What Can You Really Eat on a Paleo Vegan Weight loss program?

You’ve most likely heard of the paleo food plan, also called the Paleolithic food plan or the “caveman food plan.” This food plan pattern is all about reverting again to the unprocessed diets that our caveman ancestors ate, rejecting not solely trendy processed meals and their alleged related well being dangers, but additionally carbs, beans, and bean-derived meals, like tofu. 

If that sounds impractical for the common human, you’re proper. “I’m all about vegan diets and entire meals diets, however even I imagine that is overly restrictive,” Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD Senior Medical Dietitian at UCLA Medical Heart, and creator of Recipe for Survival, tells VegNews.

Right here’s the rundown of what you possibly can eat on a paleo vegan food plan, plus why it’s not sustainable in the long term.

What’s a paleo vegan food plan?

Hailing from the Seventies, the paleo food plan was designed to emulate the way in which people of the Paleolithic period, or the Previous Stone Age people would eat some 2.5 million years in the past. By this level, early people used fireplace to cook dinner meals and had entry to stone instruments that allowed them larger entry to extra assets and a greater likelihood of survival.  

Clearly, early people didn’t have entry to on the spot ramen and vegan boxed mac and cheese. However, that doesn’t imply that they adopted the fashionable paleo food plan.


Though diets differed throughout international areas, archaeological proof and the fashionable research of tribes that also observe searching and gathering has allowed researchers to make educated guesses about what real-life Paleolithic individuals ate. This contains tubers, nuts, seeds, edible flowers, barley, and legumes—these latter two might be essential afterward.

Along with that, Previous Stone Agers would possible eat small sport meat the place obtainable, however this possible made up not more than 3 p.c of their food plan. Coastal-dwelling Paleolithic people would have entry to seafood and it’s additionally possible that individuals worldwide added bugs, honey, and honeycomb to their food plan.

Notably, the majority of protein from the non-vegan paleo food plan comes from meat and seafood as a result of, regardless of proof that real-life Paleolithic people ate them, legumes aren’t allowed. The identical goes for grains. 

These prehistoric people had entry to barley, however no grains are allowed within the up to date paleo food plan, following food plan developments that decision for individuals to limit carbs.

What can’t you eat on a paleo vegan food plan?

As you’ll have seen above, the real-like paleo food plan included barley, among the earliest-known cultivated grains and legumes. However, the fashionable paleo food plan prohibits each grains and legumes. 

One of many foremost criticisms of the paleo vegan food plan is that it’s not actually reflective of the way in which individuals ate. The opposite is that it’s prohibitive. 

“A paleo vegan food plan could be very restrictive and harmful,” Kathryn Bonilla Strickland, RDN, and founding father of the Plant Centered Dietitian, says. “It restricts many vitamins corresponding to iron, protein, zinc, and magnesium that our physique must operate. This food plan can simply result in many nutrient deficiencies.”

Meals which are restricted from a paleo vegan food plan embody:

  • Alcohol: Beer, wine, liquor, and so forth.
  • Beans and legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, navy beans, break up peas, mung beans, edamame, tofu, tempeh, peanut butter, and even soy sauce
  • Grains and pseudo-grains: Rice, barley, oats, quinoa, corn, farro, bread, pasta, tortillas, cereal, grits, and extra
  • Dairy: Most dairy merchandise are out, however some Paleo-followers use grass-fed butter and milk
  • Extremely processed meals: Prepared-made meals, snack meals, fried meals, quick meals, synthetic sweeteners, protein powder, and extra
  • Sugary meals: Sweet, chocolate, soda, and different comfortable drinks
  • Sure oils: Hydrogenated oils aka trans fat, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and extra

What are you able to eat on a paleo vegan food plan?

The speculation behind the paleo food plan is that in case your Stone Age ancestors couldn’t hunt or collect it, it’s not okay to eat. 

