Foods to Avoid on the Paleo Diet

What is the Paleo Lifestyle All About?
December 9, 2009
What to Expect on the Paleo Diet
December 10, 2009

Beginning a new diet involves a change in the way you think about food. The Paleo diet is no exception. There really weren’t any overweight cavemen, so what does tell you? Well, it says that their diet consisted of lean meats, fish, veggies, and fruits. They avoided foods like grains, dairy, legumes, etc. Why did they avoid these foods? Many of them simply weren’t part of the food chain at that time! Farming was unheard of during the years of the caveman, so they ate what was available to them. And it just happened to be incredibly healthy for them.

With any diet or lifestyle change, there are foods that you should avoid in order to benefit from the diet. Removing some or all of these foods will result in a dramatic effect on your health. But remember, to truly go Paleo, you should avoid these foods:


This food group is one of the most prominent ones to avoid on the Paleo diet. Grains have only been part of our diet since the agricultural revolution, and this deviation became a big offender in the growing of people’s waistlines over the past few decades or so. Grains are actually grass seeds, and it seems that only some birds and insects can eat them without any negative effects. Eating grains can lead to leaky gut and increase inflammation. This means that your immune system never really gets to relax because of the constant systemic inflammation in your body.

Refined sugar

You probably already know that eating refined sugar does not do any good for your body. Eating sugar increases your blood sugar to unnaturally high levels. Then, your body must compensate by producing high levels of insulin. This leads to many conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, and more. Honey is okay to eat on the Paleo diet. But stay away from the refined sugar.


Soy is definitely not recommended on the Paleo diet. Contrary to popular belief, soy is not a health food. In fact, soy was not even considered a food in the US until the 1920s. The consumption of soy has been linked to cancer, heart disease, and thyroid issues, among other conditions.


Dairy should be avoided most of the time because our bodies were not made to digest milk on a regular basis, especially as adults. Milk contains a protein called casein that is hard for humans to digest. Pastured butter and heavy cream in small amounts is fine for most people, though.


Legumes are another food group that should be avoided on the Paleo diet because they can irritate your gut. They are also very starchy and contain a lot of calories. Note: Peanuts are actually legumes, and should also be avoided.

If you avoid most of the above foods and replace them with whole, real foods—especially fruits and vegetables—you will definitely begin to reap the benefits of living a healthy Paleo lifestyle! And trust us, you won’t want to go back!




James Christopher, Creative Writer