The Paleolithic diet, or Paleo diet, looks to the diets of early humans for inspiration. The diet is structured around the belief that modern humans retain the genetic makeup of the humans in the Paleollithic Age, which ended 10,000 years ago. Paleo dieters believe in replacing processed foods and carbohydrates with more natural products like lean meats and fruits and vegetables.
The Paleo diet encourages dieters to eat healthier meats, eggs, vegetables and fruits. Allowed meats include any lean cut of beef or pork, poultry, organ meats and game meat. Up to six weekly servings of chicken, duck or goose eggs is encouraged. Nearly any kind of fish and shellfish fall into the encouraged category of foods.
All fruits and all non-starch vegetables are permissible. Snack on nuts and seeds, including almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Peanuts and peanut butter fall into the foods to avoid category.
The Paleo diet allows moderate consumption of certain foods. Olive, canola and other oils shouldn't exceed 4 tsps. per day. Drink diet sodas, coffee and tea sparingly. Two 4-oz. glasses of wine, one 12-oz. beer or a 4-oz. drink of spirits per day are allowed. Calm a sweet tooth with up to 2 oz. of dried fruit or a fruit and nut blend that adds 4 oz. of nuts.
The diet doesn't allow dairy products of any sort. This includes milk, butter, yogurt, ice cream and cheese. Grains also earn a total ban, removing foods made of wheat, oats, rice, rye, corn or barley. No beans, including soybeans, should be consumed.
Fatty meats, salty processed foods, sweets and starchy vegetables are also out. Essentially, any food that requires processing or contains fat, sugar or salt doesn't belong in this diet.