Concepts and Substitutions
When I discussed what a Paleo diet is, I did not dive into the “fruits and vegetables” of what it actually means for a diet. Like many diets, some versions or interpretations of Paleo ingredients differ from others.
Generally, here are foods to eat:
- Meats – choose grass-fed/organic/antibiotic free when available or able.
- Seafood – try to use sustainable, wild-caught breeds that are lower in mercury.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds (excluding peanuts, which are technically legumes)
- Healthful oils – olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut
Likewise, here are foods to avoid:
- Legumes – beans, soy and soy-based items, peanuts
- Refined sugars
- Processed foods
- Soda and sweetened beverages
- Refined vegetable oils
- Artificial sweeteners
The autoimmune protocol items, or things that could cause inflammation in the gut, step up the restrictions quite a bit. As with most dietary restrictions, the thought is to strictly follow the diet for 30 days and then reintroduce items one at a time to see if any adverse effects or reactions occur.
Things that are acceptable:
- Meat and fish – choose grass-fed/organic/antibiotic free when available or able
- Vegetables – except nightshades (they sound evil!)
- Sweet potatoes
- Coconut milk
- Avocado, olive, and coconut oils
- Honey or maple syrup – raw, organic honey sourced from your local area is best
- Fresh, non-seed herbs
- Bone broth
Things to avoid:
- All dairy
- Legumes – beans, peanuts, soy, etc.
- Nightshades – Eggplant, tomatoes/tomatillos, peppers (bell, chile, sweet, etc.), potatoes
- All sugars and sugar replacements
- Butter and ghee
- All oils – except olive, avocado, coconut