Can You Eat Dessert on the Paleo Diet?

Dairy and the Paleo Diet
January 25, 2000
Great Paleo Dinners
January 29, 2000

This question probably ranks number two behind dairy in terms of how often it is asked and how much controversy it generates among the Paleo community. Purists don’t agree with idea of taking dishes from the standard American Diet and “Paleofying” them. That’s an understandable point of view; after all, man in the Paleolithic era didn’t have access to gluten free strawberry shortcake with whipped cream made from full fat coconut milk. It’s also a pretty extreme point of view.

The idea of undertaking a diet that will never ever let you have a slice of birthday cake again as long as you live is a little too restrictive for most people. Paleofying some of your favorite foods might be the difference that allows you to stick with the Paleo diet. If you have a family that you are transitioning to Paleo, making Paleo friendly muffins, cakes or some other sweet might make it a lot easier to get your children on board.

Is it Really Paleo Though?

That is something you will have to decide for yourself, but let’s put some things into perspective. No, in the Paleolithic era man didn’t have the ability or access to ingredients to modify food and you do. Paleo man also spent most of his day hunting and gathering food and that isn’t something you have to spend your days doing. We have embraced lots of advantages of the modern era so we should to a degree adapt our diet as well. Paleo man didn’t have access to bacon but today it is pretty common not to mention a delicious part of Paleo eating.

The other factor to take into consideration and this is the same argument those who eat dairy use, look at the nutritional profile. Is it a dish make with wholesome unprocessed ingredients, that won’t cause inflammation, and is it completely grain free? Does it have some nutritional value? If the answer to these questions is yes then really is there any harm in making a dish you enjoy. This does not mean you will be living on cookies and cakes that have been converted to Paleo.

Ice Cream, Cookies, and Cakes- Oh My

If you have indulged your sweet tooth most of your life then converting to Paleo and cutting off sweets cold turkey is not going to be fun. An avocado will not do when all you really want is a brownie. Just so there are no misunderstandings, yes you need to stop eating refined sugar and anything containing high fructose corn syrup.

Using Paleo ingredients to create something palatable that satisfies your sweet tooth may be exactly what you need to stay on the diet. Let’s face there is also going to be special occasions that you want to celebrate. Your children are still going to want birthday parties as a normal part of life.

Has your question been answered? Probably not the yes or no that you were looking for, but how desserts fit into your Paleo plan is up to you. You can reasonably fit desserts into your lifestyle but treat them as the indulgences they are.
James Christopher, Creative Writer