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Chicken: When it comes to chicken, proponents of the Paleo diet advocate for organic, pasture-raised birds. Words like “free-range” or “cage-free” simply mean that the birds were raised on a natural diet (instead of corn feed). Use chicken to increase the protein content of soups and stews or grill a chicken breast as a main entrée.
Health Benefits: Organic, farm-raised chicken is high in protein but relatively low in calories a 4-ounce serving of chicken breast contains only 110 calories and 22g protein. A serving of chicken breast this size contains only about 1g fat while dark meat cuts, like thighs, contain up to 12g fat per serving.
Turkey: In following the Paleo diet, it is recommended that you consume organic, free-range turkey – this type of turkey has been raised on a natural diet and has not been treated with growth hormones. High in protein, turkey has also been shown to reduce post-meal insulin spikes – this means that your blood sugar levels won’t be significantly affected by consuming this food. Turkey can be prepared using a variety of methods including roasting, baking, frying, stir-frying, poaching and more.
Health Benefits: Recent studies have linked skinless turkey with a decreased risk for pancreatic cancer. Turkey is also rich in selenium – a single 4-ounce serving contains about 50% of your daily recommended dose. Selenium helps to support healthy thyroid function and it also helps to reduce the effect of heavy metal toxicity.
Duck: Not only s duck a healthy source of protein, but it is also one of the most flavorful types of poultry. Duck can be prepared using the same methods as other poultry – these include roasting, baking, frying, poaching and grilling. Duck can also be used in soups and stews as a flavorful protein addition.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of skinless duck contains 119 calories with 23 grams of protein, 70mg of cholesterol and about 4 grams of saturated fat. Duck is a good source of vitamins A, B3 and C – it also includes minerals like iron, calcium and selenium.
Goose: Goose meat contains more energy than chicken meat because it has a higher fat content. One portion of skinless goose meat contains about 22 grams of protein (compared to 20.5 grams for chicken) and about 153 calories. Roasting is the preferred cooking method for a goose and young geese are generally more tender and flavorful than older birds. Try stuffing a goose with dried fruits and lemon.
Health Benefits: Goose meat is high in B Vitamins and it also contains nearly 25% of your daily recommended value for iron. Iron is an essential mineral because it enables your red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body to your tissues and organs.
Quail: Though quail is often overlooked as an alternative to chicken and turkey, its meat has a sweet flavor and delicate texture. Quails are typically much smaller than the average chicken and they are almost entirely dark meat. Because it is easy to overcook such a small bird, it is recommended that you cook the quail quickly by roasting or grilling. It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to roast a quail.
Health Benefits: Quail is an excellent source of B-complex vitamins as well as Vitamins E and K. A 4-ounce serving of quail meat provides over 25% your daily value for vitamin B6 and about 20% your daily value for riboflavin.
Pheasant: A pheasant is a bird and a popular type of game. It can be prepared in the same ways as chicken – the whole bird may be roasted or fried, or you can prepare the breasts, legs and thighs separately. Young pheasants are better for quicker cooking methods like baking and roasting while older birds do best with slow cooking methods so the meat doesn’t get tough.
Health Benefits: Pheasant breast meat contains about 37 calories per ounce with 1 gram of fat and 7 grams of protein. Pheasant is also a good source of B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and phosphorus.
Woodcock: The term “woodcock” is used for 7 or 8 different species of wading game birds, primarily found in the Northern Hemisphere. These birds have stocky bodies with long bills. Though smaller than a chicken, these birds can be prepared using similar methods – just be sure not to overcook the meat or it may become tough.
Health Benefits: A 3.5-ounce serving of woodcock contains about 145 calories with 2.6 grams of fat and 23 grams of protein. It also contains about 33% of your daily value of iron which is essential for the oxygenation of your blood.
Beef (Grass-Fed): Followers of the paleo diet advocate for the consumption of pasture-raised or grass-fed organic beef. Beef is an excellent source of protein, though it is higher in fat than poultry and other type of protein. Beef can be prepared in a variety of ways including baking, broiling, roasting and grilling. Before cooking beef, season it liberally with salt and pepper to bring out the natural flavor.
