Foods to Avoid On The Paleo Diet

By Living Paleo
In Paleo Food
Jun 9th, 2013
191 Comments
193958 Views

Videos/content by Paleo Cookbooks

Grains

As far as research can tell, the paleo hunter-gatherer consumed a diet rich in raw foods including meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and plants, and avoided foods which involved cooking in order to be edible; this included grains. When it was discovered around 100,000 years ago that cooking grains made them edible, they were quickly seen as a fantastic food source; not only could they be stored for longer periods of time (especially good for the winter periods), but they could be easily transported and were also calorie dense.

As time progressed, grains became rather popular, the farming of grains increased and new technologies were developed which increased the speed of production. But if there is one thing that has stayed the same during this period it’s our bodies, and our body’s ability to digest and assimilate this food source that is doesn’t recognise.

It has been a chaotic period for the human body trying to adapt to grains and other foods recently introduced through modern farming and processing technologies, but it hasn’t stopped the fact that more often than not grains are thought of as a healthy nutritious food source by most people, including physicians and nutritionists.

But grains are not the health promoting food so often advertised on TV and in popular health literature. Grains contain anti-nutrients which interact with our bodies function, producing adverse toxic effects inhibiting nutrient absorption and attacking enzymes needed for digestion. Grains also contain lectin and gluten; both linked to inflammatory problems and digestive diseases such as leaky gut.

The Glycemic Index of grains is also much higher to that of un-processed fruits and vegetables. A consistent rise in blood glucose levels leads to many health concerns, including diabetes, weight gain and cardiovascular diseases. Types of grains to avoid on the paleo diet include wheat and all processed foods made with wheat or wheat flour, rye and all processed foods made with rye, barley, rice, oats and corn.

Dairy

The reason dairy is not part of the paleo diet is because people did not eat dairy products before animals were domesticated. In my opinion, fresh dairy products from healthy animals (cow, goat or sheep) can be a beneficial addition to one’s diet. But the problem with the majority of dairy products lining up supermarket shelves comes down to two factors; the over-all health of the animal and the processing factors.

The environment and living conditions that commercial cows are placed under is not one that promotes good health. They are kept in a confined individual cell on cement floors in an over-crowded building, forced to produce milk ten months of the year. The cows are fed a diet consisting of grains, corn and soy and are more often than not pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones. An un-healthy cow cannot produce healthy milk, and considering the life span of commercial cows is 42 months (compared to 12-15 years of a pasture cow), the milk is definitely anything but healthy.

Most dairy items we are able to purchase easily at supermarkets are heavily processed. The pasteurisation of milk significantly denatures the milk proteins and kills beneficial enzymes and bacteria. This same process is associated with yogurt; but to make things worse yogurt will also contain high traces of added sugar.

Legumes

Legumes have a similar story to grains; they weren’t consumed by the paleo hunter-gatherer because they needed to be cooked in order to be edible. Legumes also have similar traits to grains in their make-up; they contain phytates which inhibit nutrient absorption and cause inflammation. They also contain lectins and play with healthy hormonal functions.

Types of legumes to avoid on the paleo diet include lentils, all beans (such as kidney beans, pinto beans and broad beans), peanuts (peanuts are a legume not a nut), soy beans and chickpeas.

Sugars

It is fairy easy to see how sweets weren’t part of the hunter-gatherer diet; most candies and desserts are the result of modern technologies and heavy processing combining sugars and chemical flavors together.

For many thousands of years the paleo hunter-gatherer survived without consuming any traces of sugars apart from those found naturally in fruit such as berries. Refined sugars are only a recent introduction to society but its consumption is rapidly increasing every year; in 1900 the average person consumed 10pounds of sugar a year, in 1985 the average person consumed 124pounds a year, by the year 2000 the average yearly consumption of sugar was 160pounds per person.

The list of negative health effects sugar plays on the body is endless, not only is sugar nutrient deficient, but it also acts as an anti-nutrient inhibiting and draining nutrients from the body. Sugar is the leading cause of diabetes, weight gain, tooth decay, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and immune dysfunction.

With the addition of advanced food technologies, calorie-free sugars such as Aspartame, Equal and Splenda were created.

These artificial sugars aren’t the solution to the negative health effects of refined sugars because they play their own role in harming the body. Artificial sugars are made up of table sugar and modified with chemicals such as chlorine and phosgene gas, they act as an excitotoxin in the body which leads to the destruction of cells.

Trans-Fats

The only type of fats healthy for the body is essential fatty acids; essential because the body needs them in order to stay healthy. These fats can be found in meat, nuts, seeds and some vegetables.

The problem again when it comes to un-healthy fats comes down to modern food technologies; when oil is heated above 200 degrees Celsius the shape of the fatty acid molecules change, turning it into a toxic fat called trans-fat.

Some fats can turn rancid and cause free-radical damage in the body if applied to high temperatures, an article I wrote. titled Best Oils to Cook With will give you an idea of some oils to avoid placing under high temperate when cooking.

Our bodies use fat in many ways, but one of the more essential uses of fats in the body is to create cell membranes. Consuming the wrong types of fats (i.e., trans-fats) will cause the membranes to be un-healthy and ultimately mal-function and die.

Types of oils to avoid on the paleo diet include supermarket oils such as canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil.

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191 Responses to “Foods to Avoid On The Paleo Diet”

  1. Leanne Key says:

    Can you use grapeseed oil to cook with?

    • Paleo says:

      Grapeseed oil should be used minimally in paleo cooking, it is a highly processed oil that ultimately does not hold many nutritional properties that an alternative oil such as olive oil, coconut oil or nut oils will have.

      • Patricia says:

        I am sadden to know that chickpeas are a legume ;(
        I love hummus. If the chickpeas are organic certified then is that ok?

      • Grok says:

        Well, legumes were probably still eaten, just not as a regular part of the diet.

        I mean these were still people like you and me, only more tribal and a lack of knowledge concerning farming and preservation methods. So I’m sure they had seasonal foods as well that they enjoyed.

        So if legumes are no no, well, that’s just concerning it being a regular ingredient. If you want to eat it like once a month or something, I’m sure it’s not any different than our paleo ancestors who ate whatever the could find to eat. Also, learning the skill to create fire at will might be difficult, but the idea of letting plants soak or be heated in water so that they are soft and chewable was probably rather intuitive once they figured out how to make a dish and that they could make fire whenever they wanted.

    • In reply to using grapeseed oil. I just use coconut oil instead.

  2. Jake says:

    One major category (so to speak) not mentioned is coffee. Comes from a bean (legume) and thus should be avoided, even though we aren’t ingesting much of the bean and the nutrition value is negligible. Just a thought.

  3. Robyn Sproston says:

    read.

  4. Sheng says:

    Can I eat honey?

    • Paleo says:

      Honey is a natural food source, but keep it to a minimum as sugar should not be over-consumed on the paleo diet.

    • JC says:

      Try using agave nectar (light). It can be used in lemonades, teas, cold & hot beverages …etc. Both honey & agave have been used as healing foods both internally & externally. Yes, use with limitations as it is sugar.

      • Cynthia says:

        Agave nectar is actually a FALSE health food. It is another example of the food industry (even the organic and “health” food industry does this) trying to trick us in order to profit. When you consume fructose, the body essentially sees and processes it the same way as it does high fructose corn syrup! Google for more info…impossible to explain it all here.

      • Adam says:

        Agave nectar is one of the worst things you can put in your body. People stopped consuming high fructose corn syrup because of it’s concentration of 55% Fructose to 45% Glucose, but agave nectar can actually be as much as 85-90% fructose, and much of the nectar is removed from the plant using pretty nasty chemical processes. Just Google agave nectar and health concerns.

  5. Alek says:

    I do not cook with canola oil and use only Ghee and sometimes olive oil. However, it is listed in the ingredients in some of the canned fish that I eat. Is this a problem if I eat it at a minimal amount? Especially since I am not cooking with it and really only eating just the trace amounts left on the fish?

    • JC says:

      Use extra virgin coconut oil. First of all canola, vegetable, & olive oil will burn. Not coconut oil. It fries nicely and can be used as a butter substitute. Its a saturated but good fat like avocado. The coconut oil comes in a jar and is white like that of shortening. Use it for frying or a baking substitute for butter. Even use it for popping popcorn in a pan (i.e. one single layer of kernels, but spread the coconut oil first. Super healthy & very tasty. You will love it!

    • Jessica says:

      You should only get canned fish that is canned in water.

