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Practical Paleo (2012) by Diane Sanfilippo BS NC: What to eat and foods to avoid

Practical Paleo - book by Diane Sanfilippo BS NCPractical Paleo (2012) offers advice for eating variations of paleo diets for different medical conditions, plus a regular “squeaky clean paleo diet”

  • Eat: animal protein sources, starchy and nonstarchy vegetables, some fruit, “superfoods” including bone broth and fermented foods, eggs and raw milk for some people, nuts and seeds for some people
  • Paleo – no grains, no legumes, no processed foods, no refined sugars, no processed fats
  • Near-paleo – raw, unpasteurized and unhomogenized milk and milk products are allowed for some people
  • Recommendations are based on a person’s reactions to food as well as their medical conditions

Below is a description of the food recommendations in the book.  What to eat  |  Foods to limit or avoid.  There’s a lot more in the book.

Get a copy of Practical Paleo to find out the full benefits, as well as beautifully illustrated recommendation lists and recipes. Also see http://balancedbites.com.

The reasoning behind Practical Paleo

This book argues that for optimal health, we should eat foods that our paleolithic ancestors would have eaten; more recently introduced foods such as grains and legumes and very recently introduced foods such as processed foods can be harmful to our health. The author gives alternate recommendations for various medical conditions, based on how people with those medical conditions react to certain foods and groups of foods.

