For most people the fact the Paleo diet delivers the best results is all they need. Improved blood lipids, weight loss, and reduced pain from autoimmunity is proof enough. Many people however are not satisfied with blindly following any recommendations, be they nutrition or exercise related. Some folks like to know WHY they are doing something. Fortunately, the Paleo diet has stood not only the test of time, but also the rigors of scientific scrutiny.
Paleo critics point out that not all grains are created equal—whole grains do not spike your blood sugar as much as refined grains. Even so, paleo dieters still steer clear of grains because they contain different compounds and proteins like gluten, lectins and phytates, which they claim cause inflammation in the body and block other nutrients from being absorbed. Paleo critics say these compounds are not a problem unless you have an allergy or sensitivity.
First things first. And this is of utmost importance. Woot Woot is STILL cool. Says me. Because I say it all the time, so it just HAS to be cool, right?! Wait, since I’m the most uncool person on the planet, you probably should stop saying woot woot immediately. 😉 Second, I had ZERO clue you used to be an almond butter-making maniac! Oh I wish I was your bestie during THAT fun phase of your life! Now you are just a no-bake brainiac! (<– see what I did there?). These bars are FAB, just like all the rest of your no-bake bars! They look super creamy and uber dreamy… and most dangerous, because who in the world could eat just one (or 5) of these babies?! SO GOOD! Pinned of course! Cheers, sweets! And haaaaappy Galentine's Day!! XOXOXOX
Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective by Staffan Lindeberg (MD at Lund University in Sweden) is the newest book promoting the paleo diet. It covers the link between diet and disease in the Western world (all major diseases, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, stroke and dementia) and towards a greater knowledge of what can be defined as the optimal human diet. Benefits and risks are detailed. The Amazon reviews are all 5 stars. Especially read Susan Schenck's detailed review. You can read a preview at Google Books
Healthy, delicious, and simple, the Paleo Diet is the diet we were designed to eat. If you want to lose weight—up to 75 pounds in six months—or if you want to attain optimal health, The Paleo Diet will work wonders. Dr. Loren Cordain demonstrates how, by eating your fill of satisfying and delicious lean meats and fish, fresh fruits, snacks, and non-starchy vegetables, you can lose weight and prevent and treat heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, and many other illnesses.
Paleonutrition by Mark Q. Sutton, Kristin D. Sobolik, and Jill K. Gardner is the analysis of prehistoric human diets and the interpretation of dietary intake in relation to health and nutrition. This is a substantial text that combines background to paleonutrition, an extensive bibliography, a discussion on methods, and case studies. Published February 23, 2010.
The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program by Kathleen DesMaisons. While this isn't really a paleo book, it does point out issues with the foods we aren't eating. The books claims the excessive processed sugar consumed is responsible for "mood swings, depression, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, PMS, impulsivity ... [and] unpredictable temper." She says her research shows indulging in sugar highs should be treated much more seriously, akin to heroin or alcohol dependency, because sugar causes spikes in the neurotransmitters serotonin and beta-dopamine just like those drugs.
Fried pickles are the ultimate state fair food but sadly the cornmeal and flour breading used in most fried pickles is not paleo. Most paleo recipes for fried pickles create a heavy, doughy coating that quickly loses its crunch, but this recipe provides the perfect substitute. The secret is to mix equal amounts of almond meal and tapioca starch to create a coating that quickly turns brown and crispy after being fried in coconut oil.
FYI Scott Madden the Paleo diet is really just a general blueprint and most people just do the best that they can–some also just eat according to what they can handle or need and still consider it “paleo.” There are also many different options when it comes to protein powder (many people use pea, hemp etc) and not all of them contain wheat, soy, casein or whey.
Avocados are a fantastic source of healthy fats so they have always been one of the top paleo foods. Most people just slice up avocado and serve it raw (simple and tasty), but avocado can actually be delicious when it is cooked for a brief period of time. This recipe creates a crushed pork rind coating for long slices of avocado that are then baked in the oven. The resulting treat has a salty, crunchy coating and a soft, creamy interior. A perfect fry for those who crave that crunchy, salty taste of a regular French fry.
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.
This might be the healthiest recipe for nachos you’ll ever see, with apples standing in for tortilla chips, and healthy toppings. Of course it won’t replicate the savory and spicy joy of nachos, but they’re going for more of a salty, chocolatey, sweet experience with these, and mostly just referring to the way nachos are presented. The use of coconut, almond butter, and almonds means you’re going to get a nice nutty, crunchy, and sweet taste with each bite, making this a fun snack for movie night or anytime really.
It doesn’t matter if you’re Paleo or not — you’re going to want to make these nachos! You’ll start with homemade sweet potato chips, then load ’em up with shredded chicken, pico de gallo and chilies. But the star of this dish is the avocado sauce. It’s your cheese stand-in but trust me, you’re going to want to eat it all the time. A mix of avocado, mayo, lime juice, jalapeño, garlic and cilantro, this will be your new favorite sauce. Serve these on game day, movie night or anytime, really!
