Best Fruits For Paleo Diet – If you’ve ever dieted, you know that it is a challenge to stay away from sweet things. And today there are plenty of people eating the Paleo Diet because they want to keep their body healthy and energetic. Because I am so passionate about living a healthy and nourished life. I decided to compile a list of my top fruits for paleo diet in this article to share with people that are curious about the paleo diet and healthy living.
Best Fruits For Paleo Diet of What to Eat and Avoid
Whole, unprocessed foods — including fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats — are staples in the paleo diet, while all grains, most dairy, sugar, beans, and peanut butter are off-limits
Unless you’ve been living under a (ahem, Paleolithic) rock, you’ve heard about the paleo diet. The diet may lead to weight loss in the short term, as well as lower blood pressure, controlled blood sugar, and other possible benefits. () So it’s no surprise that this eating approach has gained popularity since the publication in 2010 of the hit book The Paleo Diet, authored by Loren Cordain, PhD, a professor emeritus at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins and the founder of the paleo diet movement.
The aim of this approach is to eat like our Paleolithic ancestors, who reportedly didn’t have farms that provided food groups like grains and most dairy (though the grains claim is disputed) — and didn’t have access to modern-day packaged, processed foods. “The paleo diet is all about unprocessed, natural foods: Think vegetables, fruit, meat, seafood, natural fat sources, nuts, seeds, and eggs,” says Ginger Hultin, RDN, a wellness coach with Arivale based in Seattle.
The Basics of the Paleo Diet: How the Plan Works
The paleo diet philosophy involves returning to the way our cavemen and cavewomen ancestors ate more than 12,000 years ago, before agriculture practices were developed — namely, a time when food needs were met solely through hunting and gathering.
What Does Science Say About What You Can’t Eat on the Paleo Diet?
Those claims aren’t always backed up by scientific evidence.
For instance, promoters of the paleo diet say wheat consumption is linked to chronic digestive and inflammatory illnesses, but there’s no firm evidence that people who have not been diagnosed with the autoimmune condition celiac disease should avoid wheat and other gluten-laden foods.)
The paleo diet eliminates dairy because its advocates say many people are lactose intolerant, and because eating dairy has been associated with Crohn’s disease, among other claims. While you wouldn’t want to eat lactose (a sugar found in dairy) if your body can’t tolerate it, there’s no proof that eating dairy causes Crohn’s or worsens symptoms in those who have been diagnosed.
The Best Dairy Alternatives for People With Crohn’s
Similarly, paleo fans eschew legumes (beans and peas), soy, and peanuts because of a compound called phytic acid; but phytic acid may not be as harmful as they believe.
But researchshows that in varied, balanced diets, the effects of phytic acid are not generally worrisome and that our guts can adapt to a diet that’s high in phytic acid. Plus, some of these foods — particularly beans — offer many compounds and are linked to positive health outcomes, such as a lower risk for metabolic disease, heart disease, and diabetes, according to a May 2014 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Other food exclusions mandated in the paleo diet do have a clear and proven health benefit for all individuals. “Another group of foods you’ll cut out are processed vegetable oils and refined sugar, including white and brown sugars, agave, corn syrup, and all artificial sweeteners,” Hultin says. An April 2014 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that added sugars have been linked in studies to a host of health problems, such as increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Meanwhile, a meta-analysis published in July 2017 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal connects artificial sweeteners to weight gain, and they may even cause increased cravings and digestive problems — just some of the reasons they’re nixed from a paleo diet plan.
Grains (including whole grains and those that are gluten-free), dairy, and legumes are banned from thepaleo diet. That means no peanut butter or peanuts, because followers of thepaleo diet consider peanuts a legume rather than a nut.
Who Shouldn’t Try the Paleo Diet?
Before you try the paleo diet, be sure to discuss any underlying health issues with your doctor. For example, people at risk for heart disease, those who have kidney damage, and those who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes should avoid the paleo diet.
But if your doctor has given you the green light to try the plan, now’s the time to toss the foods that aren’t allowed — and stock up on the ones that are.
Foods and Drinks to Avoid on the Paleo Diet
Many common foods in the Western diet are not allowed in the paleo diet.
Here are the top foods to avoid:
- Pasta (including whole-wheat and gluten-free)
- Beans, lentils, and peanuts
- Refined vegetable oils
- Refined sugar: white and brown sugars, agave, corn, syrup, artificial sweeteners, candy
- Refined sugar
- Processed foods including frozen or processed dinners, packaged foods and snacks
- Salty foods
- Sweetened beverages
- Drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners
- Peanut butter
What Does Eliminating These Foods Mean for Your Health?
Because of the exclusion of major food groups considered healthy by most standards — dairy, whole grains, beans, and lentils — following the paleo diet long term may lead to nutrient deficiencies, experts warn.
Whole grains are an important source of nutrition — aside from cholesterol-lowering fiber, these complex carbohydrates offer B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, and minerals including iron, magnesium, and selenium, Hultin says. “While the paleo diet is based on a high veggie intake with fruits included as well, its followers will be missing out on rich sources of nutrients from whole grains, soy foods, and legumes,” she says.
