Also known as the “caveman diet”, Paleo Diet supports the eating habits of our human hunter-gatherer ancestors.
Even if it’s impossible to know precisely what they ate in different parts of the world, studies show that their diet consisted of whole foods.
You see, if you decide to follow the Paleo Diet, you’ll have lower chances of getting a lifestyle disease such as obesity, diabetes, or heart disease. At least that’s what studies on people who stick to a whole-food-based diet show.
Do you want to accelerate your weight-loss processes?
Paleo Diet should do the trick …
Thankfully, when you “go Paleo”, you start losing weight at faster paces, and your overall health improves.
So, if you want to discover the Paleo Diet food list and want to know what to eat on Paleo Diet, then this is your go-to article.
Paleo Diet Food List: Meal Plan Basics
Firstly, you need to know there’s no perfect diet or the “right” way to eat for everyone. And that’s because we’re all wired differently.
But our ancestors thrived on different diets, depending on what they could eat at that time and the place they lived in the world.
Some of them followed low-carb diets consisting of animal foods, while others stuck to high-carb diets that included mostly plants. That’s why you have to test different diets on yourself to see what works best for you. And that’s because nothing’s written in stone.
Depending on your personal needs and preferences, you can adapt to the diet that suits your needs the best.
The basics of Paleo Diet are the following:
- Eat: Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats, and oils.
- Avoid: Processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine, and trans fats.
In other words, the Paleo Diet food list consists of whole foods and excludes processed foods.
What Foods To Avoid On The Paleo Diet?
Being a restrictive diet, Paleo Diet eliminates the following foods and ingredients:
- Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. So, say goodbye to soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream, and many others.
- Grains. Which means no bread, pasta, wheat, rye, barley, and so on.
- Legumes. No beans, lentils, and many more.
- Dairy. You should avoid most dairy (low-fat especially).
- Vegetable oils. Say goodbye to soybean oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, and so on.
- Trans fats. Usually, margarine and different processed foods have trans fats. And you should avoid them.
- Artificial sweeteners. Instead, you can use natural sweeteners (such as stevia). Avoid aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame potassium.
- Highly processed foods. Stay away from everything that has “diet” or “low-fat” on its label (artificial meal replacements included).
In other words, if it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it.
Remember, always read the ingredients list, even if the producer labels the foods as “healthy foods“.
As a summary, if you stick to the Paleo Diet, you should avoid processed foods and ingredients such as sugar, bread, trans fats, or artificial sweeteners.
Related: 14 Best Foods For Weight Loss: What Foods To Eat To Lose Weight?
Different Types Of Paleo Diet
There are various types of Paleo Diet nowadays since it has evolved in the last years.
How are they different?
Well, most of them allow you to eat modern foods that science suggests they’re healthy.
These foods include quality grass-fed butter and gluten-free grains like rice.
The Paleo Diet isn’t a strict set of rules that you should follow, but rather a template to base your diet on.
So, if you decide to start following the Paleo Diet, adding some healthy foods like gluten-free grains and grass-fed products to your paleo diet food list could be some good options.
Related: Paleo Diet Benefits: What Is Paleo Diet?
Paleo Diet Food List Pyramid: What Can You Eat On Paleo Diet?
Let’s start the Paleo Diet food list pyramid with the veggies …
When you start following the Paleo Diet, you can eat the following vegetables:
- Brussels sprouts
- Bok Choy
- Romaine lettuce
- Pumpkin Seeds
As for fruit, the Paleo Diet includes the following:
- Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- All melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew)
Let’s go further and discuss what proteins you can eat on Paleo Diet …
The best sources of protein from the Paleo Diet food list are the following:
- Beef (grass-fed preferred)
- Wild boar
- Bacon (nitrate-free preferred)
Fish (Wild-Caught Preferred)
Shellfish (Wild-Caught Preferred)
Nuts And Nut Butters
- Macadamia nuts
- Brazil nuts
- Almond butter (sugar-free)
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Chia seeds
Herbs And Spices
- Fresh Chives
- Cacao powder
- Coconut sugar
- Date sugar
- Raw honey
- Maple syrup
- Herbal and matcha tea (in moderation)
- Coconut water
- Bone broth
- Unsweetened sparkling water
- Black Coffee (in moderation)
- Low-sugar hard cider (in moderation)
- Gluten-free spirits (in moderation)
The Paleo food list pyramid continues with the following foods that you can consume in small amounts:
- Wine (high in antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients)
- Dark chocolate (quality dark chocolate is very nutritious and healthy)
What To Drink When You Follow The Paleo Diet
If you want to hydrate properly, water should be your go-to beverage.
