Everything you need to know about the Paleo diet plan including foods, to eat, menus, FAQs, shopping lists, and more.
The Paleo diet is actually a primitive diet, originating over two million years ago. You may have heard this diet called ‘Stone-age diet’ or ‘Paleolithic’ era diet. Recently this diet has become more popular among those looking for a diet high in protein and fiber, and low in sugars.
The Paleo diet seeks to achieve a balanced and healthy human body by modeling the human diet two million years ago. This diet promotes eating foods that were available only during the Paleolithic era. The rationale behind this diet is due to studies that show that there were fewer occurrences of certain diseases such as. hypertension, diabetes, and glaucoma. Also, Researchers have also studied that a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders were not prevalent during that era.
Studies show that humans in this era were physically strong at advancing ages, despite the fact that most of their task was laborious, from intensive hunting to traveling long distances on foot. In this guide, you will learn about the Paleo diet plan, what and what not to eat, and the pros and cons of this diet.
What Is The Paleo Diet Plan
To fully understand the Paleo Diet plan, you have to understand what to eat and what not to eat. Along with what to drink and what to avoid. One thing you should understand is that there are no strict rules to understanding how this diet works. However, there are basic food and drink requirements that you must follow. There are also certain types of food and drinks which you must also avoid.
At the basic level, you have to avoid all processed foods and ingredients such as sugars, bread, certain vegetable oils, trans-fatty acids, and artificial sweeteners. However, you can eat whole and unprocessed foods such as eggs, vegetables, and potatoes. You can also eat healthy fats and spices as long as they’re unprocessed.
Foods to Eat on the Paleo Diet
If you want to go Paleo, then you must be prepared to eat a lot of fresh lean meats, fish fruits, vegetables, and lots of healthy fats. Some of the foods to eat include:
- Fruits – Oranges, bananas, apples, oranges, avocados, pears, strawberries, and blueberries.
- Seeds – sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc
- Healthy fats and oils
- Nuts – Almond nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts
- Meat – Chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, pork
- Fish and seafood – Trout, salmon, shrimp, shellfish, haddock, etc
- Healthy oils and fats – coconut oil, avocado oil, extra virgin oil, etc
- Spices and salts – garlic, turmeric, rosemary, and sea salts.
Foods not to eat
You have to be prepared not to eat any processed foods if you want to start on the Paleo diet. Remember, prehistoric men didn’t have factories to process food substances so you must also be prepared to say goodbye to food and dairies, along with grains and legumes.
- Grains – rye, barley, spelt, wheat, pasta, and bread
- Legumes – lentils, beans, peanuts
- Sugars and high-fructose corn syrup – ice cream, candy, table sugar, pastries, fruit juices, and soft drinks.
- Artificial Sweeteners – Saccharine, aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, acesulfame potassium. On any occasion that you want to use a sweetener, we recommend you go for natural ones such as Stevia, Erythritol, Xylitol, Yacon, Monkfruit.
- Dairy – Avoid most dairies as much as possible
- Some vegetable oils – Vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and grapeseed oils must be avoided.
- Trans fats – Trans fats constitute the types of fats that are found in margarine, and partially or completely processed foods.
- Highly processed foods – These include food substances that are often labeled ‘diet’ or ‘low – fat’ with many additives. Foods classified as ‘artificial meal replacements’ also fall under this category. Anything that looks like it was made in the factory also falls under this category.
What to Drink on the Paleo Diet
Although the Paleo diet is quite restrictive on the type of beverages you’re allowed to drink. However, there are lots of paleo-approved beverages which you’re allowed to consume. Some of them include:
- Herbal tea – Herbal tea (specifically, green tea) is permitted in the Paleo diet. Note that this diet restricts the intake of large amounts of caffeine. Green tea contains some amount of caffeine, however, caffeine in small amounts supplies antioxidant effects that are beneficial to the body’s organs.
- Pure, filtered water – you should be drinking around 32oz per day
- Homemade almond milk – this is to replace dairy milk
- Mineral water and coconut water – Mineral water contains minute amounts of beneficial minerals which are beneficial to the body. Coconut water also has lots of health benefits
- A small amount of wine – a small amount of wine is allowed on this diet. Note that large amounts of alcohol are discouraged
- Pure fruit/Vegetable juice – This should not be mistaken for processed fruit juice. Pure fruit/vegetable juice is recommended only if you want to add additional flavor to your pure/filtered water. You can also purchase a fruit juicer and juice your favorite fruits/vegetables at home without adding any artificial sugars.
What not to Drink
Certain drinks are not recommended in the Paleo diet and some drinks are not technically prohibited. For instance, alcohol isn’t technically prohibited. Drinks containing high amounts of caffeine, alcohol, sugars, and dairy drinks are completely prohibited in the Paleo diet.
