Paleo Diet Food List: The Healthiest Way to Eat Like a Caveman – Complete Guide
Have you ever tried a diet but ended up gaining another pound instead? Probably, the reason why you are not losing weight even with the effort to restrain yourself from giving up to your cravings is because you do not know what foods should be eaten and what should be avoided. It is so much simpler and easier to achieve healthy weight loss with proper knowledge. Thus, we will be talking more about Paleo diet food list and the foods that you should include in your week’s food menu.
What Is The Paleo Diet?
Before we present the full Paleo diet food list, let us talk about what the paleo diet is all about so readers can understand why it is gaining the interest of many people who want to lose weight successfully without resorting to boring diet.
The Paleo diet is the most effective diet because unlike other kinds of diet, it works with a person’s genetics in order to help them stay as healthy as possible. It does not just make you sexy. It also keeps you energetic, lean and strong. It is the nutritional approach that lets you enjoy fruits, vegetables, fats, nuts, seeds, fish and meat in the healthiest possible way.
It is also referred to as the “caveman diet.” According to Authority Nutrition, this kind of diet tries to emulate the diet of our ancestors who lived thousands years ago. Since additives, chemicals and other substances were not yet present during the Paleolithic age, the Paleo diet encourages people to make their recipes for Paleo diet much simpler and of course the simpler, the better!
The Paleo Diet Food List
Now that you already know what Paleo diet is, it is now time for you to get to know what are the foods you can enjoy while under this kind of diet. Below is the quick reference food list guide that you can use to determine which food to eat and to avoid while under the Paleo diet.
- Fresh Vegetables
- Fresh Fruits
- Grass-fed Meats
- Healthy Oils (avocado, coconut, flaxseed, macadamia, olive and walnut oil)
- Processed Foods
- Junk Foods/Candy
- Overly Salty Foods
- Cereal Grains
- Refined Sugar
While this list can be very helpful in achieving the best result from the Paleo diet, it is quite too vague. It is still unclear as to what kind of meat, fish and nuts are the best to consume for a healthy lifestyle. This is why we have decided to come up with the complete list of Paleo diet shopping list. There is no longer a need to worry about choosing the wrong meat, fish or fruits. Now, let us get started with the Paleo diet meat.
Yes, there is no need to give up meat and eggs. Why would you? Those are great source of protein. As long as you stay away from meats that are high in fat and highly processed meats, then you are good to go.
- Buffalo/Bison – This protein–packed edible meat is definitely among the first kinds of meat that cavemen might had eaten before. Buffalo or bison meat is said to be a lot healthier than beef meat due to the fact that the buffalo industry is not as popular and widespread as the cattle industry (it means there is less chance for the meat to have hormones and/or other substances). Bison jerky, bison ribeye, bison sirloin and bison steaks are among the most recommended ones to consume.
- Beef – There is no doubt that just like pork, beef is readily available in our market these days. Wherever you go (unless it is in India or any place where Hinduism is observed), beef can easily be found, bought, cooked and consumed. This means that you can still enjoy the most delicious beef steak in your town.
- Chicken – Contrary to what many people think, you can actually enjoy all parts of chicken when following the paleo diet. You don’t actually have to say “pass” when being offered chicken wings in a snack bar or sports bar. While every single part of the chicken can be consumed, chicken breast is considered to be the best. Why? It is because it makes a great lean protein bite. Chicken thigh, chicken leg, and other parts of chicken are also “allowed” in Paleo diet.
- Eggs – It is good news for those who are egg-lovers to know that you can enjoy all kinds of eggs (chicken, duck, goose, ostrich, quail and more) in the Paleo diet. Always consider the cage-free and organic variety of eggs. Yes, they might be quite more expensive, but they are definitely much more Paleo than other eggs.
