Complete Paleo Diet Food List

Paleo list of foods

Are you considering going paleo? If so, you'll want to make sure you have all the right foods on hand. This ultimate paleo food list will help get you started. Included are plenty of fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood options to keep you satisfied and healthy. Plus, we added some tips on sticking to a paleo diet. Let's get started.

The Paleo Diet

Different kinds of paleo approved foods on a table

The paleo diet is a nutrient-rich eating plan that focuses on whole foods that are high in protein, low in carbs, and rich in healthy fats. The goal of this diet is to mimic what our paleolithic ancestors ate.

The paleo diet has also been shown to provide many health benefits, including weight loss, improved blood sugar levels, reduced inflammation, and a lower risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

However, the disadvantage is that it may be difficult to find all the Paleo-friendly foods you need, especially if you live in an area with limited access to fresh food. This is one of the reasons why we made this list; to help you narrow down your food list so that you know what foods to look for when you are grocery shopping.

Approved Paleo Diet Food List

A checklist of paleo foods

These are some of the foods you can typically find in a paleo diet:

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Meat

  • Seafood

  • Eggs

  • Nuts and Seeds

Meat And Seafood

Pieces of meat on a chopping board

The paleo diet is well suited for meat-lovers and seafood-lovers alike. When it comes to meat, you can eat pretty much anything that isn't processed. For seafood, aim for fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Paleo Meat & Seafood List:

  • Chicken

  • Beef

  • Salmon

  • Tuna

  • Pork

  • Bacon

  • Cod

  • Turkey

On the paleo diet, grass-fed meat is preferable to grain-fed meat, as it is less likely to be contaminated with hormones and antibiotics. So when shopping for meat next time, look for products that are labeled "grass-fed," "pasture-raised," or "wild caught." These terms indicate that the animals were raised in a more natural environment.

Herbs And Spices

Various herbs and spices

These are the perfect way to add flavor to your food without adding any extra calories.

Paleo-Approved Herbs And Spices List:

  • Chilies

  • Garlic

  • Ginger

  • Mustard

  • Vinegar (including apple cider vinegar)

  • Capers

  • Cacao powder

  • Leek

  • Parsley

  • Basil

  • Cilantro

  • Fresh chives

Healthy Fats And Oils

Olive oil in a bowl

Healthy Fats are an important part of the paleo diet. They help your body absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients and provide energy. Some of the best sources of healthy fats are listed below.

Paleo Fats & Oils List:

  • Olive oil

  • Walnut oil

  • Flaxseed oil

  • Macadamia oil

  • Avocado oil

Fruits And Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables

There is little debate about the health advantages of fruits and vegetables. They are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. The only exception to the paleo diet is white potatoes, which are actually starchy vegetables.

Sugary fruits and starchy vegetables (such as potatoes, squash, and beets) can raise blood sugar levels more than berries and spinach. According to paleo experts, this is why they're fine in moderation and should be taken in moderation if you want to lose weight. Here is a list to help you out.

Paleo Vegetables List:

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Spinach

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Cabbage

Paleo Fruits List:

  • Apples

  • Berries: including blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries

  • Melon

  • Grapes

  • Bananas

  • Citrus fruits


Some eggs in a carton and a whisk

Eggs are permitted because they are high in protein, B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They're also reasonably priced and simple to prepare. For a greater nutrient density, choose pastured eggs.

Nuts And Seeds

Some nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are full of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. However, keep in mind that peanuts are not considered paleo because they are technically legumes.

Paleo-Friendly Nuts & Seeds List:

  • Almonds

  • Cashews

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Pecans

  • Pine nuts

  • Walnuts

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Sunflower seeds


Beef jerky

Snacks are not strictly part of the paleo diet, but they can be a helpful way to tide you over between meals or satisfy a craving.

Paleo Snack List:

  • Beef Jerky

  • Fruit leathers

  • Dried fruit

  • Vegetable chips

  • Nut butter

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Hard-boiled eggs

  • Guacamole

  • Hummus (made without legumes)

  • Salsa

  • Dark chocolate (>70% cacao) with no added sugar

Foods You Should Avoid on the Paleo Diet

There are certain foods that should be avoided on the paleo diet. These include:

  • Legumes

  • Grains

  • Dairy

  • Refined sugars

  • Processed foods

  • Alcohol

  • Coffee and tea


Grains in a bowl

All grains are forbidden on a paleo diet. Grains are a result of modern agriculture, and cavemen didn't eat them. Asides from that, grains are rich in carbohydrates, which can cause your blood sugar to rise. They're also difficult to digest and can irritate your intestines.