Many of you have tried some version of a stuffed vegetable at your meals such as a tuna-stuffed tomato or beef-stuffed peppers, but there is no reason why you can’t incorporate similar items into your snacks as part of your Paleo plan. By rotating various colorful varieties of vegetables into your snacks, you’ll be fueling your body with loads of vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Stuffed vegetables can be made into gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free snack options with a little creativity and advance preparation. Definitely not taste-free, glance over some of the recipes listed below and see which one sounds like it might be a tasty addition to your snack rotation:
But critics argue that the unlimited amount of red meat the paleo diet allows may have an adverse effect on heart health in people with diabetes, as research links eating red meat in excess to poor heart health. (11) If you have diabetes and don’t moderate your red-meat intake, this could be a big problem, as people with diabetes are 2 times as likely to die of heart disease as people who do not have diabetes. (12)
DIY roasted nuts are easier than you’d think—all you need is a bag of mixed nuts, an egg white, and go-to spices: sea salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, and paprika. Coat the nuts in the egg white in one bowl, and mix all the spices in another. Pour the spice mix over the nuts, transfer to a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper, and roast for 16 minutes.
Meetup has a growing number of paleo groups, now numbering in the dozens. Each has a local message board. They have a map of Paleo Diet Meetups around the world. Initially I tried listing them all here. The number grew and Meetup wasn't letting me find groups in newest order, except for my zip code. You now have to go there to find the one nearest you.
So, whether you are craving something salty or something sweet, there is definitely a snack on this list for you. The wide variety of paleo snacks will keep you interested and excited for quite some time. You’ll never get into a snacking rut when you have these recipes available! When you find one that you like, try altering it a little bit too. Swap out those chia seed for flaxseeds or try a new combination of seasonings in your recipe. Keeping it fresh and thinking creatively as you cook is a way to truly succeed on the paleo diet.
Hi there, it’s Lacey! I’m the editor and main writer for A Sweet Pea Chef. I'm a food blogger, photographer, videographer, clean eating expert, and mommy of four. I also run the awesome free Take Back Your Health Community, am the healthy and clean weekly meal planner behind No-Fail Meals, and a little bit in love with Clean Eating. Be sure to check out my free beginner’s guide to eating clean and follow me on YouTube and Instagram to get my latest recipes and healthy eating inspiration.
If licking the mixing bowl has always been your favorite part of baking, then this recipe is perfect for you. It tastes exactly like the real thing, but it’s made from tapioca flour and almond flour. Since there are no raw eggs or raw wheat flour in it, you can eat this tasty cookie dough without having to worry about salmonella. The single serving size that this recipe makes is ideal for when you want to quickly make something sweet without spending hours in the kitchen. Keep it in the fridge or even the freezer for a cold cookie treat.
Goji berries are often called a “superfood” because they are packed with Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Vitamin C, iron, calcium and antioxidants. This recipe takes advantage of the health benefits of dried goji berries to create tasty energy bars from dates, coconut, and almonds. Since they keep so well without being refrigerated, these almond goji energy bars are a great snack for a person with a busy schedule who needs paleo snacks. Take them on the go and you will be happy you have them when you have a craving for something sweet and salty!
Knowing what to eat is part of it, but following this fairly restrictive lifestyle in a modern environment surrounded by cookies and candy and bagels and pasta is really difficult! Factor in the “carb flu” you might go through in the first few weeks (as your body gets weaned off of carbohydrate fuel and habits), and most people give up on the Paleo diet long before it creates lasting change!
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 Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith is against industrial farming. She spent 20 years as a vegan, and now reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms. And as all the neolithic foods we avoid are produced on industrial farms, she is against the foods we avoid. Here's a well thought out review by Eric Wargo: Clubbing Vegetarians Over the Head With the Truth.
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.
When people think paleo, they tend to think limiting. I find the opposite to be true. The process of elimination can actually open the door for creativity, which is what I have found to be true in paleo cooking and baking. For this reason, removing the wheat, grains, processed sugars, and dairy from desserts results in bombastic treats that taste amazing and keep your system clean. I’ve had my fair share of paleo fails, but there are tons of resources for primal cooking and baking available on the internet (and on the shelves!), so no one needs to go reinvent the wheel (pun intented).
The Dietitian's Guide to Eating Bugs by Daniel Calder is a comprehensive guide to the nutritional content of insects. He believes insect breeding and consumption are important elements sustainable living, particularly when it comes to complementing foraged plant material with meat products. Numerous insects contain nutrients similar to those found in more conventional livestock, except the feed to conversion ratio is much higher and they're much cheaper to breed. You can find the book at scribd. Also available in e-book format for $35.