    • CRC says:

      When tuna, for instance, is listed as “tuna in water” it often has “vegetable broth” (translates most often to something containing soy, etc.) and is not in fact canned solely in water. Trader Joe’s carries tuna in water that is actually just water, salt. No broth. We’ve actually been buying tuna canned in olive oil. it’s more expensive, but very tasty and worth it. As far as cooking with different oils, be careful with coconut as it has a lower smoke point than a lot of cooking oils so it can easily burn or flame up if not well attended and should be used on medium heat source, nothing too high-heat. I usually go for good olive oil, pasture-raised butter, Kerrygold is the brand we use, (if you’re doing any dairy) or bacon grease to sauté or sear, depending on what I’m cooking.
      Back to the canned fish thing, just really read labels before you buy since things not usually as they appear just by the name of the food on the front label. We all know those ingredient lists are frighteningly enlightening.

  6. Alek says:

    also, the coffee bean is NOT a legume

  7. david says:

    We are jumping right in to the Paleo diet. I have high Cholesterol and just feel blah.
    What are your thoughts on raw cheese. Living in Northern California – we have a pretty good supply of quality dairy.
    Thanks

    • Living Paleo says:

      If you want to include cheese in your diet, you will want to see how you feel when eating it. Many people include dairy into their diets while also following paleo, it comes down to personal preference and ensuring your health is not suffering because of it. It may be a good idea to find out if you have an allergy to dairy, as allergies can be hidden for years then come out suddenly and play a huge impact on your health, due to the years of build up damage.

  8. Jess says:

    Um…coffee is not a legume. It is a seed. just sayin’.

  9. Maurine Tiedeman says:

    Wondering if anyone has any info on grapeseed oil that is expeller pressed vs solvent extracted and heat treated.

    Would a natural cold press method of extraction minus the solvents extraction process be a good choice within the paleo diet in some cases? I’ve been using it a lot and really like the high heat cooking I do with grapeseed oil. I’m seeing a lot on the paleo diet that says stay away from grapeseed oil for various reasons. Looking for some more info on this oil for cooking and in dressings etc.

  10. Azza harwood says:

    I been trying the paleo diet for a week now I’m seeing result already just out of interest is a muesli and granola allowed in the diet Mix with fresh fruit and some almond milk?

    • Paleo says:

      You will want to avoid grains when going paleo. You can look at a paleo friendly gronola which is healthy – nuts and seeds with natural sweetner. With almond milk it will be 100% paleo friendly.

      • Tara says:

        I have a friend who does Crossfit competitions and has been doing Paleo. She has been giving me info on it and I have been doing it for a week. Not difficult at all considering I drank about 32 ounces a day of milk in coffee, protein shakes, cereal, etc. I thought I had found a great substitution with Silk original almond milk but when I asked my friend she said it had to be unsweetened. She said there is refined sugar in the original. What I am reading on the label says natural cane sugar which has not been refined. So, do I need to switch to unsweetened or can I keep my beloved original almond milk?

      • Paleo says:

        I would recommend making your own, it will be fresher and without additives. Once you’ve made it a few times the process becomes quite quick. If you drink it regularly you shouldn’t run into any issues with it only keeping around 3-4 days. Pre-made almond milk will likely always have something in it.

      • CallieM says:

        You do NOT have to avoid grains IF they are properly prepared: soaked, fermented and/sprouted. Best resources are Sally Fallon’s book: Nourishing Traditons and. The Weston A Price Foundation for more information.

      • Gregory Weiss says:

        I am totally confused! Indians from India consume large quantities of legumes i.e. lentils, chick peas, etc. and potatoes and they have a much better health statistically. They are very thin,have less cholesterol, heart disease etc. Our teeth are designed for crushing and not tearing so how is consuming larger amounts of meat healthy. I love yogurt and it is very very healthy for you but the Paleo diet advises against it. Some groups of the Chinese and mid eastern use allot of yogurt and they are very healthy. The Mongolians have a fantastic health report. I am so confused by some of the contradictions. Can anybody offer help?

      • g-paleo says:

        “Our teeth are designed for crushing…”??

        Don’t you have incisors and canines in your mouth?? I do.
        Grass and grain eating animals have flat grinding teeth, while meat eating animals have incisors (for cutting) and canines (for tearing) and molars or flat teeth in the back for crushing and grinding.

        Sounds like meat eaters to me.

      • Paleo says:

        Our teeth have developed over time to eat cooked meat (tender). We don’t have teeth like a wolf or a bear, so good luck trying to eat raw red meat (especially without cutting it up). We are meat eaters 100% agree, but our teeth have developed for cooked meat as HG’s have been cooking meat for tens of thousands of years.

      • Allan Luchenitser says:

        Hmm… about the comment that says “our teeth have developed to eat cooked meat.” This is certainly false. In order for a trait to evolve, it requires the elimination of organisms that are lacking that trait. Cooked meat is simply easier to eat, so it’s unlikely that humans with more aggressive dental architecture would have starved on account of not being able to chew it. Also, traits do not disappear simply because they are not used.

    • Lydia Rocks! says:

      I eat Greek-style yogurt while eating paleo. It is a personal preference and I enjoy the live bacteria.

      I make an amazing muesli by tossing in these ingredients:

      Greek yogurt
      unsweetened desiccate coconut
      raw buckwheat (my favorite!)
      ground flax seed (linseed) [can be done in a coffee grinder]
      crushed various nuts like walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, whatever I have on hand
      bit of honey or maple syrup (I’m from Vermont, it’s kind of a necessity and has great minerals)
      blueberries & raspberries (I use frozen for a better price)

      You can mix it up in the portions you like best and leave it in the fridge like Bircher muesli. Some almond milk works well if you like it thinner. If I’m in a hurry in the morning and don’t have time for eggs, I will have this parceled out in the fridge and take it with me on the go. I reckon you could eat this as a cereal with almond milk if you really wanted it to be paleo.

  11. Megan says:

    I am going Paleo for fitness and health reasons. I am curious is whey protein ok to have? If not what is the best source for a protein supplement (after workout recovery)?

    • Tori says:

      I’m not sure about whey protein in a “natural” state, if there is one. Typically, when reading the ingredients label of whey protein powder, soy lecithin and corn starch are included. In my experience, I have yet to see a protein powder that would be Paleo friendly. If your making smoothies – add shaved almonds &/or liquid egg whites to the mix instead. Very easy and healthy alternative – and the ingredients are almonds and egg whites vs. 50 ingredients you can’t read or understand.

      • Bellyfire says:

        Jay Robb makes egg white protein powders. So far I have not seen any so called “junk” in the product.

      • Joanne McKenney says:

        Source Organic whey protein contains less than 1% organic sunflower lecithin ad is GMO-free.

  12. Devon says:

    Hey I recently read an article in the Journal of Archaeological Science, therein it is shown that legumes were consumed and even cooked by the middle paleolithic hunter/gatherer. This article was published in 2005. See “Mousterian vegetal food in Kebara Cave, Mt. Carmel” in the jas 32 (2005) 475 484. Based on this evidence, I’m keeping beans and peanuts in my paleo diet. Perhaps you should delete your “legumes” section? Anyway, just use Google scholar, copy, and paste the article title in the search bar.

    • JenniferJuniper says:

      Interesting information Devon! Thanks for passing that on!

    • Sion says:

      YES! Justification for keeping beans and pulses and peanuts in a ‘paleo’ diet.

      Woohoo, munch, munch, munch, pass me the falafel.

    • Sue says:

      The abstract of the article indicates that the study reflects gathering activities during the springtime when the common hunted species were fat depleted. This suggests that the legumes were a seasonal option, not a year-round dietary staple. I think that supports the general “once in a while” consensus that I’ve been reading. I could be wrong. I didn’t pay $31 to read the whole article.

    • Allan Luchenitser says:

      Hmmm … I’m not sure that simply because some paleo-era folks did a thing, that it becomes healthy. It seems to me that the more-relevant thing is that they introduced technology. A big part of the paleo idea is that you shouldn’t eat foods that more-or-less require cooking to be edible. NOTE: The paleo idea isn’t 100% backed by science – as far as I’m concerned it’s just an easily achieved, reasonable idea that is worth a try.

  13. JenniferJuniper says:

    I just wanted to say that while it’s true coffee beans are not true beans (or legumes) and are only labeled as such because of their resemblance to true beans, the distinction is not that they are seeds and therefore not legumes. Legumes too are seeds contained inside legume fruit (typically referred to as a pod). The key difference is that coffee berries are not pods and so-called coffee beans are the endocarp or “pit” of the fruit.
    Now, in spite of this coffee has all the same properties that that land legumes on the “No” list. They too (like most fruit seeds) must be cooked to be edible and also contain antinutrients (phytic acid, lectins, and enzyme inhibitors).

    They only beverage that is truly Paleolithic is water (free of chlorine or fluoride).

    This is all just for informational purposes. Many people who embark on a Paleolithic diet choose to consume coffee moderately. It is a matter of personal preference.

