Paleo Foods to Avoid

Beans and cereals are healthy, right? Well, not if you are following the Paleo diet. This dietary regimen is based on the diet of ancient, nomadic men of the Paleolithic Era. The diet of the Paleolithic people, also called Stone Age men or cavemen, consists mainly of food hunted and gathered in the wild. This makes the diet very selective indeed, and it can be tricky to stick to it. To make your caveman diet journey simpler, here is a list of Paleo foods to avoid.

According to the caveman diet, foods prepared and produced outside the Paleolithic Era are not well-adapted to the human body, causing diseases of civilization or lifestyle diseases. This means that farm produce are not allowed in the caveman diet. More specifically, the foods to avoid in a caveman diet plan are:

1. Legumes – All kinds of beans such as black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, mung beans, string beans and lima beans have to be eliminated. Black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, snow peas, sugar snap peas, peanuts, soybeans and soybean products are also excluded.

2. Dairy products – All kinds of dairy foods like butter, cheese, cream, yogurt, ice cream, low-fat milk, skim milk, whole milk, dairy creamer, and all processed foods that contain dairy must be avoided.

3. Cereals or grains – All forms of cereal grains such as barley, corn, millet, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, wheat, wild rice, and all foods made of cereal products are to be avoided.

4. Grain-like seeds – Amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa are excluded in Paleolithic diet recipes.

7. Factory farmed meats – Certain parts of conventionally raised chicken and turkey (skin, legs, wings and thighs), fatty beef roasts and ribs, fatty pork chops, ribs and roasts, lamb chops, leg and roasts, pork sausage, and T-bone steak are to be avoided in the Paleo diet plan. The fats on animals who were fed pesticide-laden grains aren’t favorable. Opt for grass-fed, pasture-raised animal products.

8. Soft drinks and fruit juices – All types of sugary soft drinks and all types of fruit juices canned, bottled and even freshly squeezed fruit juices (lack the fiber) are not allowed.

9. Sweets – Sugar is excluded. Raw honey and coconut sap are acceptable sometimes.

The Paleolithic diet is based on food choices of more than 2 million years ago, when man became highly evolved species. The Paleolithic people are believed to have lived very long lives. They were lean and active, and didn’t suffer from lifestyle diseases. Man’s evolution was a result of natural process of selection, and man’s food choices substantially contributed to that phenomenon. Thus, even during the time of computers and the Internet, many are practicing a Paleo diet for a longer, healthier life.


  1. Hi,

    I would like to know if cassava(tapioca) flour or starch and arrowroot flour or starch is allowed?

    Thank you for answering.

    Since I have started the paleo diet, I have no more hypoglycemia and palpitation, fog mind, bruises, hair lost, not deaf anymore, and I lost 20 pounds since I started…I had about 25 other symptoms, that are presently all gone. ( sorry for my English writing… I am french speaking)


    1. Hi Martine – Congrats on your success with the diet! And yes, cassava and arrowroot flour are allowed. Tapioca flour is one of my favorite things when I want to whip up a batch of crepes. I always use it in baked goods, too, because I love the consistency.

  2. I am a 69 yr.young senior. I have hypo-thyroid and Chrohns disease.
    Ten months ago, I bought in to the Hypo-thyroid diet and lifestyle plan, by Tom Briemeyer. I followed it perfect for 10 months. In the beginning, I weighed 125lbs. at 5’4′. I now weigh 159 lbs.because of the added carbs. The plan,as a whole, has helped me in many ways. But, it did not heal my thyroid and I have all this fat on my stomach.

    For years I had lived with the Adkins diet plan, but did add some fiber to help the chrohns. I eat gluten free and organic as much as possible.
    Would this Paleo diet work for me? I just read about it this morning.
    Thank You,
    Ola Lachney

    1. Ola Lachney – It’s definitely worth a shot! So many people before you have had tremendous success with thyroid and crohn’s on Paleo!

  3. I would like to add that I have been using Coconut products in every form I can find.
    I was losing hair very extreme and was so fatigued all the time. My doctors couldn’t determine the source of my problems due the extreme stress all my life and the most stressful events this past year.
    I use the coconut oil to cook and to put on my body. I use the coconut sugars and Manna. I eat Coconut Maccaroons as a fiber for my colon.And I love the coconut milk in my tea.
    I could omit dairy products, but do not want to give up the coconut.

  4. The Paleolithic people lived very long lives? Really? How long? They were lean & active? How do we know that? They didn’t gorge themselves on Saber Tooth Tigers? Maybe they drank blood from animals and ate raw meat and died a painful early death. Maybe they ate poison plants and died a painful early death. Did they drink much water? Based on where these people were located they could have starved to death from lack of food.
    Pablo Picasso died at 91 years old. When he was 84 years old he had a prostate operation. His top 5 favorite foods were olives & bread, paela, chorizo, grilled fish and sheep cheese. His last words were “drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can’t drink anymore.”
    I say, be healthy the best way that you can with all the knowledge you can acquire and most of all enjoy life.

  5. Perhaps Pablo had a gut of steel. :)
    I doubt that Paleolithic people lived long lives but I prefer quality over quantity.
    I’d rather have a shorter life then live long, sick and diseased.
    So I agree with you be healthy the best way you can, for me that is Paleo and I do enjoy it.

  6. My guess is that Picasso did not live his life eating factory farmed meats, pesticide laden gmo produce, and processed foods either. Many people alive nowadays have never known anything else, and that is probably the main factor in many chronic health issues if nothing else. It’s astounding how much can actually be trying to get those things out of your diet, but I think the paleo provides a pretty good framework to do it in.

  7. Loving all of the information, making things so much easier becoming Paleo!
    I did have a query in regards to Buckwheat, why is it listed on the not to eat list, even though it is not a grain, but actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel, it has been touted as a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. It has such amazing health benefits, it seems such a shame to not be able to eat it.

    1. Hi Lilian,

      Yes, as a starch extracted from tropical palm stems, sago is Paleo. It has a high carbohydrate content (86gm per 100gm serving) and is similar in form and function to tapioca. You can enjoy sago on a Paleo diet but by mindful of the high carbohydrate content in regards of your health status and goals.


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