Everything You Need to Know About the Paleo Diet in 2023

by Michael Gonzales | September 5, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About the Paleo Diet in 2023

The notion of nutrition has drastically changed during the past decade. Many people are now turning to more ancient dietary approaches than relying exclusively on modern nutrition standards. The Paleo diet, in particular, is becoming more popular than ever and showing significant promises for those who want to improve their health and lifestyle.

In this article, we will tackle the basics of the Paleo diet, what foods to eat and avoid, a sample meal plan, associated risks and potential benefits, plus relevant information about diabetic and heart health. We will also be looking at the most recent scientific evidence backing up the effects of following the Paleo diet, as well as providing some tips for making sure you get all your nutrient needs covered while sticking to this way of eating.

Don’t miss out on everything you need to know about the Paleo diet in 2023!

Short Summary

  • The Paleo Diet is a type of eating that seeks to mimic the diets of our hunter-gatherer ancestors by emphasizing whole, unprocessed foods.
  • Potential benefits of the Paleo Diet include weight loss, improved glucose control, and better body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Consult a healthcare provider prior to exploring this dietary approach and consider long-term risks associated with a high saturated fat intake.

What is the Paleo Diet?

What is the Paleo Diet
It is widely accepted that the Western diet is linked to the increased prevalence of chronic illnesses, including obesity, heart disease and cancer, and the paleo diet is based on this premise. The paleo diet focuses on eating food that is similar to what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate during the Paleolithic era by excluding processed and highly processed foods. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds are typically included, while grains, legumes and dairy products are usually excluded.

The paleo diet promotes the consumption of natural, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, proteins and healthy fats. At the same time, it reduces the intake of processed foods, refined sugars and salt. This way of eating can potentially lead to weight loss and have health benefits, however, the exclusion of entire food groups, such as grains, dairy, and legumes, has caused disagreement among experts.

In addition, there is an autoimmune paleo diet, which is a specialized version of the paleo diet designed to aid in the management of autoimmune diseases. Proponents of the paleo diet have anecdotally reported that following this type of diet eliminates symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, anxiety, migraines, and eczema, as well as weight loss and improved sleep quality.

What to Eat on the Paleo Diet

What to Eat on the Paleo Diet
The paleo diet, also known as the stone age diet, is a dietary approach that mimics the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It focuses on consuming whole, unprocessed foods such as grass-fed meat, wild seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds without added sugar or salt. The benefits of following this diet include improved overall health and wellbeing, weight loss, and prevention of certain diseases.

Although the paleo diet has many benefits, there are some foods that should be restricted or avoided. Processed foods should be avoided. Dairy products such as milk and Greek yogurt, grains like oatmeal, and legumes are also best avoided. Additionally, peanuts and peanut butter should be avoided, as they are legumes. Certain variations of the paleo diet may advise leaving out white potatoes. This would be suggested along with other specific dietary requirements. Starchy vegetables and high-sugar fruits should be eaten in moderation.

Regarding oils, extra virgin olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, and coconut oils are all acceptable. Furthermore, eggs and bananas are both considered paleo.

Foods to Include

The primary foods that should be included in the Paleo Diet are meats, fish, shellfish, vegetables, tubers, fruits, nuts, and seeds. All of these foods provide essential nutrients for the body, while avoiding the harmful chemicals found in processed foods. Additionally, grass-fed meat is leaner than meat from grain-fed animals and contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for reducing inflammation and protecting cardiovascular health. Wild seafood is also recommended, as it can increase your omega-3 intake.

When following the Paleo Diet, it is advisable to limit consumption of grains, most dairy products, and legumes. Furthermore, it is best to avoid processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, artificial sweeteners, and trans fats. Additionally, peanuts are not compliant with the Paleo diet as they are classified as legumes. It is also important to abstain from pre-marinated and cured meats that may contain added sugar when selecting meat for the paleo diet.

Foods to Avoid

Processed foods, dairy, grains, and legumes should be avoided on the Paleo diet. Processed foods are not recommended on the Paleo diet due to their high sugar, refined carbohydrate, and artificial ingredient content, which can cause inflammation and other health concerns. Dairy is not included in the Paleo diet due to its modern agricultural origin and potential difficulty to digest. Moreover, lactose and casein, which are present in dairy, can cause inflammation in the body. Grains are not recommended on the Paleo diet due to their status as a modern agricultural product, as well as their high carbohydrate content which may lead to spikes in blood sugar. Furthermore, grains contain compounds and proteins such as gluten, lectins and phytates, which some suggest can cause inflammation in the body and inhibit the absorption of other nutrients. Grains are not part of the Paleo diet. This includes all types of grains, such as wheat, corn, and oats.

