, what other substitutes are there that are paleo-friendly? Thank you!

  346. Julierestless

    Is millet a seed or a grain? I know that quinoa is a seed and I eat it sparingly, but wanted to ask about millet! Thanks!

    • Neely Quinn

      Julierestless – Millet and quinoa are both considered grains (by me) in their functionality and anti-nutrient content. I’d avoid both of them if you have sensitivities to grains.

  347. Chad

    My Grandmother on the farm never drank milk so that her seven kids would have enough (the milk was straight from the cow of course). She ate meat vegetable and nuts. She ended up with a huge hump and bend over. Her doctor told her it was from lack of calcium. How can you not recommend a calcium supplement? What is the harm?

  348. Meg

    What about ketchup? :)

    • Neely Quinn

      Meg – I eat ketchup sometimes, but never Heinz. I get the organic kind, which is made with sugar instead of corn syrup. Ketchup is one of those things that has some sugar in it, but it’s a condiment, so it’s not like you’re going to be chugging it (I hope not at least :). Make concessions where you want to make concessions with this diet and just do the best you can while still enjoying your food.

  349. Jennifer T


    I am very interested in this! I am 5’3″ and 115lbs so I am doing this for health, not weight. I already eat quite well so I think this will fit into my lifestyle perfectly. However, I am allergic to seafood and nuts. I am concerned about my omega 3’s (which is already a concern in my everyday diet). I also must avoid foods high in phytoestrogens (like soy). Is it feasible to go Paleo with these restrictions?

  350. Jackie

    I made a asian hot and sour/lemongrass soup. I tried with coconut aminos and it just doesn’t taste right, too sweet.
    Is there huge problem with putting in a tbsp or less of low sodium soy sauce? Their are about 6 servings of soup.

  351. Jackie

    I don’t eat dairy. The only dairy I sneak into my diet, is a little feta into my salads. That is my vice!!
    I was never a big pasta or rice eater, although once in a while I will have a spoonful of brown rice and or a tad of peanut sauce just for flavoring when eating thai.

    Is fish sauce approved?

  352. Jen

    I have been looking into the paleo diet for the past few days wondering if I could stick to it. It sounds like it works pretty well. I have a question though. I see your site says you can’t have butter but other paleo sites and recipes say its ok to cook with butter. So is butter ok? Thanks for your help!

    • Neely

      Jen – Butter, and dairy in general, is something that a LOT of people have issues with, whether it’s due to the casein or the lactose or both. I just suggest that people start off without any dairy for the first month, and then experiment with it later if they want to see how their body reacts, if at all.

  353. Pepi

    Is agave considered a refined sweetener? What about stevia? Raw honey?

  354. amy

    I am very slowly easing myself into the paleo lifestyle but is quinoa/coucous really that bad for you? I saw this recipe online for paleo pancakes and it has oats in it. Arent the all in the same family?? Also wondering about chickeas and chickpea flour… would cooking with them be a no no??

    • Neely

      amy – Yes, all of those things are no-nos on Paleo. Sorry ;)

  355. LauraLou

    Hello, very excited to begin the paleo diet my problem is I am unable to eat fish nor shell fish; is it still alright to continue taking omega 3&6 vitamins?

    • Neely Quinn

      LauraLou – Yep! As long as they’re high quality, you should continue taking them. (And as long as you’re not allergic to the supplements…)

  356. mary

    If I sign up today will I not receive my information until next Tuesday? I don’t want to wait that long

    • Neely

      mary – Sorry it took me so long to get back to you! No, when you sign up you immediately gain access to the dashboard, which contains all the meal plan info.

  357. Maris Wild

    Hello Neely
    Thank for your very helpful information on the Paleo diet. I am new to this and would like a little help. I notice that you placed quinoa with the grains. I thought that it was a seed and therefore it would be OK. I have been using it as a rice substitute and now I don’t know what I can use instead. Can you please help.
    Tanks a lot

    • Neely

      Maris – You can use cauliflower rice as a substitute. Quinoa is a pseudograin and has all of the same anti-nutrient qualities as other gluten free grains, so it’s definitely not Paleo.

  358. Marie Stettler

    Hi Neely,
    I’ve been on the Paleo diet for over a month and have noticed significant improvement in my energy level and general health. My glucose numbers (diabetic) have also come down at a fairly good rate as well from over 200 down to around 120 over in this same amount of time. So, I am very happy with the diet. However, I just started doing some fresh wheatgrass juice and I thought that it would be OK given that the juice is made from greens/grass and it is not a seed or grain. Then, I saw one of the previous comments where you indicated a pre-packaged super drink was not good because it contained wheatgrass. Could you please help me to understand why these green grasses like wheat grass and barley grass are not good for us.