Be sure to discuss any diet changes with your doctor if you’re new to the paleo diet to make sure the plan is safe for you.
What Can I Eat on the Paleo Diet? A Comprehensive Food List to Guide You
“People going paleo should think of this as a diet with tons of fresh vegetables as the foundation of what they’ll be eating,” says Hultin.
Here are some of the best veggies to gather up if you’re trying the paleo diet:
- Brussels sprouts
- Bok choy
- Romaine lettuce
- Pumpkin Seeds
Fruit can be a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth on the paleo diet. Remember: No packaged sweets (aka cookies, cakes, brownies, and the like) are allowed on this eating plan!
Here are some of the fruits you can eat on the paleo diet:
- Berries, including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries
- All melons, including watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew
- Tomatoes (including sun-dried)
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“Protein is another hallmark of the paleo diet, but this isn’t a free pass to just eat [processed] bacon all day,” says Hultin, who recommends eating the popular breakfast meat in moderation and opting for the nitrate-free variety when possible.
Also note that anything that swims is fair game on the paleo diet (a big plus for seafood lovers!). Here are the best sources of protein on the paleo diet:
- Chicken (free-range preferred)
- Beef (grass-fed preferred)
- Wild boar
- Bacon (nitrate-free preferred)
Fish (Wild-Caught Preferred)
Shellfish (Wild-Caught Preferred)
Nuts and Nut Butters
- Macadamia nuts
- Brazil nuts
- Almond butter (free of sugar and artificial sweeteners)
Eggs (Fully Pastured or Free-Range)
You’ll want to opt for eggs from fully pastured or free-range chickens, which are allowed to feed outside of cages.
“Fat is critical in the diet, and having a variety here is important, too — it’s not just all about the butter,” Hultin says. You’ll be getting fat from the protein you eat, but you’ll need some other types for cooking and flavor.
Here are some of the healthy fats you should eat on the paleo diet:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Ghee (made from grass-fed butter)
- Chia seeds
The Complete Paleo Diet Food List: What to Eat and What to Avoid
Our comprehensive list of paleo diet foods tells you exactly what you can (and can’t) eat on this prehistoric diet. Plan your shopping list with these paleo meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and oils, plus see a sample day of paleo eating.
The paleo diet is meant to mimic what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. But what foods should you eat to follow this diet and what foods do you want to avoid? If you’re new to the paleo diet, knowing what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner can be hard. As with most diets, there are foods that are allowed and not allowed. Some foods also fall into a bit of a grey area and are sometimes allowed.
Our ultimate list of paleo-approved foods will help simplify your planning if you’re dining out or cooking at home. Whether you’re a beginner, looking for a refresher on the rules or just want to adopt some of the healthiest parts of the Paleo Diet, here’s what you need to know to eat paleo.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The premise behind “eating paleo” is that the current Western diet is contributing to the rise of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and cancer. Paleo diet proponents claim, eating this way can reduce inflammation, improve workouts, increase energy, help with weight loss, stabilize blood sugar and even reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
The pros of paleo are that it focuses on increasing intake of whole foods, fruits and vegetables, healthy proteins and healthy fats and decreasing consumption of processed foods, sugar and salt. For those looking to eat a more well-rounded diet, these “guidelines” sound familiar and altogether healthy.
However, the paleo diet also advocates cutting out grains, dairy and legumes, and this has caused controversy among scientists. These foods, despite what paleo advocates claim, are healthful and can be good sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Foods You Can Eat on the Paleo Diet
In short, if your ancestors could hunt or gather it, it is allowed on the paleo diet. This includes:
- Grass-fed meat:choosing grass-fed is healthier for you, the environment and closer to what our ancestors ate.
- Fish and seafood: choose wild-caught
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy oils (olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)
Meat & Seafood
Most meat and seafood fits on a paleo diet. Meat is a source of lean protein, and protein is the building block of all cells and tissues. Protein also helps keep you full. Watch out for pre-marinated and cured meats that may contain added sugar. Common meat and seafood choices include:
Paleo Meat & Seafood
Grass-fed meat is recommended on the paleo diet because it is leaner than meat from grain-fed animals and has more omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats that reduce inflammation in the body and protect your heart. A typical American diet is high in saturated and trans fats and lower in healthy poly- and monounsaturated fats, hence the paleo diet’s emphasis on grass-fed meats.
Look for chicken raised without antibiotics and try to source your meat from a local farm to learn more about how it was raised.
Choosing wild seafood over farm-caught may help boost your omega-3 intake too. That’s not always the case, but look for wild salmon and other sustainably-caught seafood when you’re eating paleo.
Fruits & Vegetables
There is little argument over the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. They are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. The only caveat for paleo dieters is that some vegetables are starchy (e.g., potatoes) and some fruits are higher in sugar (e.g., bananas). So, if you are trying to lose weight or watch your blood sugar levels, eat these in moderation. In fact, potatoes are banned from some strict versions of the diet.
Many paleo followers wonder if bananas are paleo, because of their higher sugar content. They are considered paleo. One medium banana has 100 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 25 grams of carbohydrate. Bananas are a good source of potassium and they are an unprocessed, whole food.