- Lamb – Lamb meat is absolutely allowed while on Paleo diet. It is popular and widely available in certain countries like Australia, but it is also a once-in-a-while meat in other countries like the America. Yes, it is fatter than most meats, but don’t restrain yourself from it! It is still included in the paleo diet grocery list. So, go buy lamb chops and fully enjoy its irresistible taste. The UFC Flyweight Champion Conor “The Notorious” McGregor loves to devour lamb meat
- Ostrich – One of the healthies and tastiest poultry meats on earth is the ostrich meat. Unlike most poultries, it has red meat that tastes like beef. According to British Domesticated Ostrich Association, It is lower in calories, cholesterol and fat than beef, chicken, turkey, and other white meat.
- Pork – It might have been a rare kind of meat before, but it is undeniable that it is highly available in any market today. Since pork is listed here, it means you can still savor the flavor of your favorite bacon, ham, pork chops, pork tenderloin and more. Be sure to always choose the organic cuts of pork.
- Turkey – Another poultry option for those who are Paleo diet followers is the Turkey meat. It is so much better to choose roasted turkey breast over cold cuts. Why? It is because the simpler the food is, the better option it is for the Paleo diet. Remember, cavemen didn’t eat meats full of added sodium and nitrates!
- Others – Aside from the meats and eggs listed here. There are still other kinds of meat that are good to consume under the Paleolithic diet. Among these are the meats of bear (well, good luck in getting this meat), elk, emu, goat, goose, kangaroo, pheasant, quail, rabbit, rattlesnake, reindeer, turtle and more.
Even during the early age of mankind, fishes and seafood are already considered as one of the main foods of men. Thus, they are definitely paleo! Aside from that, fishes are full of good stuff, including omega-3s.
- Bass – It is a good source of protein. However, you should be responsible in watching how much of this you eat as it also contains saturated fat. Don’t worry. Taking a reasonable serving of it won’t hurt. Just like any other fish, it is also rich in omega–
- Halibut – It is among the healthiest fish options these days. It is a great addition to the list of foods to eat on paleo diet as it is rich not just in omega 3s, but in vitamins and minerals as well.
- Mackerel – Aside from being included in the caveman diet food list, Mackerel is also known to be helpful in lowering one’s cholesterol, preventing cancer, fighting heart disease and improving your immune system. It is a white fish that can be used in making quick and easy paleo meals.
- Salmon – This fish is high protein and omega 3s, which make it a great fish option to include in your paleo diet meal plan. Wild Alaskan salmon might be expensive, but it is definitely worth the price as it is the kind of salmon you can eat to get as close to the Stone Age salmon as possible.
- Swordfish – It is not as common as the other fishes. You might rarely see it in restaurant menus, but if there is a chance to eat this kind of fish, go for it! It is paleo and delicious. Almost half of this fish is protein. This is why you feel full longer than the usual after eating swordfish. It is a great fish option for suppressing hunger!
- Tilapia – The best thing about Tilapia is that they are a lot cheaper than most fishes in the market. It also has a delicate flavor that helps it find its way into the menus of many restaurants across the globe.
- Trout – Trout is paleo! It is well-known to be rich in protein and omega 3s. However, be sure not to pick wild caught trout. Why? It is because they are usually high in mercury. Yes, buying and consuming farmed trout might not be that paleo, but at least, it is a much safer choice.
- Tuna – According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, Tuna is rich in both protein and omega 3s. Aside from that, it is also said to have cardiovascular benefits to those who regularly eat this fish. It is also among men’s favorite fishes to eat due to its scrumptious taste.
- Others – Just because your favorite fish is not indicated here, does not mean that it is not paleo! There are still so many fishes that you can use for your paleo diet mean plans. Among these are red snapper, shark, sunfish, walleye and more.
There is no doubt that most people love seafood. Their scrumptious taste is so much to resist! Fortunately, you can continue to enjoy them even when trying to lose weight. Of course, you still have the obligation to watch how much you consume.
- Clams – Since clams are a food source that doesn’t fight back, it is very easy to get them as long as you know where to find them. These were eaten by cavemen in the Paleolithic age for their regular protein boost.
- Lobster – Lobster is usually prepared when there is a special occasion. You can also have it whenever your budget permits. You can enjoy this with liquefied grass fed ghee dip. While you might be enticed to surf and turf, or eat several meals at once, always refrain from doing such bad habit. Remember, Paleo diet encourages people to take one meal at a time.
