Eggplants are Paleo friendly for most, but store-bought baba ghanoush can still contain loads of hidden mayo—and that can mean unwanted vegetable oils. Go for a simple, mayo-free recipe with lots of garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice for a fresher take that won’t weigh you down. Try pairing this dip with some Paleo-friendly homemade rosemary sesame crackers.
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, manage diabetes, reduce risks of cancer and heart disease, mitigate autoimmune disease, improve performance or simply want to experience the best health possible, a diet that is abundant in all the micronutrients that our bodies need and that simultaneously omits foods known to be problematic for health is your best bet. What does this diet look like? Its foundation is the most nutrient-dense foods available to us, including organ meat, seafood, and both huge variety and copious quantities of vegetables, with other quality meats, fruit, eggs, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, probiotic and fermented foods, herbs and spices to round it out. At the same time, it omits foods known to be inflammatory, disrupt hormones, or negatively impact the health of the gut, including all grains, most legumes, conventional dairy products, and all processed and refined foods. Yes, this is the Paleo template.
Excluding foods. The exclusion of entire categories of commonly eaten foods like whole grains and dairy requires frequent label reading in the supermarket and in restaurants. It may also increase the risk of deficiencies such as calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins, if these nutrients are not consistently eaten from the allowed foods or a vitamin supplement. For example, there are some nondairy calcium-rich foods that are absorbed well by the body such as collard and turnip greens or canned bone-in sardines and salmon, but you would have to eat five or more servings of these greens and fish bones daily to meet recommended calcium needs. (Note that some greens like spinach that are touted to be calcium-rich also contain oxalates and phytates that bind to calcium so very little is actually absorbed.) One small, short-term intervention study of healthy participants showed a 53% decrease from baseline in calcium intake after following a Paleo diet for three weeks.  Furthermore, the exclusion of whole grains can result in reduced consumption of beneficial nutrients such as fiber and thus may increase one’s risk for diabetes and heart disease.
People who eat Paleo are also missing out on fiber, vitamins and minerals that come from a diet that includes healthy grains and dairy products. Some nutrients that someone on a Paleo diet may be lacking are iron, zinc calcium, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12 and phosphorus. The UK Association of Dieticians ranked the Paleo Diet as one of the five worst celebrity diets to avoid in 2015 because cutting foods, without a good substitution, can compromise good health.