The key to remember with eating paleo is that you want your diet to contain unprocessed, whole foods so fruits and vegetables should make up a bulk of your diet. Frozen vegetables without added sauce, are also allowed on a paleo diet.
Examples of produce to eat on a paleo diet:
- Brussels sprouts
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
- Berries: including blackberries, blueberries and strawberries
- Citrus fruits
Eggs are allowed because they are high in protein, B vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are also affordable and easy to prepare. Buy “organic” and “cage-free” eggs for a higher omega-3 content than eggs from chickens raised in cages.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are full of healthy fats, fiber and protein. Plus, they were foraged in prehistoric times, so you can load up your cart with them. Keep in mind that peanuts are not considered paleo because they are technically legumes (see our picks for the 6 healthiest nuts to eat).
Paleo Nuts & Seeds
- Macadamia nuts
- Pine nuts
- Brazil nuts
- Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Chia seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Flax seeds
Oils are trickier. Loren Cordain, Ph.D., founder of The Paleo Diet Movement, breaks down which oils are healthy on the paleo diet: olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut oils are all allowed because they were gathered directly from the plant. While our hunter-gatherer ancestors probably did not consume flaxseed oil, it is allowed because of its content of high alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid.
- Olive oil
- Walnut oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Macadamia oil
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
Foods You Should Avoid on the Paleo Diet
If you are following a strict paleo diet, you should avoid the following foods. These foods are not permitted on the paleo diet:
- Cereal grains
- Legumes (peanuts, beans, lentils, tofu)
- Refined sugar
- Processed foods
- Soda & sweetened beverages
- Refined vegetable oils
- Artificial sweeteners
Say goodbye to cereal, crackers, rice, pasta, bread and beer. Yes, beer. All grains are forbidden on the paleo diet. Why? First, grains are a product of modern agriculture; cavemen didn’t nosh on bread. Second, grains are high in carbohydrates, which can spike your blood sugar.
Paleo critics point out that not all grains are created equal-whole grains do not spike your blood sugar as much as refined grains. Even so, paleo dieters still steer clear of grains because they contain different compounds and proteins like gluten, lectins and phytates, which they claim cause inflammation in the body and block other nutrients from being absorbed. Paleo critics say these compounds are not a problem unless you have an allergy or sensitivity. Learn more about the science behind lectins.
Legumes are members of a large family of plants that have a seed or pod. This category includes all beans, peas, lentils, tofu and other soy foods, and peanuts. This also includes peanut butter and soy sauce. Legumes are not allowed on paleo because of their high content of lectins and phytic acid. Similar to grains, this is a point of controversy in the scientific community. In fact, lots of research supports eating legumes as part of a healthy diet because they are low in fat and high in fiber, protein and iron.
Processed foods are full of the rest of the no-no’s on the paleo diet: refined sugars, salt, refined vegetable oils and artificial sweeteners. Our ancestors didn’t eat these foods. Plus, there is little argument in the scientific community that refined sugars and excess salt contribute to obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.
There is some disagreement, however, over vegetable oils and artificial sweeteners. The American Heart Association recommends consuming corn, safflower and canola oils, but paleo plans say these are “not allowed” because of the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and the way the oils are processed.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) condones artificial sweeteners as safe to consume, but they are not allowed on paleo since they are a man-made, processed food. Plus, although artificial sweeteners lower calories in food, research shows they can still cause us to crave sweets and that they can be harmful to our gut bacteria.
PALEO DIET FOOD LIST
Below you’ll find a list of common Paleo-approved foods by category. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, but instead aims to cover the most popular food items available in grocery stores today.
Beef, pork, lamb, veal, rabbit, goat, sheep, bison, wild boar.
Deer, pheasant, bear, moose, woodcock, elk, duck, rabbit, reindeer, wild turkey.
Chicken, turkey, duck, quail, goose.
Salmon, tuna, trout, bass, halibut, sole, haddock, turbot, walleye, tilapia, cod, flatfish, grouper, mackerel, anchovy, herring, catfish.
Crab, lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams, oysters, mussels.
Avocados, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, clarified butter (ghee), lard, tallow, duck fat, veal fat, lamb fat, fatty fishes (sardines, mackerel, salmon), nut butters, nut oils (walnut, macadamia), coconut flesh, coconut milk.
Chicken eggs, duck eggs, goose eggs, quail eggs.
Celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, leeks, kohlrabi, green onions, eggplants, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, cucumber, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, okra, avocados.
Green leafy vegetables
Lettuce, spinach, collard greens, kale, beet top, mustard greens, dandelion, swiss chard, watercress, turnip greens, seaweeds, endive, arugula (rocket), bok choy, rapini, chicory, radicchio.
Carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, radish, jerusalem artichokes, yams, cassava.
Butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, pumpkin, buttercup squash.
Zucchini, yellow summer squash, yellow crookneck squash.
Bananas, apples, oranges, berries (strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry), plantains, grapefruit, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, pomegranates, pineapple, papaya, grapes, cantaloupe, cherries, apricot, watermelon, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemon, lime, lychee, mango, tangerine, coconut, figs, dates, olives, passion fruit, persimmon.