If you’re brand new to paleo, you might think it's mostly about meat. Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation about the paleo diet out there and the truth gets lost in the shuffle.
If you want to know how to get started with paleo, here's your beginner’s guide.
1. Focus on vegetables.
Lots of articles paint paleo as an “all meat” diet, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
A real paleo diet starts with tons of vegetables, in fact 50% of each meal should consist of vegetables.
2. Eat high quality meat.
Yes, meat consumption is encouraged. But that doesn’t mean you only eat hot dogs and bacon. Choose high-quality cuts of meat and local, organic and grass-fed selections (when possible or as your budget allows).
3. Limit fruit when possible.
Typically people lump “fruits and veggies” into one category and then most people focus just on the fruits.
The key is limiting high-sugar fruits and focusing on low-glycemic choices like raspberries and blackberries that don’t affect your blood sugar and insulin levels drastically.
4. Eat healthy fats.
Find healthy fats and eat a lot of them. Your body will want them when you move off of eating processed carbohydrates.
Avocados are your friend. So is grass-fed butter and coconut oil. Don’t be afraid — eat up!
5. Cut back on processed foods.
Limit (or completely eliminate) processed food.
Boxed food is rarely healthy, packed with sugar and preservatives and definitely isn’t paleo.
Live by this rule:
If it won’t go bad, it’s not good.
6. Eliminate added sugar.
Sugar is by far the biggest item to avoid on the paleo diet. It messes with your blood sugar and insulin levels, causing your body to store fat and gain weight.
Check labels at your grocery store (everything seems to have sugar in it these days) and limit it as much as possible.
The paleo diet can be controversial when people want to argue about the exact meal structure of cavemen, but when you break it down to the essentials — vegetables, meat, fish, fruits, nuts and seeds — it’s an incredibly sound baseline for eating well.
Interested in exploring the "pegan" diet? Start here.
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