Health Benefits: Grass-fed ground beef contains about 54 calories per ounce with 4 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein. Beef is also a good source of omega-3 fats, vitamin B3, selenium and zinc.
Pork: When it comes to pork, you have a variety of cuts to choose from including chops, tenderloin, shoulder and even ground pork. If you are looking for a lean cut, try a tenderloin or loin chops. Pork can be cooked in a variety of ways including baking, roasting, broiling and grilling – just be sure to cook it to an internal temperature of 160°F or more so it is safe to consume.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of pork contains about 130 calories with 3 grams of fat and 24 grams of protein. Pork also contains more B vitamins than any other type of meat.
Bacon: For many people following the paleo diet, bacon is a staple – not only is it a good source of protein, but it has incredible flavor. Bacon is a pork product that has a higher fat content than most other cuts of pork. This being the case, one of the best cooking methods is to simply heat it in a frying pan and cook it in its own fat. Bacon can also be used to garnish soups and salads – you can even wrap it around cuts of chicken or beef before cooking.
Health Benefits: Depending on the thickness of the slice, bacon contains about 45 calories per slice. Each slice contains about 3 grams of fat and 3 grams of protein but only 9mg of cholesterol.
Sausage (Nitrate-Free): Typically made from pork, sausage is included in the paleo diet as long as it is unprocessed and nitrate-free. To determine whether sausage is paleo, check the label for fillers like MSG, soy, cheese or grain-based ingredients – avoid products made with these fillers. Paleo sausage can be used to create patties for breakfast, links for sandwiches and much more. It can be used in soups, stews, and even pasta to add flavor and protein.
Health Benefits: One 2-ounce serving of natural, nitrate-free sausage generally contains between 160 and 200 calories with about 15 grams of fat and 8 to 10 grams of protein.
Lamb (Grass-Fed): For the most health benefits, stick to grass-fed, organic lamb – this ensures that the meat is lean and has been raised on a natural diet. Lamb is not as popular as beef, but it is known for its tenderness and unique flavor. Lamb can be roasted or broiled in chops, roasted in larger quantities or chopped in soups and stews. Try substituting lamb for the beef in your favorite recipes.
Health Benefits: One 3-ounce serving of lamb contains about 190 calories with 26 grams of protein and 7 grams of fat. Lamb is known for its content of iron, zinc and B vitamins – it is also a good source of vitamin A, copper and selenium.
Veal (Grass-Fed): Like most commercially-raised meats, it is recommended that you consume grass-fed or pasture-raised veal on the paleo diet. Veal is the meat of young cattle (calves) and it is an important ingredient in Italian and French cuisine. Cutlets are one of the most common cuts of veal and they can be prepared by frying, stuffing, baking or sautéing. The bones of calves can also be used to produce a flavorful stock.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of veal contains between 130 and 150 calories with between 3 and 6 grams of fat. Veal typically contains about 8 grams of protein per ounce as well as high values of B vitamins, phosphorus and vitamin A.
Venison (Deer): Venison, or deer meat, is another popular game meat – particularly with individuals who hunt. One of the benefits of deer meat is that the animal is wild game, not raised by human hands – this means that it ate a natural diet and will be leaner than commercially-raised meats. Venison meat comes in a variety of cuts which can be slow-cooked, grilled, roasted or baked – it can also be used in chili, soups and stews.
Health Benefits: A four-ounce serving of venison steak contains only 125 calories with 24 grams of protein and only 3 grams of fat. Venison also contains just 20 mg cholesterol per serving as well as many B vitamins and more iron than beef.
Goat: Goat meat is generally considered a red meat and it has been described a one of the leanest, most nutritious meats you can eat. Because goats are naturally lean, the saturated fat content of this meat is very low – it is also easier to digest than other meats. Goat meat is best slow-cooked over low heat but it can also be substituted for ground beef in any recipe calling for it.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of goat meat contains about 122 calories with 2.6 grams of fat, 23 grams of carbs and 23mg cholesterol. Goat meat also contains high quantities of B vitamins, phosphorus, iron and zinc.
Bison: Though bison were once in danger of going extinct, their population is now stable and they are a very popular game meat. Bison meat has a similar fat content to ground turkey, about 10 grams per 4-ounce serving. Bison meat can be served in many of the same ways as beef – ground, grilled, baked, roasted and broiled. If you are tired of regular hamburgers, try a bison burger!
