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The Ultimate Paleo Diet Food List [+Infographics]

Jeremy Hendon | June 12
The ultimate Paleo Diet Food List - get the full list and downloadable PDF here: http://paleomagazine.com/paleo-diet-food-list

Eating Paleo is actually pretty simple.

Ultimate Paleo Diet Food ListEat foods that our ancestors might have eaten 1,000,000 years ago. But as simple as that sounds, it’s not always obvious whether a food existed that long ago.

And more importantly, that’s only a starting point. It makes sense that a food will probably be safe and healthy if it has been eaten for a million years, but newer foods definitely could be healthy.

So to make going Paleo as easy as possible, I’ve put together this Paleo Diet Food List.

Paleo Diet Food List Infographic

Here’s a quick infographic showing the Paleo diet food list – please feel free to share and pin! (To embed the infographic on your blog, just copy and paste the embed code below.)

Paleo Diet Food List Infographic Image - visit http://paleomagazine.com/paleo-diet-food-list to get this complete Paleo Diet Food List - including a downloadable PDF to reference wherever you go

Here are 3 things to keep in mind:

    1. Other Paleo food lists might be different. Many lists haven’t been updated in ages, so they rely on outdated science and myth. This list is based on the most up-to-date understanding of each of these foods.

      Even so, it’s certainly possible to disagree that certain foods should or should not be eaten on a Paleo diet. For instance, potatoes are a big source of disagreement. You’re never going to get complete agreement, but this list is an excellent place to start.

Click Here To Get The Entire Paleo Diet Food List PDF Emailed To You (it’s beautifully designed)

  1. This list should be customized for your particular body and life. If you’re diabetic and severely obese, then you probably shouldn’t be eating hardly any potatoes, sweet potatoes, or anything else that spikes your blood sugar, at least not until you get your blood sugar under control. On the other hand, if you’re 25 years old and incredibly active, you probably need to eat a lot more sweet potato and taro.
  2. If you have specific goals, specific allergies, or specific diseases, then one or more of these foods may not make sense. If you want to lose weight, cut out almost all nuts for a while. If you’ve got irritable bowel syndrome, even berries may not be a good idea. Those sorts of things are not covered in this list because there are just too many possibilities.

Here is a video I put together covering many of the foods on this list:

In order to make things even easier, I’ve divided the list into 3 parts:

EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT OF THESE PALEO FOODS

Vegetables

Pretty much all vegetables are Paleo. Just remember that grains like corn, wheat, and rice are NOT vegetables.

Paleo - Eat Lots of Vegetables

Acorn Squash

Artichoke Hearts

Artichokes

Arugula (Rocket)

Asparagus

Avocado

Beet Top

Beets

Bell Peppers

Bok Choy

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Carrots

Cauliflower

Celery

Chicory

Collard Greens

Cucumber

Dandelion

Eggplant

Endive

Fennel

Green Onions

Jerusalem Artichokes

Jicama

Kale

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Lettuce

Mushrooms (All Kinds)

Mustard Greens

Okra

Onions

Parsley

Parsnips

Peppers (All Kinds)

Pumpkin

Radicchio

Radish

Rapini

Seaweed

Spaghetti Squash

Spinach

Squash

Swiss Chard

Tomatoes

Turnip Greens

Watercress

Yellow Summer Squash

Zucchini

Fruits

Most fruits are different than they were a million years ago, but some are healthier than others. Here are the best.

Blackberry

Blueberry

Coconut

Cranberry

Raspberry

Olives

Lime

Lemon

Meats

Every meat is Paleo, but quality makes a difference. Buy grass-fed, wild, and pastured when applicable and possible. Also, ignore any sites that tell you to eat only lean meats – that advice is based on 20-year old research and beliefs. If you have trouble getting good quality meats in the US, then check out US Wellness Meats here and get it delivered to your door!

Paleo - Eat Meat

Alligator

Bear

Beef

Bison

Chicken

Deer

Duck

Elk

Goat

Goose

Horse

Kangaroo

Lamb

Moose

Pheasant

Pork

Quail

Rabbit

Reindeer

Sheep

Snake

Turkey

Veal

Wild Boar

Wild Turkey

Organ Meats

In the United States, organ meats have fallen out of favor, but there is no other category of food that is as nutritious. Eat any of the following from pretty much any animal. Again, US Wellness Meats can send these to your door in the US if you have trouble finding them.