    • Neely Quinn

      Marie Stettler – Great work on getting your numbers down through diet! That’s awesome :) As for the wheat grass, wheat does come from a grass, and that grass is wheat grass. There’s often gluten in the wheat grass, and a lot of people are just sensitive to grasses in general. There’s no reason to eat wheat grass as opposed to other greens that don’t contain gluten, etc. – it doesn’t have any more nutrients than other greens. It also may not be great for your blood sugar – I’d monitor your intake of juice very carefully, testing your blood sugar diligently to see if you can handle it.

  359. Kira

    Question; A lot of sites ive read up on said butter was good to eat, can you enlighten me on that situation as well as almond milk, is that fine to consume? Thanks

  360. Donna

    Can you have canned tuna?

  361. Heidi K

    I make a little salad it is cucumber, red onions, cherry tomatoes, vinegar and I used to put sugar in it but I tried it with raw honey and it was great. Is this okay to have? Is it Paleo

  362. Margie

    My daughter and I are trying this plan but she is having a much more difficult time with it than me. She doesn’t like eggs and won’t eat leftover ‘dinner’ type meals for breakfast, doesn’t like many veggies. The only veggies she will eat are green beans and zucchini, especially since we can’t have corn or any grains and beans. She especially needs something quick for breakfast before heading to her classes. Suggestions for breakfast and lunch especially (that she can take to school…won’t take any seafood because it smells so always has chicken salad or a salad, turkey or chicken patty). She is ready to quit already because she is bored with eating the same things over and over again

  363. Anonymous

    I know coconut milk is on the list. Is unsweetened almond milk ok to use?


    • Karen

      Yes you can use unsweetened almond milk. It is not as creamy as coconut milk if you are substituting though. Great question Elaine!

  364. Jo

    What are your thoughts on water kefir? I’m concerned about the sugar content, even if the grains supposedly consume most of the sugar. It still makes me feel aittle uneasy that I’m consuming more sugar than I usually would.

    • Aimee McNew

      Hi Jo,

      Water kefir can be a great part of the Paleo diet, however, if you’re aiming for a very low-carb or no-sugar diet, you may want to skip it or limit its use in your diet. You can get probiotics from food in sauerkraut, and you can also take a broad spectrum probiotic capsule or powder. Some people tolerate water kefir and kombucha well, and others don’t, so I usually advise listening to how your body tolerates them. At the same time, even if you tolerate water kefir well but feel concerned about the potential sugar content (even though it is true that the probiotic bacteria consume the sugar to “grow” as part of the fermentation process), it is best to avoid it or only consume infrequently.

      Hope that helps!

      Aimee McNew, MNT, Certified Nutritionist

  365. Justin

    I was 280 lbs in the beginning of February I switched my diet to paleo with an occasional cheat meal it’s now may 3rd and I’m down to 225 and feel great my energy has been restored and some health issues have gone away

    • Karen

      Way to Go Justin! We love to hear such great stories of how Paleo can change your life.

  366. Matt

    The only diets proven to aid in LONG TERM weight loss include the Mediterranean and DASH diet plans. The Paleo diet is not one of them. There are many peer-reviewed studies which lend strength to this. If anyone has ANY peer-reviewed literature touting the benefits of the paleo diet on long-term weight loss, I’m dying to see it.

  367. Hiyam Ghanem

    I’m new to paleo diet, is Atkins breadmix paleo?
    Thank you

  368. Bex

    Does “no yoghurt” include coconut yoghurt??

    • Karen

      You just want to avoid dairy. There are yogurts that are non-dairy and often they are made with coconut milk or almond milk.

  369. carol

    im new to Paleo eating . I’m doing ok and decide to go this way of eating because Dr wants me to lose 40 lbs. I an type 2 diabetic and have high cholesterol im not eating refine sugar now and have been staying away from grains and legumes , im eating fish and chicken as main meats and nuts and seeds . but I miss bread and don’t have time to make it .what ingredients should I look for in a gluten free bread that I can stick with paleo diet?

    • Karen

      Hi Carol,

      We quick enjoy Foxhill Kitchens and you can simply order online.

  370. Lynna Johns

    So I make the homemade paleo wraps and was wondering should there be a limit on how many in a day is ok when trying to follow paleo, as well as lose weight. They are very yummy but I am hoping for a guideline please.

    • Aimee McNew

      Hi Lynna,

      Paleo is so successful because of the wide variety of nutrients that the diet promotes. It would be best to limit Paleo baked goods to 1 a day, and to eat more unlimited amounts of vegetables, fruits, and proteins, and lesser amounts of nuts, seeds, sweets, and baked items.

