What can I eat if I follow a Paleo Lifestyle? I’ve said it before, but when modern humans eliminate bread, grains, and sugar from their diets they are often completely confounded on what they can actually eat. These guidelines will help get you started.
My general rule of thumb is if you can eat something in its raw (uncooked, unprocessed, unheated, unaltered) state then you can eat it following a Paleo lifestyle.
Examples: you can eat meat, eggs, seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds raw. You may prefer to cook them, but they can be eaten raw.
1) peas, green beans, and snow peas. Yes, they are technically legumes but they are acceptable in moderation. Other green vegetables like broccoli and kale are more nutrient dense.
2) winter squashes, pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Even though these need to be cooked, squashes and sweet potato are Paleo friendly.
3) corn. technically a vegetable, highly hybridized, not easily digested and not likely to be eaten in a raw state. Being Primarily Paleo, a cobb or two of corn once in a while will not set you too far back. Eating corn more regularly may not help you reach your goals.
A Paleo lifestyle is not inherently a low carb lifestyle, though it is likely lower in carbs than your old way of eating. .
Fruits, starchy vegetables, and nuts all supply carbohydrates. Endurance athletes, frequent CrossFitters, children, pregnant and nursing mothers may be eating more carbohydrates than those looking to shed a few pounds. Being Paleo can be low carb, but it doesn’t have to be.
Low carb and low fat DO NOT WORK together.
Eating Paleo should not leave you hungry or feeling deprived, which is a clear sign you are not eating enough food. Fat creates satiety. Trying to combine low fat and low carb usually amounts to being too short on calories, which will make a person cranky, moody, and put their body into starvation mode which will hold on to excess weight.
Quality is more important than quantity.
Healthy animals that led happy lives roaming around outside, while eating grass or bugs, are better for you too eat too. Sadly, not everyone has affordable access to organic, pastured animals. Do the best you can to eat the whole foods and meats that you can afford, rather than processed foods and make the best choice you can for your wallet.
Coconut, almond flour, and other grain free flours/ thickeners can be used following a Paleo lifestyle. These alternative gluten free and grain free flours offer the ability to make ‘treats’, portable Paleo food options and are kid friendly for bringing to school or celebrating special occasions. Eating too many Paleo brownies or cookies may not help you reach your goals because they can spike your blood sugar, and they are more highly processed than whole foods
When starting off making healthier choices and cleaning up your diet, make baby steps in a positive direction. This site offers support on being Primarily Paleo, which is being as Paleo as you can or chose to be depending on your goals. Hang in there and aim for eating Paleo 80 % of the time.