For those not in the know, the paleo diet centres around the ‘caveman’ style of eating, i.e. increasing consumption of meat, chicken, fish, nuts and seeds while restricting grains, legumes, sugar and dairy. And according to lead researcher Dr Angela Genoni, it’s the high quantity of red meats and lack of whole grains that are the source of the problem.
If you have more questions on specific foods, we’ve included a comprehensive list of paleo diet foods below. We’ve provided a list of the foods that are allowed on the paleo diet. We’ve also broken this list down into the specific food groups, so you can see which meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fats are on the paleo diet. In addition to all of that, we’ve also included a comprehensive list of foods not allowed on the paleo diet.

I wrote a book called The Paleo Solution which went on to become a New York Times Bestseller. This book incorporates the latest, cutting edge research from genetics, biochemistry and anthropology to help you look, feel and perform your best. I am a research biochemist who traded in his lab coat and pocket protector for a whistle and a stopwatch to become one of the most sought after strength and conditioning coaches in the world. With my unique perspective as both scientist and coach you will learn how simple nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes can radically change your appearance and health for the better.
In the long term, you have to be sure you’re getting calcium and other nutrients you’re missing by not having dairy products and certain grains. Some paleo-approved foods, such as salmon and spinach, contain calcium, so you have to be sure you’re including them in your diet. It would be a good idea to check with a registered dietitian, too, to make sure you’re meeting your calcium and other nutrient needs.
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You’ll lose weight because any time you restrict entire food groups, your calorie intake tends to be lower, Sandon says. And whenever you burn more calories than you consume, you'll have weight loss, she says. (2) The focus on lean protein, fruits, and vegetables over calorie- and sodium-rich processed foods can also contribute to weight loss, though she also points out that the paleo diet wasn’t created to be a weight loss diet. (3)
Your Vitality.  Even healthy individuals (without disease or in their later stages of life) have shown benefits from following a Paleo template. A study of 14 healthy volunteers (Österdahl et al, 2008) found that all participants experienced enhanced blood sugar regulation, an increase in vitamin and mineral status, decreased inflammation and weight, and lowered blood pressure.

On his website, Sisson writes that "while the world has changed in innumerable ways in the last 10,000 years (for better and worse), the human genome has changed very little and thus only thrives under similar conditions." This is simply not true. In fact, this reasoning misconstrues how evolution works. If humans and other organisms could only thrive in circumstances similar to the ones their predecessors lived in, life would not have lasted very long.
^ Hou JK, Lee D, Lewis J (October 2014). "Diet and inflammatory bowel disease: review of patient-targeted recommendations". Clin. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. (Review). 12 (10): 1592–600. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2013.09.063. PMC 4021001. PMID 24107394. Even less evidence exists for the efficacy of the SCD, FODMAP, or Paleo diets. Furthermore, the practicality of maintaining these interventions over long periods of time is doubtful.
If a pregnant woman knows or suspects (in any way) that she has or may have an autoimmune illness of any kind, a special focus needs to be put on engaging in autoimmune dietary support and careful management of this condition. With this in mind, we strongly advise you consult a healthcare professional familiar with this illness before making any changes to your diet or physical activity.
“I think there are a lot of positives about it,” Holley says. “It cuts out a lot of processed foods just naturally, like processed grains or added sugar through soft drinks or juice.” And because the diet promotes eating anti-inflammatory foods — like fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fats in nuts and certain oils — your health could benefit, Holley explains. Cutting out processed foods and sugar will also help lower your risk of certain diseases, like type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, she says. (6)
This is a list of paleo diet meats allowed on the diet. Almost all meats are paleo by definition. Of course, you’ll want to stay away from highly processed meats and meats that are very high in fat (stuff like spam, hot dogs, and other low-quality meats), but if it used to moo, oink, or make some other sound, it’s almost certainly paleo (and, yes, that means you can still have bacon). Here’s the full list of paleo diet meats.

