I know there are a lot of other Paleo Food Lists out there, but why not make one up of my own?
These are foods that you can eat as much as you want of
Spices and Herbs – can be freely used. This includes garlic and ginger.
Most vegetables – remember, corn is a grain, not a vegetable even if it is eaten like one. Also avoid the starchy vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes. Aim to buy seasonally, organic and local for preference.
Beets including the tops
Bok Choy and other asian greens such as Gai-lan
Green Beans – technically a legume but can be eaten raw, and low in the anti-nutrients that most legumes contain.
Mushrooms (All Kinds)
Pea-pods (mange-tout/snap-peas) – technically a legume, but can be eaten raw and are low in the anti-nutrients that most legumes contain.
Squash (all kinds)
Yellow Summer Squash
Fruits – most fruits are high in sugar and should be eaten in moderation. These are the ones that are best to eat. Aim to buy seasonally, organic and local for preference.
Berries (all types)
Melon (all types)
Meat – if possible buy only grass-fed/pastured/wild meats. Eat the fat and the skin where possible as well and consider nose to tail eating including the organ meats. If you are having to buy meat that is not grass-fed/pastured (most standard grocery store meat), choose the leanest cuts possible and trim the excess fat as it will be very high in inflammatory-causing omega 6 fats.
Fish and Seafood – choose sustainable wild-caught fish and seafood where possible. Avoid farmed fish such as salmon as the flesh will be low in omega 3 and relatively high in omega 6. Consider eating the roe (eggs/caviar) from fish.
Black Cod (Sablefish)
Caviar (fish eggs/roe) – avoid sturgeon caviar as they are rapidly becoming an endangered species. Choose caviar from other fish instead and consider eating the roe/eggs you find in your fish when gutting it.
Eggs – The eggs of all birds are Paleo. Where possible eat only pastured eggs or omega 3 enriched eggs. If necessary, eat organic eggs as a third choice. Avoid standard grocery store eggs as they will be laid by unhealthy hens that are raised in very overcrowded conditions.
Cooking Oils/Fats – Avoid the grain based oils, most nut and seed oils and “vegetable oil”. Also avoid all trans-fats (including margarine). Where possible use only animal fats that are pastured/grass-fed/free-range. Consider saving the fat that renders out of the meat you are cooking.
Lard (pork fat)
Tallow (mutton/lamb fat)
Schmaltz (chicken fat)
Suet (ok if you can find it where it has not been tossed with flour) – this is the rendered fat from around the kidneys
These Foods Should Be Eaten In Moderation
Vegetables – these are the more carb-heavy vegetables. Best avoided or eaten in moderation if you are wanting to loose weight. Aim to buy seasonally, organic and local for preference.
Fruits – these fruits are higher in sugar, so limit your consumption, especially if you want to loose weight. Remember, drying fruits concentrates the sugar, and each dried fruit counts as one whole fruit. Eat your fruit as whole fruits not fruit juice as that way you get the benefit of the fiber. Aim to buy seasonally. Organic and local for preference.
Nuts and Seeds – these should be considered more of a condiment. Nuts and seeds, with the exception of macadamia nuts are very high in Omega 6 and chestnuts are very starchy and high in carbs.
Meats and Fats – these are ok to eat in moderation as long as you can source quality bacon/ham that has been cured without sugar. For preference choose meats that are nitrate free and made from pastured pork.
Dairy – These foods are Primal rather than Paleo. For some people they can be problematic, others will have no issue with them. Where possible, buy only organic or pastured dairy. If raw unpasteurized dairy is available buy that as a first preference. (Not possible in Canada where it is illegal to sell raw dairy).
Sweeteners – these natural sweeteners can still cause a spike in insulin levels, so keep the use to a minimum. Their saving grace is that they contain some trace nutrients.
Fruit juice (may be used in moderation as sweetener. It contains none of the fiber from the original fruits and is essentially sugar-water)
Real Maple Syrup
Stevia – sugar free, but can contribute to maintaining a “sweet-tooth”.
Other Foods – some of these foods can cause a problem for some people, others don’t have a problem with them at all.
Dark Chocolate (choose types with 85% cocoa solids)
Alcohol – dry wines and spirits not made from grains (tequila, wheat free vodka, brandy). Use only club-soda/soda water as a mixer with a little citrus juice for flavour
Avoid These Foods
Oils and Fats –
Grains – low in nutrients, high in carbs and anti-nutrients, these are best avoided.
Anything made from flour from any of the above grains
Legumes – the only exceptions I make to these are green beans and pea-pods. While technically still legumes, these do not contain many of the anti-nutrients that the rest of the legumes contain. They can also be consumed raw.
Sweeteners – these foods contain mostly empty calories and will cause a spike in your blood sugar, with a resulting rise in your insulin levels.
Sugar (all forms)
Fructose (fruit sugar)
High Fructose Corn Syrup (may be listed on labels as glucose/fructose)
Artificial Sweeteners (all types)
Any Soda (with the exception of soda water/club soda)
Beer and spirits made from grains (Whisky, Rum, Vodka etc), sweet wines.
Most condiments and relishes (read the labels)
Highly Processed Meats (Hot dogs, most deli meats, salami etc)
And finally all highly processed food. If your great-grandma would not recognize it as food don’t eat it. Read the labels. If it contains any ingredients listed in the “Do not eat” category above, do not eat it. If there are more than 5 ingredients on the label don’t eat it (most processed foods contain far more than 5 ingredients). If it contains ingredients that you don’t recognize or cannot pronounce don’t eat it.