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Paleo Food List

paleo food list

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This paleo food list will help you to identify exactly what foods are allowed on a paleo diet and which are not.

One of the things you will notice in a paleolithic diet, or caveman diet as it is often called, is that people don’t always agree about what should be considered “paleo”. What foods existed more than 10,000 years ago?

For more information about what a paleo diet is, look here.

This paleo food list is as extensive as I could get it. I researched many “experts” and put their suggestions together here. One thing that you will notice is that a couple of foods are on both the “okay to eat” and the “not okay to eat” lists. That is because of the discrepancy among followers of the plans.

Many authors and followers also use a paleo diet as a weight loss diet, rather than simply a healthy eating plan. For that reason, they exclude foods like white potatoes, sweet potatoes, squashes and yams. Others include some of them. What to do? Read our page on the paleo diet to see what it is about, then choose for yourself the healthiest foods on our Okay to Eat Paleo Food List.

Good to Eat Paleo Food List


  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Beets (no on some paleo food lists)
  • Beet tops
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Cassava
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Celeriac
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Fennel
  • Garlic (not really a vegetable but listed here)
  • Green beans (Some versions of the diet say no)
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce of all kinds including romaine, butter lettuce and iceberg (which has little nutritional value)
  • Mushrooms – all mushrooms including white button mushrooms, portabello mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, chanterelle, crimini (brown button mushrooms), porcini, morels shiitake are okay.
  • Mustard greens
  • Napa cabbage
  • Okra
  • Onions of all kinds including green onions, Vidalia and red onions
  • Parsnips
  • Peppers of all kinds including hot and bell peppers
  • Rapini
  • Radicchio
  • Radish
  • Rutabaga
  • Sea vegetables and seaweeds such as kombu, wakame, dulse and algae
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Sweet potatoes (some say they are on the do not eat list)
  • Summer squash or yellow squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnip
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress
  • Winter squash such as butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, pumpkin, buttercup squash (excluded on some lists)
  • Yams (excluded on some paleo food lists)
  • Zucchini

Meat, Fish and Eggs

Most non-processed meats are fine on the paleo diet. They should ideally be grass fed, organic or free run.

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Cornish hen
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Game meats such as venison, bison, rabbit, elk and moose
  • Goose
  • Lamb
  • Organ meats such as liver and kidney
  • Pheasant
  • Quail
  • Eggs

Fish and Seafood

All are okay on the paleo food list. Just be aware of mercury levels. Some fish and seafood carry high loads of mercury. Some examples are:

  • Anchovies
  • Bass
  • Cod
  • Grouper
  • Haddock
  • Herring
  • Sole
  • Salmon
  • Smelts
  • Snapper
  • Tilapia
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Turbot
  • Shrimp
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Clams
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Scallops
  • Octopus
  • Squid (calamari)


All fruits are fine, including:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Coconut
  • Cranberries
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Gooseberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Lychee
  • Mango
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Passion fruit
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Persimmon
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Pomegranates
  • Quinces
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerine
  • Watermelon

Nuts and Seeds

  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Chestnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Nut butters
  • Nut flours such as almond flour
  • Nut milk such as almond milk

Herbs and Spices

All herbs and spices are fine on paleo diet recipes. Use them freely to create tasty, healthy food. They include:

  • Basil
  • Bay Leaves
  • Black Pepper (or red, pink or white peppercorns, whole or ground)
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Chilies
  • Chives
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Dried hot peppers and hot pepper flakes
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Mint
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Star Anise
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • Vanilla


  • Filtered or spring water
  • Herbal tea
  • Almond milk
  • Coconut water
  • Freshly juiced fruits and vegetables

Fats and Oils

The following fats and oils are allowed, but please ensure you are using a high quality, less processed version.

  • Tallow (rendered beef fat)
  • Lard (rendered pork fat)
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut meat
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Nut oils, such as walnut oil, macadamia oil and hazelnut oil
  • Avocado oil

Paleo Food List To Avoid


Wheat and wheat conrtaining products such as:

  • Bread and sandwiches
  • Bread crumbs
  • Cereals
  • Cookies
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Crackers
  • Donuts
  • English Muffins
  • Cakes and Pastries
  • Pancakes
  • Pastas, including fettucine, lasagna and spaghetti
  • Wheat containing snack foods such as Sun Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Corn and all corn containing products like tortilla chips and corn tortillas
  • Oats
  • Oatmeal


All beans and legumes are off limits on a paleo diet. They include:

  • Black beans
  • Black eyed peas
  • Broad beans
  • Fava beans
  • Garbanzo beans or chick peas
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Adzuki beans
  • Navy beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Split peas
  • White beans
  • Peanuts and peanut products such as peanut butter
  • Soybeans and soy containing products
  • Tofu

Dairy and Dairy Products

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream
  • Powdered dairy creamer
  • All milk including skim, 1% and 2%
  • Cream cheese
  • Dairy spreads
  • Powdered milk
  • Yogurt
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Ice cream and ice milk
  • Puddings made with milk or cream
  • Rice pudding made with milk or cream


There are a few meats that are not Paleo Friendly. They are all quite processed and include:

  • Spam
  • Hot Dogs
  • Canned Corned Beef
  • Cold Cuts
  • Bacon (questionable. Many versions of the diet say bacon is fine, but it is processed and has added chemicals)
  • Peameal or back bacon (same as for regular bacon. Some say it’s okay, but it is processed and has added chemicals)
  • Farmed fish and seafood (on most lists of foods to avoid. Go for wild)

Starchy Vegetables

Starchy vegetables such as the ones listed below are usually off limits on a paleo diet.

  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes (some say they are on the good to eat list)
  • All winter squashes such as butternut squash, acorn squash, pepper squash etc.
  • Yams


  • All soft drinks, including Coke and Pepsi, Sprite, Orange Crush and Mountain Dew
  • Fruit Juices (unless they are freshly juiced) including apple, orange, grape and mango
  • All engery drinks such as Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar and Vault
  • Alcohol including:
  • Beer
  • Gin
  • Rum
  • Tequila
  • Vodka
  • Whiskey
  • Alcoholic Mixers and prepared drinks


All sugars and anything containing sugar is a NO on paleo diets. That means all candy and candy bars, cookies, cakes, pies and pretty much any other dessert we love. (You can find some pretty amazing paleo dessert recipes around though.)

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup and all other syrups
  • Maple syrup (questionable. Some say it’s okay)
  • Honey (allowed in moderation on some versions of the diet)
  • Sugar substitutes (all chemicals)

Look here for more information about the paleo diet.

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