  14. JenniferJuniper says:

    Also, Alek mentioned cooking with ghee and I’d like to point out that ghee (which is made by clarifying butter) is a dairy product. Some Paleo eaters do choose to include modest amounts of dairy (particularly raw/unpasteurized non-homogenized dairy products), but it’s just something to think about.

  15. JenniferJuniper says:

    Personally, I deviate from the Paleo diet when it comes to the consumption of fermented foods. I don’t quite understand why these items are excluded. [Note: That would make cheese, by the way, doubly unacceptable as it is both dairy and a product of lacto-fermentation]

    I’m pro fermentation because it is one of the oldest methods of food preservation, has several proven health benefits, and is a great way to add more probiotics.

    Anyone else have thoughts on this? Any insight as to why fermented foods are being ostracized on this diet?

    • Paleo says:

      Agreed, fermented foods have some fantastic health benefits. We need to consider our lifestyle and envorinment is far different from our hunter gatherer ancestors, sometimes we can benefit from not being so strict on paleo guidlines, and accept the benefits of otherwise non-paleo foods to increase our health. Some more information: http://www.livingpaleo.com/probioticsgood-bacteria-part-1

      • heidifromoz says:

        In Robb Wolf’s book on the Paleo Diet – Human Solution he recommends fermented foods like kim chi, sauerkraut etc. in small portions to help stabilise the interior flora. So I don’t think fermented foods are an issue.

  16. Gene says:

    I don’t believe we came from cavemen so where does that leave me. It’s referred to as the caveman diet right.

    • Science says:

      It has nothing to do with belief. It’s a scientific fact that human progression goes back way way way way before cavemen. Evolution is a well documented process with all missing links filled in, there are numerous fossil records, it’s not really up for debate. The debate is rather; how much have our digestive systems evolved and when did they stop evolving?

      • Criticalthinker says:

        And, sorry,I meant to add this before, but Why should our digestive systems have stopped evolving? They are subject to novel stresses today, are they not? If Darwinism is “beyond debate” surely we would be seeing some evidence of adaptation to Cheerios?

      • Whit says:

        @CriticalThinker: You have introduced the notion that a single person’s digestive system would evolve to Cheerios within a single lifetime, to prove the validity of evolution over the course of all of humanity. Because evolution occurs over the course of hundreds of generations, and Cheerios were introduced in 1941, your analogy is inherently flawed.
        On second thought, I can even endulge your challenge and offer some food for thought (pun intended). The entire purpose of Activia and ‘good bacteria’ yogurt is to adapt a person’s digestive system through diet. Although not part of the Paleo diet, foods like beans, which are digested in a secluded part of the digestive tract, are more readily digestible the more often they are eaten, as the ‘good bacteria’ required to break them down increases. This is why when adding fiber to the diet, it is recommended to do so incrementally – it’s because the ‘good bacteria’ is increasing as a result of a need.

        A system as complex as the digestive system does not ‘evolve’ over the course of a single lifespan, with the exception of mutation, but it certainly adapts.

      • Jenn says:

        Um, wow. I don’t think so. Evolution is a theory, not fact.

      • AndreaB says:

        I find it laughable that the fossil record supports evolution, not to mention that it is “not up for debate”! Explain fossilized tree remains that are embedded in what evolutionists say are eras spanning millions of years! How can one tree fossil span many THEORIZED periods? Not about the diet, but I too take exception with the naming of this diet. It could just as well be called an ancient diet (pre grains diet, etc).

      • Sue says:

        @Jenn – the word “theory” doesn’t mean the same thing in the scientific community as it does to lay people. To lay people, the word refers to ideas that we think might be true, but we don’t know for sure. In the scientific world, a theory is an idea that has been thoroughly tested (maybe not 100%, but as close as our capabilities allow) and is accepted by the scientific community to be true. That doesn’t mean the subject is closed, but it means that they will operate under the assumption that it is true unless and until the matter is disproven.

        So it’s not accurate to say “it’s just a theory”. If it’s a scientific theory, then it’s about as factual as it’s going to get. And debate by the lay community is just silly – we just don’t know enough to speak speak intelligently on the subject.. If you want to do real research to disprove it, go for it, but simple, contrary nay-saying isn’t the same thing.

      • Ruthie says:

        Ok, some some are saying eveolution is not fact, but a theory.
        Scientifically it is the best description for the evidence presented. The evidence being fossils, carbon dating, etc.
        There are alot of things that are a theory/best description including gravity, but I still trust in its existance.
        As for eras in planetary development being theorised, so how should we classify the distinct differences in rock formation, the non-conformities in the earths crust, etc if not by defining the timeline of their development.
        Yes calling it by the title ‘pre-grain’ is probably more accurate, even ‘cookable raw, unprocessed foods diet’ covers it well, but a debate on titles and evolution over creation does not seem appropriate.

      • Big Mike says:

        You have to be kidding me. While it is a generally accepted theory, your claims that it is proven and all missing links are filled in is patently untrue. Macro-evolution is still hugely disputed in the scientific community. How did we get from whales with compartmentalized ENT, to land mammals with continuous ENT as one small example. I could go on for hours about this. Most people do not even understand the difference between selective pressure and random mutation.

        We do not adapt our genome to our environment which is why our digestive system is largely unchanged. General evolutionary theory says that those who possess an inter-species variation that provided a reproductive advantage survived and passed on their genes more prolifically than their counterparts that did not have that advantage. There was no advantage given to the few who were not intolerant to grains which is why there is such a small percentage of people today who have no inflammatory response. They didn’t outbreed the rest of us. The health problems were not sufficient to stop us from mating. The theory that most people put out there incorrectly is that after eating a type of food for thousands of years, our digestive systems would magically change. Genes don’t work that way. Our base pairs don’t know how to change their order so that they can create new proteins and functions. This is why coastal people do NOT have webbed feet. Please get an education before you continue spouting off inaccuracies as facts under the name of “science.” You lack a basic understanding of it.

      • Loretta Rose says:

        The thing about science is it’s true whether or not you believe in it.

      • Gregory Weiss says:

        I do not want to get into a useless discourse but “Evolution” is not a “well documented” process. There is absolutely none, nada, no evidence to support evolution. Every single purported discovery has been proven a hoax or distortion of evidence. I have a myriad of examples to show how they were “all” intentionally fabricated. Evolution with millions upon millions of years & billions upon billions of mutated process’s cannot provide one intermediary step or one piece of evidence.

    • Arquay says:

      I think it’s awesome that a person who questions evolution was named Gene :-D

    • Hope says:

      Gene where it leaves you is calling it the grain free diet and trying it out for thirty days. If you feel better on it then you’ll know why so many people recommend it and if you don’t feel better you can just go back to your old way of eating. There is also digestive science behind it since grains get into our bloodstreams and cause our immune systems to over react which leaves us with a lot of inflammation and diseases caused to some extent by inflammation such as diabetes, arthritis, MS and many others. You don’t have to believe in people coming from cavemen to try it and see for yourself.

  17. Kimberly Ann says:

    My husband and I have been living the Paleo Lifestyle since April 2011. It started out as an experiment because of high cholesterol.
    I lowered my Cholesterol in 6 weeks, couldn’t do that in 2 years eating oatmeal everyday. We just love it. Both our cholesterol numbers are below the average and a big bonus is we have both lost weight. We feel great and never have any more “cravings”. It really balances out your metabolism. I’ll be honest it took me a good 5 weeks to stop wanting bread but it is so worth it. I love feeling good all the time. Good luck to anyone just starting out, but please really try to stick with it, you’ll be glad you did.

    • jere says:

      Kim, question. Husband & I have been on paleo about 6-8 weeks. Feel good, sometimes a bit light headed…on it to lower cholesterol..We have both lost weight..from 112 to 105 and 200 to 183, but don’t need to lose anymore…Does the weight loss stop, or do we need to increase something? Eating grass fed meat; range chicken and pork (local), veggies, fruit, supplements…Ideas appreciated for (a) stop losing and (b) light headed.

      • Keri says:

        Jere,
        I started the Paleo diet after being admitted to the hospital for a severe case of diverticulitis. After months of eating a soft mechanic diet (doctor perscribed) of eggs, breads and limited fruites and veggies, I continued to suffer symptoms. I finally had enough and decided something had to change. My pre-admission diet consisted of a large amount of “healthy grains”, beans, meats, fruits and veggis.
        I finally decided to try Paleo based on the theory that it was the original human diet and designed to support over health including digestive health. Anyway, I lost 22 pounds within 6 weeks. At that point I began introducing more nuts, almond butter and coconut flour into my diet. The higher level of natural fats mixed into my diet has allowed me to maintain a healthy weight.
        While I have nothing to substantiate this, my thoughts are that your body will adjust to your ideal weight and then maintain. This is based on my experience and that of others I know on the same diet. :)

    • Joanie says:

      I am in middle of change of life hot flashes etc. I lost 20 pounds last year on Weight Watchers and managed to find it. I lost my mother this year and a divorce. So long story short my eating seems to be out of control. I eat somewhat healthy but seem to be wanting to eat too much. I workout faithfully. I could use any encourgaging words. I loved reading your reply.