“There should not any upsides to being on a strict paleo vegan food plan,” Strickland says. “If you happen to do determine to be on a paleo vegan food plan then work with a registered dietitian for a well-balanced plan to fulfill all of your nutrient wants.”


That makes choices restricted—particularly whenever you account for the truth that meat, fish, and eggs are thought-about to be the primary supply of protein on this food plan. While you take away all the animal merchandise, paleo vegan-friendly meals embody:

  • Fruit: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, grapes, melons, avocado, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, and extra
  • Greens: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, inexperienced beans, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, candy potatoes, onion, peppers, and extra
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, chia seeds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, pecans, hazelnuts, and so forth.
  • Sure plant oils: Further virgin olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, flaxseeds oil, and others
  • Salt and spices: Thyme, oregano, chili powder, turmeric, paprika, pepper, and so forth.
  • Drinks: Water

Is a paleo vegan food plan wholesome?

The paleo vegan food plan is constructed on a superb basis in that it encourages individuals to eat primarily entire, plant-based meals, which is related to a variety of advantages. 

Analysis has linked diets excessive in highly-processed meals like deli meats and most quick meals to power ailments like coronary heart illness, Sort 2 diabetes, and sure cancers. However, the paleo vegan food plan will not be wholesome for you in the long term for quite a lot of causes.

It’s restrictive

The Paleo vegan food plan leaves little area for wiggle room and a 100-percent by-the-books adherence is troublesome. 

Some individuals observe the overall tips of a paleo food plan, such because the give attention to minimally processed meals, however permit themselves to eat entire grains like brown rice, pseudo-grains like quinoa, and different “forbidden meals” like darkish chocolate, wine, or espresso. 


“Whereas it’s doable to get sufficient energy, nutritional vitamins, and protein on a paleo vegan food plan,” Hunnes explains, “I see it as pointless and fewer wholesome than a whole-food, vegan food plan as a result of it’s overly restrictive in my thoughts and requires extreme quantities of planning.”

If the de-emphasis on extremely processed meals is interesting, a whole-foods, plant-based food plan additionally follows the paleo food plan’s precept of filling your plate with produce. However, it doesn’t exclude essential proteins corresponding to legumes and tofu nor does it minimize out entire grains and entire wheat pasta. 

Grains and legumes aren’t allowed

For starters, grains and legumes aren’t allowed. 

“Lectins, present in legumes, are solely dangerous if consumed uncooked or from undercooked legumes,” Hunnes explains. “Grains are an exquisite supply of fiber and B nutritional vitamins as effectively. Reducing these two meals teams out is extreme.”

Rice, oats, pasta, noodles, and bread are staple meals within the majority of world diets. They’re excessive in carbohydrates, which give you power and assist different bodily capabilities. In keeping with the Dietary Pointers for Individuals, carbs ought to make up between 45- to 65-percent of your food plan.

Whereas processed grains corresponding to white rice and pasta include little dietary worth, entire grains include nutritional vitamins and minerals.


The opposite drawback is the near-lack of plant protein. This macronutrient additionally provides you with power, but it surely additionally helps your physique restore cells and create new ones. 

Often, somebody following a vegan food plan would get their protein—which ought to make up between 10- to 35-percent of your food plan—from a combination of beans, lentils, tofu, and plant-based meat. 

Though nuts and seeds include protein, they don’t maintain a candle to lentils and beans. A single serving of almonds comprises 7 grams of protein. In the meantime, a half-cup serving of lentils packs 12 grams of protein. 

It may be costly

Legumes are one of many world’s most inexpensive sources of protein, however they’re not allowed on a paleo vegan food plan. Nuts and seeds, in the meantime, might be dear in giant portions. 

Minimally processed frozen vegetables and fruit can be more cost effective than their contemporary counterparts. Nevertheless, consuming sufficient energy per day with out beans, lentils, or grains means upping your consumption of produce, which might tack rather a lot onto your annual meals bills.

As all the time, it’s best to seek the advice of along with your physician or a dietitian nutritionist in the event you plan on making any huge modifications to your food plan. 

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