Health Benefits: A 4-ounce serving of bison meat contains about 200 calories with 29 grams of protein and 0 grams carbs. Bison meat is also a good source of B vitamins, zinc and iron.
Anchovy: Anchovies are tiny, silver fish that are typically sold filleted and packed in tins. One thing to be aware of with these fish is that they can be very salty depending on the packing method – look for anchovies that are packed in oil rather than salt. Anchovies are often used to make Caesar dressing but anchovy paste can also be used as a flavoring in a variety of recipes.
Health Benefits: A serving of 5 anchovy fillets contains only about 26 calories but 4 grams of protein. Anchovies are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help to reduce inflammation and reduce risk for cardiovascular disease.
Bass: Bass is a low-calorie source of protein with one 3-ounce serving providing about 20 grams of protein. When it comes to fish, it is recommended that you consume wild-caught rather than farm-raised fish. Bass can be prepared a number of different ways – frying is a popular cooking method, though roasting or grilling is healthier.
Health Benefits: This fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins and selenium. It is important to note that freshwater bass has more vitamin B12 than sea bass but sea bass is higher in vitamin B6.
Bluegill: For the best results, bluegill should be cooked soon after catching. Like most fish, bluegill are low in calories but high in protein a 3.5-ounce serving of bluegill contains less than 100 calories and about 21 grams of protein. When eating wild-caught fish you do need to be careful about mercury levels. Because bluegill are small, however, the risk is lower than it is with larger fish.
Health Benefits: In addition to being a good source of protein, bluegill are also low in fat – a 3.5-ounce serving contains only about 1 gram of fat. Like most fish, they are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Carp: Though it may not look appetizing, when prepared correctly, fresh carp can be very palatable. Because carp has a subtle flavor, it is best served lightly breaded in almond flour and pan-fried – it does not require a great deal of seasoning. The secret to great-tasting carp is to put it on ice immediately after catching it and to fillet and serve it soon after.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of carp contains about 140 calories with 19 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat. A serving this size contains about 20% of your daily recommended value of Vitamin B12 and 19% your daily value for selenium.
Catfish: Though all fish contain some level of mercury, the EPA has identified catfish as one of the 5 fish with the lowest mercury levels. Perhaps the most common method of preparing this fish is to bread it and then fry it. You can also bake or roast the fillet and serve it with a side of vegetables.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of catfish contains about 120 calories and 15 grams of protein. This fish contains nearly 30% of your daily recommended value for phosphorus along with small amounts of calcium, copper and manganese.
Cod: Cod is a white-meat fish known for its mild flavor – this makes it easy to use in a variety of dishes. Some of the most popular preparation methods for this fish include frying, steaming and baking. This fish is a low-calorie source of protein and has been shown to provide cardiovascular benefits.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce portion of cod contains about 70 calories with 1 gram of fat and 15 grams of protein. Cod is also rich in several essential vitamins and minerals including selenium, vitamin B6, phosphorus and potassium.
Flounder: The flounder is a type of flatfish – its body is flat and wide, its eyes located on the top of its head. This type of fish is best prepared using some type of pan frying method, cooked in oil or ghee and served with a lemon sauce. A flounder fillet can also be battered and fried.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of flounder contains about 77 calorie with 1 gram of fat and 16 grams of protein. This fish is rich in B vitamins and it is also a good source of vitamin D which is essential for bone and blood health.
Grouper: Grouper is a type of fish that belongs to the same family as sea bass. These fish are known for their mild flavor and for their numerous health benefits. Grouper can be prepared using nearly any cooking method, though some basting may be needed to keep the fish moist during cooking. Recommended cooking methods include broiling, grilling and baking.
Health Benefits: Three ounces of grouper contains about 80 calories with 1 gram of fat and 16 grams of protein. Grouper is also a good source of phosphorus, potassium and selenium.
Haddock: Unlike some fish, haddock is very low in fat – it is also easy to prepare. A haddock fillet can be baked or roasted, even fried after coating it with batter or dredging in paleo flour. In fact, haddock is the most popular type of fish to use in the classic English dish fish and chips.