      I hope that helps!

      Best wishes on your Paleo journey,

      Aimee McNew, MNT, Certified Nutritionist

  371. Dana

    Can you have plantain chips in particular the ones you can buy instead of make

    • Karen

      Hi Dana,

      Plantain chips are fine, however you really need to be careful when you read the ingredient list on packaged chips as many contain other non-paleo ingredients.

  372. paulh

    Hello. started diet, already feeling more energy, even thinking a little clearly. I was wondering about honey. I have several bee farms locally, not only do they sell honey, but also, honey comb and pollen..??

    • Karen

      Paulh, raw honey is Paleo is small amounts. It is still a form of sugar.

  373. Mel

    Crap! I’ve been eating gluten free seeded bread :( time to make a paleo loaf!

    Great information – I’m really struggling giving up cheese. I love my cheese platters I’m not sure how to overcome that when entertaining?

  374. Susanne H

    I am 46 years old and at 42, I was healthy enough to conceive my beautiful, healthy daughter. However, five days after her birth, I suffered post-pardum cardio myopathy a/k/a heart failure. Three years later, I am working out two-three times per week but my heart is only operating at 33%. My doctor insists I change my eating lifestyle to avoid developing any other heart issues (which I do not currently have – no disease, no blockage, no leaks, it just doesnt work) and to drop the weight I have gained as a result of a low impact workout schedule. I have been making the recipes on the plan and following all of the rules for about a week now. My concern is I am supposed to limit my salt and water intake. I have not and I have included the sea salt. What are your thoughts? Should I eliminate the salt or is this something that should not be a problem as I am not eating foods that would cause me to retain water?

    • Sally Barden Johnson

      Hi Suzanne,

      I’m so happy to hear about your beautiful, healthy daughter and that you’re enjoying the recipes on the Plan! Since processed foods contribute most of the added salt to our diets and often lead to inflammation that can result in even more water retention, following a Paleo diet free of processed food can help alleviate this problem. I don’t know if you’ll need to continue to restrict salt as you progress on the diet, however here’s a post that details the nutrient composition of a typical day of Paleo Plan meals, As you can see, the day provides about 2700mg sodium. If this is too much for your current sodium restriction, then yes, I would leave out the added salt and take whatever other dietary precautions you need to in order to comply with your doctors’ recommendations.

      Please feel free to email me any additional questions,


  375. Sara

    Hi. Going Paleo. Almost 60. Need to lose about 100 (or more) pounds. Had cancer treatment. Since the treatment, dealing with gout, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and food allergies (all due to chemo & radiation).

    Cannot eat a lot of the foods on this program (nuts; eggs; all meats except shrimp, some fish, turkey, chicken; almost all the cruciferous vegetables; melons; coconut)
    Do not like many fruits (except granny smith apples, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries), although I will eat strawberries, bananas, oranges, and grapefruits when my body craves them, which isn’t often.
    My body does not seem to process any grains or seeds other than pumpkin, hemp, sesame, and sunflower – and those in moderation.

    I do, occasionally, utilize protein powders (100% pea OR 100% sprouted pumpkin seed), typically mixed with hemp milk. However, I do not care for the taste, and I am not a chugger, so I do not typically drink these.

    I do not typically want to put more than 5 or 10 minutes into preparation and cooking.

    SO, my questions are:
    (1) What ratio of meats to vegetables is best for weight loss, given the above parameters/info?
    (2) How do I keep cravings (sugars, “heavier” foods – like starches & breads, etc.) down?
    (3) How do I keep myself from being hungry since there is so little variety in my diet?

    Thank you.

    • Sally Barden Johnson

      Hi Sara,

      I sent you an email response.


  376. Joanna

    Hi, I have question about black pepper? it’s a grain? how black pepper goes in Paleo diet?
    Thank You

    • Aimee McNew

      Hi Joanna,

      Black pepper is actually classed as a fruit, and therefore, it is acceptable for use on any Paleo or autoimmune Paleo diet. Hope that helps!

