Paleo Diet Food List

Paleo Diet Food List

The following is a comprehensive paleo diet food list. In it, you’ll find a list of paleo diet meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, oils that are allowed on the paleo diet (and even some paleo diet desserts – yes, they exist!). This list will not only give you a solid starting point for the paleo diet, but also get your mouth drooling (but you won’t hear us complaining). Want more specifics on the types of food you can put on your paleo diet food list the next time you go to the grocery store? Nom, nom nom. Let’s get started!

After multiple requests, we’ve turned this Paleo Diet Food List resource into a downloadable PDF so you can download it, print it off and use it on your next trip to the grocery store. Simply right click and download this paleo diet food list pdf.

Paleo Diet Food List

For a quick “do-eat” & “don’t-eat” primer, see our quick-reference below.

EAT:

  • Grass-produced meats
  • Fish/seafood
  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Healthy oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

DON’T EAT:

  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Candy / Junk / Processed Food


If you have more questions on specific foods, we’ve included a comprehensive list of the foods on the paleo diet. You’ll see that here we have a list of foods allowed and foods not allowed on the paleo diet. We’ve also broken this list down into the specific food groups so you can see what types of meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts or fats are on the paleo diet. In addition to all that, we’ve also included a list of comprehensive foods not allowed on the paleo diet.

paleo diet food list banner

There’s often confusion about what falls where, so we’ve tried to clarify that as much as possible. You can click on the links below to jump directly to whatever section of the food list you’re interested in. You can also check out our handy “is it paleo?” web app for a quick & easy paleo food search. Good luck and happy eating!

Paleo Foods Allowed:
Paleo Diet Meats | Paleo Diet Vegetables | Paleo Diet Oils/Fats | Paleo Diet Nuts | Paleo Diet Fruits

Foods Not Allowed:

Dairy | Soft Drinks | Fruit Juices | Legumes | Grains | Fatty Meats | Salty Foods | Starchy Vegetables | Artificial Sweeteners| SnacksEnergy DrinksSweets

Paleo Diet Food List

Paleo Diet Meats

This is a list of paleo diet meats allowed on the diet. Almost all meats are paleo by definition. Of course, you’ll want to stay away from highly processed meats and meats that are very high in fat (stuff like spam, hot dogs are other low-quality meat), but if it used to moo, oink or make some other sound – it’s almost certainly paleo (and yes, that means you can still have bacon – although don’t do anything too crazy with it). Here’s the full list below:

  • Poultry
  • Turkey
  • Chicken Breast
  • Pork Tenderloin
  • Pork Chops
  • Steak
  • Veal
  • Bacon
  • Pork
  • Ground Beef
  • Grass Fed Beef
  • Chicken Thigh
  • Chicken Leg
  • Chicken Wings (yum!)
  • Lamb rack
  • Shrimp
  • Lobster
  • Clams
  • Salmon
  • Venison Steaks
  • Buffalo
  • New York Steak
  • Bison
  • Bison Steaks
  • Bison Jerky
  • Bison Ribeye
  • Bison Sirloin
  • Lamb Chops
  • Rabbit
  • Goat
  • Elk
  • Emu
  • Goose
  • Kangaroo
  • Bear (good luck getting this!)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Eggs (duck, chicken or goose)
  • Wild Boar
  • Reindeer
  • Turtle
  • Ostrich
  • Pheasant
  • Quail
  • Lean Veal
  • Chuck Steak
  • Rattlesnake
Yes, we love bacon so much as a paleo diet meat, that we put it on there twice! Now for a photo of it! Nom. Nom. Nom. Delicious!
 

Paleo Diet Fish

Fish are definitely on the paleo diet and they’re chock full of good stuff like Omega 3s as well. If it swims and has fins, it’s definitely paleo. Have at it!

  • Bass
  • Salmon
  • Halibut
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Red Snapper
  • Shark
  • Sunfish
  • Swordfish
  • Tilapia
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Paleo Diet Seafood

Down in New Orleans and want to have a crawfish boil? Paleo. Swap it out for shrimp? Ditto. Heck, even a stop at Red Lobster is good as long as you stay away from the rolls. Check out the tons of different seafood you can eat on the paleo diet.

  • Crab
  • Crawfish
  • Crayfish
  • Shrimp
  • Clams
  • Lobster
  • Scallops
  • Oysters

Paleo Diet Vegetables

Paleo diet vegetables. Almost all vegetables foods are on the paleo diet as well – but you need to be careful in discerning the difference here. Vegetables with a high starch content – such as potatoes, and squashes  - tend to have low nutritional value in comparison to the amount of starches/carbs/sugars they contain. While they’re not bad for you, they’re not always that great for you either.

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Peppers (All Kinds)
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsley
  • Eggplant
  • Green Onions

—–

  • Butternut Squash*
  • Acorn Squash*
  • Yam*
  • Sweet Potato*
  • Beets*

Paleo Diet Oils/Fats

Paleo diet oils. Contrary to popular belief, fat doesn’t make you fat – carbs do (and the standard american diet has a ton of them!). Natural oils and fats are your body’s preferred way of creating energy so it’s best to give your body what it’s asking for! The following are some of the best types of paleo oils and fats that you can give your body if you’re in need of some additional sustained energy.

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Macadamia Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Grass fed Butter

Paleo Diet Nuts

We love nuts! (does that sound bad?) Nuts are decidedly paleo. Be careful as cashews are high in fat and for some reason, they’re incredibly easy to eat an entire jar in one sitting (that’s just not us, is it?). If you’re trying to lose weight, limit the amount of nuts you’re consuming – otherwise have it. I mean, after all, you can’t beat a good almond/pecan/walnut nut mix can you?

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Macadamia Nut
  • Walnuts

Please note – peanuts are NOT actually a nut & are not paleo. For more on this see our legume article.

Paleo Diet Food List Mac Nuts

Paleo Diet Fruits**

Paleo Diet Food List

Paleo diet fruits are not only delicious, but they’re great for you. Fruits, even paleo-approved ones, contain large amounts of fructose which – while much better than HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup) – is still sugar. If you’re lookign to lose weight on the paleo diet, you’ll want to cut back on the fruit intake and focus more on the vegetables allowed on the paleo diet. However, feel free to have 1-3 servings of fruit a day and enjoy yourself. Check out this list of paleo diet fruits and see if you’re not hungry by the end! (we’ll admit, we’re partial to the blackberries).

  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Mango
  • Lychee
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Lemon
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple Guava
  • Lime
  • Raspberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Tangerine
  • Figs
  • Oranges
  • Bananas*

Paleo Diet Food List Fruits

*You’ll notice, while these starchy foods are great for energy replacement for paleo diet athletes who are spending long periods of time exercising and need some of the starchier foods on the paleo diet to sustain their energy levels. As long as you’re training, you’ll find these are great sources of energy replacements, especially post- workouts. However, if you’re trying to lose weight on the paleo diet, you’ll want to limit the quantities of these that you’re eating.

**Eat high-sugar fruits in moderation. They’re great for you, but easy to overdo. Remember your caveman predecessor didn’t have access to Florida orange groves 24/7 so you probably shouldn’t try to eat a bushel of oranges in your next paleo diet meal.

This is a pretty comprehensive list of foods available on the paleo diet, and we’re constantly updating it. If you’re looking for ways to eat these, check out some of the paleo diet recipes on our site or visit the paleo diet blogs we’re featuring – to get even more delicious ideas for paleo diet food you can eat.

Paleo Diet Foods Index & Overview

Paleo Diet Foods  | Paleo Diet Meats | Paleo Diet Vegetables | Paleo Diet Nuts | Paleo Diet Seeds | Paleo Diet Fats | Paleo Diet Oils | Paleo Diet Fruits | Paleo Diet Sweeteners 

List of Foods Not Allowed on The Paleo Diet

This is a complete list of foods not allowed on the paleo diet. It’s a sad day when you first have to say goodbye to these foods while starting out on your paleo diet journey, but once you start, it’s much easier and you find there are even better paleo substitutes for these. The first few weeks might be tough, but if you stick with it over time, it’ll be worth it. We promise. Here’s the ultimate list of foods not allowed on the paleo diet.

Dairy

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Non fat dairy creamer
  • Skim milk
  • 2% milk
  • Whole mil (sometimes)
  • Dairy spreads
  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered milk
  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Ice Milk
  • Low fat milk
  • Ice cream

Soft drinks 

Soft drinks, pop and coke are packed with sugar and high fructose corn syrup and are definitely NOT paleo.

  • Coke
  • Sprite
  • Pepsi
  • Mountain Dew
  • [insert list of soft drinks here]

Fruit Juices

Fruit juices are super high in sugar (fructose) and will throw your paleo diet off track. Stay away from these ones.

  • Apple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Grape Juice
  • Strawberry Juice
  • Chinola Juice
  • Starfruit Juice
  • Mango Juice

Grains

Anything that has a grain in it you should avoid on the paleo diet. Yes, anything. If you pretend that grains are the devil – you’ll find it’s much easier to avoid them.

  • Cereals
  • Bread
  • English Muffin
  • Toast
  • Sandwiches
  • Triscuits
  • Wheat Thins
  • Crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Corn
  • Corn Syrup
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Wheat
  • Pancakes
  • Hash Browns
  • Beer (and the world mourned)
  • Pasta
  • Fettuchini
  • Lasagna

Legumes

Don’t know what a legume is? That’s okay, we’ve put together a primer on what legumes are and why, unfortunately, they’re not paleo. For the paleo diet, legumes are not on the menu, sorry. Here’s the ones you should specifically avoid:

  • All beans (listed below)
    • Black Beans
    • Broad Beans
    • Fava Beans
    • Garbanzo Beans
    • Horse Beans
    • Kidney Beans
    • Lima Beans
    • Mung Beans
    • Adzuki Beans
    • Navy Beans
    • Pinto Beans
    • Red Beans
    • Green Beans
    • String Beans
    • White Beans
  • Peas (listed below)
    • Black Eyed Peas (and yes, you should also avoid the band)
    • Chickpeas
    • Snowpeas
    • Sugar snap peas
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Miso
  • Lentils
  • Lupins
  • Mesquite
  • Soybeans
  • All soybean products and derivatives
  • Tofu


Artificial Sweeteners

Bad news – sweeteners aren’t paleo sweetie. All artificial sweeteners are by definition – artificial and not paleo. If you’d like to sweeten your foods, use honey, maple syrup or (if you’re really in a pinch – stevia).

  • ACESULFAME POTASSIUM
    • ACK 
    • Ace K
    • Equal Spoonful (also +aspartame)
    • Sweet One
    • Sunett
  • ASPARTAME
    • APM
    • AminoSweet (but not in US)
    • Aspartyl-phenylalanine-1-methyl ester 
    • Canderel (not in US)
    • Equal Classic
    • NatraTaste Blue
    • NutraSweet
  • ASPARTAME-ACESULFAME SALT
    • TwinSweet (Europe only)
  • CYCLAMATE
    • Not in US as per FDA
    • Calcium cyclamate
    • Cologran = cyclamate and saccharin; not in US
    • Sucaryl
  • ERYTHRITOL
    • Sugar alcohol
    • Zerose
    • ZSweet
  • GLYCEROL
    • Glycerin
    • Glycerine
  • GLYCYRRHIZIN
    • Licorice
  • HYDROGENATED STARCH HYDROLYSATE (HSH)
    • Sugar alcohol 
  • ISOMALT
    • Sugar alcohol
    • ClearCut Isomalt
    • Decomalt
    • DiabetiSweet (also contains Acesulfame-K)
    • Hydrogenated Isomaltulose
    • Isomaltitol
  • LACTITOL
    • Sugar alcohol
  • MALTITOL
    • Sugar alcohol
    • Maltitol Syrup
    • Maltitol Powder
    • Hydrogenated High Maltose Content Glucose Syrup
    • Hydrogenated Maltose
    • Lesys 
    • MaltiSweet (hard to purchase)
    • SweetPearl
  • MANNITOL
    • Sugar alcohol
  • NEOTAME
  • POLYDEXTROSE
    • Sugar alcohol
    • (Derived from glucose and sorbitol)
  • SACCHARIN
    • Acid saccharin
    • Equal Saccharin
    • Necta Sweet
    • Sodium Saccharin
    • Sweet N Low
    • Sweet Twin
  • SORBITOL
    • Sugar alcohol
    • D-glucitol
    • D-glucitol syrup
  • STEVIOL GLYCOSIDE
    • Rebiana
  • SUCRALOSE
    • 1′,4,6′-Trichlorogalactosucrose
    • Trichlorosucrose
    • Equal Sucralose
    • NatraTaste Gold
    • Splenda
  • TAGATOSE
    • Natrulose
  • XYLITOL
    • Sugar alcohol
    • Smart Sweet
    • Xylipure
    • Xylosweet

Fatty Meats

If you’re going to eat meat, go ahead and spring for some steak. Stay far away from these non-paleo foods.

  • Spam
  • Hot Dogs
  • Other low-quality meats (if you do eat them, eat them in moderation)

Salty Foods

These overly salty foods fall outside the paleo guidelines.

  • French Fries
  • Ketchup


Snacks

These easy, cheap and pre-packaged snacks could last years on their own. That means they’re definitely not paleo.

  • Pretzels
  • Chips
  • Triscuits
  • Wheat Thins
  • Cookies
  • Sun Chips
  • Pastries

Starchy Vegetables

While these starchy vegetables are still vegetables, you’ll want to stay away from them due to their high starch content.

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Yucca
  • Batata
  • Butternut Squash*
  • Acorn Squash*
  • Yam*
  • Beets* Paleo Diet Food List


Energy Drinks

These are not good for you and are definitely not paleo. Stay far, far away.

  • Red Bull
  • Monster
  • Rockstar
  • Starbucks Refreshers
  • Mountain Dew MDX
  • Vault
  • XS Energy Drink
  • 5 Hour Energy
Alcohol
Unfortunately, almost all alcohol is not paleo. Yes, this includes, but isn’t limited to:
  • Beer
  • Whiskey
  • Tequila
  • Rum
  • Vodka
  • Alcohol + Mixers

Sweets

Sugar is almost all manufactured and should be avoided in the paleo diet. This means cutting out delicious but destructive sweets and sugars that are standard in the Standard American Diet. The rule of thumb here is: if it has a ton of sugar – it’s probably not paleo. That said, here’s a specific lists of sweets that are not on the paleo diet food list. You might want to take a moment to say goodbye to them before you start your paleo diet journey.

  • Candy bars (Listed Below)
    • Snickers
    • Snickers Peanut Butter
    • 100 Grand
    • Butterfinger
    • Milky Way
    • Reeses (NOOOO!)
    • Payday
    • M&Ms
    • Skittles
    • Red Vines
    • Twizzlers
    • Hershey’s
    • Nestle Crunch
    • Almond Joy
    • Mounds
    • Reese’s Fast Break
    • Reeses’ Pieces
    • Twix
    • Twix Peanut Butter
  • Sugars
  • Honey (sometimes allowed in moderation)

Return to the top of the Paleo Diet Food List

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Recipes Made With Paleo Foods

Some of our favorite paleo recipes are in the cookbooks below. Yum.

If you’d like to download this as a pdf, simply right click and download this paleo diet food list pdf.

Paleo Diet Food List Videos

If you’re looking for the paleo diet food list in video format, look no further. Visual learners can indulge themselves right here.

Also, check out this simpler paleo diet food list from our friends at Paleoso & learn how to use these food together into some delicious paleo recipes.

——
photo credit: Linda Cronin | wEnDaLicious |  woodleywonderworks | Daniel Panev | Robert Mehlan |Another Pint Please… | Micky** | Phú Thịnh Co | JD | Photography | pizzodisevo,on/off via photopin cc

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Comments

  1. says

    Gosh, I was told to not eat pork or lard because it was too fatty. This diet allows pork chops back into my life. goodbye chocolate, I won’t miss you.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I don't like the word "diet", so I'll say that this is more a way of changing what you eat long-term. It's all based around what our ancestor hunter-gatherers would have eaten, and what we've evolved to be able to process and absorb. The very basic level of it, is that you don't eat carbohydrates, processed meats or sugars, and cut out dairy products. You instead eat plenty of fresh meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and nuts. You can still have oil, provided it's natural – so coconut, peanut & olive oil are all good. The good thing is that you're also allowed to take this to your own level – so if you want a couple of days off a week – say, weekends, you can do it & it will still be a lot healthier for you. This is a really helpful site I've used to make a note on my shopping list of what's allowed: The Ultimate Paleo Diet Food List | Ultimate Paleo Guide [...]

  2. [...] I guess the easiest way to start would be – to start checking your everyday recipes against the Paleo diet food lists and see what items you can include in your recipe and what items need to be excluded. If you want to see the Paleo diet food list here is the link: ultimatepaleoguide.com/paleo-diet-food-list [...]