However, if you want to drink something else from time to time, you can go for:
- Tea. Thankfully, tea is healthy and provides you numerous antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. Matcha green tea is a great option (read here our full review about matcha).
- Coffee. Being antioxidants-rich too, studies show that coffee has many health benefits that can help you win the day.
Related: Matcha Green Tea Benefits: Which Is The Best Matcha Green Tea Powder?
Below, I’ve listed you a menu that has a balanced amount of paleo-friendly foods.
- Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables (fried in coconut oil). And one piece of fruit.
- Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil. Add a hand of nuts too.
- Dinner: No-bun burgers fried in butter, with vegetables and salsa.
- Breakfast: Bacon and eggs. And one piece of fruit.
- Lunch: Leftover burgers from the day before.
- Dinner: Salmon fried in butter. Add some vegetables too.
- Breakfast: Meat with vegetables (from the night before).
- Lunch: Lettuce-leaf sandwich, with meat and fresh vegetables.
- Dinner: Ground beef stir-fry with vegetables. Add some berries too.
- Breakfast: Eggs and a piece of fruit.
- Lunch: Stir-fry from the night before. And a hand of nuts.
- Dinner: Fried pork with vegetables.
- Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables (fried in coconut oil).
- Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil. And some nuts.
- Dinner: Steak with vegetables and sweet potatoes.
- Breakfast: Eggs and bacon with some fruit.
- Lunch: Steak and vegetables (from the night before).
- Dinner: Salmon with vegetables and avocado.
- Breakfast: Meat with vegetables (from the night before).
- Lunch: Lettuce leaf sandwich, with meat and fresh vegetables.
- Dinner: Grilled chicken wings with vegetables and salsa.
Usually, you don’t have to track your calories or macronutrients (protein, carbs, or fat) when you follow the Paleo Diet. At least not in the beginning.
However, if you want to improve your weight-loss processes, you should cut carbs and limit your high-fat foods intake. And by high-fat foods, I mean nuts, almonds, cashews, and so on.
Related: Breakfast For Weight Loss: Why Is Breakfast Important?
Paleo Food List: Simple Paleo Snacks
Typically, you don’t need to eat more than three meals per day.
However, if you start to feel hungry, the Paleo food list includes the following snacks:
- Baby carrots
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Apple slices with some almond butter
- Berries with coconut cream
- Homemade beef jerky
Paleo Shopping List Example
So, I guess you got your answer to the question, “what can you eat on Paleo diet?” until now …
But you may need a shopping list example too. So your Paleo journey will be easier.
You can get started with the following:
- Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, etc.
- Poultry: Chicken, turkey, etc.
- Fish: Salmon, trout, mackerel, etc.
- Fresh Vegetables: Greens, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, etc.
- Frozen vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, vegetable mixes, etc.
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, pears, oranges, avocado
- Berries: Strawberries, blueberries
- Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts
- Almond butter
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Sweet potatoes
- Condiments: Sea salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic, parsley, etc.
Extra tip: Get rid of all unhealthy temptations from your home. And by those, I mean sodas, pastries, cookies, crackers, bread, ice cream, and cereals.
In conclusion, the basic idea of the Paleo Diet is to avoid processed foods and focus more on healthy, whole foods.
The Paleo food list includes meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and oils.
What foods should you avoid?
Processed foods, grains, and sugar.
If you want to add novelty to your Paleo diet, you can add modern healthy foods such as grass-fed butter and gluten-free grains.
If you want to learn more about the Paleo Diet and get a complete meal plan, I highly recommend you Paleohacks Cookbook.
In this cookbook, you will discover all the secrets of the Paleo Diet, including delicious Paleo meal tips.
Practically, Paleohacks Cookbook is your how-to manual and the step-by-step guide of the Paleo Diet.
Read here my full review article of this cookbook and decide whether it suits your needs or not.