      Aimee McNew, MNT, Certified Nutritionist

  377. Sue

    Thank you for the recipes. My doctor had me try this but just said meat and veggies. I have had trouble with some greens and broccolli and ended up with some stomach issues. Then went to a healthy type diet with whole grains in it. Then she said I should try this one more time. So I researched what kind of food I could eat on a no dairy, no grain diet. Then I saw that was a hunter/gatherer type and that led me to Paleo and this page. I read what the diet was and was unsure but went looking for recipes I could use. I have fibromyalgia, an as yet to be determined auto immune disease, arthritis and high blood pressure, in my 60’s. Sick of feeling rotten. The recipes looked good so I picked a few of each category and went and got the ingredients. I kid you not…one day and I was running around like an energizer bunny. I’d already been off the dairy a few weeks but it seems it was the absence of grains that changed everything. And the meals tasted awesome and I got fuller than I ever got the way I was eating before. Hopefully I lose some weight too, but I’m not considering this a diet. Diets mean sacrifice and I thought I would miss my dairy and breads…there’s nothing to miss! I just made the Carrot banana muffins and they were so rich, moist and sweet…I can’t believe it’s not a cheat lol I’m allowed 2 for breakfast but I’m thinking I’ll only be able to eat one. Thanks for this site and especially the recipes..I would not have really tried this without them and now it’s going to be my lifestyle :)

    • Karen

      Sue, thank you for sharing. We love to hear how Paleo can change lives for the better.

  378. Donna

    I can’t eat nuts. What do you suggest in place of the nuts?

  379. Molly

    What about babies – either breastmilk or formula control calcium. You can’t not feed them milk.

    • Aimee McNew


      Babies certainly need a milk source for the first few years of their life. If breastmilk is not available, there are other viable options like whole, organic cow’s or goat’s milk, or in cases of infant allergy to milk protein or lactose, there are some other more hypoallergenic formulas available (like the Weston A Price recipe for liver-based formula).

      I hope that helps!

  380. Diane

    what is the rule on corn on the cob

    • Aimee McNew

      Hi Diane,

      Corn is a grain, so is not a Paleo food item. You can easily swap corn out in favor of roasted or grilled vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, or sweet potatoes.

  381. Tanya Richards

    What time do you suggest to have your last meal? I am holding a lot of water in my cells , so I am trying things on my own. I am holding about 27lbs of water in my cells and it is so hard to get off. So I am trying to change everything to see if it will let my body release the water. I am bloated all the time and have no energy. I work out 5 some times 6 days a week. I should feel good but I don’t. So I am going to try the paleo diet. for my body type this is the diet for me. So lets see if this helps me lose weight. So, I don’t know what you guys suggest eating your last meal.


  382. Amie

    Trying paleo diet due to having inflamed thyroid.. Have swalling in neck cutting out glutin now for 9 months also diary and sugar i feel bit beter still struggling away .. It’s a long process…

    • Aimee McNew

      Hi Amie,

      Yes, it can feel like a long process, but for thyroid health, it’s definitely worth it to avoid gluten, dairy, and sugar along with corn, soy, and any kinds of processed foods. Best wishes!

  383. Karen

    I was wondering if almond milk and almond chocolate milk are acceptable? Tia

    • Aimee McNew


      Almond milk and chocolate almond milk can be acceptable, but many brands available in stores contain some preservatives that are inflammatory and not very paleo friendly. You’ll need to read labels closely! Definitely avoid carrageenan, as that’s a common inflammatory preservative that tends to show up in almond and coconut milks.

  384. Priya

    Hi, I really wanna try paleo diet to get rid of these flabs around my waist but I’m vegetarian, I don’t eat any meat, no seafood no fish. Any suggestions for me

  385. Farren

    Hi I am a high school senior and I want to lose 20-35pounds. I work out when I can. I was wondering if you had any good meal plans or reciepes for weight loss.

  386. Michelle

    Hi. I was diagnosed with MS earlier this year. I know Dr. Wall has a modified version of this diet and in fact I just read that the MS society donated a million dollars to her to run a study on how this diet effects MS patients. I did the paleo diet several years ago before I was diagnosed and lost weight and felt great, so I thought I would do it again. I am wanting to feel healthy again and ease some of the MS symptoms I feel on a day-to-day basis. In any case, can I have balsamic vinegar on this diet?

    • Aimee McNew

      Hi Michelle,

      I’m sorry to hear of your MS diagnosis. Dr. Wahls’ research has been amazing and is going to change the way that anyone with MS or other autoimmune disorders view treatment plans, for sure!

      Balsamic vinegar is Paleo, but make sure you read the label, as some brands do sneak in other ingredients. You’ll want something that just says balsamic vinegar and is preferably organic.

      Best wishes on your Paleo journey!

  387. Marguerite

    I decided to “go Paleo” about a year ago I’m in need of done surgery and had ballooned up to 239 pounds I’m 5’2. In Less than a year I am now at 175. I’m Stuck at this weight. I like to eat and I’m sedentary because of my disability with my back. I have basically taken myself off any white foods with the exception of chicken and fish. Nuts And cheese are my biggest issue now. Eating Anything with potatoes or rice or anything with flour leaves me feeling like I’m going to explode I bloat so badly. I need to take off and keep off ten more pounds to have a medically necessary spine surgery PLEASE help what more can I do to get it off and still allow me to graze during times of boredom. Paleo Has changed my life but I’m confused about whole 30 allowing potatoes and rice products, which I can’t have without negative results. I’ve Been checked I don’t have allergy to them just a sensitivity.

