Paleo

Paleo eating has been getting a lot of buzz. New to paleo? You might be wondering what exactly it is and if “going paleo” is something you’d like to try. Already a fan? You’re probably looking for ways to make it easier and more delicious. Read our guide to get inspired and to learn more:

Paleo Recipes

These paleo picks are among our favorites, but you can discover many more in our recipe library.

So, What Does it Mean to Eat Paleo?

At its simplest, paleo is an eating style emphasizing whole, nutrient-rich foods like fruits and veggies, meat, seafood, nuts and seeds. The goal is to maximize health and well-being by eating more of the foods our ancient ancestors knew, the kind of foods paleo fans believe our bodies evolved to thrive on. Although there are no absolute guidelines, ingredients to avoid include grains, refined sugar, legumes, dairy, artificial additives and highly processed foods.

Shopping for Paleo Foods

Although it sometimes gets the name “caveman diet,” paleo eating is right in line with the kind of ingredients Whole Foods Market has always championed: fresh, high-quality real foods. There are no absolute rules, but an emphasis on lean meats and seafood, fruits and veggies, and nuts and seeds is at the heart of paleo. Try these tips for navigating shopping and meal planning.

  • Prioritize in-season, organically grown fruits and vegetables.
  • Pick up organic frozen vegetables to keep in the freezer, so you’ll always have veggies on hand. Unsweetened frozen fruits are great too.
  • Look for grain alternatives like spiralized veggie “noodles” and cauliflower “rice” in the Produce department.
  • For meat, emphasize grass-fed beef, lamb and goat.
  • Choose pastured-raised poultry and eggs whenever you can.
  • At the Seafood counter, choose sustainable, wild-caught fish and shellfish; ask a team member if you need suggestions.
  • Keep canned fish like wild salmon, sardines and tuna on hand for impromptu meals.
  • Replace vegetable oils and butter with fats like coconut oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil and extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Pick up a selection of nuts and seeds for snacking and cooking. Replace dairy milk with nut milks like almondmilk and coconut milk.
  • To boost flavor when you cook, stock condiments like coconut aminos, fish sauce, herbs, spices and vinegars. Keep staples like ginger, garlic, scallions and citrus on hand too.
  • In addition to fresh fruits, pick up alternatives to refined sugar like agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, dates and dried fruits.
  • Craving drinks other than water? Kombucha, coconut water, teas, coffee and bone broth are excellent choices to keep you happily hydrated.

A Paleo-Friendly Shopping List

Although there are few hard-and-fast rules, here’s an outline of the foods that are and are not generally considered paleo.

Paleo:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, seafood, poultry and eggs
  • Nuts and seeds, plus nut flours like almond flour and coconut flour
  • Nondairy nut beverages
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and other nut oils

Not Paleo:

  • Highly processed foods
  • Sugar and other refined sweeteners
  • Grains and grain-based products like bread and pasta
  • Dairy
  • Oils like canola, corn, safflower and soybean
  • Legumes like beans, lentils, peanuts and soybeans
  • Soy-based products like tofu and soy sauce