The paleo diet runs on the same foods our hunter-gather ancestors supposedly ate: fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and nuts. "By following these nutritional guidelines, we put our diet more in line with the evolutionary pressures that shaped our current genetics, which in turn positively influences health and well being," says Loren Cordain, PhD, professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University and author of The Paleo Diet. He says the diet lessens the body's glycemic load, has a healthy ratio of saturated-to-unsaturated fatty acids, increases vitamin and nutrient consumption, and contains an optimal balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Advocates of the diet argue that the increase in diseases of affluence after the dawn of agriculture was caused by changes in diet, but others have countered that it may be that pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers did not suffer from the diseases of affluence because they did not live long enough to develop them.[30] Based on the data from hunter-gatherer populations still in existence, it is estimated that at age 15, life expectancy was an additional 39 years, for a total age of 54.[31] At age 45, it is estimated that average life expectancy was an additional 19 years, for a total age of 64 years.[32][33] That is to say, in such societies, most deaths occurred in childhood or young adulthood; thus, the population of elderly – and the prevalence of diseases of affluence – was much reduced. Excessive food energy intake relative to energy expended, rather than the consumption of specific foods, is more likely to underlie the diseases of affluence. "The health concerns of the industrial world, where calorie-packed foods are readily available, stem not from deviations from a specific diet but from an imbalance between the energy humans consume and the energy humans spend."[34]
Once again, it is important (and we strongly advise) that you seek advice from your healthcare professional before commencing the program and we also recommend you stay under careful supervision of a qualified and knowledgeable healthcare provider during your dietary and lifestyle transition in the case of Type I and/or Type II diabetes. You may ultimately require positive adjustments in your medications following the implementation of this program; so careful monitoring of blood sugar and blood ketone levels is advised.
The Soft Science of Dietary Fat is a summary of an article in Science Magazine reporting that mainstream nutritional science has demonized dietary fat, yet 50 years and hundreds of millions of dollars of research have failed to prove that eating a low-fat diet will help you live longer. In fact, there are good reasons to believe high-carbohydrate diets may be even worse than high-fat diets. Here is the text from the original article by Gary Taubes.

Deadly Harvest: The Intimate Relationship Between Our Health and Our Food by Geoff Bond. The author is a nutritional anthropologist who has for years investigated both foods of the past and our prehistoric eating habits. Using the latest scientific research and studies of primitive tribal lifestyles, Bond first explains the actual diet that our ancestors followed--a diet that was and still is in harmony with the human species. He then describes how the foods in today's diets disrupt our biochemistry and digestive system, leading to health disorders such as allergies, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and more. Most important, he explains the appropriate measures we can take to avoid these diseases--and even beat them back--through healthy eating. The conclusions of Deadly Harvest are that disease control happens by eating a strict low-glycemic diet, lowering the percentage of body fat you carry around, eat a diet consisting of mostly non-starchy plant-based foods, eat a low-fat diet with ample amounts of omega-3 fats, maintain good colon health, engage in regular physical activity, get some daily sunshine, and reduce chronic stress. If you do this, then diseases like cancer, heart disease, digestive problems, allergies, autoimmune diseases, brain diseases, diabetes, and obesity can be avoided. The Amazon reviews average to 5 stars.


Turmeric is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for a long time in cooking and medicine in India. This PBS post goes into much about the history and benefits of turmeric. Dr. Axe also has a great post about how turmeric can be medicinally better than some drugs on the market. Check it out here. I’m sure that by now you’ve heard that turmeric is good for you and your body and it is great to introduce it into your everyday cooking. It is easy to add it to roasted veggies, smoothies, and also teas. Check out our turmeric maple roasted beets and carrots for another recipe idea!
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith is against industrial farming. She spent 20 years as a vegan, and now reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms. And as all the neolithic foods we avoid are produced on industrial farms, she is against the foods we avoid. Here's a well thought out review by Eric Wargo: Clubbing Vegetarians Over the Head With the Truth.
Yes, the egg is raw, and raw egg is perfectly safe to consume, so long as you trust the source of your eggs. Anything you buy from a grocery store should be set, and if you get them from the Farmer’s Market or grow your own, just make sure you wash the shell VERY WELL before using raw egg, as this is where most of the contaminate comes from. (The shell isn’t sterile, you crack the egg, the shell contacts the egg and leaves some salmonella behind, the egg is now unsafe)
Contrary to popular belief, fat doesn’t make you fat; carbs do (and the Standard American Diet contains a ton of them!). Natural oils and fats are your body’s preferred sources of creating energy, so it’s best to give your body what it’s asking for. The following are some of the best types of paleo diet oils and fats that you can give your body if you’re in need of some additional energy.
Kirsty, with animal protein I’m a pretty picky. I buy at butchers where I trust in the quality. In my opinion there is a huge difference in taste and quality when it comes to animal protein. Grains and veggies I’m more lenient but never with animal protein. The cheapest way to get high quality meat is share a whole animal with friends or neighbors. The bacon we eat is from a pig I share with another 2 families. Once a year I get 1/3 and freeze it all. The bacon is incomparable to any grocery store bacon. I’d rather it less often.
With healing and restorative foods, such as stocks and broth, fermented veggies and kefirs, the dietary approach you will be following in this program is very oriented toward supporting high quality digestive health and minimizing exposure to irritating dietary antigens prone to triggering IBS symptoms. This program might just be the best thing you have ever done for your gut!
As paleo guru Robb Wolf puts it, think of a 100-yard football field. The first 99.5 yards are how long Homo-Sapiens spent as hunter-gatherers. As they became REALLY good at hunting and gathering our bodies adapted to that lifestyle over thousands of years. That last half-yard represents our species after the agricultural revolution, where our diet has shifted (but our genetics haven’t).
As you might expect from the previous paragraph, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables naturally leads to higher fiber intake. Dietary fiber is essential for good health, and despite what you’ve probably heard, whole grains aren’t the place to find it. Non-starchy vegetables contain eight times more fiber than whole grains and 31 times more fiber than refined grains. Even fruits contain twice as much fiber as whole grains and seven times more fiber than refined grains!