    • Aimee McNew


      I’m sorry to hear of the frustration you’re dealing with! While this article won’t be 100% applicable to you, since it sounds like you’re unable to exercise, there may be some tips in it to help you troubleshoot and get headed in the right direction:

      Wishing you all the best on your journey!

  388. terri

    is there a list for condiments? like balsamic vinager??

  389. Chloe

    Can I have a little of milk with my decafe coffee?

  390. Marge

    I shed weight like crazy on this and ate like a horse. My A1C is 5.6 consistently. I weigh 135 and am 5’4″. I used to be pre diabetic. I have a disability so I can’t work out too much but lost tons of weigh despite this

  391. Anonymous

    Can you eat seeds as a snack ?

    • Aimee McNew

      Yes, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are great Paleo snack options!

  392. Sophia

    How about spices like garlic, onion, ginger, pepper and the powder spices like turmeric, cinnamon, curry… are these spices allowed in Paleo Diet???

    • Aimee McNew

      All of those spices and foods that you mentioned are very Paleo!

  393. Sophia

    Since Paleo diet is high in meat and egg, will this diet be safe to old people aged 50 and above. Will it not increase their cholesterol level and their blood pressure??? or Paleo diet is only for young people aged 30 below…?

    • Aimee McNew


      The Paleo Diet can be appropriate for any age, and there is some recent research on cholesterol showing its not the evil that was always taught:

      However, if you have any questions or concerns about your specific health, we always recommend consulting a doctor or nutritionist who can look at your own personal case history.

      Best wishes!

  394. Sophia

    I am drinking water with apple cider vinegar every morning when i wake up one hour before i took my breakfast… Does apple cider vinegar allowed in Paleo diet?

    • Aimee McNew

      Hi Sophia,

      Yes, apple cider vinegar is Paleo friendly!

  395. Shelli

    Hi Sara,
    I am 57 and have had ebv/cfs for about 30 years. I used to have flare ups about 2-3 times a year that made me bed ridden for a few days, but as of a year and a half ago, I have a flare up every four weeks. I have went gluten/refined sugar free, but it’s not enough. I am going to get good allergy testing done. I am strongly considering starting the paleo diet to see if I have less pain and fewer episodes. Have you heard from people who have specially had success with cfs?

  396. MSol

    Hi Neely,
    Will or can A Paleo lifestyle help or even reverse PCOS?

    • Aimee McNew

      Hi MSol,

      Paleo can be beneficial for PCOS for some people because it promotes balanced blood sugar due to the high intake of vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats. I can’t tell you whether it can reverse it or not, but Paleo is a very fertility-friendly diet, and since PCOS is tied to a woman’s reproductive hormones, it is certainly logical to think that Paleo could be helpful with PCOS. We will have a blog post on this topic coming soon, so stay tuned.

  397. Jane

    Is grapeseed oil okay to use?

    • Aimee McNew

      Some Paleo people say it is okay, but I tend to encourage people to opt for better options: avocado oil or olive oil, in many cases. Hope that helps!

  398. Sony

    I would like to know whatis the flour we can use in paleo diet? where can we get it? can we eat lentils ?
    can we get some recipes? have these flour been effective for ASD/autism?

  399. Gloria

    I really want to start this diet, but I have two major concerns. My first is I don’t think I can entirely give up grains. Wheat is easy but, I love rice and eat it at almost every meal.😟 Is there any way I could eat reduced amounts of rice and still be following the paleo diet? My second concern is that I am a very active person. I dance, everyday from 3 to 9, I go to the gym often, I run etc. Somehow this diet does not seem like it will give me enough protein to be as active as I am.😕 Do you know what would be a good protein source for me to stay as active as I am?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Aimee McNew


      It is possible even for people who eat a lot of grain to go Paleo. I used to eat lots of rice, too, but have swapped it for cauliflower rice, roasted vegetables, and baked sweet potatoes. Also, zucchini noodles or “zoodles” are also a good pasta/rice replacement.