- Oysters – One of the most delicious seafood is oyster. They are very healthy to consume not just because they are rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals, but also because they only have a few nutritional drawback, says Livestrong. So, don’t hesitate in using oysters as the main ingredient for your paleo diet lunch ideas
- Scallops – Just like fishes and other kinds of seafood, scallops are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and omega-3s. The best thing about it is that it is low in mercury, according to Maine Sea Grant. Therefore, you can freely add this into your paleo diet food list without worrying about mercury poison.
- Shrimp – This is one of the favorites of many people. Aside from the fact that it is so delicious, it is also very easy to cook. Cooking it in the simplest possible way is more encouraged considering that the simplest recipes for Paleo diet is the best. Remember, in Paleo diet, we keep our food as natural as possible! The lesser add-ons, the better.
It is true that almost all kinds of vegetables are paleo. However, you should be very careful in choosing the vegetables to eat. Potatoes, squashes and other vegetables with high starch content tend to contain lower nutritional value compared to the carbs, starches and sugar they contain. Yes, they are not bad for you, but they are not always good for you, too.
- Asparagus – Asparagus is a great complement for fish. That is why you should consider buying a lot of this when you are a fish-lover. The best thing about asparagus is that it tastes good even when eaten uncooked. It also tastes great when steamed or grilled.
- Broccoli – We all know that Broccoli is good for us. However, only a few of us know why. It is a good source of fiber that keeps our digestive system healthy. Eating broccoli and partnering it with meat and other healthy vegetables will help you get a good nutritional mix.
- Cabbage – Cabbage often makes it to the list of the healthiest foods simply because it has so many benefits. Aside from the fact that it is great for our hearts, it is also an effective anti-cancer. Just like broccoli, it contains fiber. One tip in cooking cabbage is to shred it or cut it into smaller pieces to cook it faster than the usual.
- Carrots – Carrots can be cooked in many ways. This is why many people love this vegetable. Next time you go grocery shopping, be sure to get a bag of baby carrots. You’ll be amazed as to how this healthy vegetable can be turned into a delicious, healthy, cool crisp snack.
- Cauliflower – Make tasty paleo recipes for kids and adults with cauliflower. Cauliflower is a paleo-friendly vegetable. You don’t have to be guilty when eating this. It is usually best paired with broccoli as both bring out the best taste of one another.
- Cucumber – No matter what kind of diet plan you are following, it will never be wrong to eat cucumber. It is always a healthy option. When following a Paleo diet plan, always eat cucumber as it helps you keep hydrated. It helps you keep your focus and energy. You can eat it alone or use it to make your own fresh vegetable salad.
- Eggplant – This purple and bulbous vegetable has a prehistoric feel to it. Thus, it is definitely on paleo diet list of foods. It is easy to cook and it also tastes really great, especially when partnered with meat.
- Green Onions – Green onions are healthy on its own way. However, they are not used for garnishing just because it is also. A great reason why people use and consume this is because it adds great flavor to their food. This flavor is usually what makes the food tastes a lot better.
- Mushrooms – All kinds of mushroom (except those inedible ones) are Paleo-friendly. Thus, there is no need to worry about picking which mushroom to buy. They are also very tasty! No wonder why it is the favorite vegetable of many kids and adults.
- Parsley – Aside from the fact that it is Paleo-friendly, it also comes with cleansing properties. It is great to pair up with meat, chicken, and fish. It will make your food taste so much better.
- Pepper – Any kind of pepper, including bell pepper, habaneros, and spicier jalapenos, are healthy and Paleo-friendly. Pepper is usually added to add color and flavor to the food you are cooking.
- Radish – Radish is more than just an ingredient in a salad. It can be cooked in different ways. You can even enjoy it as a side dish to your main dish meat. It contains a mixture of vitamins and minerals that are known to fight and prevent cancer.
- Romaine Lettuce – This leafy green vegetable is people’s favorite vegetable. It is best in any kind of paleo salad. It is readily available almost anywhere. Its taste is definitely something you will always crave for.