    • Denise says:

      Hi Kimberly, of all the comments here I found yours the most helpful to me as I consider starting this Paleo way of eating. I don’t eat many meats…mostly fish…but I do LOVE bread. I truly think it is the root cause of my inability to lose the 30 lbs I’ve gained in the last 10 years. But….this is it….I’m going to try and words are very encouraging. I know what to expect now. Thank you. Denise

    • BirdyBird says:

      I’m just starting and going at it head first. Do you have any suggestions on simple breakfast/lunch/dinner menus?

      Any information you would share is appreciated!

      • Jeanne says:

        I am a school teacher and get up early in the morning. I can’t eat that early so I pack apple slices and almond butter or celery and almond butter. I use one medium to large apple or about 3 stalks of celery. It holds me until lunch.
        Try this website. It has almost 2000 recipes.
        http://www.paleofood.com/recipes.htm

    • Char says:

      Thank you. I crave breads, pasta etc and hate feeling like crap. The mor i eat the more i crave. I am starting this way o eating to feel better. I hope i works like i did fo u.

    • Deb says:

      Kimberly. It does come down to that. The proof is how I feel after 2 months of strict Paleo. I’m never hungry. My adult acne is gone. I’ve lost weight and inches. I don’t miss what I used to crave. It was a 2 month diet experiment that I don’t want to quit

      • Jeanne says:

        Same for me. Acne gone or disappearing. Weight and inches melting away. More energy than I have ever had.

  18. Dave says:

    Why no apples… I don’t get that.. Or no citrus either ? Can anyone explain? I miss my hummus already… Sniff…

    • Johanna says:

      Do not fret about hummus! While it is usually made with garbanzo beans, just switch out the beans and use zucchini instead. You can easily serve this to non-Paleo eaters, too, and they won’t be able to tell the difference. It’s a great dip to have with veggies and it would be great on some Paleo crackers too.

      ZUCCHINI HUMMUS

      2 medium zucchini
      3/4 cup tahini
      1/3 cup olive oil
      1/3 cup lemon juice
      3 cloves garlic
      1/2 Tbsp cumin
      1 tsp paprika
      2 tsp sea salt

      Peel and chop zucchini. This is important — if you don’t peel your zucchini, you’ll end up with greenish humus. Add all ingredients to food processor and process until smooth. YUM!

      • Michele says:

        Can’t wait to try this, I am starting Paleo with my Crossfit group and I have been mourning the loss of hummus! You just made my day!

    • andrea kutcher says:

      why no apples? What about black beans?

  19. Laurie says:

    Great comments!For about 3 weeks I have eliminated most everything from my diet that is not paleo friendly. I already have the energy I had 15years ago. That alone is enough incentive for me. I don’t let the fact that i may not follow it perfectly to the letter of the law stop me from doing the best i can with the info that i have learned so far. If i fell this good now, I am looking forward where this journey will take me!!

    • Daniel says:

      That’s great!

      I always tell people to not feel bad about a little “cheating” as long as it’s not something you’re doing every day. I think it helps keep some people sane (myself included!) and enables people to eat right a majority of the time. Much better to be 80/20 than 50/50, or worse.

      You have to cheat within reason though, as funny as that sounds; no Bloomin’ Onions from Outback ;-)

  20. lalala says:

    “Legumes have a similar story to grains; they weren’t consumed by the paleo hunter-gatherer because they needed to be cooked in order to be edible.”

    But peanuts don’t need to be cooked before eating them?

    im just trying to figure out why i shouldnt eat peanuts since i love peanut butter and i tried all the different nuts i could find but i disliked eating all of them

    • Jiffy says:

      All peanuts that we are accustomed to eating have already been cooked. They have been boiled and roasted. This deactivates the enzymatic action of the phytates. You would not want to eat a raw peanut. They taste horrible.

      • Leanne says:

        They do? News to me. I grew some last year, and they were delicious right off the plant. They tasted like regular fresh peas or beans, though.

        Roasting them turned them into the peanuts we know and love, but they were just fine raw.

      • Debi says:

        Don’t agree – I quite like raw peanuts! they’re not crunchy like the roasted peanuts we commonly know, but are still tasty in their own way.

        Peanut Butter however is made from roasted peanuts.. not raw.

    • Jeanne says:

      Almond butter and cashew butter taste almost just like peanut butter.

  21. anna says:

    Just for the record,is having coffee not allowed in the Paleo diet? Please advise.

  22. Wendy says:

    an alternative to the caffeein trap of coffee would be roasted chicory/dandelion coffee. You can buy whole root (I get mine from mountainroseherbs in the states) grind a couple tbsp of each just like a coffee bean in the coffee grinder. I put mine in a perculator type pot and just put the grounds in the middle. I use homemade almond milk (4 cups water to 1 cup “raw” unpasteurized almonds from a raw food family out west who buys diretly from the growers in vitamix or good blender and strain thru nut milk bag-is milky white and same consistency of cows milk without the ‘boxy’ taste or shelf stability of yukky store bought ones) and I sweeten with coconut sugar which contains minerals etc, which I buy in bulk from the same raw food family in BC.

  23. The lectins and phytates argument against legumes is silly when considering the lectins and phytates found in nuts (Brazil nuts and almonds, especially) and other foods allowed by the paleo diet. It’s an even sillier argument when you consider eating beans that have been prepared appropriately, making the lectins and phytates no longer a concern.

    If you don’t want to eat beans because of some arbitrary decision to eat only those foods eaten by our paleolithic ancestors, then that’s your choice and I hope that makes you happy, but please don’t spread misinformation about foods you choose to avoid, especially foods that have the health benefits that well prepared beans have.

    • Paleo says:

      Legumes may hold some health benefits, but they are not classified as being part of the paleo diet, this is why they are mentioned in this post. Lectins and phytates are much higher in legumes to that of nuts, and should be considered (especially lectins).

  24. karen acopian says:

    can i take emu oil on paleo diet?

  25. newToThis says:

    What about green/yellow wax beans/ french beans? These don’t need to be cooked before being eaten and they generally don’t seem to cause the gas response that other beans do. Why are these bad to eat?

  26. newToThis says:

    Also what about potatoes ? They do need to be cooked before being eaten but it seems they are ok.

    Thanks

    • Ruthie says:

      Now I have potaotes as NOT ok.
      As I am from the UK, we didnt have potaotes in Europe until the 1500′s, so these where never part of our diet, as most americans are decended from Europe/Africa/Asia these also were never part of the diet.
      Yams and sweet potatoes are included, but again cultural differences mean that these can be the name given to the same plant, but they are very different. African yams really should be the only one on a paleo list.
      If you also look at origins of plant you would find tomatoes and aubergine should be excluded.

  27. BadMetabolism says:

    I have been eating Paleo for 3 weeks now and have not been able to lose a pound. Also adding exercise into my routine. I am on the verge of getting really frustrated. I know I have a horrible metabolism caused by doing various diets over the years, as well as being 45 years of age.

    Does anyone have any advise on getting my metabolism working?

    Thanks!

    • Paleo says:

      Try cutting out all fruit for a few weeks as well as any paleo sweets you may be consuming (i.e. with honey or other sweetener). Also ensure no higher GI foods like sweet potato are in your diet. Lower your intake of nuts and seeds which can add up with over-all calories.

      If you continue to see no results, you may like to consult with a nutritionist (who recommends paleo preferred) or a practitioner who treats naturally. You may be able to boost metabolism, or whatever may be slowing down your weight loss efforts with natural methods, homeopathic or herbs.

      • SarahBeth says:

        I thought I would lose weight once eating Paleo, but that was not the case. I was, however, supplementing my old bread treats with almond/coconut flour baked goods. I finally reached the point where I was ready to truly eat those in moderation, and I have started to see the pounds come off. Good luck! Stick with it — it took me many weeks to start feeling better and seeing results.

    • Big Mike says:

      Paleo can help with weight loss. However, you still need a calorie defecit. Not a huge one. Eat when you are hungry, don’t when you are not. Eat many small meals, not one or two huge ones. Restrict sodium intake, try being more ketogenic (think greens are good as well as meats, etc. Potatoes, fruits, and starchy calorie dense foods should be well timed according to your activity and eaten sparingly). My first 3 weeks on paleo I dropped 10 pounds. I had been on a hard plateau during a 3 year so far weight loss journey. I was consuming roughly 3300 calories a day while I lost that weight, but it was largely protein based. My carbs were broccoli, spinach, kale, onions, and some sweet potatoes and yams. I train like a bodybuilder and do about 20-40 minutes a day of cardio. I do not recommend 3k+ calories to anybody who is not active. If you are sedentary, you should be closer to 1400-2500 depending on your BMR. Also, chew your food. This is a big part of the paleo lifestyle that many of us overlook. Eat deliberately, slowly, and thoughtfully. Paleo man took bites of what he had/could find and chewed them slowly. This is why it takes 20 minutes or so to recognize that you are full. Think, he didn’t have cutlery to prepare bite sized morsels. Allow yourself time to feel full. Do not starve yourself.