Kirsty, with animal protein I’m a pretty picky. I buy at butchers where I trust in the quality. In my opinion there is a huge difference in taste and quality when it comes to animal protein. Grains and veggies I’m more lenient but never with animal protein. The cheapest way to get high quality meat is share a whole animal with friends or neighbors. The bacon we eat is from a pig I share with another 2 families. Once a year I get 1/3 and freeze it all. The bacon is incomparable to any grocery store bacon. I’d rather it less often.
You’d think vegan and paleo sort of cancel each other out, with paleo diet recipes emphasizing grass-fed meats and free-range eggs and vegans avoiding all animal products. But when you think about what our “ancestors” probably really ate, it must have been a very plant-based diet. So, what does an ancestral vegan diet look like? Abundant fruits and veggies are something both eating philosophies have in common. Grains and legumes — go-tos for many vegans — are out, but paleo-friendly starches like sweet potatoes, yams, cassava and plantains are in, and they’re both tasty and filling. So are all the good fats, like nuts, avocados and olive oil. And we can sweeten things up when we need to with fruit juices, honey, molasses, pure maple syrup and dried fruits. This is starting to sound not only healthy, but also deliciously doable. Here are 18 tempting recipes that’ll have you saying: “Let’s do this!”
Origins and Evolution of Human Diet was an academic web site at the University of Arkansas devoted to discussion of evolution and the human diet. They had good articles on the conferences link. Here is one from the archives: Boyd Eaton's Evolution, Diet and Health which argues that current w-6 : w-3 imbalance together with absolute dietary DHA intake quite low in human evolutionary perspective may be relevant to the frequency of unipolar depression.
A large percentage of individuals with Celiac disease still have persistent symptoms after eliminating gluten from the diet. Other factors that may be at play, including proteins and starches in dairy, other gluten free grains and legumes as well as gut microbial balance. We can think of no better principles than The Paleo Way for individuals with Celiac disease. However, despite the possible benefits of a Paleo based diet, again we strongly recommend you seek advice and support from a suitable health professional both before making any changes to your diet or physical routine.

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis, MD. A renowned cardiologist explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly "wheat belly" bulges, and reverse myriad health problems, like minor rashes and high blood sugar. The author contends that every single human will experience health improvement by giving up modern wheat. The book provides readers with a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new, wheat-free lifestyle. Informed by cutting-edge science and nutrition, along with case studies from men and women who have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving goodbye to wheat. The author's blog. Published August 30, 2011.


In the long term, you have to be sure you’re getting calcium and other nutrients you’re missing by not having dairy products and certain grains. Some paleo-approved foods, such as salmon and spinach, contain calcium, so you have to be sure you’re including them in your diet. It would be a good idea to check with a registered dietitian, too, to make sure you’re meeting your calcium and other nutrient needs.
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes expounds on his 2002 article in the NY Times (What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?) and then in Science Magazine (see below). He shows how public health data has been misinterpreted to mark dietary fat and cholesterol as the primary causes of coronary heart disease. Deeper examination, he says, shows that heart disease and other diseases of civilization appear to result from increased consumption of refined carbohydrates: sugar, white flour and white rice. Or in other words, without using the word Paleolithic, he justifies the paleo diet. Here is an excellent chapter by chapter summary of the book [archive.org].
Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham. This book argues that the ease of digestion and the added nutritional value available in cooked food was the key behind the explosion of human intelligence. (Cooking gelatinizes starch, denatures protein, and softens all foods, permitting more complete digestion and energy extraction. As a result, the food processing apparatus shrinks, freeing energy to support a larger brain.) He then suggests that cooking led to what eventually became marriage and the sexual division of labor. The two most helpful reviews at Amazon get into great detail. The reviews average to 4+ stars.
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