Transitioning Into a Paleo Diet: Easy Tips and Tricks to Get Started

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The paleo diet has been increasing in popularity in recent years as more and more people are seeing the advantages that this hunter-gather- based diet has to offer. Many people are opting to switch to a paleo diet because it has been proven to help with losing weight, diabetes, and even heart disease. The paleo diet sometimes referred to as the caveman diet, is extremely simple to follow; as it simply calls for eating natural, whole foods, or foods that were around during the Paleolithic era. 

This popular diet has several variations such as a low-carb diet with ample amounts of meat, and a high carb diet with ample amounts of plants. No matter the variation, the paleo diet always avoids processed foods and foods that feature added sugar. People switch to the paleo diet for a number of reasons, some to live a healthier lifestyle, some to simply try a new diet; no matter the case, the paleo diet is worth trying.

What You Need to Know About Going Paleo

If you are thinking about switching to a paleo diet, there are some things you should know in order to make the transition easy and enjoyable. Here are some tips and tricks to consider when you go paleo.

What Can I Eat on the Paleo Diet?

Many people are unsure of what they can and can’t eat when it comes to the paleo-diet. Many people don’t know what their options are once they cut out processed foods from their lives. 

Here is a short guide on food that you can eat when you make the transition to a paleo diet:

  • Fruits
    • Apples
    • Berries
    • Bananas
    • Citrus fruits
    • Avocados
  • Vegetables
    • Peppers
    • Onions
    • Kale
    • Spinach
    • Broccoli
    • Carrots
  • Meats; grass-fed if accessible 
    • Chicken
    • Beef
    • Lamb
    • Turkey
    • Pork
  • Fish; wild-caught if accessible
    • Salmon
    • Cod
    • Shellfish
    • Cod
    • Haddock
  • Healthy fats and oils
    • Coconut oil
    • Vegetable oil
    • Avocado oil
  • Salts and spices
  • Potatoes

What Food Should I Avoid When Going Paleo?

Processed foods and foods that contain additives should be avoided when following the paleo diet; such as:

  • Grains
    • Bread
    • Pasta
    • Wheat
    • Barley
  • Sugar/ high-fructose corn syrup
    • Soda
    • Juice
    • Candy
    • Desserts
  • Dairy
    • Cheese
    • Butter
    • Milk
    • Ice cream
  • Trans Fats
  • Artificial sweeteners
    • Aspartame
    • Sucralose
    • Cyclamates

What Do I Do When I Go Out to Eat?

Another common question that people have in regards to paleo is what they should do when they go out to eat. Some ways to enjoy going to a restaurant while also sticking to your diet include:

  • Ask for extra veggies instead of bread or rice on the side
  • Order meat or fish-based entree; or if you are a vegetarian, opt for a salad
  • Ask if your food can be cooked in olive or coconut oil
  • Avoid breaded entrees and appetizers
  • Order a burger/veggie burger without the bun

Is the Paleo Diet Eco-Friendly?

There is speculation on whether or not the paleo diet is eco-friendly or not, and the truth is, it depends on the variation of the paleo-diet you choose. If you choose to go paleo and either become or remain vegetarian, the paleo-diet can be eco-friendly. A paleo diet that is centered around the vegetarian diet is eco-friendly because the foods you are eating come right from the ground and will lower greenhouse gas emissions. Likewise, a vegetarian diet combined with the paleo diet is more sustainable in terms of land and water when compared to a non-vegetarian paleo diet.

It’s hard to say whether or not paleo diets that include meat are eco-friendly or not. Many people claim that a meat-heavy paleo diet is not eco-friendly because most meat is processed (most people need to eat processed meat as they don’t have access to fresh meat; meaning they buy their meat at the store rather than raising it themselves). Building off of that notion, an expert from a company that sells solar panels in Cherry Hill pointed out that meat-based paleo diets require more energy because the livestock needs to be taken care of and transported. 

Is Paleo Right For You?

As you think about transitioning to the paleo diet, take all of these things into consideration, and ask yourself, is paleo right for me? Why do I want to go paleo? Will I be able to follow this diet;s guidelines? Starting any new diet can be challenging and daunting at first, however, it will likely become easier with time and will be worth it. Before completely going paleo, it will be worth your while to do some more research and consider talking to your doctor, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions. 

About the Author

Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.  She is currently writing for a home service company, All American Plumbing, a plumber in Sicklerville.

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