What to Eat on the Paleo Diet! A 101 Guide (2024)

Hey, Friends! You probably want to know about the paleo diet & what to eat on the paleo diet. So, here you will know many answers of your questions…

Obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. These health conditions, among others, are attributed by advocates of the Paleolithic or caveman diet to our sedentary lifestyles & modern way of eating, characterized by excessive sugar, fat, and processed foods. Their proposed remedy? Remove modern foods from our diet and revert to the dietary habits of our early hunter-gatherer ancestors.

To gain insights into what this entails, we consulted the expertise of individuals such as Loren Cordain, Ph.D., a professor emeritus at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and author of The Paleo Diet; Erin Holley, RD, from The University of Ohio State Wexner Medical Center at the Columbus; and Lona Sandon, Ph.D., RD, the associate professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in the Dallas.

According to Dr. Cordain, maintaining a healthy state on the paleo diet necessitates regular exercise while strictly adhering to a diet composed solely of foods that can be hunted or gathered.

In its purest form, the paleo diet permits the consumption of only foods available to early humans approximately 2.5 million years ago.

By eliminating high-fat and processed foods lacking in nutritional value and teeming with excess calories, this diet can enhance one’s health. It emphasizes the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are abundant in beneficial vitamins, minerals, and fiber, resulting in increased satiety and reduced food intake—a potential aid in managing weight gain, as indicated by research findings.

Dr. Sandon asserts that weight loss occurs when entire food groups are restricted, leading to a reduced calorie intake. According to the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute, burning more calories than you consume leads to weight loss. Incorporating lean protein, fruits, and vegetables while limiting calorie- and sodium-rich processed foods may also contribute to shedding pounds, as observed in research on other diet plans embracing these principles of healthy eating. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that the paleo diet was not originally devised as a weight loss regimen.

While the paleo diet allows for the inclusion of nuts and seeds, it is worth noting that they can be calorie-dense. Consequently, individuals seeking weight loss will need to moderate their nut consumption.

What Does Research Say About Paleo Diet?

What Does Research Say About Paleo Diet Review-Itis
What Does Research Say About Paleo Diet

So, what’s the verdict on the paleo diet according to the scientific community? Some research suggests that there may be some validity to the health claims surrounding it. A thorough review of four randomized, controlled trials involving 159 participants discovered that the paleo diet yielded more short-term improvements in certain risk factors for chronic diseases, such as waist circumference and fasting blood sugar, when compared to the control diets.

Another article examined clinical trials investigating the impact of the paleo diet on health markers like weight, inflammation, and insulin health. Several studies found similar evidence supporting the potential of the paleo diet for weight loss, lower blood pressure, and improved blood lipid levels. However, the authors of the review cautioned that due to the limited sample sizes, short durations, and similar study frameworks, further research is necessary to substantiate the lofty health claims made by some proponents of this diet.

In fact, numerous scientists have expressed reservations, emphasizing that we currently lack sufficient evidence to make definitive claims about the long-term health benefits of the paleo diet. In response to the first review, Tanis R. Fenton and Carol J. Fenton, from the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine in Alberta, expressed their disappointment in the letter to the editor.

Their argument was twofold: First, some of the results did not reach statistical significance, and second, the observed effects were not considered “clinically important.” Based on these factors, they concluded that the review did not provide any compelling evidence in support of the paleo diet and called for caution when making health recommendations for the general public.

Foods to Eat & Avoid on the Paleo Diet

Foods to Eat & Avoid on the Paleo Diet Review-Itis
Foods to Eat & Avoid on the Paleo Diet

Regarding the paleo diet, be prepared for a significant reduction in processed foods. However, it’s important to note that you’ll have to bid farewell to grains, legumes, and most dairy products.

Let’s take a closer and more detailed examination of this particular eating plan.

