What makes the Paleo lifestyle so easy, is that most fruits and vegetables are Paleo-friendly. After all, our cavemen ancestors consumed wild fruits and veggies everyday. Even today’s domesticated fruits and veggies are naturally low in sugar, fat, and salt. Cholesterol is nonexistent in any fruit or veggie.
Also, Paleo-approved fruits and veggies have the ability to maintain healthy insulin levels, fight heart disease, and obesity. They are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Quite simply, they also taste great and give you the energy you need. But, there are certain fruits and vegetables that are considered to be non-Paleo approved foods. This is due to their lower nutritional content compared to other higher nutrient-rich options.
Starchy vegetables in moderation
Squashes, such as butternut and acorn, have a high content of starches and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates come in the form of sugar and fiber. All potatoes are full of starch, also. Beets can be a surprising one; these too have a high starch content. Corn is a considered a starchy vegetable, but also a grain. The Paleo Diet is a gluten-free diet, so corn is a no-no.
Consuming starch can be helpful if you’re a very athletic person, due to the fact that the extra calories are needed to burn. But if you’re not an athlete, starchy foods can be fine in moderation. You need some starch in your daily diet, but avoid . For lower starch content, stick with veggies such as spinach, peppers (all colors), carrots, avocados, zucchini, and broccoli. These are just a few of the many Paleo-friendly veggies that are packed with nutrition.
Legumes are also discouraged
Our Paleolithic ancestors did not eat legumes: beans, string beans, chickpeas, lentils, soy beans, or nuts. Legumes are the seeds of a plant, which is why, technically, they are a vegetable. These need to be harvested and cooked, which is why our cavemen friends did not eat legumes. They are also not as nutrient-dense as eggs, meat, and fish.
Fruit with a higher glycemic index are not ideal
Natural sugars found in fruit are incredibly helpful in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. On the contrary, some fruits are higher in sugar content than others and are not Paleo-approved. Avoid dried fruits (dates, raisins), oranges, pears, plums, bananas, and mangoes. They have a higher glycemic index and taste much sweeter. It’s especially good to avoid these fruits for a while, if you are a self-confessed “sugar addict.” Fruits with higher sugar-contents are known to contain more carbohydrates and can cause blood sugar spikes. This is extra helpful to know if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Lemons, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries are great examples of fruits low in sugar. Watermelon, strawberries, and peaches are in the range of slightly higher glycemic index sugars. But these are Paleo-friendly and satisfy hunger just fine. They also inhibit the loss of weight, if that is important to you.