Are you new to the Paleo diet? When you first start following this eating plan, you may not know what you can and can’t eat. You may feel as though it’s a minefield but it doesn’t have to be. Using a Paleo food list (or a cheat sheet!) will help you to master this plan. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the staples you will need to know about.
Why Do You Need a Paleo Food List?
The Paleo diet is based on the food that humans would have eaten during the Paleolithic era. That means that it is based around lean meat, fish, shellfish, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and seeds. You have to avoid grains, legumes, cereals, dairy, processed foods, refined sugars, or added salts. Put simply, it can be a lot to remember.
That’s where a Paleo food list can be ultra useful. The guide includes some of the major food types and ingredients you can include as a part of your daily diet. It takes the hassle out of deciding what you need to buy when you hit the grocery store. That should mean that getting healthy and Paleo-friendly food is easier than ever before.
How You Should Use This Paleo Diet Food List
You should use the list as a guide to help you decide what to eat. Remember, the following Paleo diet food list is not extensive—you can add extra things to it. However, it does highlight some of the staples that you can use in a whole variety of different recipes. Write down the foods that you will likely use regularly to remember them.
Cheap, easy, and delicious—it’s hard to beat the humble egg. Hard-boiled eggs contain more than 12g of protein per 100g, according to the USDA. Try to avoid frying these ingredients to keep them as healthy as possible.
Offering low-fat, high-quality protein, fish is a great addition to your Paleo food list. Research published in the US National Library of Medicine suggests that eating fish is good for your heart health.
Chicken is a lean meat and packs more than 27g of protein per 100g. Try roasting this meat rather than frying it for the healthiest results. You can make the meat extra tasty by cooking it in herbs and spices too.
- Red meat
Rich in iron and “high biological value protein”, adding red meat to your Paleo food list is a smart move. Aim for lean cuts of meat to avoid overindulging in animal fats.
Fruits & Vegetables
- Leafy greens
From spinach to the ever-popular kale, leafy greens should be on everybody’s Paleo diet food list. What’s more, these ingredients have been linked to brain health, according to the Neurology Journal.
Looking to add some color to your Paleo diet meal plan? These vegetables are highly versatile and boast high levels of vitamin C and A. Add some to your meals.
If you’re looking for a fantastic source of antioxidants, tomatoes could be the way to go. These fruits have a high level of antioxidants and may also decrease the risk of chronic diseases.
High in vitamin C and other nutrients, apples make an excellent addition to your recipes or can be a great snack. If you’re craving a sweet treat, why not try some apple slices and dip them in honey?
Low in calories and high in iron, beets are strikingly high in nutrition. There are many ways in which you can add these root vegetables to your diet. Why not make your own slaw or roast the beets?
Finding Paleo desserts can often be hard so why not try some berries? From strawberries to cherries, there are many options here. There has also been research to link eating berries to a lower risk of cardiovascular issues.
No Paleo food list is complete without a healthy dose of asparagus. These vegetables may also help you boost your heart health and regulate your blood sugar levels.
- Citrus fruit
Lemons, limes, and oranges—citrus fruit are ideal additions to many recipes. Plus, these fruits are high in vitamin C and a good source of dietary fiber. You can use these fruits for flavor by squeezing the juice onto salads.
Avocados are must-have food items on a Paleo shopping list. These fruits offer high levels of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Research published in the US National Library of Medicine suggests that avocados can support weight management.
When you’re writing your Paleo shopping list, you need to make sure that you include mushrooms. These fungi can be used in a diverse range of meals and can make fantastic meat substitutes. Research suggests that eating mushrooms may also help to reduce your chances of mental decline as you age.
When you’re feeling peckish, reaching for a handful of nuts will help to satisfy your cravings. These snacks are high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Why not keep some in your bag so that you always have a snack on-hand?
Seeds also make for a smart Paleo snack option. Try pumpkin seeds or even sunflower seeds. Eating these snacks may also have a positive impact on your heart health, according to research published in the US National Library of Medicine.
- Coconut oil
Finding oils to put on your Paleo food list can be quite tricky. However, coconut oil is worth having in your cupboard. This oil may also help to beat high blood pressure when combined with exercise, according to an animal-based study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism journal.
- Olive oil
Whether you use it as a dressing or cook with it, olive oil should be on your Paleo food list. Research published in the US National Library of Medicine suggests that including olive oil in your diet may lead to a lower risk of heart disease.
There’s great news for coffee-lovers, you can include this drink on your Paleo shopping list. Drinking this beverage has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease in women, according to research from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- Sparkling water
Hydration is key when leading a healthy lifestyle. If you’re tired of drinking still water, mix things up a little with a sparkling alternative.
Condiments & Dressings
- Hot sauce
Need to add a kick to your Paleo meals? Using a little hot sauce on your dishes will give you the flavor you’re craving. Ensure that you choose a sauce that is natural rather than processed so that it aligns with your Paleo diet food list.
Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, make sure that you put some honey on your Paleo shopping list. Aside from adding a level of sweetness to any recipe or drink, honey is also super high in antioxidants too. Be sure to make this your “go to” sweetener.
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Charlotte is a seasoned content writer, journalist, and fitness enthusiast. Thanks to this passion, in her professional work, she focuses on the health niche and her work has been seen in major publications around the globe.
Since embarking on a lifelong journey toward better wellness, she has become completely fascinated by modern diet trends. She has now researched both Keto and Paleo eating plans in-depth in a bid to better understand their possible benefits and how they work.