Paleo Diet Food Basics

Paleo Diet Food Basics
Fruit photo created by bublikhaus –

When it comes to the Paleo diet, most people have a lot of questions about which foods are allowed on the diet and which are strictly prohibited.

Basically, the Paleo Diet emphasizes the consumption of fresh lean meats, fish and other seafood, fruits, and vegetables. Because of the many restrictions in this diet program, you will see that it has lesser percentages of unhealthy fats, sugar, and sodium.

Agricultural products such as grains, legumes, dairy, and processed foods are not allowed. Lean meats need to be taken from healthy, free-grazing animal sources. “Free-grazing” refers to animals that consume grass from pastures and are not kept in holding pens. While it is preferred that meat be eaten raw, you can cook meats by steaming, grilling, or broiling. Meats should definitely not be fried and all fats in the meat should be trimmed away. Seafood such as cod, salmon, and shrimp are also preferably eaten raw, but you can cook them using the same techniques as regular meats.

The best fruits and vegetables to eat in a Paleo Diet are those that have been harvested directly from the plant itself. It does not include potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and root crops. Beans and other legumes are also forbidden. This applies to products produced from legumes, such as soya, soy milk, and tofu. Grains like rice, wheat, oats, and barley are also not allowed in this diet program.

While legumes are prohibited in the Paleo Diet, the program advocates an increase in the intake of nuts. With the notable exception of peanuts (which are actually legumes), you should eat more almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, chestnuts, just to name a few.

The Paleo Diet also restricts the intake of salt and vinegar as well as yeast and pickled or fermented foods. Instead of using salt, you can go for substitutes with high sodium content, such as celery. Vinegar is ideally substituted with lemon or lime juice. The diet program advocates the use of all-natural seasonings. These would include cayenne pepper, powdered garlic, chili powder, lemon pepper, and oregano.

Processed and refined sugars are strictly prohibited in the Paleo Diet. Instead, you should eat more foods that contain natural sugars, such as fruits and vegetables. Great natural sugar sources include maple syrup and honey. You can also use natural substitute sweeteners like vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Similarly, you should only use natural oils when cooking. Do not use processed cooking oils and hydrolyzed fats. Instead, use healthier alternatives like olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil, and flaxseed oil.

There is no truth to anti-Paleo Diet advocates’ claims that the foods in this diet program are not flavorful and palatable. As can be seen above, there are many healthier foods that you can substitute for salt, vinegar, and other processed seasonings. There are many Paleo Diet websites that offer hundreds of recipes using the foods that were mentioned earlier.

Also, the Paleo Diet doesn’t just encourage you to eat healthy. It also includes an exercise plan which will help you to lose weight and improve your overall health.

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