In this diet program, the foods may be cooked or eaten raw. Most followers of this diet program believe that in this diet, all foods should be eaten raw in order to obtain maximum nutrition from it. In any case, remember that in this diet, foods should be cooked lightly in order to maintain its nutritional value. Apart from that, foods should not be fried and can only be baked, grilled or steamed to avoid ruining the diet. The foods that can be obtained in Paleo diet include the following:
- All types of meat included in this diet should be organic or free range, meaning the animals from where these meats are taken must be bred in an open farm, allowed to graze and fed freely. This should be done in order to lower or reduce the risk of infections, such as salmonella or E. coli, which can be obtained by consuming meat in cooked or raw form. The meats consumed in this diet should not contain breading as well, since bread is forbidden from this diet. It should also contain low amount of fat and the meat should be lean.
- For the vegetables, one important rule that should be followed is that vegetables should be eaten raw. Legumes are not allowed in this diet, which means green beans and peas are not permitted as well. Kale is very popular in the Paleo diet, as well as most types of vegetables excluding potatoes, as they contain high amount of starch. For the fruits, almost all types are allowed but if you are following this diet to lose weight, it would be best to avoid fruits containing high amount of sugar, such as grapes, mangoes and bananas.
- All types of seeds and nuts are allowed in this diet, except for peanuts as they are legumes.
- Olive oil, canola oil and oil from seeds and nuts are known as unprocessed oils and are all allowed in Paleo diet. Hydrogenated oils and vegetable oils, on the other hand, should be avoided.
- Tea without milk, water, fresh fruit and vegetable juices are all permitted. As much as possible, stay away from alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
Before you start preparing your meals, here are the foods that should be removed from your Paleo diet food list:
- Grains: wheat and wheat products, corn and rice
- Legumes: peanuts, peas and beans
- Dairy Products: cheese, milk, yogurt, butter, cottage cheese and ice cream
- Salt and refined sugar
- Processed oils: peanut oil, corn oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, cottonseed oil and soybean oil
- Starchy foods: yams, potatoes, cassava, beet, manioc and sweet potato
- Processed meats: salami, bacon, red meat, sausages and meat with skin or fats
- Pickled products and yeast
If the diet is too harsh for you, you can start slow and gradually eliminate the forbidden foods from your diet. This should be done in order to benefit from the diet without having to give up on it. Take note that in this diet, you will be consuming natural foods only, so you can also start slowly eliminating processed and junk foods from your diet before you actually start with the Paleo diet.