3

votes

Defining Paleo diet

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 31, 2010 at 2:23 AM

What is paleo? It would be useful if we had some shared definition of the basics of paleo. I believe that Paleo could be defined as a shared set of restrictions, such as no refined flour or sugars, no highly processed foods, no legumes, no trans fats, no products derived from corn, wheat, soy, or seeds (including oils), being careful with omega 3/omega 6 ratio, plus freedom to combine meats, fish, fruits or vegetables as each one might prefer. The end result will not be uniform, many people will reject foods that others might love: Since many of us come from different backgrounds, although we share certain readings, each one has different educational and intellectual backgrounds, live under different personal circumstances, climates, etc. My question is: do you agree with my basic definition of paleo, or would you add other elements? Or do you think that a definition of paleo should be much more strict in terms of details, such as percentage of fats, saturated fat consumption, meat versus vegetable foods, etc?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on January 09, 2013
at 04:16 PM

as well as cows, fish, chicken, vegetables, etc... Man evolution is a bitch

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14932)

on January 09, 2013
at 04:08 PM

^ I second this.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14932)

on January 09, 2013
at 04:07 PM

^ That's what I was going to say.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:39 PM

remove transfats and you remove beef, pork, lamb, and butter, not sure people need to do that.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 31, 2010
at 10:14 AM

I think your definition covers the basics which people can then fine tune to suit themselves. If you include dairy in the basic definition then that excludes quite a few people who eat butter and cream but who are otherwise paleo. Same goes for nightshades which many 'strict' paleos exclude but many others eat without a problem. I also don't think you need the words 'refined' and 'highly'- just no flour or sugars or processed foods. I'd sum it up as "if it needs a label don't eat it".

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on December 31, 2010
at 04:57 AM

I understand dairy is not strictly paleo, but is an often accepted neolithic food: many people here cooks with butter, milk-cream or uses yoghurt.

26f1c6e9fbecc4ac6948f8f395979a81

(503)

on December 31, 2010
at 04:43 AM

No dairy, correct? My simplified understanding of "paleo" is no grains, legumes, dairy or sweeteners. It allows for lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds; in that order.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 31, 2010
at 02:52 AM

Your definition seems great :)

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

4 Answers

2
E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5

(2226)

on January 09, 2013
at 05:42 AM

Any reasonable definition of a paleo diet cannot refer exclusively to foods that were eaten by our paleolithic ancestors, because almost no such foods still exist. Our paleolithic ancestors did not eat modern domesticated cattle; they did not eat modern fruits; they certainly did not eat "caveman cookies" or whatever. And yet, who among us would consider a grass-fed rib eye to be un-paleo?

I think "paleo diet" should be a kind of short-hand for "diet that mostly excludes industrially processed foods, and instead consists of foods found in nature, prepared using very old (if any) processing techniques such as heating and fermenting."

By that definition, I'd say that dairy products such as milk or traditional yogurt can be paleo, but ice cream or non-fat FroYo cannot. I'd say that a steak is paleo, but a burger on a bun is not. A boiled potato is paleo, but french fries are not. An apple is paleo, but an apple Pop-Tart is not. Corn can be sort of paleo if it's nixtamalized, but not if it's a Dorito. Soy can be kind of paleo in the form of miso or tempeh, but not in the form of soy milk. (I don't think there's really any way to make wheat even kind of paleo.)

1
A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

on December 31, 2010
at 04:46 AM

Add to the above - It makes you more energetic, makes you sleep better, makes you less sick from allergies and makes you look better naked..

0
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 09, 2013
at 02:26 PM

A strict definition of Paleo would be to avoid eating stuff that wouldn't have existed historically. Mutant crops, refined substances, farmed animals... the problem is this is impossible to do entirely.

Trying to eat the best quality, freshest, meat, vegetables and fruit that you can. Shopping like you were gathering in a forest. Preparing your own meals from this fresh produce. That's the workable definition of Paleo.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on January 09, 2013
at 04:16 PM

as well as cows, fish, chicken, vegetables, etc... Man evolution is a bitch

0
78d089bc8d5feaed2710005e4456edbe

on January 09, 2013
at 12:07 PM

There are two things in your description of paleo, that I would change.

  1. no trans fats
  2. being careful with omega 3/omega 6 ratio

Regarding 1), I've never seen a container in a supermarket with a label that says trans fats, and I haven't noticed it on any ingredients list. As for 2), I would be surprised people labeling their diet as a paleo diet actually calculate their omega 3/omega 6 ratios.

I would rather define paleo in a way so that one would not need to know chemistry to understand it. If a person knows about different types of food, it makes more sense to say "don't eat legumes" because you can recognize a bean, e.g., when you see it. And if one avoids processed foods, a lot of the difficult-to-discern-what-ingredients-are-used cases are also avoided.

How about saying, avoid seed oils and other highly processed fat?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14932)

on January 09, 2013
at 04:07 PM

^ That's what I was going to say.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14932)

on January 09, 2013
at 04:08 PM

^ I second this.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:39 PM

remove transfats and you remove beef, pork, lamb, and butter, not sure people need to do that.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!