The Paleo Diet: Explained

An Easy to Understand Explanation of the Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet Foods

The Paleo diet focuses on foods that give your body everything it needs to thrive; meat, fowl, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. These foods provide the building blocks for success; nothing else is needed.

I use the word diet very loosely, as I see Paleo more as a lifestyle than as a diet. Eating Paleo is a sustainable way to live that promotes overall wellness and provides your mind and body with everything it needs to be it’s very best.

Whether you committed to the Paleo diet voluntarily (like myself), or were forced into it for medical or health reasons, we all follow the same general nutritional guidelines.

The Paleo diet focuses on whole, unprocessed foods as the foundation of every meal while eliminating grains, dairy, refined sugars, legumes, and vegetable oils. What’s great about the Paleo diet is it’s not restrictive. While there are some foods you’ll be avoiding; there are plenty more you’ll be embracing. Visit the Paleo pantry for more ideas!

The Paleo Diet: Explained

First, let’s clear up any misconceptions; you will not see ‘cave folk‘ running around with giant wooden objects bopping prehistoric creatures on the head and eating them raw. Eating Paleo refers to the way our ancestors ate before the agriculture revolution, anything that could be gathered, grown or hunted our ancestors ate and thrived on. (And you will too)!

Below you will find a list of foods you should avoid as well as a list of foods you should love and embrace. While there are some foods that more objectionable than others, it crucial to understand the basics of the Paleo diet for a clear understanding. As you start to transition these objectionable foods from your diet, you’ll likely notice some desired changes! I invite you to share those changes with others in the comment section at the end of this article or on social media to give them motivation!


Foods to Avoid


Avoid all grains (wheat, rye, corn, barley, oats, etc.). This includes all processed foods containing grains, such as breakfast cereals, pasta, crackers, donuts, cake, and brownie mixes, etc.

Polyunsaturated Fats & Oils

Avoid all fats and oils that contain canola, soy, corn, safflower, sunflower, and fake butter spreads. This includes processed foods that use these fats and oils.

Refined Sugars

Avoid all refined sugars, including table sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, processed syrups and honey, agave, hidden sugars in processed sauces, dressings, marinades, and designer coffee drinks.

Sweetened Beverages

Avoid all artificially sweetened designer beverages, including soda, sports drinks, nut, and yogurt-based kinds of milk and smoothies, energy drinks, flavored waters, and juices from concentrate.sugar, corn syrup, processed syrups and honey, agave, hidden sugars in processed sauces, dressings, marinades, and designer coffee drinks.

Processed Proteins

Avoid all processed designer meats such as hot dogs, deli meats, breakfast sausages, and those from concentrated animal feeding operations.

Non-Organic Produce

Avoid all canned fruits and vegetables that are preserved with chemicals and sugar or are conventionally grown using fertilizers and pesticides.

Foods to Love


Replace grain and legume-based foods with those of nut, seed, and tuber-based flours and butters from coconuts, almonds, cassava, and arrowroot.

Fats & Oils

Replace vegetable and seed oils with lard, tallow, ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil, and extra-virgin olive oil.


Replace refined sugars with natural sugars such as raw honey, pure maple syrup, and coconut sugar.


Replace designer beverages with water, herbal teas, coffee, unsweetened nut-based milks, black coffee, and smoothies.


Replace processed proteins with fresh chicken, duck, fowl, eggs, beef, turkey, pork, bison, elk, lamb, goat, rabbit, venison, freshwater fish, shellfish, and seafood.


Replace all canned and conventional produce with fresh, local, and organic when possible fruits and vegetables. The options here are limitless when it comes to picking out fruits and vegetables!

Wrapping Up The Paleo Diet: Explained

While there are some foods to avoid, there are plenty more to embrace! Soon you’ll be able to navigate the Paleo diet with ease and enjoy your journey to health and wellness with real foods! If you still need help or have questions, you can email me at or schedule your free consult call here.

More Resources

Paleo on a Budget

Stocking Your Paleo Pantry

Stocking Your Paleo Fridge

Raising Paleo Kids

Make it Paleo: 15 Paleo Food Swaps

Paleo Guides

Free Paleo Resources