Living Paleo For Dummies
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Paleo diet foods are nutrient-dense proteins, vegetables, fruits, and fats — that any human, from cave men to modern man, would recognize as food. Eating Paleo foods will power your body with all the healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals it needs to be lean, strong, and healthy.

[Credit: © 2011]
Credit: © 2011

The Paleo diet focuses on animal proteins from high-quality sources. Surely, you'll find a lot of your favorites on this list:

Paleo-Approved Proteins
Beef Nitrite- and gluten-free
Bison Organ meats
Chicken Pork
Duck Pheasant
Eggs Quail
Elk Shellfish
Fish Turkey
Goat Veal
Lamb Venison
Nitrite- and gluten-free
deli meats
Wild boar

A rainbow of nutrient-rich vegetables makes your plate look appetizing and packs a major nutritional punch. Eat at least two servings of the following vegetables at every meal, and enjoy as much variety as possible:

Paleo-Approved Vegetables
Artichoke Eggplant Parsnip
Arugula Endive Pumpkin
Asparagus Escarole Radish
Beets Garlic Shallots
Bell peppers Greens (beet, collard, mustard, and turnip) Snow peas
Bok choy Green beans Spaghetti squash
Broccoli Kale Spinach
Brussels sprouts Kohlrabi Sugar snap peas
Cabbage Leeks Summer squash (zucchini, yellow summer squash, crookneck, marrows, straightneck, scallop, and cocozelles)
Carrots Lettuce (all types) Sweet potatoes/yams
Cauliflower Mushrooms Tomatoes
Celery Nori (seaweed) Tomatillos
Chile peppers Okra Turnips
Cucumber Onion Winter squash (butternut and acorn)

Fruit delivers its nutrition with a side serving of sweetness, so vegetables should always be the first produce priority — but one or two servings of fruit per day are satisfying and nutritious; choose any from the following table. As your body becomes balanced and your internal environment becomes cleaner and stronger, you may be able to add more fruit, but at the beginning of your transition to Paleo, sticking to one or two servings is your best strategy.

Limit your consumption of dried fruit; it's easy to overeat and lacks the nutrition of fresh fruits, while concentrating the sugars. Fruit juice should also be avoided because it provides all the sugar of the fruit, without the fiber and satiety of eating.

Paleo-Approved Fruits
Apple Grapefruit Orange
Apricot Grapes Papaya
Banana Honeydew Peach
Blackberries Kiwi Pear
Blueberries Kumquat Pineapple
Cantaloupe Lemon Plum
Cherries Lime Pomegranate
Clementine Lychee Raspberries
Cranberries Mandarin Strawberries
Date Mango Tangerine
Fig Nectarine Watermelon

Fats ensure that you feel satisfied after a meal and are vital to the function of your body and brain — plus they taste really, really good. So go ahead and eat some of the following healthy fats with every meal to ensure proper absorption of nutrients and to please your taste buds.

Paleo-Approved Essential Fats
Clarified butter (organic, grass-fed only)
Coconut (butter, fresh, flakes, oil, and milk)
Nuts and nut butters (almonds, Brazil nuts,
cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts,
pecans, pistachios, and walnuts)
Olives and olive oil
Seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and pine nuts)

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Melissa Joulwan is the author of the paleo recipe and lifestyle blog Dr. Kellyan Petrucci, who is a go-to expert in the nutritional field, helps patients build the strongest, healthiest body possible through her family-based workshops and consulting practice (

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