- Tomato – Tomato is technically a fruit. However, it has been considered as a vegetable by most people. Thus, it is included in this list. It can be used for making spaghetti sauce. However, be sure to look for a Paleo-friendly pasta for your spaghetti.
- Others – There are so many vegetables not included in the list above that are Paleo-friendly. Among them are artichoke, beets, Brussels sprouts, celery, collard greens, dandelion, endive, kale, mustard greens, parsnip, rhubarb, rutabaga, seaweed, spinach, turnips, zucchini and many more.
People following the Paleo Diet often get their carbon from fruits. Not all fruits can be added into your Paleo diet for weight loss. Below are some of the Paleo-friendly fruits that you can still enjoy even when under the Paleo Diet.
- Apple – Apple is among the healthiest fruits on Earth. According to the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This is considered to be very Paleo knowing that it has already existed long time ago.
- Avocado – Many people enjoy the taste of avocado. The good thing is that it’s a Paleo-approved fruit. It contains plenty of healthy fats. You can also make yourself full even just by eating a piece of avocado.
- Blueberries – It is among the mainstream berries. Thus, it won’t be difficult for you to find and buy this. These are even used for making muffins, pancakes and the likes. Always remember to blueberries processed syrup and the likes. Always keep your food simple.
- Grapes – It cannot be denied that grapes are among the most favorite fruits of any person from all walks of life. It can easily be served as snack because they don’t need any garnishing. You can choose any kind of grapes that you want to eat. However, always keep in mind that anything excessive is bad for you.
- Guava – Guava is rich in Vitamin C and fiber. It has great antioxidant properties. You won’t just be losing weight by eating guava. You’ll also be able to take good care of your skin.
- Mango – This exotic tropical fruit has a heavenly taste. Aside from being delicious and Paleo-friendly, it is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. It is a very healthy fruit. You can add this as a dessert to your Paleo diet meal plan.
- Orange – Orange is known to be high in Vitamin C. The best thing about orange is that you can carry them to almost everywhere as they come in handy.
- Watermelon – It cannot be denied that watermelon is definitely one of the favorites during summer. It has great antioxidant properties that can help with free radicals It is important to incorporate vegetables and fruits like watermelon in the Paleo diet since you’ll be eating a lot of meat here. Fruits and vegetables are your sources of fiber and phytonutrients.
- Others – Aside from the ones stated here, there are still plenty of foods that can be counted as Paleo-friendly. Among them are apricot, banana, blackberries, cantaloupe, figs, grapefruit, kiwi, papaya, pears, pineapple, strawberries and tangerine.
Paleo diet is not as strict as what you think. There are also some foods that can be eaten on an occasional basis. Below are the following:
- Alcohol – Only dry wines are allowed. Be sure to quit drinking beer, tequila, and the likes.
- Dairy – It is totally banned if you are suffering from gut problems and gluten intolerances. However, if your health condition is great, then you can eat it on an occasional basis. Remember, not regularly, but occasionally.
- Fermented soy – These are miso, wheat-free soy sauce, and small amounts of tempeh.
- Natural Sweeteners – While it is discouraged to use sweeteners, you can sometimes use dark chocolate, honey, maple syrup and other natural sweeteners.
- Pseudo Grains – Amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa are among these as they are less harmful than other kinds of grains. However, it is a must for you to avoid them most of the time.
Paleo diet is actually effective. It won’t just help you lose weight and be fit, but it will also turn you into the healthier you. Paleo lifestyle has so many benefits since it only focuses in whole foods, lean meat, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Take a look of the lifespan of most people these days. Before, men can reach up to more than 100 years old. Today, it is very rare for a human to go beyond 100 years of age. What’s more bothersome is that many people these days die at their 60s, 50s, 40s and worse, at their 30s. It is because of the unhealthy living that people today are used to. Have you ever checked what people across the globe are eating? Pizza, burgers, French fries, canned foods, junk foods, candy and the likes. Can we even call these foods? These are usually processed and full of additives. These are one of the main reasons why the lifespan of people is decreasing from time to time.