Practical Paleo diet plan – food list

What to eat  |  Foods to limit or avoid

Foods to eat in Practical Paleo

  • Whole, unprocessed, natural foods
  • Meat, seafood, and eggs
    • Beef and lamb – Best: 100% grass-fed and finished, pasture-raised, local. Better: grass-fed, pasture-raised. Good: organic. Baseline: commercial (hormone/antibiotic-free)
    • Pork – Best: pasture-raised, local. Better: free-range, organic. Good: organic. Baseline: commercial
    • Other meats, including but not limited to: Bison, boar, buffalo, game meats, goat, goose, lamb, mutton, ostrich, quail, rabbit, squab, turkey, veal, venison
    • Fish – including but not limited to: Catfish, carp, clams, grouper, halibut, lobster, mackerel, mahi mahi, mussels, oysters, salmon, sardines, scallops, shrimp, prawns, snails, snapper, swordfish, trout, tuna. Best: wild fish, Better: wild caught. Good: humanely harvested, non-grain-fed. Baseline – farm-raised (not recommended). Can be canned.
    • Eggs & poultry including chicken, duck, and goose: best: pasture-raised, local. Better: free range, organic. Good: cage-free, organic. Baseline: commercial
  • Dairy: Always buy full fat. Best: grass-fed, raw/unpasteurized. Better: raw/unpasteurized. Good: grass-fed. Baseline: commercial or organic (not recommended)
  • Proteins generally
    • For women, 3-8 ounces for meals, 2-4 ounce for snacks
    • For men, 8-12 ounces for meals, 3-6 ounces for snacks
  • Vegetables
    • Eat a variety – including but not limited to:
    • Non-starchy vegetables: Artichokes*, asparagus*, arugula, bamboo shoots, bok choi^^, broccoli^^*, brussels sprouts^^*, cabbage^^*, cauliflower^^*, celery^, chard, collard greens^^^, cucumbers, daikon, dandelion greens*, eggplant***, endive, fennel, garlic*, green beans, green onions*, kale^^*, leeks*, lettuce^, mushrooms*, mustard greens*, okra*, parsley, peppers***^, purslane, radicchio, radishes^^, rapini^^, seaweed, shallots*, snap peas, spinach^^^, squash, sugar snap peas, sunchokes*, tomatillos**, tomatoes**, turnip greens, watercress^^, yuccas. Eat to satiety.
    • Dense sources of paleo carbs: beets*, butternut squash, carrots, cassava, jicama*, kohlrabi^^, lotus roots, onions*, parsnips, plantain, pumpkin, rutabagas, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes^^, taro, turnips, white potatoes**, winter squash, yams. Approximately ½ to 1 cup in meals for women, Approximately 1 to 1½ cups in meals for men
    • Best: local, organic, and seasonal. Better: local and organic. Good: organic or local. Baseline: conventional
  • Fruits
    • In limited amounts, as dessert, including but not limited to:
    • Apples*^, apricots*, avocados*, bananas, blackberries*, blueberries^, cherries*, cranberries, figs*, grapefruit, grapes^, guavas, kiwis, lemons, limes, lychees*, mangoes, melons, nectarines*^, oranges, papayas, passionfruit, peaches^^*^, pears^^*, persimmons*, pineapples, plantains, plums*, pomegranates, raspberries, rhubarb, star fruit, strawberries^^^, tangerines, watermelon*
    • For larger pieces of fruit, ½ of a piece is one serving. Around ½ cup to 1 cup of berries is a good serving size
    • Best: local, organic, and seasonal. Better: local and organic. Good: organic or local. Baseline: conventional
  • Herbs & spices
    • Including but not limited to:
    • Anise, annatto, basil, bay leaf, caraway, cardamom, carob, cayenne pepper**, celery seed, chervil, chicory*, chili pepper**, chipotle powder**, chives, cilantro, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, fennel*, fenugreek, galangal, garlic, ginger, horseradish*, juniper berry, kaffir lime leaves, lavender, lemongrass, lemon verbena, licorice, mace, marjoram, mint, mustard, oregano, paprika**, parsley, black pepper, peppermint, rosemary, saffron, spearmint, star anise, tarragon, thyme, turmeric, vanilla, wasabi^^*, za’atar
  • Nuts and seeds
    • Don’t eat too many nuts if your goal is fat loss
    • Don’t eat nuts and seeds in large quantities (not defined)
    • Almonds, brazil nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios*, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts
    • Best: local, organic, kept cold. Better: local, organic. Good: organic. Baseline: conventional
  • Fats and oils
    • Vegetable saturated fats – for hot uses – coconut oil, palm oil. Buy organic, unrefined
    • Animal-based saturated fats – for hot uses – butter, ghee / clarified butter, lard, bacon grease / pork fat, tallow / beef fat, duck fat, schmaltz / chicken fat, lamb fat, full-fat dairy. Best: organic, cold-pressed, and from well-raised animal sources. Better: organic, cold-pressed. Good: organic or conventional
    • Vegetable unsaturated fats – for cold uses – olive oil, sesame oil, macadamia nut oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil (occasionally). Buy organic, extra-virgin, and cold-pressed forms
    • 1-2 tablespoons of a fat or oil is a serving for women
    • 2-4 tablespoons of a fat or oil is a serving for men
  • Liquids
    • Almond milk (fresh), coconut milk, coconut water, herbal tea, mineral water, water
  • Superfoods
    • Grass-fed dairy – butter, ghee
    • Organ meats – liver, kidneys, heart, etc.
    • Sea vegetables – dulse, kelp, seaweed
    • Herbs and spices (see above)
    • Bone broth – homemade, not canned or boxed
    • Fermented foods – sauerkraut, carrots, beets, high-quality yogurt, kefir, kombucha
  • Treats & sweets
    • For occasional use, use sparingly
    • Carob powder, cocoa powder, dark chocolate
    • Natural sweeteners to use sparingly – preferred choices – Whole dates, real fresh fruit juice, fruit juice concentrates, honey (preferably raw), maple syrup (100% pure, grade B), molasses, stevia (green leaf or extract). Use organic forms wherever possible
    • Natural sweeteners to use sparingly – less preferred – Brown sugar, date sugar, date syrup, cane sugar, raw sugar, turbinado, cane juice, cane juice crystals, coconut nectar, coconut sugar/crystals, palm sugar. Use organic forms wherever possible

*FODMAPs – fermentable-oligo-di-monosaccharides-and-polyols –may cause gas and bloating in some people
**nightshades – may cause issues for people with joint pain and inflammation
^^goitrogenic foods – may cause issues in people with thyroid conditions
^buy organic

