The Hiwi gather and hunt a diverse group of plants and animals from the savannas, forests, rivers and swamps. Their main sources of meat are capybara, collared peccary, deer, anteater, armadillo, and feral cattle, numerous species of fish, and at least some turtle species. Less commonly consumed animals include iguanas and savanna lizards, wild rabbits, and many birds. Not exactly the kind of meat Paleo dieters and others in urban areas can easily obtain.
If you have more questions on specific foods, we’ve included a comprehensive list of paleo diet foods below. We’ve provided a list of the foods that are allowed on the paleo diet. We’ve also broken this list down into the specific food groups, so you can see which meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fats are on the paleo diet. In addition to all of that, we’ve also included a comprehensive list of foods not allowed on the paleo diet.
Craving chicken tenders? This healthier version of the crave-worthy crispy dish makes for a great paleo snack. By using almond flour, coconut flour, and almond milk for the batter—these protein-packed strips are way healthier than the original. But they’re still packed with flavor thanks to a tasty array of spices and the honey mustard sauce that pairs perfectly.
These tomatoes are filled with the irresistible taste of buffalo chicken. Even though chicken wings are easy to make on the Paleo diet, it’s still a good idea to even them out by eating a vegetable along with them. Here you can get the taste of buffalo wings but in bite size form, with no bones, and no need to supplement it because the tomato has you covered. Plus you’re getting all of the benefits that come from eating tomatoes, and this snack will hold you over for quite some time.

Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean, and Feel Fabulous With the Diet You Were Born to Eat by Nell Stephenson. Paleoista is not only a how-to book, it is also a glimpse into the life of a woman who gives advice on how to eat this way, and lives the life, day in and day out. The author's websites: NellStephenson.com Nutrition & Fitness and Paleoista.com. To be published May 1, 2012.

A 2015 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that 76 people who followed the Paleo diet for 60 days (as well as those who followed vegan, Mediterranean and DASH plans for the same length of time) lost an average of 9 pounds and showed improvement in their blood pressure levels. The effects were greatest and most sustained among people who also attended regular diet support group meetings.
In fact, the health benefits of the paleo diet are unproven. "Our ancestors ate this way and didn't have many of the chronic diseases we do, but that doesn't mean the food they ate is the reason why; drawing that conclusion would be like saying we live three times longer than our Paleolithic ancestors because we eat fast food," says Christopher Ochner, MD, research associate at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals. Still, a handful of small studies have tried to determine if a paleo diet is a healthier diet. One small study published in the journal Diabetologia found that the diet improved blood sugar over 12 weeks compared to a Mediterranean one that allowed grains, low-fat dairy, and oils, but it's hard to say whether researchers would come to the same results in a larger study.
For instance, the fat allowance of the diet may be problematic. “My biggest hang-up with the paleo diet is all of the saturated fats it promotes with all of the meats,” explains Holley, noting that you could look for a locally sourced meat, whose origin and method of raising you're aware of, as a healthier option. Saturated fat from meat has been linked with an increased risk of early death. (9)

The aspects of the Paleo diet that advise eating fewer processed foods and less sugar and salt are consistent with mainstream advice about diet.[1] Diets with a paleo nutrition pattern have some similarities to traditional ethnic diets such as the Mediterranean diet that have been found to be healthier than the Western diet.[3][6] Following the Paleo diet, however, can lead to nutritional deficiencies such as those of vitamin D and calcium, which in turn could lead to compromised bone health;[1][20] it can also lead to an increased risk of ingesting toxins from high fish consumption.[3]
So what does the science say about the paleo diet? Some research suggests that the health claims hold truth. A review analyzed four randomized, controlled trials with 159 participants, and researchers found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease (including waist circumference and fasting blood sugar) compared with other control diets. (4)

Which brings us to my second point: there are few science-backed benefits to getting wrapped up in every nitty gritty ingredient in attempts to truly follow what your ancestors ate. I mean, there are now Paleo-approved packaged snacks, and I doubt cavemen were wandering the aisles of Whole Foods. If you take the basics and tweak them to fit your lifestyle, you’ll be better off.