Grains List:

  • Wheat

  • Rye

  • Barley

  • Oats

  • Buckwheat

  • Quinoa

  • Millet

  • Brown rice

  • White rice


White beans in a bowl

Legumes are off-limits on a paleo diet because they contain lectins, which can be harmful to your health. Lectins are a type of protein that binds to carbohydrates, and they're found in high amounts in legumes. Some people may be able to tolerate legumes better than others, but it's best to avoid them if you can.

Legumes List:

  • Beans: including black beans, kidney beans, lentils, navy beans, and pinto beans

  • Chickpeas

  • Peanuts

  • Soybeans

  • Tofu


A cup of milk

Dairy is not part of a paleo diet because it's a product of modern agriculture. Cavemen didn't milk cows. Dairy is also high in sugar and can cause inflammation, so it's best to avoid it.

Dairy List:

  • Butter

  • Cheese: including cottage cheese, cream cheese, feta cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella, ricotta, and Swiss cheese

  • Cream

  • Eggnog

  • Half-and-half

  • Ice cream

  • Milk: including buttermilk, cow's milk, goat's milk, and soy milk.

If you follow the paleo diet and don't want to consume dairy, you can use non-dairy products such as coconut milk, almond milk, or cashew milk instead.

Refined Sugars

All forms of refined sugar are off-limits on a paleo diet. This includes white sugar, brown sugar, and agave nectar. Refined sugars are high in calories and can cause blood sugar to spike. They're also addictive and can lead to cravings for more sugary foods.

Refined Sugar List:

  • White sugar

  • Brown sugar

  • Agave nectar

  • Stevia

Processed Foods

Processed foods are not part of a paleo diet because they're usually high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. They also lack nutrients, so they're not good for your health.

Processed Foods List:

  • Refined sugars and salt

  • Refined vegetable oils such as soybean oil

  • Artificial sweeteners


Alcohol should be avoided on a paleo diet because it's a toxin that can damage your health. And most of these are made from grain, so they're not paleo-friendly.

Alcohol List:

  • Beer: including ales, lagers, and stouts

  • Wine: including red wine, white wine, and sparkling wine* There are some Paleo diet specific wines that you can find

  • Liquor: including vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and whiskey

Tips For Sticking To Your Paleo Diet


Below are a few tips that can help you stick to your paleo diet:

Slowly Integrate Paleo Diet Foods Into Your Diet

After you've decided to live a Paleo lifestyle, the first step is to incorporate foods that our Paleolithic ancestors ate gradually. You can slowly remove unhealthy foods from your diet and replace them with healthy Paleo options.

For example, if you currently eat three meals a day, you can start by removing grains from one meal, then legumes from another, and dairy from the last. 

Once you've done this, you can start adding in Paleo-friendly foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Don't try to go cold turkey on your old way of eating. This will only lead to frustration and eventually give up on your new diet.

Plan Ahead

One of the best ways to make sure you stay on track with your Paleo diet is to plan ahead. Meal prep for the week on Sundays, so you have healthy and delicious food to eat all week long. Planning ahead will also help you save money, as you won't be tempted to order take-out when you're short on time.

Make Sure You're Getting Enough Protein

If you're not getting enough protein, you're going to be hangry. And if you're hangry, chances are you're going to give in and eat something that isn't Paleo-friendly. To make sure you're getting enough protein, include eggs at breakfast, chicken or fish at lunch, and steak or pork chops at dinner. You can also include snacks like nuts and seeds throughout the day.

Find A Community

One of the best ways to stay motivated on your Paleo journey is to find a community of like-minded individuals. There are tons of Paleo Facebook groups, Instagram accounts, and blogs that can help you stay on track. When you're feeling tempted to cheat, reach out to your Paleo community for support.

Paleo Meal Plan

Day 1

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with veggies

Lunch: Chicken salad with avocado dressing

Dinner: Grilled salmon with roasted vegetables

Day 2

Breakfast: Omelet with bacon and spinach

Lunch: Beef and vegetable soup

Dinner: Pork chops with roasted sweet potatoes

Day 3

Breakfast: Smoothie with almond milk, bananas, and berries

Lunch: Turkey Burgers 

Dinner: Shrimp stir-fry with vegetables

Day 4

Breakfast: Bacon and egg cups

Lunch: Chicken caesar salad

Dinner: Roasted chicken with oven-roasted vegetables

Day 5

Breakfast: ripe Plantain Breakfast Bowl

Lunch: Tuna salad with avocado mayo

Dinner: Grilled steak with roasted asparagus

Day 6

Breakfast: Sweet potato and egg hash

Lunch: Spicy Thai soup with chicken

Dinner: Herb-crusted lamb chops with roasted Brussels sprouts

Day 7

Breakfast: Banana pancakes

Lunch: Chicken and vegetable wrap

Dinner: Roasted salmon with vegetables


The Paleo diet is a nutritious way of eating that can help you lose weight, get more energy, and improve your overall health. By following the tips above, you can make sure you stick to your Paleo diet and reap all the benefits of eating paleo.