Paleo Diet Rules (2024)

Paleo Diet Rules

The Paleo diet, called the Paleolithic or caveman diet, has become very popular in health. But what are the paleo diet rules? To help you decide if going paleo is right for you, this guide details the ideas behind this way of eating, what you should and shouldn’t do, and all your questions.

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet is based on the idea that we should eat like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did in the Paleolithic period. People who believe this think that our bodies were genetically designed to eat the foods that are available now and that modern processed foods cause a lot of health problems.

The basic rules of Paleo eating

Paleo Diet Rules
#Paleo Diet Rules

Paleo is all about whole, unprocessed foods that our ancestors could hunt, gather, fish, or graze. In other words, this means a diet high in

  • Meat: Grass-fed beef, lamb, poultry, wild game
  • Seafood: Fatty fish rich in omega-3s like salmon, tuna, sardines
  • Eggs: Pastured, cage-free eggs
  • Vegetables: All types, with an emphasis on leafy greens and low-starch options
  • Fruits: In moderation, focusing on berries and lower-sugar fruits
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, cashews, chia seeds, flaxseeds
  • Healthy Fats: Olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil

Foods to Avoid on Paleo

Paleo Diet Rules
#Paleo Diet Rules

The paleo diet doesn’t allow things that are thought to have been around after the Paleolithic period, such as:

  • Grains: Wheat, oats, barley, corn, rice, quinoa
  • Legumes: Beans, lentils, peas, peanuts
  • Dairy Products: Milk, cheese, yogurt, butter
  • Refined Sugars: Soda, candy, pastries, processed foods
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, sucralose
  • Processed Foods: Packaged snacks, pre-made meals, anything with a long ingredient list
  • Certain Vegetables: White potatoes, corn, peas (due to higher starch content)
  • Alcohol: Some paleo variations restrict alcohol intake

Benefits of the Paleo Diet

Potential benefits of following a paleo diet include:

  • Weight Loss: The Paleo diet’s focus on protein and carbs can help you feel full and lose weight.
  • Improved Blood Sugar Control: Eliminating refined sugars and grains may help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Reduced Inflammation: Paleo may help lower chronic inflammation, which leads to many health problems.
  • Increased Energy Levels: Focusing on whole foods can provide sustained energy throughout the day.
  • Improved Gut Health: Fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds all have fiber that can help keep your gut healthy.

Is Paleo right for you?

This plan might help people who want to lose weight, get their blood sugar under control, and reduce inflammation. It is not, however, a one-size-fits-all answer. Before you jump in, think about these things:

  • Individual Needs: Talk to your doctor or a trained dietitian to ensure that pallets your goals and any food restrictions you may have.
  • Cost: Grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, and organic produce can be expensive.
  • Social Aspects: Paleo can be strict, making attending social events and eating out harder.
  • Sustainability: Long-term adherence can be difficult due to eliminating entire food groups.

Paleo Diet Rules FAQs

Can I eat dairy on paleo?

Strict Paleo doesn’t allow dairy. Some variations let you eat full-fat dairy goods, like yogurt or cheese from cows fed grass.

Are there any grains I can eat on Paleo?

No, paleo doesn’t allow most grains. But some versions let you eat certain grains, like brown rice or quinoa.

Can I be vegetarian or vegan on paleo?

Paleo is primarily meat-based. While you can incorporate plant-based protein sources like nuts and seeds, it’s challenging to meet all your nutrient needs without animal products.

What about legumes on paleo?

Legumes are prohibited on a strict paleo diet because they were first grown after the Paleolithic age.

How much fruit can I eat on paleo?

Fruits are allowed on paleo but in moderation. Focus on lower-sugar options like berries and limit higher-sugar fruits.

Are there paleo desserts?

Many paleo-friendly dessert recipes paleo-friendly use natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey and different kinds of flour, such as coconut or almond flour.

What about paleo snacks?

Nuts, seeds, hard-boiled eggs, sliced veggies with guacamole, and fruit with nut butter are great paleo snacks.

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