The line of VivoBarefoot shoes have a design based on the simple principle that being barefoot is the healthiest way for you and your feet to be. An ultra thin (3mm) puncture resistant sole allows your feet to be as millions of years of evolutionary design intended Barefoot! There are many styles with each in many colors. Plus many more styles that are not available through Amazon.com. Many of them are conventionally styled and can be worn to work. For the current models see Amazon.com. One style is discussed below.
Beef jerky is no longer the synthetic, smelly, and sticky beef chunks found at your local gas station. Jerky has had a major makeover and is now the darling of health foodies everywhere, thanks to its variety of flavors and meat options, like turkey and chicken, with their high protein and vitamins. Some notable Paleo jerky brands are Sophia’s Survival Foods Jerky Chews, Steve’s Original, and Nick’s Sticks, which all offer grass-fed and organic jerky.
A large percentage of individuals with Celiac disease still have persistent symptoms after eliminating gluten from the diet. Other factors that may be at play, including proteins and starches in dairy, other gluten free grains and legumes as well as gut microbial balance. We can think of no better principles than The Paleo Way for individuals with Celiac disease. However, despite the possible benefits of a Paleo based diet, again we strongly recommend you seek advice and support from a suitable health professional both before making any changes to your diet or physical routine.
The theory is our bodies were designed, and still optimized, to eat what our Paleolithic ancestors ate. Like your hunger-gatherer forefathers, on Paleo you get all the meat from wild animals and unlimited fruits and vegetables you can eat. But no starchy vegetables (like potatoes), no legumes (like lentils or beans), no wheat, and no grains (like quinoa or corn) because those plants were invented by human beings during the agricultural revolution after our Paleolithic ancestors left the planet. You get one cheat day where you can eat whatever you want (“Occasional cheating and digressions may be just what you need to help you stick to the diet.”) No oil because it puts omega 6 and omega 3 ratios out of whack which should never exceed 2:1, except olive oil if you must. Dairy is also prohibited. And meat must come from animals that weren’t fed grains (like corn) because grains lead to inflammation and increased fat.

Even if eating only foods available to hunter–gatherers in the Paleolithic made sense, it would be impossible. As Christina Warinner of the University of Zurich emphasizes in her 2012 TED talk, just about every single species commonly consumed today—whether a fruit, vegetable or animal—is drastically different from its Paleolithic predecessor. In most cases, we have transformed the species we eat through artificial selection: we have bred cows, chickens and goats to provide as much meat, milk and eggs as possible and have sown seeds only from plants with the most desirable traits—with the biggest fruits, plumpest kernels, sweetest flesh and fewest natural toxins. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale are all different cultivars of a single species, Brassica oleracea; generation by generation, we reshaped this one plant's leaves, stems and flowers into wildly different arrangements, the same way we bred Welsh corgis, pugs, dachshunds, Saint Bernards and greyhounds out of a single wolf species. Corn was once a straggly grass known as teosinte and tomatoes were once much smaller berries. And the wild ancestors of bananas were rife with seeds.
By latest count, about 800 Hiwi live in palm thatched huts in Colombia and Venezuela. In 1990 Ana Magdalena Hurtado and Kim Hill—now both at Arizona State University in Tempe—published a thorough study (pdf) of the Hiwi diet in the neotropical savannas of the Orinoco River basin in Southwestern Venezuela. Vast grasslands with belts of forest, these savannas receive plenty of rain between May and November. From January through March, however, precipitation is rare: the grasses shrivel, while lakes and lagoons evaporate. Fish trapped in shrinking pools of water are easy targets for caiman, capybaras and turtles. In turn, the desiccating lakes become prime hunting territory for the Hiwi. During the wet season, however, the Hiwi mainly hunt for animals in the forest, using bows and arrows.
The paleo diet (also nicknamed the caveman diet, primal diet, Stone Age diet, and hunter-gatherer diet) is hugely popular these days, and goes by one simple question: What would a caveman eat? Here, we explain what the paleo diet involves, its pros and cons, and, ultimately, what a modern person needs to know to decide whether or not to take the paleo diet plunge.
The digestive abilities of anatomically modern humans, however, are different from those of Paleolithic humans, which undermines the diet's core premise.[4] During the 2.6-million-year-long Paleolithic era, the highly variable climate and worldwide spread of human populations meant that humans were, by necessity, nutritionally adaptable. Supporters of the diet mistakenly presuppose that human digestion has remained essentially unchanged over time.[4][5]
Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham. This book argues that the ease of digestion and the added nutritional value available in cooked food was the key behind the explosion of human intelligence. (Cooking gelatinizes starch, denatures protein, and softens all foods, permitting more complete digestion and energy extraction. As a result, the food processing apparatus shrinks, freeing energy to support a larger brain.) He then suggests that cooking led to what eventually became marriage and the sexual division of labor. The two most helpful reviews at Amazon get into great detail. The reviews average to 4+ stars.
Chris Masterjohn has Cholesterol: Your Life Depends on It!, another web site pointing out that the war on cholesterol and the push to put people on statins is misguided. The site argues it is actually polyunsaturated fats, not saturated fats or cholesterol, that contribute to heart disease, cancer, liver damage, and aging. He also has a popular blog.

