For those of you who want to try out a Paleo diet and just want to quickly know what you should and shouldn’t do— here are 13 Paleo Guidelines:
1. A Paleo diet should be high in fat, moderate in animal protein and low to moderate in carbohydrates. Calorie counting is not encouraged, neither is portion control.
2. Eat generous amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and butter or clarified butter. Beef tallow, lard and duck fat are also good, but only if they come from healthy and well-treated animals. Beef or lamb tallow is a better choice than lamb or duck fat.
3. Cut out all vegetable, hydrogenated and partly-hydrogenated oils including, but not limited to, margarine, soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil. Olive, avocado and macadamia oil are also good fats to use in salads and to drizzle over food, but do not cook with them.
4. Eat good amounts of animal protein. This includes red meat, poultry, pork, eggs, organs (liver, kidney, heart…), wild caught fish and shellfish. Don’t be scared to eat the fatty cuts and all meals with proteins should contain fat as well. Learn to cook with bones in the form of stocks and broths.
5. Eat generous amounts of fresh or frozen vegetables either cooked or raw and served with fat. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams are also great as a source of non-toxic carbohydrates.
6. Eat low to moderate amounts of fruits and nuts. Try to eat mostly fruits low in sugar and high in antioxidants like berries as well as nuts high in omega-3, low in omega-6 and low in total polyunsaturated fat like macadamia nuts. Consider cutting off fruits and nuts altogether if you have an autoimmune disease, digestive problems or are trying to lose weight faster.
7. Preferably choose pasture-raised and grass-fed meat from local, environmentally conscious farms. If not possible, choose lean cuts of meat and supplement your fat with coconut oil, butter or clarified butter. Also preferably choose organic, local and/or seasonal fruits and vegetables.
8. Cut out all cereal grains and legumes from your diet. This includes, but is not limited to, wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, brown rice, soy, peanuts, beans, lentils and peas.
9. Eggs? Go for it.
10. Eliminate added sugar, artificial sweeteners, soft drinks, all packaged sweets and juices (including fruit juices). As a rule of thumb, if it’s in a box, don’t eat it. When you are at the grocery store, shop primarily from the meat, fish and produce sections.
11. Avoid highly processed foods, including cured meats, such as bacon, deli meats, and hot dogs.
12. Eliminate dairy products other than butter and maybe heavy cream (no milk, cheese or yogurt).
13. Consider supplementing with vitamin D and probiotics. Levels of magnesium, iodine and vitamin K2 should also be optimized. Iodine can be obtained from seaweeds. You probably don’t need a multivitamin or other supplements.