Paleo isn’t about eating what we can tolerate. Sure, some people can put up with grains, legumes, dairy, and other ‘bad’ foods, but that’s not Paleo. Paleo is about eating only the amazingly healthy and delicious stuff! Here are the 12 Dos and Don’ts to follow:
1. Eat plenty of meat, including beef, lamb, poultry, pork, organ meat, fish and seafood. Meat is the most valuable source of complete protein and eating enough protein and fat will provide the basis for your fat loss. Wild caught salmon is in the top 5 superfoods and should always be on your shopping list.
2. Eat many eggs, especially egg yolks. Don’t worry about the saturated fat myth, we will explain that later. Eggs are especially important for paleo-vegetarians who want to gain muscle and lose fat.
3. Eat lots of vegetables, in a wide variety. Here’s just a few: broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, carrots, bok choi, tomatoes, cucumbers, watercress, spinach, kale, yellow squash, zucchini, beets, turnips, parsnips… just to name a few. Saute them, roast them, bake them, steam them, or fry them in coconut oil or in an Indian curry—it doesn’t matter. Broccoli and spinach are in the top 5 superfoods and should always be on your shopping list.
4. Eat healthy fats, such as animal fat (lard, tallow, bacon fat), ghee, olive oil for salads, coconut oil for cooking. Avocados, macadamias, almonds, hazelnuts and cashews are also amazing sources of healthy fats.
5. Stick to quality meat when making decisions in your grocery aisle, . Animal fat itself can be very healthy. However, most toxins in animal products concentrate in the fatty portion of the meat. So make your choice depending on the quality of the meat you have access to: if you have access to 100% grass fed organic cuts, eat as much fat as you like. If you only have access to industrially grown conventional meat, go for the leanest cut possible.
6. Eat moderate amounts of fruit, with focus on berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries). Blueberries are one of the top 5 superfoods and should be always on your shopping list.
7. Go easy on starchy vegetables. If your goal is fat loss, you should strictly limit starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes.
8. Avoid grains. Grains are source of systemic inflammation and other problems connected with carb over-consumption. Eliminate all grains from your diet: barley, wheat, corn, oats, rice, you-name-it.
9. Avoid sugar. Avoid all forms of added sugar, not just table sugar. That includes maple syrup, Splenda or Stevia. Watch out for too much fructose from fruits as well. If you are trying to lose fat, limit fruits to just one or two servings a day, or replace altogether with non-starchy vegetables.
10. Avoid legumes. Although scientific evidence against legumes is a lot less harsh than grains, most people feel the best when limiting their legumes to the occasional consumption of green beans and occasionally sugar snap peas.
11. Avoid vegetable and seed oils. I know this can be difficult if you like dining out in restaurants, but for home cooking—replace all seed oils with lard, ghee or coconut oil.
12. Avoid most dairy products. Although occasional consumption of full fat dairy products, such as unsweetened whip cream or Greek yogurt, won’t necessarily hurt you (that is, if you aren’t lactose intolerant), it’s very important that you avoid all low fat and processed forms of dairy, such as skim milk or low fat yogurt.
What are the next steps?