Foods to avoid or limit with Practical Paleo

  • Refined grains
    • Avoid
    • Toast, muffins, scones, croissants, English muffins, sandwiches, burritos, tacos, pancakes, waffles, pasta, rice, pita bread, bagels, etc.
  • Whole grains
    • Avoid
    • Wheat, barley, rye, spelt, corn, rice, quinoa, millet, bulgur wheat, buckwheat, amaranth
  • Legumes
    • Avoid
    • All dried beans, peas, lentils, soy
    • Soy and soy derived products – especially soy milk
    • Guar and xanthan gum are derived from legumes – most people can eat them in small amounts, but others react with digestive distress
  • Fruit
    • Limit fruit consumption (exact guidelines not given)
  • Packaged snacks
    • Avoid
    • Breakfast bars, granola bars, toaster pastries, snack bars, protein bars, prepackaged protein shakes, crackers, cookies, pretzels, chips, baked goods, snack pack items, etc.
  • Pasteurized dairy products
    • Avoid
    • Processed and pasteurized milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, frozen yogurt, etc.
    • Raw milk is a gray area
  • Beverages
    • Avoid anything sweetened, especially with artificial sweeteners – soda, diet soda, energy drinks, juice, sweetened teas, presweetened coffee drinks, shakes, smoothies
    • Alcohol – Avoid alcohol completely if you want to see the best possible results in the shortest possible time. For general health, 1-2 drinks per week of gluten-free alcoholic beverages should not be problematic. However, if you are dealing with a specific health condition, eliminating alcohol is highly recommended
    • Coffee / caffeine – Decrease your caffeine consumption to 2 cups (total of 16 ounces) or fewer a day. Don’t drink it after noon if you want to get a good night’s sleep. No guidelines on other caffeine-containing foods and drinks
  • Processed fats
    • Avoid
    • Industrial seed oils / highly processed vegetable oils – corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, rice bran oil
    • Trans fats / hydrogenated fats – margarine / buttery spreads, shortening made with the above oils
    • Rancid fats
  • Refined sugars
    • Not recommended
    • Naturally derived but not recommended sugars: Agave, agave nectar, barley malt, beet sugar, brown rice syrup, buttered syrup, caramel, carob syrup, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, demerara sugar, dextran, dextrose, diastatic malt, diastase, ethyl maltol, fructose, glucose/glucose solids, golden sugar, golden syrup, grape sugar, high fructose corn syrup (very bad), invert sugar, lactose, levulose, light brown sugar, maltitol, malt syrup, maltodextrin, maltose, mannitol, muscovado, refiner’s syrup, sorbitol, sorghum syrup, sucrose, treacle, yellow sugar, xylitol (or other sugar alcohols, typically they end in “ose”
  • Artificial sweeteners
    • Never consume
    • Acesulfame K (Sweet One), aspartame (Equal, Nutra-Sweet), saccharin (Sweet’N’Low), stevia (white/bleached – Truvia, Sun Crystals), sucralose (Splenda), tagatose
  • Processed and refined foods
    • Avoid
    • Anything that has passed through a factory
  • Any foods that give you food intolerance

Some people can tolerate dairy, or occasional grain-based foods.

Health benefits claimed in Practical Paleo

The diet in this book claims to reduce the risks for: acne, allergies, alopecia, amenorrhea, anemia, anxiety, candidiasis, celiac disease, constipation, depression, diarrhea, diverticulitis, dyslexia, edema, endometriosis, fibrosis, gallbladder disease, gas, gastric ulcers, GERD/heartburn, gluten intolerance, gut flora imbalances, hepatitis, indigestion, inflammation, joint pain and disease, kidney disease, lactose intolerance, leaky gut, liver disease, migraines, mood disorders, nephritis, overweight/obesity, pancreatitis, pre- and post-natal difficulties, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), vitamin or mineral deficiencies, weight gain

There are also specific guidelines for

  • Athletic performance
  • Autoimmune conditions (Addison’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, attention deficit disorder ADD/ADHD, autoimmune diseases, bloating, bone diseases, calcium deficiency, cancer, canker sores, celiac disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn’s disease, dermatitis, eczema, Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, pernicious anemia, psoriasis, Raynaud’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, type 1 diabetes, vitiligo)
  • Blood sugar regulation (dysglycemia, hypoglycemia, diabetes type 1, diabetes type 2) – people with gestational diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hormonal imbalances including PCOS and infertility may also benefit
  • Cancer recovery
  • Digestive health (celiac disease, colitis and ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease IBD, irritable bowel syndrome IBS, leaky gut)
  • Fat loss – people who experience sugar and carbohydrate cravings, and people that have trouble digesting fruit or suspect bacterial or fungal overgrowth, may also benefit
  • Heart health (atherosclerosis, heart disease, cholesterol concerns including low HDL, high LDL, high triglycerides, total:HDL ratio, high oxidized LDL; blood pressure concerns with symptoms including general fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, blurred vision, low blood pressure, headaches, trembling, dry mouth, irritability, mood swings, cravings for sugar and carbohydrates, compulsive eating, loss of appetite, loss of sex drive)
  • Multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue – people with arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma may also benefit
  • Neurological health (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease) – people with epilepsy, type 2 diabetes, or seeking a ketogenic diet approach may also benefit
  • Thyroid health – hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism including autoimmune Hashimoto’s or otherwise
  • Following a squeaky clean paleo diet

As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, and does not endorse it.

Get a copy of Practical Paleo for more information on how diet affects the digestive system and general health, and for recipes and meal plans.
Buy now from Amazon
How has this diet helped you? Please add a comment below.

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