The scientific community is divided on the subject of including legumes in the paleo diet. Legumes are not included in the paleo diet due to their high levels of lectins and phytic acid, which can lead to inflammation and impede nutrient absorption. Peanuts are not compliant with the Paleo diet as they are classified as legumes.

Sample Meal Plan

Sample Meal Plan
Having a sample meal plan is essential for those just starting out on the paleo diet. A sample menu for beginners on the paleo diet might include eggs and spinach with raspberries for breakfast, pumpkin seeds and dried apricots for a snack, spaghetti squash with shrimp for lunch, a banana with almond butter for an afternoon snack, and chicken with sweet potatoes and vegetables for dinner. Snacks such as pumpkin seeds and dried apricots are compliant with the paleo diet and can be included in a sample menu.

A daily menu for a paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and oils. The highlighted recipe in the source section is Paprika Chicken with Brussels sprouts.

By following the sample meal plan, those new to the paleo diet can be confident that they are consuming the appropriate foods for their diet. Eating the right foods is essential to positively affect the body and gain the most from the paleo diet. With this sample meal plan, those new to the paleo diet can make the transition easier while learning the benefits of the paleo way of eating.

Benefits of the Paleo Way of Eating

Benefits of the Paleo Way of Eating
The paleo diet is based on the premise that humans should eat the same foods as their ancestors did during the Paleolithic era, which excludes processed and highly refined foods. This diet focuses on consuming unprocessed meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats such as olive oil. By following the paleo diet, individuals can enjoy a range of health benefits, such as weight loss without the need for calorie counting, improved glucose control, and improved body fat, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

The scientific evidence supporting the health claims of the paleo diet is growing. A comprehensive analysis of four randomized, controlled trials involving 159 participants indicated that the paleo diet had positive short-term effects on certain indicators of chronic diseases, such as waist circumference and fasting blood sugar. These findings suggest that the paleo diet might have beneficial effects on health. Additionally, clinical trials exploring the effect of the paleo diet on health markers, including weight, inflammation, and insulin health, have yielded similar evidence of weight loss, lower blood pressure, and improved blood lipid levels. Those with high cholesterol who consumed paleo foods for four months experienced improvements in cholesterol and triglyceride numbers, which are key to preventing heart disease.

Risks of the Paleo Diet

Risks of the Paleo Diet
The potential risks associated with the paleo diet include an excessive intake of saturated fat, limited scientific evidence to support its effectiveness as a weight loss diet, and a potential calcium deficiency.

The paleo diet encourages the consumption of meat, which can result in an excessive amount of saturated fat. Research into various diets has revealed that the Mediterranean diet is the only one with numerous advantages and no potential adverse effects.

The paleo diet does not include dairy products, which are a significant source of calcium, thus increasing the risk of calcium deficiency.

Pro Tips to Maximizing a Paleo Diet

Pro Tips to Maximizing a Paleo Diet
Fish and lean meats are beneficial on the Paleo diet as they are a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Eating plenty of fish and lean meats is an essential part of maximizing the potential health benefits of the Paleo diet.

When it comes to snacks, it is important to make healthy choices. Instead of unhealthy snacks, opt for something healthier. A few dates or a mix of nuts and seeds flavored with spices like garlic powder and cumin are great choices.

Leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and bone broth are all excellent sources of calcium and other vital nutrients. Incorporating these foods into one's diet is a great way to ensure adequate calcium and nutrient intake.

Is the Paleo Diet Good for People with Diabetes and Heart Health?

Is the Paleo Diet Good for People with Diabetes and Heart Health?
The paleo diet's focus on whole foods such as lean meats, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats may offer potential health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. These include improved blood sugar control, lower blood pressure, and potentially weight loss. However, individuals should consult their healthcare provider before exploring the paleo diet, as there are risks associated with unrestricted consumption of red meat. Furthermore, avoiding highly processed foods and added sugars may help improve glucose control.