Heart

Liver

Kidney

Bone Marrow

Tongue

Tripe

Legumes

Almost all legumes are off limits, but green beans and peas are actually still in seed form and fine to eat.

Green Beans
Peas

Cooking Oils

Paleo - Eat These FatsPay particular attention to the oils that you cook in. These can make a huge difference in your overall health.

Avocado Oil

Butter (if you tolerate dairy)

Ghee

Coconut Oil

Lard

Tallow

Olive Oil

Macadamia Oil

Palm Oil

Duck Fat

Walnut Oil (small amounts)

Sesame Oil (small amounts)

Fish

This is something that mainstream health has always gotten right. Fish is highly nutritious, but buy wild-caught fish whenever possible.

Paleo - Eat Seafood

Anchovies

Bass

Cod

Eel

Haddock

Halibut

Mackerel

Mahi Mahi

Orange Roughy

Perch

Red Snapper

Rockfish

Salmon (including smoked salmon)

Sardines

Tilapia

Tuna

Sole

Grouper

Turbot

Trout

Shark

Shellfish and other Seafood

Apart from organ meats, shellfish is the most nutrient-dense food you can eat. Often expensive, but worth it.

Abalone

Clams

Crab

Lobster

Mussels

Oysters

Shrimp

Scallops

Other

These foods do not neatly fall into any other category, but you should eat them at will.

Eggs (of any animal)

Spices (check ingredients for blends)

Herbs (check ingredients for blends)

Tea

Coconut Milk

Almond Milk

Mustard

Hot Sauce

Vinegars (check ingredients)

Gluten-Free Tamari Sauce or Coconut Aminos

Fish Sauce

Vanilla Extract

Gelatin

EAT THESE FOODS, BUT NOT TOO MUCH

Vegetables

There isn’t anything wrong with the following vegetables, but it’s easy to eat too much of them. The more active you are, the less you need to worry about avoiding these vegetables.

Butternut Squash

Cassava

Sweet Potato

Taro

Turnips

Yam

Potato

Fruits

These fruits are still Paleo, but you should eat them only occasionally as they’re much higher in sugar.

Paleo - Eat Some Fruit

Apples

Apricot

Bananas

Cantaloupe

Cherries

Dates

Figs

Goji Berry

Grapefruit

Grapes

Guava

Honeydew Melon

Kiwi

Lychee

Mango

Nectarines

Oranges

Papaya

Passion Fruit

Peaches

Pears

Persimmon

Pineapple

Plums

Pomegranates

Star Fruit

Strawberry

Tangerine

Watermelon

Nuts and Seeds

Paleo - Eat Nuts in ModerationHumans have also always eaten nuts and seeds, but like fruits, you shouldn’t go wild, since humans rarely had access to plentiful supplies of nuts and seeds.

Almonds

Brazil Nuts

Hazelnuts

Macadamias

Pecans

Pine Nuts

Pistachios

Pumpkin Seeds

Sesame Seeds

Sunflower Seeds

Walnuts

Chestnuts

Raw or Fermented Dairy

This is a special category. You should eliminate these foods for at least a month, then reintroduce them to see how they make you feel.

Raw, unpasteurized milk

Kefir

Full-Fat Yogurt

Raw Cheese

“Paleo” Sugars

Raw honey, Maple Syrup, and Coconut Sugar are OK, but don’t overeat these! In the end, there’s not a huge difference between the various sugars, so try to avoid them all if possible.

Other

These foods cause some people more problems than others, so it’s best to eliminate them for a while, then test out how they make you feel, and only ever consume them in very small amounts.

Dark Chocolate (> 85%)

Coffee

Fermented foods (e.g., Kombucha, Coconut Kefir, Kimchi, Natto)

Almond Flour

Coconut Flour

Arrowroot Powder

Tapioca Starch

Potato Starch

Dried Fruits (small amounts)

Fruit Juices (small amounts)

Cacao Powder (unsweetened)

AVOID THESE FOODS

Sweeteners

Paleo - Do Not Eat SugarIf a food has added sugar in any form, try to avoid it. Some of these sweeteners are better than others, but the simplest and healthiest route is just to forgo them all.