What to Eat:

What to Eat Review-Itis
What to Eat

While the effectiveness of the paleo diet remains unproven, if you’re inclined to experiment with this dietary approach, you’ll need to emphasize consuming ample quantities of natural foods and natural fats. To assist you in this endeavor,

Here are some options you can consider prioritizing:

  • Lean cuts of beef, pork, & poultry, preferably grass-fed, organic, or free-range selections
  • Game animals, such as quail, venison, & bison
  • Fish, including shellfish
  • Fruit such as strawberries, cantaloupe, mango, & figs
  • Eggs, but no more than six a week & preferably free-range 
  • Nuts and seeds, including almonds, cashews, walnuts, & pumpkin seeds
  • Nonstarchy vegetables, such as asparagus, onions, & peppers
  • Olive oil, flaxseed oil, & walnut oil, in moderation

What to Avoid:

What to Avoid Review-Itis
What to Avoid

In line with Holley’s explanation, the paleo diet strictly excludes foods not readily available to our Paleolithic ancestors. This means that processed foods, often loaded with added butter, margarine, and sugar, have no place within the boundaries of the paleo diet. Similarly, dairy products, which may not have been accessible during the Paleolithic era, and legumes, which many diet proponents believe are not easily digestible, are also off the table.

However, it’s important to note that there are variations of the paleo diet that are less stringent and permit the inclusion of certain dairy products or legumes, such as peanuts, as Holley highlights. So, different versions of the paleo diet may allow for some flexibility in these areas.

Foods to avoid:

  • All dairy products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, & butter
  • Cereal grains, such as wheat, rye, rice, and barley
  • Highly processed foods
  • Legumes like beans, peanuts, & peas
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes (& some even say sweet potatoes)
  • Sugary soft drinks & fruit juices
  • Sweets, including all forms of candy as well as honey & sugar
  • Processed & cured meats, such as bacon, deli meats, & hot dogs

A Sample Menu of What to Eat on the Paleo Diet

A Sample Menu of What to Eat on the Paleo Diet Review-Itis
A Sample Menu of What to Eat on the Paleo Diet

With its soaring popularity, the paleo diet has garnered an abundance of paleo-friendly recipes readily available online and on bookshelves, ensuring that you won’t have any trouble finding culinary inspiration. If you’re new to this dietary approach, here’s a one-day sample menu of the paleo diet to help you kickstart your journey.

  • Breakfast: Delight in an onion and spinach omelet accompanied by liver pâté, offering a nutritious and satisfying start to your day.
  • Lunch: Indulge in a refreshing meal of tuna wrapped in lettuce, perfectly complemented by the side of almonds for added crunch and flavor.
  • Snack: Recharge with the simplicity of hard-boiled eggs, providing a protein-packed pick-me-up between meals.
  • Dinner: Relish the rich flavors of a succulent beef bourguignon, a hearty and fulfilling dish that is sure to satisfy your palate & appetite.
  • Dessert: Treat yourself to the creamy decadence of ice cream made from coconut milk, a delightful finale to your paleo-inspired day.

This sample menu provides a glimpse into the diverse and delicious options available within the paleo diet, encouraging you to embark on your journey with excitement and culinary exploration.

Possible Risks & Benefits of Trying the Paleo Diet

Possible Risks & Benefits of Trying the Paleo Diet Review-Itis
Possible Risks & Benefits of Trying the Paleo Diet

Although the paleo diet does offer potential benefits, it’s important to note that it’s not a panacea for all health concerns. While it may be suitable for some individuals, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, and there are certain risks that should be considered before fully committing to this dietary regimen.

Therefore, weighing the pros and cons and making an informed decision before diving headfirst into the paleo diet is essential.

Benefits of the Paleo Diet: Nutritious, Easy, and Includes Exercise:

Benefits of the Paleo Diet Nutritious, Easy, and Includes Exercise Review-Itis
Benefits of the Paleo Diet Nutritious, Easy, and Includes Exercise

When it comes to the paleo diet, a handful of potential benefits are awaiting you.

Firstly, by incorporating ample amounts of fruits and vegetables into your diet, you’ll receive a wide array of essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive.

Moreover, the beauty of this eating plan lies in its simplicity. You adhere to a straightforward principle: consume foods considered acceptable and steer clear of those not. There’s no complicated meal plan or diet cycle to follow, making it easier to adopt and maintain.