  28. peter says:

    Hello.. I have not read everything, so this might be said already…

    but the phytates and lectins in legumes actually are not a big problem if you know how to deal with them.

    you can reduce phytates in legumes (and grain as well) by soaking them overnight and leaving out of the water the other day. this sprouting process reduce a lot of the phytates!!

    and lectins are destroyed after 15 minutes of cooking

    if you do this with all the legumes, there is not a big problem :-)

    and about the last post from “newtothis”: potatoes have a VERY high glycemic index, they rise the bloodsugar level much faster and higher than any grain… I rather eat pasta than potatoes :-)

    cheers

  29. Jaime says:

    Could you provide sources for all of the claims you made? I’m curious to do the research myself and look at both sides.

    And to the others that claim evolution is fact. Nope! It’s a theory. ; )

    • Paleo says:

      Hey Jamie, there is tons of information on the internet if you do related searches to educate yourself further on the foods mentioned in this post.

    • Holly says:

      Hi Jaime, the mechanisms and existence of Gravity is also a theory. Do you doubt it’s a fact? Colloquial and scientific use of the word “theory” differs. To the lay person, theory means something likely but still to be tested (this is what scientists mean when they use the word “hypothesis”); to the scientist, theory means the absolute best explanation for a phenomenon, rigorously tested in many independent samples. Science accepts theory as fact, for instance, the theory of Gravity unless a phenomena occurs that offers an alternative to that theory (for example, your coffee mug spontaneously levitates off the table). Evolution is both a theory and a fact. The suggested processes whereby evolution occurs (e.g., natural selection) are hypotheses — although some are approaching theory (e.g., evolution by natural selection).

  30. Ruthie says:

    I wouldnt say I eat totally paleo, I have cut out grains (bread/pasta/rice), most cows milk dairy, all soya products and potaoes, though I may have the odd bit during a month.
    My diet is mainly salads, veg, quality meat, goats cheese, quality butter & oils, fruit, some nuts and dried fruit.
    I still have any sweets I want to have, but was never a huge eater of them any way.
    I still have sweetcorn on occasion, and my intake of tea and coffee hasnt changed at all, nor my alcohol intake.
    There has been no/little weight change, but I wasnt expecting any.
    What I have found though is an huge increase in my energy, my general well being, alot less bubbly tummy (polite) and a much more regular bowel process (going for days without even on high processed fiber was the norm).
    I havent had my cholesterol checked recently, but it will be interesting to see where it is at.
    Its about cutting out the processed part, and listening a little more to your body needs, I dont eat if am not hungry and carry better snack and make better choices.

  31. Matthew says:

    I have Crohn’s Disease. Is there research confirming that the Paleo diet is good for a person with Crohn’s?

  32. Leslie says:

    I do not have Crohns or claim any expertise about it, but I do personally know a woman who had it so bad that she nearly died. She looked like a skeleton …literally, for years. Recently she started looking amazing and walking better, doesn’t have the medical problems she did at all. I asked her about it and she said she has been following” the makers diet” to the letter and has found relief.

  33. James says:

    One can construct an equally plausible hypothesis in favor of eating grains, beans and dairy in moderation, which goes like this: when our ancestors dissevered high-calorie grains and the value of domesticating animals 10,000 years ago they are able to progress from jay wandering about to a higher form of civilization because they did not have to spend all day looking for things to eat. Think about it for just a minute or so. Surely the problem with western diet is excess and the processing of food. If you eat a balanced diet you will be fine and if you eat less you will be slim.

    • Paleo says:

      Everything in moderation is fine, however if you are seeking a longer life with good health why put anything into your body that holds little to no nutritional value, and is known for causing internal damage in your body? For people with a less than strong immune system (unfortunately most people unknowingly), a small consumption of grain can do a lot of damage internally – same volume consumed by someone with a strong immune system could go without any negative effects.

      Most of us are around many health threatening things in our environment; chemicals and chemical fumes, radiation, lack of optimal sunlight, less than optimal sleeping conditions, stress, etc. With all of these impacting on our health negatively, what you can control (food intake for starters) should be optimal – if you want optimal health.

      One serve of grains a week won’t kill you – but for most people, it won’t make you stronger.

  34. Tim says:

    Yet your paleo diet includes recipes for a “no cook” paleo cookie which 1 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, which MELTED, along with coconut shreds and other ingredients, and then REFRIGERATED, because we all know that cave men have fridges because we watched the Flintstones. Good luck with your run on the latest fad which people flock to as a quick fix rather than simply eat right and workout. Do you mention that these cave men did a lot more than avoid grains and the evil beans? They spent 6-10 hours per day performing physically demanding tasks. THAT is what kept them in shape. BTW, these admirably strong and healthy cavemen were old at 35 and very few lived past 50.

    • Paleo says:

      Paleo doesn’t mean you need to go without the advantages of modern technology, with can very often improve our health. To think that eating foods from mother nature for good health means you need to eat with your hands and live in a cave for shelter is a poor argument for the benefits of this dietary foundation.

  35. Jules says:

    What natural sweeteners are allowed? Is Stevia ok?

  36. Ron Cohen says:

    What about bananas and dried fruit? Are they acceptable?

  37. Jeannette says:

    I have been paleo for 7 weeks now. I have to say that for the first time is 38 years, I have lost 22 pounds. I find it funny that Tim would ridicule this way of life. You claim it to be a fad Tim? Really? I am pretty sure the fads are diet pills that make you loose instant weight. Or perhaps cream to rub on your thighs. The bottom line with Paleo is NOT about if evolution is a fact or a theory. It is NOT about if it is the latest fad! It is NOT about the use of modern equipment (ie, refrigerators, microwaves, etc). It is about a way of life. Even if you just TRY it, there is nothing about this plan that would damage you in any way. There are multiple cases where Paleo lifestyle has helped people become healthier. Some have similar results with Weight Watchers, Adkins or other methods. These methods offer structures and guidelines. I, personally, am thankful because through this way of life, I have been able to achieve results that even medical doctors could not.

    • Tracy says:

      Jeannette – I would love to connect with you and find out how you’re implementing the Paleo lifestyle. I’m very interested in it for health reasons – I have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and degenerative disc disease that all cause me intense pain and I need to stay away from foods that cause my body to have an inflammatory response (i.e. processed sugar, alcohol, gluten) because it just causes me more pain.
      I would like to know what sources you use (websites, books, stores, etc) to help you implement your Paleo way of life.
      If you would connect with me on FB, I would greatly appreciate it. https://www.facebook.com/tracy.macauley

  38. harrison says:

    Anyone aware of any research on Italian or French natives? The diets of these regions highly revolves around grains, dairy and legumes. Italian restaurants would be out of business if they ascribed to this

    • Laura says:

      The Italian restaurant diet in the US and many other places around the world is a sad representation of true Italian food. While they do eat more pasta, bread, and rice than some other groups (mostly since the war when it became a necessity to survive), they eat less than most Americans and with a healthy side of meat and vegetables, not as Italian restaurants usually serve it covered in some cream/cheese sauce.

    • Laura says:

      Forgot to mention….

      Fish is huge here in Italy too, naturally. Being surrounded by water, it’s made fish an easy source of food.

  39. Timbo says:

    3 weeks paleo. not a fanatic. ie: nothing to eat at work but a cheese steak sub, so I ripped the bun off and ate the meat. Eating fruit, including bananas and apples, no oranges cuz i don’t like them,starting to dig the green leafys, however, no grains, green peas but no beans. dropped
    10 lbs in 3 weeks, not crazy hungry, feel like I can eat like this 4 eva! What’s working for me is not to be too rigid, but also not to go crazy and do something stupid. when I have a craving for grains, i eat a broiled chicken breast and move on. :)

    • Paleo says:

      When consuming meat and low-GI vegetables you stop insulin levels spiking. When this occurs you feel better all over with your health, sugar cravings slowing die off and weight loss becomes more visable. Glad you’re getting results!

  40. Segui says:

    To Gene and Jenny and To those so hung up on theory vs fact of Evolution. This documentary may resolve your issues. It explains, during a court trial, the fact that evolution is mostly a proven fact except for portions theorized due to the imposiblity of finding phisical evidence for all its links…since it may have been destroyed by time. Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial I couldn’t (nova- PBS ) I think you are ll debating semantics, and You may not be against it in favor of Intelligent design… but if you are this should take care of that as well

    • Gregory Weiss says:

      convenient! It may have been destroyed! You mean during the evolutionary process that extended over millions of years, “all” evidence was destroyed? THe answer is that u cannot find the evidence because there is none. Every single purported finding was found to either be a hoax or fabrication. I have asked numerous evolutionist’s to give “one” example for evolution. So far nada, none, nothing.