- Coffee – Avoid drinks containing caffeine. Coffee contains high levels of caffeine and is not recommended in the Paleo diet.
- Energy drinks and sugar drinks – include soda drinks and energy drinks
- Dairy drinks – Cow milk is not recommended
- Artificial fruit drinks – artificial fruit drinks that you get from grocery stores and supermarkets contain high amounts of artificial sugars and they’re not recommended in the Paleo diet.
- High amounts of alcohol – High amounts of alcohol are prohibited in the Paleo diet.
Paleo Diet FAQS
Can I go on Paleo Diet if I’m Pregnant?
Yes, you can go on Paleo even if you’re pregnant. Paleo’s diet consists of healthy foods and drinks that are beneficial to you and your baby. The diet food menu also excludes dangerous foods and drinks such as trans-fatty acids, energy drinks, alcohol, artificial and processed foods that may be harmful to you and your unborn baby.
When Can I Go on Paleo Diet?
Anytime, no matter your age. It’s never too late to start this diet. Improving your health and adopting a healthy lifestyle starts from now.
Do I have to eat cereals when I’m on Paleo Diet?
Cereals aren’t necessary if you’re on Paleo Diet. Although cereals existed over 2.5 million years ago when hunters and gatherers cultivated them. However, less than one percent of the population on Earth has lived solely on cereals to meet their nutritional needs. We have evolved to live behind having to rely solely on cereals.
Is there any scientific evidence to support Paleo Diet?
Of course, lots of scientific evidence exists to support the Paleo diet. Some of these includes:
- Lindeberg S, et al. A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. Diabetologia, 2007. [Source]
- Osterdahl M, et al. Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers. Trusted Source European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008. [Source]
- Jonsson T, et al. Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study.Trusted Source Cardiovascular Diabetology, 2009. [Source]
The Paleo Diet: Pros and Cons
The Paleo diet has numerous benefits to adopt a healthy lifestyle and also stay healthy. However, the Paleo Diet has some cons. Here are the pros and cons of the Paleo Diet:
- The Paleo diet gives you the opportunity to eat healthy diets without additives, chemical agents, and preservatives.
- Also, this diet has many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which are beneficial to the health and helping to combat numerous diseases such as cardiovascular, diabetes, and cancers.
- The Paleo diet is beneficial for weight loss and obesity, thus helping to combat weight-associated disorders such as cardiovascular diseases and helping you to remain physically fit.
- If you’re eating more red meat then you’re expected to get more iron supply which is beneficial in the blood synthesis process.
- The Paleo diet may be expensive, so you must be financially prepared to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
- The Paleo diet restricts you from having dairy and legumes. These food types help in the energy supply process which is also beneficial for healthy living.
- Vegetarians may not benefit from the Paleo diet because it excludes beans.
- Athletes and fitness enthusiasts and professionals may also not find the Paleo diet to be beneficial since they’re expected to consume between 3 to 6 grams of carbs per pound of their body weight, per day. This would be very hard to do with just fruits and vegetables.
The Volumetrics Diet Menu Sample Menu (One Week)
- Breakfast – tomato, mushroom omelet, and spring onion
- Lunch – mixed salad with chicken, avocado seeds, and olive oil
- Dinner – moderately cooked beef stew mixed with vegetables.
- Breakfast – bacon eggs, and tomatoes fried with olive oil
- Lunch – mixed vegetables and chicken soup mixed with turmeric
- Dinner – Grilled lamb chops with wilted spinach and spiced red cabbage.
- Breakfast – Coconut milk, mixed berries, and spinach smoothie
- Lunch – Butternut squash, broccoli, and tomato omelet with mixed salad.
- Dinner – Red pepper, broccoli, baby corn, and salmon stir-fry.
- Breakfast – Broccoli fried in coconut oil with toasted almonds and a poached egg.
- Lunch – Mixed salad with tuna, boiled eggs, seeds, and olive oil.
- Dinner – Harissa-baked chicken wings with steamed broccoli.
- Breakfast – Chopped bananas with blueberries and almonds.
- Lunch – Mixed salad leaves with leftover salmon and an olive oil dressing.
- Dinner – Beef stir-fry with mixed peppers, using coconut oil to fry.
- Breakfast – Scrambled eggs with wilted spinach, grilled tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds.
- Lunch – Mixed salad leaves with leftover roast chicken and an olive oil dressing.
- Dinner – Oven-baked salmon with asparagus and broccoli fried in coconut oil.
- Breakfast – Avocado, kale, banana, and apple smoothie with almond milk.
- Lunch – Mixed salad leaves with fried seabass, pumpkin seeds, and an olive oil dressing.
- Dinner – Roast chicken with a stuffing of onions, carrots, and rosemary.
Thank you for reading our guide on the Paleo diet. Please feel free to download and use our free embedded checklists. This will be helpful when creating your menus and making your grocery shopping list.