However, if we decide not to patronize junk foods and start living in a Paleolithic way, then there is a higher probability that we would be able to increase our lifespan and prevent illnesses.
While we can never fully copy the life of our ancestors, the cavemen, due to the fact that even meats now have chemicals in them, at least, we can do our best to get close to their lifestyle by following the Paleo diet. Now, for the question “Is Paleo diet healthy?” Yes, it is! It is much healthier than the usual diet we are used to.
To get to know more about paleo diet, we compiled some of the most reliable and helpful resources. There is nothing better than getting to know this lifestyle by your own research. We’re here to guide you along the way but going paleo has to be a change of mindset and heart that will need a lot of reading. It has to be a conscious effort to make a change.
- Robb Wolf, one of the leading authorities in Paleo Diet, has compiled scientific research about paleo diet in his blog. You can read these researches should you want to get a little more in-depth in this diet.
- The Paleo Diet has impressively compiled all the related literatures about Paleo diet on their website. From research, journals, to books, you can access a comprehensive library about paleo diet.
- The Paleo Cookbook is another helpful material that you should get your hands on. It’s a compilation of six books which includes meal plans, 30-day paleo diet jumpstart, restaurant guides, complete list of paleo foods, and other resources. Surprisingly, you can get all the six books for only $10.
- If you want to have a more condensed outlook of Paleo Diet, you can download this FREE e-book from Paleo Maverick. This is suitable for beginners who want to get started ASAP.
- Paleo Eats is another great resource if you want to have a swift transition to paleo diet. It helps newbies to spice up their paleo diet with gourmet recipes. Peter Servold, the founder of a Paleo meal service and one of the persons behind Paleo Eats, is offering a FREE copy of this book. You just have to pay for the shipping fee.
So there you go! This is almost a 4000-word epic blog post! If you’re serious in taking your health to the next level, learn all the information here by heart. Trust us, the more you read about paleo, the easier you can remember the foods in a paleo diet. It’s like developing a reflex! or muscle 🙂
- A Paleo Diet Meal Plan and Menu That Can Save Your Life
- Bison Vs. Buffalo: The Difference That Buffalo Is Actually an American Bison!
- Grass-fed Beef
- Health Benefits of Chicken
- 10 Proven Health Benefits of Eggs
- Ostrich Meat
- Pork 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Effects
- Turkey: Health Benefits and Facts
- Wikipedia: Elk
- Wikipedia: Emu
- Is Goat Meat Healthy?
- Goose, domesticated, meat and skin, cooked, roasted
- Is kangaroo the best red meat on the planet?
- Why eating a game old bird can lift your mood
- Nutrients of Eating Quail
- What Are the Benefits of Eating Rabbit Meat?
- Reindeer meat is as healthy as fish
- What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Soft Shelled Turtles?
- Wikipedia: Bass (Fish)
- Wikipedia: Halibut
- The Nutrition of Mackerel
- What’s New and Beneficial about Salmon
- The Benefits of Swordfish
- Wikipedia: Trout
- What’s New and Beneficial about Tuna
- The Nutrition of Clams
- Lobster: Nutritional Information, Health Benefits
- Are Oysters Good for You?
- Maine Seafood Guide – Scallops
- How to prepare, cook & eat asparagus
- Eat Your Broccoli
- Cabbage Nutrition Facts
- Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Carrot (Raw)
- 14 Reasons You Should Start Eating Cucumber
- 9 Award-Worthy Paleo Eggplant Recipes
- Green Onion
- A Visual Guide to Mushrooms
- The Ultimate Guide to Peppers
- What Are Radishes Good For?
- Paleo Salads
- Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?
- 5 Ways Apples can Help you Lose Weight
- Paleo Mag Avocado
- Amazing Benefits of Blueberries
- 8 Fun Facts About Grapes
- Guava nutrition facts
- What Are Mangos Good For
- Wikipedia: Orange (Fruit)
- Understanding Free Radicals and Antioxidants
- What’s New and Beneficial About Miso
- The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
- Published Research on The Paleo Diet
- Paleo Cookbook
- Paleo Eats
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