  41. Bella says:

    Evolution is a “theory”? really?

    and the earth is still flat, no doubt?

    If you are worried about accepting evolution as being in conflict with your devotion to God, don’t be.

    He is still behind it.

    Please, people wake up! Do some research and get your heads out of the archaic sand.

    Look, people ANYONE will reduce inflammation if they take gluten grains and dairy out their diets.

    What is do difficult about that? Just try it.
    feel better!

  42. Bryan says:

    I’ve been doing Paleo for 2 weeks. I have beans, and milk with my whey protein shakes. No grains or any other processed foods. I have had 3 cheat days on which I ate whatever I wanted and drank beer. I do crossfit at least 3 times a weeks, and I have lost 10lbs in just 2 weeks. I’m not starving, ever. Love this! I’m going to add cheese and see what happens. I feels great and there is a visible change in my body. I’m away from home for the next month so my wife is going to be blown away when I get home. She’s knows what I’m doing but doesn’t know the changes. When I get home we will continue together down the caveman path, I might even start hunting!!

  43. Bryan says:

    Oh yeah…. Evolution is the only logical explanation for our planet and our selves. To say otherwise is foolish.

    • Gregory Weiss says:

      The bible says, “he who denies God is a fool”! Evolution is a fabrication of men’s desire not to be answerable to God. There is no evidence for evolution. Every single propagandized discovery was proven to be a hoax or distortion.

  44. MawMaw says:

    Just a note on accuracy:

    “An un-healthy cow cannot produce healthy milk, and considering the life span of commercial cows is 42 months (compared to 12-15 years of a pasture cow)…”

    An intensely milked dairy cow’s “useful” life is 42-ish months, but that’s not their natural life span. They just produce less milk and are sold at auction.

  45. Sharon says:

    I’m confused. If paleo man didn’t cook his food, did that mean he ate raw meat? If so, then we aren’t eating paleo when we cook meat!

    • Paleo says:

      We have been cooking food for a VERY long time. The evolution of human teeth is enough to confirm we should be eating cooked food more than raw. Our teeth are not sharp like a lion or bear who needs these in order to rip through raw flesh (try and eat raw meat like a steak or lamb shank and you will realise how difficult it actually is to eat raw meat).

  46. diet says:

    I do accept as true with all of the ideas you have offered for your post. They are very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for newbies. Could you please extend them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  47. Karen says:

    I am currently trying to eat healthier, while saving money on my grocery bill. This includes eating beans and, EEK, Chickpeas! I am so disappointed I can’t have these things-AM I just going to suffer such ill-health from eating these? I’ll eat Vegies too, and meat, but need to save money. Surely, though, eating “legumes” is MUCH better for me than eating processed, gluten filled foods that come from a box, right?

  48. Helen says:

    Another website stated that you cant eat these 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.”
    Really? Is this true? That doesnt leave much left except skinless chicken breast and eye fillet steak! I was under the assumption that any healthy pure meat was all good?
    Can you please tell me what you think.

  49. Angie says:

    I just started Paleo TODAY…still have a lot of questions as to what I can and can’t have. One of my quesitons is what type of seasonings do you use on your meats and what dressings do you recommend on salads. I already feel better…amazing!

    • Big Mike says:

      Peppers, ginger, sea salt, cumin, oregano, basil, garlic, onions, wood smoke, (I will sometimes add a small amount of demarara sugar or unprocessed evaporated cane juice), jamaican allspice, etc. There are a million spices you can cook with.

  50. chris says:

    ok paleo, look back just over 200 years ago at what indigenous Aboriginals of Australia were eating, big, strong healthy individuals. very similar to your paleo diet.

  51. elvism says:

    I’m just starting to think about trying to live my life the Paleo way. And I have a few questions, I take it no alchol? Red wine? water only? Some say coffee? Tea – natural leaf or from bark? No bannanas? Eggs – bird have been around for ever? Do you try to eat most things raw? olives? Thanks for your help

  52. Chica says:

    I went strict Paleo almost 3 months ago after being gluten free for 7 months. I was dealing with my second bought of shingles in 3 months, out of contol allergies, digestive issues and lingering psoriasis (which had mostly cleared up by going gluten free). I had tried to go vegetarian for years and it seemed like things just kept getting worse and I kept gaining weight. After only one week of giving up all grains and beans I felt amazingly better. Seasonal allergies were calmer, my joints weren’t sore, my psoriasis (which was on my toes/toenails and very painful) disappeared, my stomach issues were better (not completely but there was improvement). I didn’t even know how bloated felt until I didn’t feel it anymore. Wow.. what a difference! lol I tried a small amount of lentils after the 1st week and experienced joint pain and stomach upset. That was enough for me, I then went full tilt into Paleo (including no cheese but I do use grass fed butter/ghee) I’ve lost some weight, a couple of sizes, although I have no idea how much because I refuse to own a scale. ha. My body shape has changed for the better as well. I noticed the saddle bags and large calves disappearing first before other areas of my body showed weight loss. I feel so much better than I have in YEARS. Clients, friends and family all comment on how great I look and on the color in my skin, the clarity in my eyes.

    Giving up grains and beans was a huge step to healing for me. I know there are people who scoff at the idea of giving them up, stating they’re nutrient rich and shouldn’t be cut out of a healthy diet. But they were killing me. I’ve found I can occassionally have brown rice and maybe a little fresh corn without issue but beans are no bueno no matter how they’re prepared. Bean gums, starches and soy also seem to be a huge issues for me. I loved beans.. all of them.. but realizing how much they were hurting me made it easy to give them up. I have no idea if the lectins are the issue for me or if it’s something else but really, does it matter? I gave them up, I feel better. Period. I too miss my hummus and will be trying the zucchini recipe above. Thanks!

    I really believe in taking an idividual approach to everything including food. We may all have the same equipment but we all process differently. If this plan interests you, try it for a couple of weeks. If you feel better, you have your answer. If not, maybe a different way of eating or being more or less strict with your diet would work better for you. I thought this would be a ‘restrictive’ diet and I suppose if I focused on all the things I can’t eat then maybe I would see it that way. But I’ve rediscovered food and all the amazing ways to prepare it! I also let myself have a little treat every now and then and eat allowed foods in season, in moderation and in rotation so as not to get bored.

    To those who are hung up on “Cavemen Diet”..My friend who also hates that term calls it the “Original Diet”. That works for me!

  53. louisjoseph says:

    Hey everyone, I started paleo about 3 weeks ago and I’m absolutely loving it. Down about 10 lbs and I don’t get cravings for foods like bread, sweets, grains, or most of the other things that paleo does not allow. I do still drink coffee, and I have cut back on alcohol a significant amount. I love that paleo is the cave man diet… Makes me wanna grow my beard and walk around in a loin cloth (once I get down to my target weight lol) I’m interested in getting connected with fellow modern cave men. Anyone on fb, contact me http://www.facebook.com/louis.joseph.18062. Good luck everyone!

    • Artirene says:

      I also just started Paleo two weeks ago, and have a few questions.

      After reading several recipe books, why can we use potato flour but not eat white potatos? And rice flour is used extensively for baking, but strongly recommend we eat mostly brown rice. Also, what about chocolate? No one has mentioned it. I love a hit of 85% dark chocolate now and then! Help! Have already given up my wine for now.

      • Paleo says:

        That doesn’t sound like a paleo friendly cookbook. Either that or it’s not correctly meeting guidelines with an explained reason.
        If you’re looking for paleo recipes I would recommend the following Paleo Cookbooks.
        I would stay away from potatoes (including potato flour), yams are ok (just watch the intake of carbs). Don’t consume rice or rice flour. Chocolate is ok if dark, you can easily find paleo friendly chocolate these days, but generally the darker the better (look at ingredients, some will contain soy).

  54. Julia says:

    Couple of points, paleo is a concept not a hard and fast rule, you need to figure out what is right for you. Every population on earth had a different diet, none had processed food or the type of wheat we eat today, that was cross breed in the 1970′s.

    Different populations have different abilities to digest dairy, there is a theory that goes along the line of Anglo Saxons developed the ability to process dairy and it is one of the reasons their population exploded. How true that is I have no idea but the point is you have to figure out if your body can handle the ghee and yogurt.

    Personally I was off wheat long before I found paleo and I was doing almost paleo without all the rules, however by removing all grains and most dairy my lingering symptoms have gone and by removing all sugar including fruit I am losing weight. When I get down to my ideal weight I will add fruit and coconut flour muffins back in.

