The Worst Mistake People Make On The Paleo Diet

While the paleo diet — eating like our ancestors did 10,000 years ago — generally supports healthy eating habits and encourages people to eat more vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins, it can be a tough diet to stick to and to do in a way that is healthy and sustainable. And often, paleo eaters find themselves relying too heavily on processed and red meat as cornerstones of their diet (via Time). 

While some red meat is fine in moderation, it's easy to go overboard, especially when other indulgent foods like pasta, pizza, cookies, and cake are off the table. Eating a paleo-friendly sausage with breakfast, a lettuce-wrapped burger for lunch, and finishing the day with a large steak for dinner might not be the best way to attempt a paleo diet, since the saturated fat content in those three meals could easily be over the recommended limits.

If you've adopted a paleo diet in order to lose weight, eating a red meat-heavy diet may not help you reach your goal (via the Mayo Clinic). While this generally low carb diet can help you lose weight, choosing high-calorie meals that contain a lot of fat can hinder your efforts (via Healthline).

What should I eat instead?

Instead, it's critical to mix in nuts and seeds, fruit and vegetable-heavy dishes, and rather than opting for processed meat, choose lean grass-fed animals or wild game, which will be lower in saturated fat. Eating a paleo diet that includes a lot of meat can get expensive if you are choosing wild-caught or grass-fed options, so consider skipping meat at some meals and using plant-based proteins instead. This will help your wallet and your body!

If you find that you're opting for red meat often because you're feeling hungry, stay satiated by making sure you're eating plenty of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, since the high fiber content will keep you feeling fuller longer (via Harvard Health Publishing). 

As long as you're focusing on getting protein from other sources like nuts and seeds, and even other animal protein sources that are lower in fat like chicken and fish, and you're eating enough fruits and vegetables to get enough fiber in your daily diet, eating a paleo diet is fine. It just requires a bit more planning on your part to ensure that your body is getting everything that it needs.