A Complete Guide on What Not to Buy When Going Paleo
For folks taking on the Paleo diet, it's important to know the what you can and what you can't eat. Off-limit foods include wheat, dairy, starches, grains, and legumes. But with so many foods not allowed on this diet, you're probably wondering what exactly you can enjoy when it comes to mealtime. If you're taking on this big lifestyle change, here's a shopping list to get you started!
Fresh, Seasonal Produce
You might be surprised at some the produce you'll steer clear of (mostly starches like white potatoes) and that you can't snack on fruit all day long. All fruit and berries are welcome on the Paleo diet, but fruits high in sugar like bananas, tangerines, and grapes should be enjoyed sparingly — especially if you're trying to lose weight. For Paleo eaters, it's all about approved veggies! Here are a few of the local produce staples you should have ready to go in your crisper all year long.
- Spinach and kale (it's all about those leafy greens!)
- Sweet potatoes
- Cauliflower and broccoli
- Purple and green cabbage
- Bell peppers
- White potatoes
Enter the Animals!
Yes, the Paleo diet puts great emphasis on the importance of animal protein and fat, but the way in which the animals are raised is just as important. Grass-fed and fully pastured animals are the keywords you want to look for when shopping for meat and eggs.
- Fully pastured chicken and eggs
- Grass-fed beef
- Fully pastured pork
- Wild-caught seafood
- Commercially raised meat (whenever possible!)
- Anything that's been treated with hormones, nitrates, or antibiotics
The Healthy (Cooking) Fats You Need
People practicing the Paleo lifestyle put great emphasis on the importance of healthy fat in their diet. While grass-fed, organic animal sources will offer healthy fats, these are the staples I always have on hand when it comes to cooking. You'll find these ingredients are used in many of our Paleo recipes.
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Ghee (Ghee is clarified butter, prepared by boiling butter and removing the milk solids. You should be able to find it at your local health food store, but if not, you can make your own ghee at home.
- Hydrogenated oils
- Canola oil
- Soybean oil
For Flavor Factor
Eating clean on a Paleo plan doesn't mean you'll be chowing down on bland food. All of these pantry staples are welcome and will bring tons of flavor to your new recipes.
- Chicken, beef, and/or vegetable broth
- Gluten-free Dijon-style mustard
- Coconut aminos (in place of soy sauce)
- Coconut milk
- Your favorite natural dried herbs and spices!
- Almond and coconut flours (essential for baking and any "breading" technique)
- Raw honey and maple syrup (for occasional use!)
- Anything with dairy
- Anything with added sugar or chemicals
- Refined sugars
Fabulous Fermented Foods
The Paleo plan welcomes fermented foods that work to support your digestive system with naturally occurring probiotics that boost immunity. I always have at least one bottle of one of these flavorful and healthy foods ready to enjoy.
- Sauerkraut (You can make your own or buy a raw version from the health food store.)
The Paleo diet is all about whole, clean foods prepared at home, but having some convenience snacks on hand is necessary when you're always on the go.
- Krave Jerky
- Dried fruit
- Raw almonds and cashews (While legumes like peanuts are strictly prohibited, raw nuts and seeds are welcome in moderation!)
- Raw almond butter
- Processed convenience snacks
- Anything with an ingredient you can't pronounce!