I hate to say “forbidden” as it makes it seem so dramatic; but the reality is, the current state of our health is a dramatic crisis for many people. We are suffering rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, imbalanced hormones, adrenal fatigue, food sensitivities, ADD, ADHD and various immune compromises and more, at alarming rates.
And the research is everywhere pointing to our food supply. From Harvard University to private research firms, there are plenty of studies showing how our food supplies have been modified/manipulated, and what that’s doing to research animals, and therefore assumed to be doing to us as well.
So remember, this is about a whole lifestyle change. About turning from refined and processed foods to a life full of WHOLE, UNPROCESSED FOODS. Our goal here is to help you reconfigure your plates so the majority of each meal is created from an abundance of raw and cooked vegetables, protein, fruits, nuts and seeds.
The following categories of food are forbidden on the MyPaleo diet, but remember, you’re encouraged to save up your “good karma points” from the days you follow the MyPaleo diet, and use them on a splurge day. Just knowing you have 1 splurge day a week helps many people overcome the weaker moments when our minds trick us into thinking we want something sweet or generally anything on the forbidden list. And to be honest, the better you start to feel, the less likely you will be to cash in on those good karma points, but be sure to keep them in a reserve as you never know when you’ll get an invitation to a Mexican themed party full of corn chips and margaritas!
There is a long list of ingredients which are essentially “sugar” which we include below. You may choose to allow small amounts of honey or pure maple syrup – but this would have been a rare treat.
Here is a list of some of the possible code words for “sugar” which may appear on a label. Hint: the words “syrup”, “sweetener”, and anything ending in “ose” can usually be assumed to be “sugar”. If the label says “no added sugars”, it should not contain any of the following, although the food could contain naturally-occurring sugars (such as lactose in milk).
- Agave Nectar
- Barley Malt Syrup
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
- Dehydrated Cane Juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Raw sugar
- Rice Syrup
- Sorghum or sorghum syrup
- Turbinado Sugar
Yes, there were wild grains, and a few roasted kernels have been found in ancient fires. But really – how much wild grain could have been collected at a time? Answer: not much.
Sorry folks – Corn is a grain.
This is an area where many experts disagree, but in general, we suggest avoiding:
- Sweet potatoes
- Beets – limited quantities
Legumes (Beans, Peas, Peanuts)
These are usually omitted on the premise that most of them can’t be eaten without cooking, and that legumes have a high content of lectins and other antinutrients. Research into lectins is in its infancy and not a lot is known about this with any certainty, but if you are interested, Loren Cordain’s 2012 book, >The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young has a great section about what is known at the present time.
Quick note – we don’t have as much of an issue with legumes as many other Paleo diets do, so feel free to enjoy your green beans, but keep them in moderation. As for peas, they don’t offer much nutritional value, and quickly convert to sugar once eaten, so they are generally recommended as something to avoid, and rather, store up those good karma points for a pea salad splurge
Here’s what we know: early people did not eat dairy products before animals were domesticated. It has been pointed out that there has been adaptation to dairy products in some genetic lines, but most experts exclude eating dairy including milk, butter, cream, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, etc. Others say that butter (and to a lesser extent cream) don’t have much lactose or casein and are probably OK on occasion. All would agree that if you are going to eat dairy, make sure the animals are grass-fed, or better yet, seek out raw forms whenever possible.
Most processed meats (made with nitrites and additives) are not allowed, including hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and lunch meats, although sometimes more healthy forms of these can be found. If you’re of the lucky group who can find naturally prepared lunch meats by your local grocer, which are free of nitrites, additives and preservatives, then by all means – enjoy. Note there is a difference between processed (e.g. hot dogs) and simply “cured” (e.g. bacon), and it’s important to know the source, and their preparation methods.
Definitely avoid the following:
- Corn oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Peanut oil
- Soybean oil (same as soy oil)
- Rice bran oil
- Wheat germ oil
This includes products, such as mayonnaise, which include these oils.
- Trans fats in packaged foods
- Canola oil – genetically modified and turns rancid quickly
- Cottonseed oil – genetically modified, pesticide-laden, hydrogenated
There are too many reasons to mention why soy is terrible for us, so please click here for the full review of soy and its harmful effects. And if you’re a parent feeding soy to your babies and/or children, please PLEASE, read this!
Now that you have a cheat sheet of foods to avoid, we will be following up with foods to cherish next! The key here is to focus NOT on what you CAN’T have, but rather, on what you CAN have. That list is lengthy, and full of delicious options. The key is managing your time; this is not a “convenience” food diet. This is a way of life that requires you to plan ahead as much as possible to have items on hand to take with you while out of the home, and to have plenty of delicious meals ready for you.