    Stress is going to undermine your efforts, take it easy, learn to cook from scratch. There are some incredible recipies on the net. Eat lots of salads.

    Can you include coffee, alcohol, chocolate, etc… I think you need to make that choice. What are you doing it for, what are your goals, what can your body deal with? If you are healing say no for 6 months, a year until you are healthy and then add them back in see how you are feeling, figure it out yourself. Eat good quality, organic where you can and not too much.

    And lastly a point about evolution, just to feed the trolls. Darwins theory of evolution (he was actually the second person to come up with it, he just had friends in higher places) is a theory. He himself was unhappy with it in his later life and saw huge holes in it. Just coming up with it was against everything he believed being a very devot man. Natural selection takes too long and is very inefficient. Along comes the co-evolution theory which states from memory that plant/Animals don’t evolve in isolation, that things bounce off each other and evolve together. This form of evolution explains so much more of what we see in nature and speeds the whole process up. Chemicals and our environment can directly interact with our cells and cause changes. Hence the need to live a ‘clean’ stress free life. Just another theory.

    Sorry about the bad typing, not on a computer.

  55. Myllo says:

    I’ve been reading some of the comments and they started out pretty good, answering some questions on product use. How did this nutrition site turn into a debate on religion vs. evolution? Come on people stay focused on the subject at hand.

  56. Ron says:

    I have been living in Texas for 2 and a half years and have gained about 40 pounds. I started the Paleo diet 4 days ago. I have lost 10 pounds already and feel wonderful. It is a great way of eating. I don’t miss the bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, sweeteners and sugar. I can live without them as long as I have alternatives. I will report on my progress periodically. My friend who recomended the diet said I should lose at lease 20 pounds the first month. What a pleasure. Well done Paleo.

  57. mattie says:

    What about dehydrated fruit, like cranberries etc?

  58. clo says:

    how about hemp protein? can that be consumed?

  59. Richard says:

    So Hunter Gatherers never gathered peanuts??
    Are you certain?

  60. Ridiculous says:

    Ridiculous, who gives a c*** of people millions of years ago ate peanuts. This may not be a “fad” diet, but will be treated as such because of idiots who cant understand the concept of clean and healthy eating. The diet has to have some catchy name and be sponsored by Athletes for the masses to gather around and blog over.

    In 2 years the “Paleo” diet will be some other version of a low-carb, ketosis driven state that reduces your caloric intake and forces you to burn fat.

  61. Allen miller says:

    What about bacon or sausage are they bad for you with the paleo diet? And is cheese bad I am on paleo but I use cheese as a substitute for bread sometimes

    • Grok says:

      Allen, cheese is not paleo however you can have very little of it a day. It would be better to not have it though MORE PALEO! Bacon and sausage ARE PALEO because they are meat. Just make sure it’s pasture raised grass fed free range all of that good stuff

  62. Now says:

    I’ve been eating paleo for two years, as an experiment to aid my Addison’s Disease and Celiac Disease. It has worked so far, and only gets better. Very powerful diet. My only “craving” includes the wonder of what the full effects would feel like if I was in good health while on the diet? I encourage anyone who believes they are in good health to take on paleo.

    This said, I’m still highly sensitive to this day to foods that once tripped me up. For example, I used to eat sugar and lose my vision. After 2 years of paleo I occasionally “test” my standing by eating a yogurt every few months. Most recently, this led to an immediate itchy immune response, but no vision loss. I imagine that if I ate many yogurts, or continued to eat sugar, the vision loss would return. However, no foods on paleo diet trigger this response, or any negative response anymore. When I deviate from the paleo diet, the effects are usually immediate, ranging from anxiety, to body pins and needles, brain fog, itchiness, or sleepiness. All immune response from what I understand.

    Based on my sensitivity, white rice causes me issues but brown rice does mot. I’m still not sure about black beans because they do not trigger any immediate response. I think they do contribute to inflammation. Peanuts trip me up pretty bad, and I do not recommend them.

    Even if you follow paleo strictly, you’ll likely partake in alcohol at some point. Based on my sensitivity, beer is the worst, red wine is the best. I think this has to do with the candida aspects of beer and the resveratrol as an anti-inflammatory of wine. I can actually drink red wine a few nights in a row and feel good afterwards, which would have been crazy talk two years.

    Overall, doctor says I’ve made a 70% recovery from Addison’s with Paleo Diet and mild supplementation. If that is the case, Paleo should make the average Joe, super human. Enjoy.

  63. kristyn says:

    Just because legumes weren’t consumed doesn’t mean they aren’t good for us. I would imagine lentils in reality were eaten regularly, they are mentioned numerous times in the bible. Please clarify why I should avoid legumes.

    • Gregory Weiss says:

      I am totally confused! I agree with you that lentils, chick peas, etc which the people of India eat in large quantities have much better health than we do and have been eating that way for hundreds of years. And our teeth are designed more for crushing than tearing. So vegans are eating terribly unhealthy? I am totally confused! I have read that too much meat is not good for the digestive trac.

  64. Naked Salad says:

    Can anyone recommend Paleo salad dressings?! Other than a little EVOO & lemon juice, I’m stuck?? Not a fan of Balsamic or Apple vinegars. Thanks.

    • Sarah says:

      Equal parts honey and dijon mustard (make sure it’s the good stuff,no chemicals, soy, etc. very easy to find good ones)and add apple cider vinegar just to thin until you like the consistency. You can make this so that you don’t have to taste much, if any, of the vinegar. This is a HUGE favorite at my house with bacon wrapped chicken!

  65. Anney says:

    Is sunflower lecithin paleo?

  66. Erika says:

    Hi, I am going to start the Paleo lifestyle within a few days and in order to make it easier for my teenage daughter I am going to start of 80/20. Can someone please confirm for me what oils are best to cook with. I know extra virgin olive oil and have heard coconut oil but I have an allergy to coconut. Is there any other options. And also, is mayo approved or not? salad dressing what do you use?
    Thanks in advance for any help.

  67. Traci says:

    My amazingly fit daughter works out with a gentleman who introduced us to the Paleo diet. With me tipping the scales at 220 and having joint pain, we decided to give it a try. We are SOLD! I’ve lost 20 pounds and have regained my energy. The energy I was missing to WANT to workout has returned. Between the change in diet and getting off my butt has benefited me dramatically. GO PALEO!!!

  68. reshoe88 says:

    I was wondering, If I cant use splenda, what can I use to sweeten my tea and coffee??

  69. Deborah Gesaman says:

    What do you think about Xylitol? On JJ Virgin’s diet (which isn’t entirely Paleo) she suggests using it in place of sugar in SMALL amounts.

    • Paleo says:

      Take a look into stevia, it’s a natural sweetener made from the leaves of the stevia plant (a herb). Healthy, low calories and won’t spike your insulin.

  70. Roybig says:

    I find it interesting that people will read an article, then try to justify their opposition to some aspect of it while simultaneously trying to get validation from the author/commenters. Do you really need to ask some faceless person for permission to eat beans? Do what works for you, but don’t tell everyone “it didn’t work for you” unless you confess your inability to follow the program.

  71. carole says:

    It’s really nice that you’ve taken the time and energy to aid those out there who are searching for resources on this topic.

  72. susan d liddell-jones says:

    some posts show a misunderstanding of human evolution. the only way Nature can “evolve” us to adjust us to our enviornment, (grains, let’s say)…is to kill off people who don’t tolerate grains before they can reproduce. we do not allow this to happen, we use drugs, surgeries, whatever, to keep our children alive. so, in a sense, we have indeed stopped evolving, with regard to diet. we see a lot of chrones, RA, a zillion other diseases related to our grain-heavy, polluted diet, but these folks do live to reproduce and pass on their grain or dairy intolerant genes. so instead of hoping to evolve we’d probably do better to de-volve our diets, and more than that, we should sleep in darkness, not work nite-shift, live where it’s as quiet as possible, stop wearing garments thet restrict lymph circulation,….etc. to duplicate as much as possible the conditions we are fitted to. make sense?

  73. Cedric says:

    If one were to go on any nutritional journey (and didn’t understand nutrition) they would definitely benefit from going on a Paleo diet because it creates good nutritional habits for the beginner; however, it is not the be all to end all… The problem with diets is that they seem to be a one size fits all solution – which is not really a solution at all. Everyone is different physiologically and mentally, therefore one must carefully consider what works uniquely for them…

    Case in point, just because someone says don’t eat legumes does not mean that one should do this. Krysten has a point and is simply looking for clarification.

    “Just because legumes weren’t consumed doesn’t mean they aren’t good for us. I would imagine lentils in reality were eaten regularly, they are mentioned numerous times in the bible. Please clarify why I should avoid legumes.”