Holley emphasizes the many positives of the paleo diet, stating, “I think there are a lot of positives about it.” One of the major advantages is its natural exclusion of processed foods, such as refined grains and added sugars found in sugary drinks and juices. By emphasizing the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fats from nuts and certain oils, the paleo diet has the potential to benefit your overall health. In fact, research indicates that reducing processed foods and sugar intake can significantly lower the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes & certain cancers.

Additionally, the paleo diet places a strong emphasis on exercise. Incorporating physical activity into your routine is vital for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and can aid in weight loss or weight maintenance, as highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

All in all, the paleo diet offers several potential advantages, from providing essential nutrients through fruits and vegetables to cutting out processed foods and promoting an active lifestyle.

Paleo Diet Cons: Cost, Difficulty, Limited Evidence:

Paleo Diet Cons Cost, Difficulty, Limited Evidence Review-Itis
Paleo Diet Cons Cost, Difficulty, Limited Evidence

However, maintaining a hunter-gatherer diet can pose challenges, particularly in the long term. The simplicity of plain foods can lead to boredom and monotony after a while.

Furthermore, the paleo diet can be financially demanding. Foods that align with the organic and grass-fed criteria often come with higher price tags, as noted by Consumer Reports. Research-based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that following the paleo diet while meeting daily recommended micronutrient intakes (except for calcium) would require a 9 percent increase in income. More recent data support the notion that the paleo diet is costlier compared to other eating plans like the Mediterranean diet. Additionally, it has a higher carbon footprint, making it less environmentally sustainable.

Moreover, Sandon points out that there is no solid scientific evidence supporting the notion that the paleo diet effectively prevents diseases. While some studies indicate its benefits, many scientists remain skeptical due to the lack of extensive research. According to Sandon, the long-term effects of this diet still need to be thoroughly studied. She adds that the paleo diet concept is familiar but rather a recycled idea throughout the years.

One concern raised by Holley is the high promotion of saturated fats in the paleo diet, particularly from meat sources. Holley highlights the importance of opting for locally sourced meat, where the origin and raising methods are known, as a potentially healthier choice. Research has linked Saturated fat from meat to an increased risk of early death.

Calcium deficiency is another significant issue associated with the paleo diet. A study revealed that calcium intake among paleo diet followers was as low as 50 percent of the recommended daily value. Calcium deficiency can lead to symptoms such as numbness, tingling in the fingers, muscle cramps, convulsions, lethargy, low appetite, and abnormal heart rhythms. Chronic calcium deficiency can result in skeletal disorders like osteoporosis, an increased risk of bone fractures, and rickets. It’is advisable to seek guidance from a registered dietitian to ensure the safe implementation of the paleo diet and prevent nutrient deficiencies.

In summary, while the paleo diet has gained popularity, it comes with challenges such as monotony, higher costs, and potential risks. Scientific evidence supporting its overall health benefits is limited, and concerns about saturated fat consumption and calcium deficiency have been raised. Consulting with a registered dietitian can help navigate the paleo diet safely and address any nutritional deficiencies that may arise.

If You Have Diabetes, Is Paleo a Good Choice for Blood Sugar Management?

If You Have Diabetes, Is Paleo a Good Choice for Blood Sugar Management Review-Itis
If You Have Diabetes, Is Paleo a Good Choice for Blood Sugar Management

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all diabetes diet, preliminary research suggests that the paleo diet’s emphasis on whole foods may offer potential benefits for individuals with type 2 diabetes. According to some studies, it may aid in blood sugar management, blood pressure reduction, and weight loss.

However, critics raise concerns regarding the unrestricted consumption of red meat allowed in the paleo diet. Research has linked excessive red meat intake to adverse effects on heart health, which is particularly worrisome for individuals with diabetes. The reports of CDC that people with diabetes are double as likely to die from heart disease compared to those without diabetes.

In light of these considerations, it is important to note that there is currently insufficient compelling evidence for experts to formally recommend the paleo diet for individuals with diabetes. Suppose you are considering trying the paleo diet to help manage your blood sugar levels. In that case, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider beforehand to ensure it aligns with your specific health needs & goals.

Is the Paleo Diet Good for Heart Health?

