What Is On the Paleo Diet Food List?

November 12, 2012

What Is On the Paleo Diet Food List?

The Caveman diet or Paleo diet is a diet based on foods that ancient humans were thought to have consumed during the Paleolithic era. This was when humans still relied on hunting and foraging for whatever food they could find and long before humans became herders and farmers. The Paleolithic age ended about 10,000 years ago. The Paleo diet food list was introduced to the modern world by a gastroenterologist named Walter L. Voegtlinin the 1970s. He called it the Stone Age Diet. The Paleo diet food list gained new followers with the publication of Loren Cordain’s bestselling book “Paleo Diet” (2002.) Allowable Foods The Paleo diet food list basically contains three lists – allowable foods, foods to only eat once in a while and unallowable foods. Allowable foods contain animal-based protein such as lean red meat, poultry, fish and shellfish. Followers of the Paleo diet are encouraged to try all types of commercially available eggs and go hunting for their own meat from animals such as alligator, bear, pigeon (squab), bison and rattlesnake. Also allowed are nuts and seeds, except peanuts. Peanuts are technically legumes and not allowable on the Paleo diet food list. Allowable nuts include walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and Macadamia nuts. Allowable seeds include sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds.

Foods to Eat Sparingly

These foods can only be eaten as an occasional treat or, at the most, a small amount per day. Cooking oils, although probably not used 10,000 years ago, are a necessity now in order to cook food safely. Use only 4 tablespoons per day.

Dried fruits, called caveman sweets, are allowed but only up to 2 ounces per day. A 6 ounce mixture of 4 ounces of dried fruit or fresh fruit and 2 ounces of nuts is also allowed.

Modern beverages like tea and coffee are not banned outright on the Paleo diet food list, but are highly discouraged. Herbal tea is allowed, as long as it is not filled with sugar or discouraged ingredients. Sugar-free drinks contain artificial sweeteners which may increase hunger cravings. One 12 ounce beer or hard cider per day is allowed. Wine drinkers are allowed 2 glasses per day.

Foods Not Allowed

Forbidden foods on the Paleo diet include foods that came about only due to selective animal breeding for milk and farming. They also do not include processed foods made in large factories. The Paleo diet food list also highly discourages certain types of meats either because they are too fatty or contain too much preservatives and artificial chemicals.

Not allowed on the caveman diet are any dairy products; any cereal products; all sweets including honey and all legumes. Legumes include peanuts, chick peas, lentils, soybeans, kidney beans, pinto beans and just about any other kind of bean. Starchy vegetables are also not allowed. This includes potatoes, yams and cassava root.

Meats not allowed include bacon, hot dogs, sausages, ham, pork rinds, lamb, pork or beef ribs, any canned meat, any smoked meat, any dark poultry meat and any poultry skin. Also not allowed are condiments like ketchup, relish and pickles.

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