Your Vitality.  Even healthy individuals (without disease or in their later stages of life) have shown benefits from following a Paleo template. A study of 14 healthy volunteers (Österdahl et al, 2008) found that all participants experienced enhanced blood sugar regulation, an increase in vitamin and mineral status, decreased inflammation and weight, and lowered blood pressure.
If you’ve been missing dairy after giving it up, then So Delicious’ dairy-free yogurt alternatives made with coconut milk are for you. The unsweetened vanilla doesn’t contain any added sugar so mix in some berries and chia seeds for added sweetness and texture. Just note that the yogurt alternatives are made with brown rice so if you’re strict paleo or on a Whole30, these aren’t for you.
There is little argument over the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. They are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. The only caveat for paleo dieters is that some vegetables are starchy (e.g., potatoes) and some fruits are higher in sugar (e.g., bananas). So, if you are trying to lose weight or watch your blood sugar levels, eat these in moderation. In fact, potatoes are banned from some versions of the diet.

Trying to devise an ideal diet by studying contemporary hunter-gatherers is difficult because of the great disparities that exist; for example, the animal-derived calorie percentage ranges from 25% for the Gwi people of southern Africa to 99% for the Alaskan Nunamiut.[40] Descendants of populations with different diets have different genetic adaptations to those diets, such as the ability to digest sugars from starchy foods.[40] Modern hunter-gatherers tend to exercise considerably more than modern office workers, protecting them from heart disease and diabetes, though highly processed modern foods also contribute to diabetes when those populations move into cities.[40]
As you might expect from the previous paragraph, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables naturally leads to higher fiber intake. Dietary fiber is essential for good health, and despite what you’ve probably heard, whole grains aren’t the place to find it. Non-starchy vegetables contain eight times more fiber than whole grains and 31 times more fiber than refined grains. Even fruits contain twice as much fiber as whole grains and seven times more fiber than refined grains!
These wings will really hit the spot if you’ve been craving chicken wings, and are too far from your next meal to hold out. The pecan flavor comes from the smoking process, not from actual pecans. That way you’ll get a hint of pecan in every bite, without having to worry about crunchy pieces stuck to the chicken. The cool thing about this recipe is that it makes everything from scratch, so you don’t have to resort to getting things out of a bottle. Our suggestion is to make a big batch and store the rest since this isn’t exactly fast food.
It’s easy to find more guidance online, but a book also makes a handy reference. "The Paleo Diet," for example, outlines basic Paleo principles and offers three “levels” that allow for different degrees of cheating – three “open meals” per week on the “entry level” plan, two on “maintenance” and just one on “maximal.” Depending on the level, you might also get “transitional” condiments (low-fat dressing and salsa) and drinks (coffee, beer or wine in moderation) to wash down the meat and plants. You can use the levels as you like. Start with the first and move gradually to the more restrictive – or just stay put. For more dramatic changes, head right to the third.

Here’s an interesting take on hummus, which is necessary because traditional hummus is not something you can have on Paleo. They’ve replaced the garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) with a combination of zucchini and avocado, and the result is something that looks a lot like hummus, and tastes really good too. All of the other ingredients in hummus are present, like garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and cumin, so as long as you’re not a hummus snob you should be pleasantly surprised by this concoction.

Cooking becomes an overwhelming chore when we get too wrapped up in complicated, time-consuming recipes. To be practical and sustainable, ancestral nutrition has to be easy. As a working mom, I’m always on the lookout for shortcuts in the kitchen, and often rely on modern conveniences that cavemen never enjoyed, like pressure cookers, slow cookers, and food processors. (I also appreciate indoor plumbing, for what it’s worth.)


Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh meat—the paleo diet is all about eating foods straight from the Earth just as our ancestors did. Those ancestors didn't have livestock or crops to call their own, so Cordain advises to go with grass-fed and organic varieties whenever possible to limit exposure to pesticides, antibiotics, and other chemicals that didn't exist back then. Research from Emory University suggests that Paleolithic people obtained about 35% of their calories from fats, 35% from carbohydrates, and 30% from protein.
Here’s an interesting take on hummus, which is necessary because traditional hummus is not something you can have on Paleo. They’ve replaced the garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) with a combination of zucchini and avocado, and the result is something that looks a lot like hummus, and tastes really good too. All of the other ingredients in hummus are present, like garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and cumin, so as long as you’re not a hummus snob you should be pleasantly surprised by this concoction.
Cooking becomes an overwhelming chore when we get too wrapped up in complicated, time-consuming recipes. To be practical and sustainable, ancestral nutrition has to be easy. As a working mom, I’m always on the lookout for shortcuts in the kitchen, and often rely on modern conveniences that cavemen never enjoyed, like pressure cookers, slow cookers, and food processors. (I also appreciate indoor plumbing, for what it’s worth.)
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