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Healthnotes Index:

Paleolithic Diet

Paleolithic Diet: Main Image

Best Bets

  • Protein - Ideally, lean grass-fed, organic cuts of beef, bison, lamb and goat; wild-caught meats, including rabbit, elk, deer, goose, duck, pheasant, quail, and other game meat; fatty fish rich in omega-3 fats, such as salmon, sardines, and anchovies (non-cured); up to 12 whole eggs per week; and other lean meats, for example poultry, fish, ostrich, bison, and emu
  • Vegetables - Ideally, green leafy vegetables and plenty of most other vegetables is encouraged as well (small amounts of potatoes and other starchy vegetables are allowed in some versions of the Paleo Diet, but not others)
  • Fruit - Some fruits are emphasized more than others; try colorful berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries), papayas, peaches, plums, mangos, grapes, lemons, limes, watermelon, cantaloupe, tangerines, nectarines, figs, and oranges (all Paleo plans advise eating whole fruit, not juice)
  • Nuts and seeds - Try macadamia nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds
  • Milk and other dairy - The original Paleo diet does not allow any dairy foods but other versions allow small amounts; high-fat versions, such as full-fat yogurt and butter from grass-fed animals, are preferred over non-fat, low-fat or skim products
  • Fats and oils - Ideally, coconut oil, butter from grass-fed animals, olive oil, avocado oil, and nut and seed oils.

Foods to Avoid

  • Grains and legumes (including peanuts, green beans, and peas)
  • Potatoes and starchy vegetables - Not allowed in some versions of the Paleo Diet.
  • Fruit - Some versions of the Paleo Diet discourage bananas, and if weight loss is a goal, fruit is eliminated or limited to a serving or two per day
  • Nuts and seeds - In addition to peanuts, some versions of the diet avoid nuts that can’t be eaten raw, such as cashews.
  • Milk and other dairy - The original Paleo diet does not allow any dairy foods but other versions allow some high-fat dairy products
  • Sweets and added sugars - Some versions of the Paleo Diet also advocate limiting “high sugar” fruit, such as bananas

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.

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