The general rule of Paleo is simple: Eat grass fed meats, fruits, nuts, and veggies while avoiding grains and dairy. At least it seems simple until you check your favorite BBQ sauce and realize that it’s loaded with sugar, which should be avoided at all cost on Paleo. Or that the great recipe you were planning to try that involves potatoes, but then you remember that potatoes aren’t always Paleo-friendly. Here are some more common traps that cause people to stray from the Paleo lifestyle without realizing it.
Some Veggies are a No Go on Paleo
A caveat to the general rule on Paleo is that not every vegetable is Paleo-friendly. One of the most versatile and popular veggies, the potato, is actually not permitted on the Paleo diet. Additionally, legumes aren’t on the Paleo menu either, so say goodbye to beans, lima beans, peanuts, soybeans, and all other beans while you’re maintaining a Paleo lifestyle. No worries though, because with these awesome Paleo recipes, you won’t miss any of those other foods.
Sugar is in Everything
When trying to stay on the Paleo diet, you really come to realize how many foods contain sugar. Obviously the worst offenders include sodas and candy, but even foods like fruits, ketchup, and many juices contain excessive sugar that could negatively impact your diet. Even natural fruits that are ok on Paleo are advised to be eaten in moderation, because seemingly innocuous foods like apples are still comprised of over 50% sugar. For more clarification, this list from dietaryfiberfood.com shows the foods with the highest levels of sugar. Fortunately, Paleo substitutes are available for everything from salad dressings to steak sauce.
Corn Syrups are as Bad as Sugar
Ever heard of high-fructose corn syrup? If you’ve ever read a nutrition label, it’s a safe bet you’ve seen it because it’s in a lot of unexpected foods. Some of the foods considered by many to be health foods, such as yogurt and cereal, are known to have excessive amounts of corn syrup, which is basically a sweetener made from corn starch. Due to a recent requirement to list corn derivatives on nutrition labels, corn sugars are soon going to be tracked so consumers can choose to limit the harmful, manmade ingredient. Paleo people have alternatives for managing their sweet tooth, including natural honey, fresh fruit, and other Paleo snacks.
Preservatives are Found Where you Least Expect Them
With 75% of food in the supermarket categorized as “packaged food”, Paleo demands that we look at the labels, and stick to the other 25% of fresh, natural foods that don’t contain harmful preservatives. For example, you may begin your Paleo experience ready to consume any and all meats that are available. However, almost all lunch meat, hot dogs, sausages, and numerous other store-bought meat products contain various preservatives that directly go against the Paleo philosophy. Some of the most common culprits found in meats include ascorbic acid, carrageenan, and phosphates, so if you’re on Paleo, it’s worth an extra ten seconds to make sure your meats are preservative-free.
Avoid Paleo Traps and Reap the Benefits
Unlike casual fad diets, Paleo is a lifestyle backed by thorough research and science. It is important to stay true to your Paleo experience, lest the proven benefits of the natural lifestyle be wasted, opening the door to the digestive problems and impurities that Paleo aims to prevent. To those who are mindful enough to scan their ingredients and avoid the marketing ploys of the food industry, Paleo diets offer a host of benefits that will leave your body clean, strong, and fully charged.