Should I aim to be 100% paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 28, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Hey, fellow paleos!

Today I had a piece of fish parmigiana, with some 10g of carbs, mostly from wheat and a slice of cheese, and I don't know really how guilty I should feel, haha. I was wondering if being 90% paleo is good enough, or if there are benefits of squeezing out the last 10%.

Something I'll never give up is tea. Ah, nothing in this world compares to iced Da Hong Pao!



on May 28, 2011
at 07:32 PM

Also see this previous thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/339/80-20-versus-100/377#377



on May 28, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Just for clarity's sake; carbohydrates are perfectly paleo. Wheat isn't bad because it's a carb; it's bad because it's pretty horrifically gut-irritating. Cheese isn't bad because it's a carb or because it's dairy, it's because certain of the proteins in dairy are hard for many people to digest.

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6 Answers



on May 28, 2011
at 05:50 PM

There are probably benefits, but are they worth the sacrifice? I would say the benefits follow a logarithmic scale in relation to the percentage of compliance of following the paleo diet. In other words, cutting out neolithic foods will always be of benefit, but the magnitude of benefit will decrease--nearly plateau--once you near full compliance (as long as you do not have an underlying allergy or other significant health problem). From my view, 90 percent compliance is very formidable, and allows for those occasional cheats, which prevent social awkwardness and nutritional elitism. Keep it up!


on May 28, 2011
at 07:23 PM

Perhaps the goal is not to avoid guilt, but to feel the best you possibly can in body, mind and soul...so if you can eat dairy and wheat on occasion, and still feel fabulous, that's all the feedback you need...it's not about following a regimented set of rules, but rather about getting deeply in touch with your body's signals!



on May 28, 2011
at 06:11 PM

I don't strive for being 100 % strict paleo. To be honest, i don't even know what this is. There is a lot of controversy about it right now. Mostly they use the 100 % term in accordance with Cordain (i like him, i'm just saying).

Just one tip: I'd at least just dump the gluten grains. This is what i do. I don't buy any other grains or legumes for myself, but if someone serves me I don't dismiss it an be happy to eat in good company.

Stress is bad as well for health and reaching for perfectness sounds a lot like unnecessary worries. Vegans try to reach for perfectness by completely avoiding any animal product. A slice of cheese or some nightshades ^^ won't kill you, they may even be good for you while you think otherwise.

From my own experience being happy, having no stress, sleeping well have a much better impact on my overall health than having the perfect grass-fed (not cooked in dairy butter of course ^^) steak with some non-starchy green vegetables and some nuts for dinner.

No you shouldn't aim for 100%. Just think about the change you made from your previous diet (SAD ? ). It's already such a big difference, there really is no climax. Just in your mind.


on May 28, 2011
at 07:10 PM

It's not possible to be 100% paleo without living wild on the African savannah. Even then, the fauna and climate have changed.

If you mean modern "paleo-approved" food, it really depends on your goals. If you have no health problems and are comfortable with how you look, feel, and perform, that last 10% might not be worth it to you. That's OK; you're doing better than most everyone else around you.


on May 28, 2011
at 06:35 PM

Tea is not paleo? Do you mean in the traditional sense? Or is there something harmful in tea I'm not aware of?


on May 28, 2011
at 06:02 PM

If you constantly feel guilty about your food choices, you have bigger problems in life.

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