PALEO DIET BACK TO BASICS PLAN
The key foods that you must eliminate on a Paleo eating plan are processed foods, the largest source of toxicity and malnutrition. Unfortunately, processed foods are the easiest items to eat these days, and we eat entirely too much. Grains that form the base of sandwich bread, cereals and pasta have no place in the Paleo Diet. Also, the processed fats and vegetable seed oils are also counterproductive to our health. Legumes, especially soy, and vegetable seed oils should be banished from your diet. There are no refined sugars little dairy and absolutely no processed foods in the Paleo plan.
Foods You Can Eat: (we’ll cover this in a bit more detail below)
- Fish and Seafood
- Herbs and Spices
- Natural oils (avocado, coconut, olive)
- Nuts (Seeds)
Big Paleo No No Foods (as in no, you can’t eat these):
Grains, grains (barley, rye, wheat) – Among other things they contain gluten. Avoiding grains means no bread or pasta.
Sugars (includes high fructose corn syrup) – No soft drinks, fruit drinks, ice cream, pastries, candy, etc. Sugars may promote weight gain, give you diabetes, energy crashes and blood pressure issues, among other health problems.
Legumes – This means no beans or lentils.
Dairy – Stay away from all low-fat dairy products. If you don’t have problems digesting dairy it may be okay to consume some full-fat dairy products like raw whole milk and certain cheeses but only in small amounts.
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (canola, corn, cottonseed, soybean, sunflower, etc.) – These oils cause unhealthy levels of inflammation. And remember the essential fatty acids mentioned above? One of the biggest problems today is our unbalanced intake of Omega-6 fatty acids compared to Omega-3. A major factor in this unbalanced intake is the high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids in these oils.
Margarine – margarine was created as a “healthy” alternative to butter. As it turns out, butter is the much healthier option. Most margarine has high levels of deadly trans-fats in them.
Artificial Sweeteners – you must avoid things like acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharin and sucralose on the Paleo diet.
Counting Calories or Kilojoules?
Obesity is an epidemic, and many, many health problems have been connected to obesity. Obesity is linked to diets high in processed foods, high in processed carbohydrates, and excess sugar intake. The potential health problems include heart disease, type two diabetes, cancer and stroke.
Yes, many of you are looking at this list of what you can’t eat and thinking you could never follow a Paleo lifestyle. Well, take another look at the list of things that you can eat! How often do you see some of those on a list of foods you can eat while on a so-called ‘diet?’
Not to mention the fact that a Paleo diet does not ask you to count calories!
Yummy Paleo Approved Foods!
Remember that list above of approved foods? We’re talking hamburgers, steak, pork, bison, lamb, duck, turkey, chicken and more! Bacon, baby! The world is better with bacon!
Grass-fed if you can. After all, meat with a bunch of added chemicals sort of defeats the purpose of the Paleo diet, don’t you think?
Seafood includes fish like salmon, trout, shrimp, a variety of shellfish, haddock and even more.
You can eat lots of vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, kale and tomato, as well as onions and peppers.
Sweet potatoes, yams and baked potatoes are on the approved Paleo eating list. Turnips, are also on the OK to eat list.
Yes to eggs as well – hard boiled, soft boiled, scrambled, omelet (just add some of those vegetables and even some of the meat list, if that’s what you enjoy.
Approved nuts and seeds you can eat are almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, chia seeds and macadamia nuts as well.
When you make the decision to go Paleo, a large variety of fruits can be eaten. On this list is all kinds of berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.), apples, oranges, mango and pears. This list also includes avocados which are a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that your body needs.
Oils are an important part of the Paleo diet and include the olive as mentioned earlier coconut and avocado.
Last bust not least, we have our herbs and spices. There is something here for everyone to flavor your food – Sea salt, garlic, turmeric, mint, basil, rosemary and many others can be part of your everyday eating.
Which List to Use?
You will find slightly different approved foods with the Paleo diet or the “Caveman” diet. Some will tell you that it’s okay to consume certain things in limited quantities. This includes red wine (science says there are a variety of health benefits to red wine), hot chocolate using dark chocolate, and certain teas, like green tea, that is packed with powerful antioxidants that have a lot of health benefits.
Hardcore Paleo enthusiasts will tell you to go organic as often as possible, to only eat grass-fed meat and consume wild-caught sustainable fish. If you can do this, great, but if not, don’t let that stop you. Following the Paleo diet will do wonders for you even if you don’t go hardcore organic all the way. Do what you can.