Is the Paleo Diet Good for Heart Health? Review-Itis
Is the Paleo Diet Good for Heart Health?

Just like with type 2 diabetes, it’s unclear whether the paleo diet is good or bad for your heart. It bases on how you go about it.

If you eat too much red meat (which is allowed on the paleo diet), your heart health could suffer. While it’s great that the paleo diet cuts out processed foods like cookies and candy that are known to be bad for your ticker, many experts are concerned that the diet restricts whole grains, legumes, and most dairy. These foods have been linked to better cholesterol levels and can reduce your risk of stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, according to the American Heart Association. All of these conditions are related to heart disease, as noted by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

The bottom line?

Before trying the paleo diet to improve heart health, it’s best to talk with the doctor. They can let you know if the diet is a good match for you and, if so, how to go about it in the healthiest way possible.

Can the Paleo Diet Help You Manage Autoimmune Diseases?

Can the Paleo Diet Help You Manage Autoimmune Diseases Review-Itis
Can the Paleo Diet Help You Manage Autoimmune Diseases

Although scientific research on the potential benefits of the paleo diet for managing autoimmune diseases is currently limited, both researchers and proponents of the diet remain intrigued by its prospects. In fact, a specialized version of the paleo diet, known as the autoimmune paleo diet, specifically targets this area.

While some supporters of the paleo diet claim to have personally witnessed its positive effects on conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasiseczema, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it’s important to note that scientific research supporting these claims is lacking.

It’s essential to approach the paleo diet with realistic expectations and not view it as a cure-all for autoimmune diseases. Before embarking on this dietary approach, it is crucial to consult with the doctor to ensure it aligns with your specific health needs & goals.

What to Expect if You Try the Paleo Diet

What to Expect if You Try the Paleo Diet Review-Itis
What to Expect if You Try the Paleo Diet

Losing weight on a Paleolithic diet is indeed possible, and the rate of weight loss can be influenced by the level of adherence to the approved food list and the inclusion of regular physical exercise in your daily routine.

However, it’s crucial to consider the long-term implications of excluding dairy products and certain grains, as these are important sources of calcium and other essential nutrients. While some paleo-friendly foods like salmon and spinach do provide calcium, it’s important to ensure that you incorporate them into your diet. Consulting a registered dietitian can be beneficial to ensure that you meet your calcium and nutrient requirements.

Overall, the paleo diet is not inherently bad, according to Holley. By eliminating processed foods, processed meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages and replacing them with more fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, individuals are likely to experience some health benefits.

It’s worth considering the level of strictness you want to apply to the diet, as some variations are more restrictive, excluding dairy or peanut butter, for example. It can be overwhelming to eliminate multiple food groups all at once, so Holley suggests making gradual changes instead.

“I believe that making gradual changes is more sustainable than completely overhauling everything at once,” explains Holley. Taking small incremental steps makes you more likely to maintain these changes over time.

While the paleo diet may not be suitable for everyone, it can be helpful for some individuals. Holley advises that it’s crucial for each person to thoroughly understand the diet before diving in.

Before implementing any modifications to your diet or exercise plan, it is essential to consult with your physician to ensure that the changes align with your individual health needs and goals.


What to Eat on the Paleo Diet! A 101 Guide” is a valuable resource for anyone interested in embarking on the paleo diet journey. By following the principles outlined in this guide, you can make informed choices about the foods you consume and align your eating habits with the paleo philosophy. From emphasizing whole, unprocessed foods to eliminating grains, dairy, and refined sugars, this guide provides a solid foundation for adopting a paleo lifestyle. It offers practical tips, meal suggestions, and valuable insights into the health benefits of the paleo diet.

Whether you’re seeking weight loss, improved energy levels, or better overall health, this guide equips you with the knowledge and tools to make meaningful changes in your eating habits.

Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making any significant dietary changes to ensure it aligns with your individual needs and health goals. With “What to Eat on the Paleo Diet! A 101 Guide,” you’ll be well on your way to embracing a healthier, more ancestral approach to eating.

For more amazing articles related to Health, Checkout Now with a click

To read more similar articles, click here.

Thanks for visiting our Website. If you appreciate our work, kindly show us some support in our comments section. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *