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Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet (Paleo is short for Paleolithic) is founded on the notion that a healthy diet should only contain foods that humans have been "genetically programmed" to digest since the dawn of time.

Foods Encouraged In Paleo Diet

Meat, eggs (up to six a week), fish (all kinds, including shell fish), vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds can be eaten in abundance while following the Paleo Diet. Vegetables and fruits can be consumed in unlimited amounts. When purchasing meat, ask specifically for leaner cuts.

Meat, including beef, flank steak, sirloin, chop meat, pork chops, duck, turkey, rabbit, chicken and other game meats, should be lean and trimmed of any visible fat. When serving chicken, remove the skin and stick to white meat only.

Herbs and spices may be used for flavor; and natural sugars, like honey, maple and date sugar may be used as sweeteners.

While the only beverage that is technically true to the Paleo method is water, more recently, natural coconut water has been allowed on the diet. Some Paleo Diet experts permit coffee and tea in small quantities.

Foods to Moderate

Don't pick at more than two ounces of dried fruit per day, since it is loaded with sugar. "Good" fats should be consumed in moderation too. This includes olive, avocado, walnut, flaxseed and canola oils. Limit your intake of these healthful fats to four tablespoons (or less) per day—especially if your purpose of dieting is weight loss.

Wine, beer and spirits are permitted in small amounts. Stick to two four-ounce glasses of wine (but not cooking wine, which contains excess amounts of sodium), one 12-ounce beer, or four ounces of liquor. Cheers!

Foods To Avoid

If a caveman wouldn't eat it, neither should you. Foods that are forbidden on the Paleo Diet include refined sugars, dairy products, cereal grains, legumes (like beans, lentils, peas, peanut products and soy products) and sodas. Starchy vegetables are not ideal either, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams.

Paleo Diet devotees should clear their kitchens of cane sugar products, baked goods, milk, yogurt (even low-fat Greek yogurt), butter, cheese, rice, pre-packaged lunch meats, bacon, pickled foods and juice. When snacking on nuts, choose those that are natural and roasted while steering clear of any with excess amounts of salt.

While meat and animal-based protein is certainly permitted on the Paleo Diet, it is not acceptable to load up on fatty kinds like chicken wings and drum sticks, lamb chops or pork.

Cereal grains, including steel-cut oats and processed foods containing oats, should not be consumed. Wheat, whether in bread, rolls, muffins, pasta, crackers, cookies, cake, pita or pizza, is a definite no-no.

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