    In the Four Hour Body, for example, Tim Ferris talks about using the Slow-Carb diet as part of your fat-loss, muscle-gain nutrition regime – and with that diet you eat legumes with EVERY meal. He provides scientific examples for this conclusion… I’m sure that everyone here would rather the author of this website provide some sort of scientific explanation for not eating legumes, otherwise it is just conjecture and speculation. Like watching TV, listening to the news, and believing everything on the internet because it was written or spoken by what seems like an authoritative voice.

    For the last thirty years the government has been saying to eat carbohydrates and sugars, so we did – now we know better… We also once thought that the world was flat, it was impossible to fly, the one minute mile was unachievable and that these theories were the norm: The Four Humours, World Ice Theory, Alchemy, Geo-centricity, Vitalism, Maternal Impression, Phlogiston, and Spontaneous Generation.

    Also it is a fact that fruit contains fructose and therefore causes insulin spikes, which in turn, like carbohydrates, packs on the fat; yet 1 -3 servings are allowed on the Paleo diet – that seems excessive. If you want to lose fat, leave fruit out of your diet completely, or at the very least no more than twice a week.

    In conclusion the Paleo diet is a great starting point to your diet goals, however even one small change will make a difference. Start off your dieting path with a simple, easy to follow plan and just change one small thing at a time, otherwise your diet is likely to crash and burn. However, if you are really serious about your nutrition (and have the time) have a read of the following: ‘The Genotype Diet’, ‘The Blood Type Diet’, (they provide dietary examples for different body types) ‘The Four Hour Body’, and ‘Cleanse And Purify Thyself’ amongst others before you make a final decision about your diet.

    I leave you with a good quote about belief espoused by the Buddha… “Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering’ — then you should abandon them.

  74. foooods says:

    Great information here!!

  75. Dan says:

    Sorry I did not read all of these so if its in there please tell me again.
    If I reserve Bacon grease I can use that to cook all my meals??

  76. Nat says:

    I am stunned by the amount of disagreement over what to eat. There is a clear basis and foundation for the paleo eating style, but it should be obvious that the occasional lentil or bowl of berries is not against the law. It comes down to the level each person wishes to be on, as well as the individual responses to various food items. It seems clear to me that the thought of paleo being a fad diet stems from all the expectations of dieters they have come to have from other various fads, and if you just step back and see paleo for what it is, it is much easier to understand. To eat whole foods with an understand of how those foods affect our bodies on a cellular level is not a fad, it’s an intelligent way of eating. Theory, fact, hypothesis, or law…who cares?

  77. PeggyHill says:

    I started a “paleo” type diet 2 weeks ago due because I gained weight and I have back problems. They started getting worse and I thought it was time to make a healthy change. I cut out all processed sugars (and evaporated cane etc in products), started drinking coffee black, quit eating dairy and all grains and starches like corn and potatoes, only ate raw almonds (though I’ve started eating pistachios as a treat) and began to eat fruit (moderately) and try to avoid eating processed meats as well. I haven’t given up salt though. I exercise minimally (maybe a half mile a day) and yet I shed 10 pounds. Although I still think I want Taco Bell, if I really imagine eating it, the thought disgusts me! The cravings for the junky food just isn’t really there anymore. It’s been amazing… my double chin is already gone! (my daughter has lost some weight too without even noticing :))

  78. SteveC says:

    “But if there is one thing that has stayed the same during this period it’s our bodies, and our body’s ability to digest and assimilate this food source that is doesn’t recognise.” I too was parroting that myth until recently, when I read “The 10,000 Year Explosion” (T10KYE). Turns out the evolution rate has *increased*, as the human race is much bigger (more providers of mutation “innovations”) and more interconnected (increasing the diffusion rate of adaptive genes). If you are using the paleo principle as a general guideline, adjust your weighting factors accordingly.

  79. tx_cfitr says:

    i understand the whole ethos of the paleo. i really have no problem with how people want to do their diets, that’s there prerogative. i think it kind of humorous however, that you contradict yourself in the very first sentence while talking about cooking things. ancient peoples cooked their meats. fire was theoretically more important than shelter because they needed to keep warm. but anyways, there is no evidence to suggest that “paleo” people did not “gather” wild legumes and wild grains before they were domesticated. All “domesticated” foods were wild at one point. This is why i find the paleo fad pretty silly in some respects, and of course quite useful and well and good in other respects. beans and legumes, for example, are proven to be one of the healthiest types of foods available.

  80. tx_cfitr says:

    in fact, there is evidence to the contrary. “paleo” or stone age archaelogical sites have been found to contain wild legumes and wild grains where no evidence of domestication or farming was found, which the “paleo” people consumed in their diets.

  81. Thank you for sharing this article on what paleo foods to avoid. I was alarmed to find out that canola oil is among the list of those not recommended home cooking oils because this is what we are currently using in out kitchen. What is then the best cooking oil to use?

  82. Sarah says:

    What about almond coconut bread, almond herb crackers, almond coconut cookies (hmm seems I need that chewy / crunchy stuff)? Isn’t using almonds this way even healthy for you? Also homemade almond milk? I don’t read anyone mentioning these foods. Also good oils are avocado, walnut, olive (not in hi heat), and of course coconut oil which I find good with fish. Aren’t you folks eating giant salads (Dr Attias’ veggie mix) together with fish as a protein. Why not more fish rather than more meat? I read that dates, figs, honey are the best sweeteners used in very moderation, and that most if not all other sweeteners (stevis, xylitol) are colon irritants. Plus Agave syrup is too highly processed and reacts like hi fructose corn syrup … ulgh! Personally, I find it difficult to eat a lot of red meat as I cannot find grass fed kosher beef, chicken etc. I made some beef bone broth and yuk don’t like it, ditto on the chicken broth. However I can tolerate chicken or beef soup with veggies if cooked no longer than 2 hours. I eat more fish than meat. So much for my contributions.

  83. Sarah says:

    PS. Canola oil is dangerous because of how and when growers add their poison to protect against the bugs and insects that eat their crops. Their poisons are added to the seed in the ground while it is developing, which then becomes indigenous to the plant-seed, not just on the surface while blooming. Therefore the oil is tainted thru and thru. Research even the organic oil to verify they don’t use the same process while just changing th type of poisons they use. Don’t think organic farmers ‘don’t’ use anything. New US regs might make this transparent.

    • Donna says:

      The lion’s teeth are well adapted for killing their prey and eating it. The great canine teeth are spaced such that they can slip between the cervical vertebrae of their favorite-sized prey animals, and sever the spinal cord. The shape of the back teeth, which are called carnassals instead of molars, makes them work like a pair of scissors, for cutting pieces of meat. The jaw is not capable of moving side-to-side, like ours. This helps keep the carnassal teeth in alingment for cutting. The rest of the teeth are conical, and designed for cutting and tearing. Lions, like all cats, do not chew their food, but swallow it in chunks.
      Doesn’t sound similar to a human’s teeth or mouth.

  84. Connie says:

    I have always been health conscious but after starting college this fall I gained the infamous freshman 10. I am starting to eat Paleo Monday. What do you guys normally eat on your salads? Vinegar? Olive Oil?

  85. Joanne says:

    Hi, I’m confused about using butter instead of oils as I can’t see how butter is highly recommended as paleo if dairy isn’t allowed due to being since domestication of cows, isn’t butter a by product of milk?
    Please help clear this for me,
    Thanks
    Joanne

  86. Nicola says:

    This is not quite right:
    “As far as research can tell, the paleo hunter-gatherer consumed a diet rich in raw foods including meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and plants, and avoided foods which involved cooking in order to be edible; this included grains. When it was discovered around 100,000 years ago that cooking grains made them edible, they were quickly seen as a fantastic food source; not only could they be stored for longer periods of time (especially good for the winter periods), but they could be easily transported and were also calorie dense.”

    Paleolithic people cooked quite a bit of their food, including wild grains. The Paleolithic people domesticated wild grains unconsciously and ultimately in the Neolithic, these grains became a staple food. If you are actually interested in reading the research, I can send you some reading.

  87. TG says:

    Any diet that excludes legumes should be dismissed. Lentils and black beans, among others, are miracle foods, loaded with protein and caloric fiber. I’m in agreement with the paleo diet outside of this. Phytates reduce absorption of mostly non scarce/non essential nutrients and actually reduce inflammation.

    http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400758/Are-Phytates-Bad-or-Good.html

    This link isn’t so much proof or science, but is as reoutable as the stuff on this site.

  88. Carlos says:

    I agree with legumes grain sugar and bad fats,but diary is a huge part of my carb an protein daily intake.
    I think the best choice if you want to keep diary is go fat free an most important LACTOSE free. That way you mostly get the whey protein without the ba fats and we all know lactose is a glucose in other words,sugar that will be stored as fat.
    I plan buy raw unfalvoured whey protein.

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