Sugar

HFCS

Artificial Sweeteners

Agave

Maltodextrin

Corn Syrup

Rice Syrup

Any Diet or Sugary Soda

Any Candy

Vegetable and Seed Oils

There are few things that will derail your health as much as these oils. With so many healthy oils to choose from (above), make sure to avoid these.

corn oil

canola oil

vegetable oil

soybean oil

shortening

sunflower oil

safflower oil

cottonseed oil

grapeseed oil

peanut oil

margarine

Grains

Grains are not evil, but they’re very low in nutrients and relatively high in toxins. It’s best to skip them all. Note that even some foods labeled “gluten-free” will contain grains so check the ingredients! White rice is often considered OK in small amounts if you are fairly athletic and healthy and don’t have blood sugar issues or don’t need to lose weight.

Paleo - Do Not Eat Grains

Wheat

Barley

Corn

Millet

Oats

Brown Rice

Rye

Sorghum

Spelt

Any Pasta

Any Bread

Any Crackers

Any Cookies

Waffles

Pancakes

Pizza

Rice Cakes

Pasteurized Dairy

While raw and fermented dairy has some redeeming qualities, these highly-processed forms of dairy should be avoided.

Milk (other than raw)

Ice Cream

Yogurt

Cream

Sour Cream

Legumes

Of all the things on the list of foods to avoid, beans are the least bad. Still, there’s not a whole lot of reason to eat them, and if you have digestive issues or are trying to lose weight, you’ll do much better without these in your diet. Note – avoid peanut and soy products regardless.

Paleo - Do Not Eat Legumes

Garbanzo Beans

Black Beans

Kidney Beans

Mung Beans

String Beans

Lima Beans

Chickpeas

Black-Eyed Peas

Lentils

Peanuts

Soybeans

Tofu

Soymilk

White Beans

Pinto Beans

Fava Beans

Red Beans

All Processed Foods

This is a catch-all, but an important one.

If it doesn’t look like it was recently part of a plant or animal, don’t eat it. While there are exceptions to this rule, it’s best to stick to the rule for as long as possible.

Other

For optimal health, also avoid the following:

Alcohol (including beer, wine, and spirits)

Pseudo-grains (including buckwheat and quinoa)

The Short Paleo Diet Food List Infographic

If you need something to pin to remind you what to eat on Paleo, then here it is – pin away!

paleo diet food list general categories infographic - visit http://paleomagazine.com/paleo-diet-food-list to get this complete Paleo Diet Food List - including a downloadable PDF to reference wherever you go

Click Here To Get The Entire Paleo Diet Food List PDF Emailed To You (it’s beautifully designed)

Paleo Recipes

And here are some Paleo recipes for each category in the above inforgraphic.

Paleo Recipes with Meat

Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Blackcurrant Glaze
Paleo Buffalo Wings
Grilled Pork Belly with Chimichurri
Sweet BBQ Pulled Pork

Paleo Recipes with Vegetables

Easy Morning Green Smoothie
Paleo Fried Zucchini
Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce
Cilantro Roasted Potatoes

Paleo Recipes with Seafood

Lemon Basil Shrimp
Crispy Skin Sous Vide Salmon
Shrimp Scampi with Beet Noodles
Smoked Salmon and Veggie Frittata

Paleo Recipes with Fruit

Mini Blueberry Galettes
Coconut Water Fruit Popsicles
Tropical Green Smoothie Bowl

Paleo Recipes with Nuts

Honey Chipotle Snack Mix
Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Spread (AKA Homemade Nutella!)
Macadamia Crusted Halibut
Strawberry Shortcake

Paleo Recipes with Seeds

Sesame Fish Cakes
Almond Chia Pudding
Sunflower Banana Waffles

 

Ginger Sanders - June 12

Thank you for this easy list to pass on to others. I am just starting on this journey and not at all an “expert” but I am a believer. Many just think it is another diet or fad. Some see it as a low carb thing. This clear article will be a good conversation starter as well as a reminder for me about why I am doing this in the first place. Thank you!

    Jeremy Hendon - June 12

    Thanks so much! I try to keep it as simple as possible, because I believe that being able to stick to and explain things is as important as anything else.

Katherine Page - June 14

I’ve been Paleo for about a year now, and I get excited about how good I feel and how easy it is to follow this lifestyle. I can’t believe I lived for so long not feeling good and thought that was normal. How can you go wrong with real food from the earth?

    Jeremy Hendon - June 14

    Katherine – I completely agree. I think that a huge number of people don’t realize how much better they could feel, solely by eating real food. Many doctors and health professionals are starting to come around, though, and I think that’s a very good start.