      Many elite athletes and active people follow a Paleo diet. You just may need to eat more starchy vegetables, like sweet potatoes, to have the energy that you need. There are lots of great Paleo protein sources from meats, but you can also check out this list of Paleo protein powders:

  400. yvonne girela

    Going to try

  401. Vivi

    Hello! I am trying to eat healthier. I am 15 years old, I am not overweight (5ft 5in and around 120 lbs, and I am not looking for a diet. I just feel very unhealthy! I work out a lot and play lots of sports, but I feel like I am always eating junk food, and I don’t like that. Do you think that being Paleo is right for me? I just feel like it might be a little bit extreme for me. If not, do you have any recommendations for what I should do? (sidenote: I am lactose intolerant.)

  402. natalie

    I wish I could carry on being Paleo and follow this but sadly cannot right now. I have had to add rice back in as my diet is so limited. I had been paleo 90% of the time but suddenly developed IBS, then GERD and now found multiple gallstones (likely the cause of all my issues and hereditary in the women in our family) I am working with a naturopath for months but getting worse and right now surviving food wise on chicken, rice and bone broth with a small amount of cooked veggies. Nuts, coconut, too much veg, especially raw, most starches, most fruit, fats and some meats are causing IBS of GERD symptoms so right now stable. Had to cut the coconut yogurt after return of GERD and now using goats milk yogurt and see OK on that. ( I can tolerate 3-4 almonds for only a few days at a time) Gone has my huge healthy salads and raw veggies, healthy fats and seeds and variety :(

  403. Jen

    Hi I began developing symptoms about six month ago that I believe are related to GERD and silent reflux. It’s been worse the past couple of months. I have been to my GP and about five specialists (ENT pulmonary and GI). No help. No diet plans just stop drinking coffee give up spicy foods tomatoes and lemons. That hasn’t helped. I see many different theories on what diets or drugs or supplements help and don’t help. I wondered if you heard or know if paleo has helped some with silent reflux symptoms? Also are regular potatoes paleo or only sweet? Thanks.

    • Sally Barden Johnson

      Hi Jen,

      There’s too little here for me to fully understand your condition but here’s an article that may help,
      It describes a type of GERD that not many people have heard of called NERD or non-erosive reflux disease. People with NERD have GERD-like symptoms but no erosion. Meds don’t help but certain lifestyle changes can.

      I had terrible NERD that I resolved with the Paleo diet. Getting off foods that were creating irritation such as grains (non the typical food your doctor will tell you to avoid for symptoms) helped me almost immediately. But it wasn’t a cure-all. I still experience symptoms when I’m very stressed. Under stress, foods like coffee and dark chocolate become triggers for me.

      I hope the article and knowing my experience helps. If you’d like to talk further, feel free to email me directly,


  404. Jude

    Dad did paleo for years but he did occasionally drink milk. He went from 312 – 185 and maintained it until he died about 12 years later from leukemia.

    When he was first diagnosed with it he spent about 4 months waiting to die ballooning up to over 300lbs he was always on the heavy side 285 or so but once he realized he wasn’t going to die he spent the next 13 years being the healthiest man he could be, enjoying life.

    Had leukemia but he want from a fat man who smoked and could barely walk half a mile to a guy who put in 5 miles a day, did a couple marathons and could bench over 300lbs at 50 years old.

    Didn’t run his first 7 minute mile until he was 46 he showed me how important quality of life is and now I have to get mine back in order.

    Since he died a couple years ago I have gained 100lbs and have failed him for 2 years but no more.

    As for the guy above about how much weight you can lose in a week. I have lost 25lbs in one week and nothing in the next but when I was actively pursuing health with my dad I averaged around 7lbs a week for 14 weeks.

    • Aimee McNew


      I am sorry for your father’s loss, and for how you’ve struggled! It is natural when losing a loved one to go through a difficult time, so you most certainly didn’t fail him for the last two years. But it is wonderful to honor his memory by working on your own health, and I truly wish you the best in this journey. Your comment was inspiring, and I hope you carry that strength and inspiration with you daily! Thanks for sharing your dad’s story with us. Best wishes!

  405. ellen

    I am ready, I have just had a toe amputated and hardware removed from damage from RA, 5 surgeries in last 5 years all from severe RA. I am diving in to the Paleo Lifestyle, my concern is I have chronic nausea and really no appetite until the middles of the night. Have you had others who suffer from extreme nausea and RA, please direct me to resources I am so excited.

    • Kinsey Jackson

      Hi Ellen,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your battle with RA and the complications. However, it’s GREAT news to hear that you found Paleo and are excited to get started! I also have RA and have worked with many others with RA and various autoimmune diseases…and I have yet to meet a person whose symptoms did not improve following the diet! It may take several weeks eating Paleo (up to 6 weeks) to heal your leaky gut, ‘reset’ your immune system and slow down the production of inflammation. Hang in there and keep the faith!

      Generally, RA and nausea are not directly connected, although if you are taking medications, these may be playing a role in your nausea. The fact that you are hungry only at night, makes me suspect that your hormones may need some attention. I would definitely recommend letting your doctor(s) know about the diet change and having them assess your thyroid function (and adrenal function) as well. Regarding your diet/nausea…I recommend starting with small amounts of food, more frequently throughout the day. Stick to blander foods, that are cooked (not raw), and make sure that you take your time eating and chew your food very thoroughly. You may even opt to start with just soups and blended foods. Once your digestive system has had time to heal, you will hopefully experience a reduction in nausea that will make it easier to diversify the types of Paleo food you are eating.

      I wish you the absolute best of good luck and good health on your journey Ellen! Please keep us posted on how you are doing!

      In good health,
      Kinsey Jackson, MS, CNS®

  406. andrea b

    What can I use as substitutions for the nut products like the almond flour, coconut oil, etc? Thanks

    • Sally Barden Johnson

      Hi Andrea,

      As a substitute for nut flours, cassava flour is very popular at the moment, But you can try any type of vegetable flour and see what works best with your recipes. Plantain flour, sweet potato flour and other vegetable flours are available on Amazon and other online sources. For cooking oils, try avocado oil, or olive oil. There’s always palm oil if you tolerate that.


  407. Carmen

    I have over 50 food allergies and sensitivities according to my IgG and IgE tests. I’m also very picky but many of the foods I don’t like turned out to be allergens. Can you tailor a plan for me that cuts out these foods? Eggs and seafood are a no go for me. I don’t want to pay for a meal plan that I’ll have to cut out 50% of the recipes from due to them being things I won’t eat.

    • Aimee McNew

      Hi Carmen,

      Once you subscribe to our meal plan, you have the option to fully customize. You can delete recipes from your weekly plan that don’t work for your needs, and add recipes that do. And the shopping list automatically updates based on any changes that you make. We offer a 14-day free trial, too, so you can experiment with it a bit to see if it works for you.

  408. Mike

    I started full on Paleo this past Monday (April 10, 2017) and was 266.7 pounds, as of this morning, April 12, I’m 258.1 … 8.7 lbs in two days …. Now, I’m sure most of that’s water but I’m super stoked so far.

    • Aimee McNew


      That’s awesome! It’s true that weight loss in the first 2-4 weeks can be most rapid, and after that it will taper down, but still, that is great that you’re off to such a wonderful start! Keep us posted!

  409. Alissa Lim

    I was wondering what kind of noodles would work for a paleo diet? I love eating ramen and noodles, but if I start a paleo diet, can I substitute the noodles for a better product? Thanks!

    • Aimee McNew

      Hi Alissa,

      You can use zucchini noodles, konjac noodles, or kelp noodles! I have used all with great success!

  410. Wandab

    Is the Paleo y Diet good for people with celiac desease. I suggested trying it to s friend of mine and she went off on me and told me I didn’t know what I was talking about. She said it was one of the worst things s person with celiac disease could do. She was so hostile about it that we ended our friendship. I just want to know if I was right in suggesting it. Thanks!

    • Aimee McNew

      Hi Wanda,

      The Paleo Diet is completely gluten-free, and is actually entirely grain-free, making it an excellent diet for someone who has celiac disease. I personally have celiac disease, and I have been eating Paleo for more than a decade, and am healthier than I have ever been. I am sorry for the conflict with your friend, but Paleo and celiac definitely go well together.

  411. Viktorija

    Hi, I was wondering if possibly adding a little buckwheat here and there would be on starting out on mostly paleo. The reason I ask is because I am in my first trimester and am very anti meat and cooked veggies and I tried the whole thirty and ended up losing 5 pounds in week because I lived on fruits and carrots. I know that sweet potatoes are okay somewhat but I don’t like how sweet they are. Right now, I want to make a change towards Paleo but the meat aversion is making it hard, I can only eat 12 ounces of fish a week, and can handle some meat like Salome and lunch meat ( I know not really allowed) :) but everything else has to be mixed with carbs and in small itty bitty amounts. Advice?


    I really am trying to do this and “Don’t look Back”, my new motto after overindulging the last 6 months and regaining the 23lbs that I had lost. I only eat eggs and seafood and it has been a struggle these last 3 weeks. I eat nuts like it’s no one business, and they usually suffice as a meal. However, I need to see some progress and don’t know how I can move on to some real weightloss without being hungry. A few days a week, I’ll scramble two eggs with broccoli, sweet peppers, red onions, and mushroom in olive oil and have a fruit. The other days when I am up I really don’t know what to prepare to be satisfied and not to overeat nuts. If I have my pickled cabbage and carrots, this would satisfy my hunger for many hours.
    Is it possible for me to have some paleo bread with almond butter(very filling) as a meal?
    I really want this way of eating to work for me, however, I would like to lose at least 15 of the pounds.

