When you are new to the paleo diet, you need to first understand what you can eat when you are meal planning. It helps to start with a list of foods and ingredients that are allowed, and then you can use that list to create your meals for the week.
Meat and Protein
The first category of foods you are free to eat when you follow the paleo diet include your protein, which includes meat, seafood and eggs. When choosing meat, try to go for free-range cows, pigs, and chickens that are treated humanely and not fed any hormones. This also goes for lamb and any other meat you like to eat. Fish and seafood are popular to have on the paleo diet as well, including tuna, shellfish, shrimp, trout, salmon, and halibut. With fish, try to choose the wild-caught fish, preferably not canned. You can also have as many eggs as you like, preferably free-range eggs once again.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh produce is another big food category when you are on the paleo diet. While not every single fruit and vegetable is okay on the paleo diet, most of your favorites are probably included. With vegetables, feel free to have leafy greens like iceberg and romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, kale, and spinach. You can also go for veggies like onions, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and celery. Fruits like strawberries, bananas, pears, oranges, lemons, apples, bananas, cranberries, and pomegranates are all acceptable. Yams and sweet potatoes can be eaten, but other types of potatoes are off-limits.
Nuts, Fats, and Oils
Nuts, oils, and healthy fats are generally accepted in the paleo diet, with a few exceptions. Feel free to have all the nuts and seeds you want, except for regular peanuts. However, you can have macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. You can also have oils like avocado, olive, and coconut, but avoid vegetable oil. Healthy fats like avocado are acceptable, as well as butter sparingly. For seasoning, you can have garlic, rosemary, turmeric, pepper, and most herbs.
What to Avoid
It is important to know what you should avoid as well. To start with, most cereal can’t be eaten on the paleo diet, though you can have oatmeal with steel-cut oats. You should also avoid legumes, which include peanuts. For dairy, butter is the only exception, whereas all other dairies can’t be eaten. Also, avoid processed foods. You can’t have regular salt, though sea salt, garlic salt, and Himalayan salt are okay.