Natalie - October 3

I thought that cherries were one of the only fruits that were up there with the berries in terms of nutrients and low sugar? Or are they actually not that good for you

    Jeremy Hendon - October 3

    To be honest, I don’t think most fruits are a problem if you’re not overweight, diabetic, or generally inactive. I don’t know many people who develop problems from any fruits, but once you have issues like diabesity, etc., fruits are a bit more of a concern.

    When it comes to cherries, they have nutrients comparable to many other fruits, but they’re pretty high in sugar overall, so they’re not ideal.

Sherri - July 10

I have Hashimotos Thyroiditis. For years they have been treating my thyroid with synthetic hormones, however, they never once tried to treat the auto immune response my body has to certain triggers. It’s been a frustrating journey for the last 10 years. I am a HUGE proponent of healing the body with/through food. I’ve done so much research on what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat…to no avail. I know certain foods trigger the auto immune response on my body which leaves me uncomfortably bloated, achy, and super tired.

I started eating the foods on your list for the 7-day challenge. For starters, I was not hungry, did not crave sugar, had energy throughout the day, slept amazing (did not wake up at 2 am), feel less achy in my joints, and NO bloating! I feel great so far! My goal is to continue on this journey to heal my body from the inside out.

Thanks Jeremy for your videos, information, and inspiration. I truly appreciate it.

In good health…..

Sherri

Jan - July 11

What about goat’s milk cheese? I am a cheese addict and want to know what, if any, cheeses I can eat.

    Louise Hendon - July 17

    Cheese generally not considered paleo, although some people are able to deal well with hard cheeses. I would try going off all dairy for 30 days and then reintroducing cheeses to see how your body deals with it.

Sidney - July 31

Is it okay for me to drink coconut milk while on a Paleo diet?

    Louise Hendon - July 31

    Yes – but check the ingredients if you buy packaged coconut milk.

      Sidney - July 31

      Is it okay if it is (as I was recently told) a coconut drink like so delicous brand

        Louise Hendon - August 1

        Hi Sidney – I’ve often bought coconut milk from So Delicious (the no added sugar one). It does have some thickeners in it that I’m not found of like guar gum and carrageenan, but if you can’t get coconut milk that’s purer, then this is a decent substitute (as long as you don’t feel the guar gum or carrageenan is affecting your digestion). It’s often good as “milk” in coffee or tea.

Sidney - August 1

Also any coconut drinks like from the brand so delicious.

Liz - August 17

My husband & I very new to Paleo. Please clarify a few things for me: do you buy premade coconut and/or almond milk? If not, do you make your own through a hi-powered blender like a Vitamix? Also, my husband has an iodine allergy & doesn’t eat any seafood. What other Paleo foods can he get Omega 3 fats from (he also doesn’t like avocados)? And lastly, is there a limit to how many eggs we can eat in a week? Should we limit our breakfasts to 2 or 3 times/wk with egg dishes & eat non-egg dishes the other days?
Thank you for all your advice, pdf’s, you tube videos & recipes & magazine! I’ve found all the information incredibly helpful & a bit easier to navigate through this new lifestyle- which I agree is definitely the right choice!!

    Louise Hendon - August 17

    Hi Liz – I buy premade coconut and almond milk usually, but it’s not that hard to make it yourself. Fish oil and pasture-raised meat are also good sources of omega-3s. No limit to number of eggs – it’s up to you 🙂 Hope that helps!

      Liz - August 20

      Thanks so much for these answers 🙂

Laurie - January 1

You have lard as a suitable fat to use. The only lard I can find in my grocery store is hydrogenated and has BHT and BPA added. Is it good or bad to use?

    Louise Hendon - January 1

    Great question – no those lards aren’t good to use. I’ve seen lard sold in the US in butchers and in Whole Foods.

Jana - January 2

I am surprise about the avoidance of Grapeseed Oil. I like to use it . It tolerates a high Temp.and is a neutral. I sometimes use it to make my own Mayo, because all Mayo, also Organic is made from Soybean oil.I do not know why , Grapeseed oil is
no good. I do not like to make a Mayo with Olive oil, because of the taste. I might
try the Avocado oil.

    Louise Hendon - January 5

    Hi Jana – great question! Grapeseed oil is made by pressing oil out of the seeds of grapes, so it shares many of the problems of other seed oils (high in omega-6, extracted chemically).

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