    • Sally Barden Johnson

      Hi Danielle,

      Congrats on taking charge of your health with Paleo! You definitely don’t want to eat too many nuts. Making an occasional meal of them is fine but nutritionally, they’re best as a snack, If you’re hungry, make sure you’re eating enough protein at each meal (at least 3 ounces) to feel satisfied. You can try adding starchy carbohydrates to your meals such as potato, sweet potato, plantains and winter squash and/or more healthy fats such as avocado. Try adding a bit more olive oil or coconut oil to whatever you’re eating. Make sure you meals are well rounded and your portions are satisfying. Make sure you’re drinking enough water too.

      Consider trying our Meal Plan for free for two weeks. It may help you develop a better sense of how to plan meals for yourself that satisfy and enable you to reach your goals!


  413. Joe

    Does Matcha tea fall into the caffeinated tea category? I’ve always read that Match has phenomenal health benefits.


  414. Lainey

    Is agave syrup ok? Also, what about tabasco? Thanks. in advance

    • Aimee McNew

      Tabasco has sugar in it, so something like Frank’s Red Hot would be more Paleo friendly. Also, agave is not really Paleo-friendly since it is very high in fructose. Better Paleo sweeteners include maple syrup, date sugar, coconut sugar, and coconut nectar, along with raw honey.

  415. Lindsay Correa

    I just wanted to let you know I found this magazine about the paleo diet and I have been trying it. This is day number three and I was at 166 lbs I weighed myself and I am now at 163. This is a great plan I have an omelet ever morning now. I was wondering if sweet potatoes are part of the paleo diet?

  416. Cindy

    What about Stevia or honey as a sweetener?

    • Aimee McNew

      Both Stevia and honey are Paleo sweeteners, but make sure to read the label on stevia and that it’s just pure, with no added ingredients. Some companies add in artificial sweeteners along with stevia, which would not be Paleo-friendly.

  417. Lynn Koz

    I have very low bone density and eat more greens and calcium rich foods than one who is 110 lbs can handle and still the doc says it’s not enough and on Paleo it has gotten worse…. you still would never suggest a calcium supplement??? I eat a lot of salmon too and oranges, broccoli, almond milk, etc

    • Aimee McNew

      Hi Lynn,

      If you’re working with a medical professional who knows your specific case, certainly calcium supplements have their place! If you get a recommendation from your practitioner, I would always choose to follow that over more generic website recommendations.

  418. Carrie Longo

    Hello, I’ve overcome my first hurdle of convincing my husband and teenage son that we, as a family, would benefit from the paleo lifestyle. My question now is how? Haha I know that may sound crazy but I will be dealing with my husband who can be a picky eater and my son who just started cross country and will need more carb intake (so I’ve been told). I’m worried whether or not I’ll be able to modify the meal plan to accommodate the entire family. Thanks in advance for any pointers.

  419. Carrie Longo

    Aimee, thanks so much! Reading articles & info now. :)

  420. Liz

    My sister, my son and I are all overweight and means my son are very close to becoming pre-diabetes. I am so scared and what a change in my lifestyle with our food addition. Please let me know where I can be on track with this Paleo way of eating and have a question for you. My son enjoys rice from time to time, would it be okay to have it once in a while? Also, I don’t see butter on the list of fats but they says it’s okay on a lot of videos I watched. Thanks

    • Sally Barden Johnson

      Hi Liz

      Good for you! You’re on the right track simply by wanting to make changes, doing the research and reaching out for help. With each small step forward, you’ll become more familiar with the Paleo diet and lifestyle and the transition will become less scary.

      Many people on the Paleo diet eat rice once in a while because it’s generally well tolerated, Grass-fed butter and ghee have health benefits and are also well tolerated by most people,

      With regards to taking your family Paleo, there are various ways to do it so that it sticks. I wrote this article about my own experience with my family,

      You can do this Liz! We have tons of free information on our website and we run guided Facebook challenges throughout the year that are designed to be very supportive. Follow us in Facebook for information. You can also try our Meal Plan for free for two weeks, which might help,


  421. Olivia

    I’m thinking of trying the paleo plan, however, I went vegetarian several months ago. I eat some fish (only if I can ensure freshness and quality). Is tofu an okay protein substitute? What are your suggestions for vegetarians on this plan? Additionally, I am a college student and don’t want to spend an excessive amount of money on groceries. Do you have any tips for staying budget friendly for those with little cooking experience on the paleo plan? Thanks!

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