The potential impacts of the paleo diet on heart health vary. While some research has found that whole grains have been associated with improved cholesterol levels and a lower risk of stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, the unrestricted consumption of red meat can have a detrimental effect on heart health in individuals with diabetes. Additionally, the ketogenic and low-carb versions of the paleo diet may also pose a risk to those with diabetes, as they often involve the restriction of certain food groups. Therefore, it is essential to monitor blood sugar levels and adjust medication accordingly.

What to Expect if You Try the Paleo Diet

What to Expect if You Try the Paleo Diet
It has been observed that the Paleo diet can result in rapid weight reduction and enhanced blood sugar and pressure regulation. While these potential benefits may be attractive, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects that may occur during the initial week of following the Paleo diet. These may include headaches, fatigue, and irritability.

To ensure that nutritional needs are met while following the Paleo diet, it is important to consume Paleo-approved foods and consult a Registered Dietitian. Additionally, long-term risks associated with a high saturated fat intake should be taken into consideration, as this may lead to elevated cholesterol levels over time.

Resources for Info About the Paleo Diet

Resources for Info About the Paleo Diet
Having reliable sources of information is essential for making informed decisions about one's health. With the Paleo Diet, there are a variety of resources that can be used to gain information about this lifestyle. These include Dr. Loren Cordain's books, thepaleodiet.com, PaleoDiet.org, Cook Eat Well blog, The Paleo Solution Podcast, Nom Nom Paleo meal planner app, and Stupid Simple Paleo Tracker app.

Dr. Loren Cordain's books provide in-depth research on the Paleo Diet and offer practical guidelines for the diet. Thepaleodiet.com provides a comprehensive overview of the Paleo Diet, including what to eat, what to avoid, and the benefits of the diet. PaleoDiet.org is a website that offers an extensive library of recipes and lifestyle tips for following a Paleo Diet. Cook Eat! Well blog offers a range of Paleo-friendly recipes and advice on transitioning to the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Solution Podcast gives listeners advice on how to stick to the Paleo Diet, as well as what to consume on paleo, how to incorporate intermittent fasting, and advice on exercising. Nom Nom Paleo meal planner app is an app that helps users plan out their meals and track their daily macros. Lastly, Stupid Simple Paleo. Tracker app is an app that allows users to track their food intake and generate shopping lists.

With all of these resources available, it is easier than ever to gain reliable information about the Paleo Diet and make informed decisions about one's health.


Whether you're looking to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle journey this year or just want to further explore the idea of Paleo eating, it's important to be aware of both the potential benefits as well as risks associated with it. For those who are curious, the Paleo Diet is a way of living that seeks to mimic the diets of our hunter-gatherer ancestors — emphasizing the consumption of natural, whole foods including grass-fed meats, wild seafood, seeds, nuts, and vegetables while avoiding processed and refined foods. It has been known to offer a range of health benefits such as improved glucose control and weight loss, though incorporating more than the recommended amount of saturated fat into one's diet may also have long term repercussions and increase the risk of coronary artery disease.

If you decide to pursue the Paleo Diet ultimately, it could be helpful to create a balanced meal plan that includes lean meats, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and bone broth, and draw on other reliable resources such as books by Dr. Loren Cordain, websites, podcasts, and apps. It is crucial to always consult a healthcare provider before adopting the Paleo Diet.

Most importantly, make sure to prioritize nutrition and safety so that you can enjoy the perks of a modern caveman-style diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is paleo vs keto?

Paleo vs Keto - what's the difference? While keto follows a high-fat, low-carb diet rich in processed foods, paleo focuses on whole, unprocessed meals that are free from grains, beans, and sugars.

Is paleo inflammatory?

Based on research and studies, the Paleo Diet can reduce inflammation in the body, providing a healthier lifestyle and helping to prevent certain chronic illnesses.

What do you eat on a paleo diet?

The paleo diet is based on the idea of eating the same types of foods that our ancestors ate. It consists of real, wholesome foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.


Michael Gonzales

Michael has a diverse set of skills and passions, with a full-time career as an airline pilot and a dedicated focus on health and fitness consulting. He understands the importance of balancing a busy lifestyle with maintaining a healthy mind and body, and is committed to helping others achieve the same success. Michael's expertise in health and fitness is not just limited to physical training, but also extends to nutrition, stress management, and overall wellbeing. He takes a holistic approach to health and fitness, helping clients to achieve their goals in a sustainable and fulfilling way. With a strong desire to inspire and motivate others, Michael is always ready to share his time and knowledge with those who seek his guidance. Whether in the air or on the ground, Michael is dedicated to helping others live their best lives.

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