Health Benefits: A 3.5-ounce serving of haddock contains about 112 calories with 0 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fat and 24 grams protein. Haddock also contains several B vitamins as well as calcium, iron and magnesium.
Halibut: Halibut is a white-meat fish that has a delicate and sweet flavor. Though fresh halibut is most commonly available during the summer and fall, frozen fillets are available year-round. This fish can be prepared in a variety of ways including poaching, steaming, roasting, baking and grilling. In addition to being flavorful, halibut meat is also very healthy – it has been shown to provide cardiovascular and anti-cancer benefits.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of halibut fillet contains about 120 calories with 2 grams of fat and 23 grams of protein. Halibut also contains 30% your daily value for niacin and about 25% of your daily value for both magnesium and phosphorus.
Herring: Herring is often sold pickled or kippered, but these options are not recommended for individuals following the paleo diet because they are high in sodium. Freshly prepared herring, however, is rich in protein and omega-3 fats. Herring fillets can be baked, fried or grilled.
Health Benefits: Herring contains about 75 calories per ounce with 5 grams of fat and 4 grams of protein. A serving this size also contains about 48% of your daily value for vitamin D and 20% of your daily value for vitamin B12.
Mackerel: There are several different types of mackerel but most are known for their slim shape and oily meat. Though the oil content of this fish means its fat content is higher than many fish, it also means that the meat is rich in omega-3 fatty acid and iron. When selecting mackerel steaks or fillets, look for meat that is soft and nearly translucent – that means it is fresh. Try marinating the meat before baking, broiling or grilling – you can also bread and panfry the fish.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of mackerel contains about 175 calories with 12 grams of fat, 0 grams carbs and 16 grams protein. Mackerel is also rich in vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus and several B vitamins.
Mahi-Mahi: Also known as dolphin fish or dorado, mahi-mahi is a large saltwater fish that typically lives in the ocean around Hawaii, though it certainly pops up elsewhere. This fish is easily recognized by its blue and yellow scales as well as its capacity to grow very large. Mahi-mahi is commonly prepared in steaks or fillets then grilled, baked or roasted. The thing to remember with mahi-mahi is that it shouldn’t be overcooked – only cook it until the flesh is translucent and the center is still moist.
Health Benefits: Mahi-mahi is very low in calories and fat – a 3-ounce serving contains only 95 calories with 1 gram of fat and 20 grams of protein. This fish also contains notable amounts of B vitamins, phosphorus and potassium.
Perch: Perch has a sweet and mild flavor which makes it a great addition to a variety of dishes, though it is very popular for frying. Perch fillets can also be baked or broiled, seasoned with chili powder, salt and pepper. If you are using the fish in a cold recipe like seafood salad, try poaching or steaming the fish.
Health Benefits: This fish contains about 99 calories per 3-ounce serving with 1 gram of fat and 21 grams of protein. A serving this size also contains about 31% your daily value for vitamin B12, 38% your daily value for manganese and 20% your daily value for selenium.
Red Snapper: Named for its red coloration, red snapper is an excellent source of lean protein and a number of other nutrients. This fish is one of the most popular types of white fish, found and consumed all over the world. Red snapper has a firm texture and a slightly sweet flavor that lends well to subtle or spicy seasoning. This fish can be prepared in similar ways to other fish but is particularly tasty on the grill.
Health Benefits: Red snapper is one of the lowest-calorie fish, containing only 85 calories per 3-ounce serving. A serving this size contains 1 gram of fat with 17 grams protein – it also contains high levels of vitamin B12 and selenium.
Salmon: As is true of many fish, there are several different types of salmon, though some of the most popular include Atlantic and Alaskan (King salmon, or Chinook). Salmon is a versatile fish known for its pink flesh and it can be sold in a variety of ways – fresh, frozen or canned. Tuna fillets can be roasted, grilled, baked or fried – this fish is also sold in steaks.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of Atlantic salmon contains about 175 calories with 10 grams of fat and 19 grams of protein. Alaskan salmon contains about 52 calories per ounce with 3 grams of fat and about 6 grams of protein.
Scrod: Scrod is not actually a specific type of fish but the name given to any young whitefish (often cod or haddock) that has been split and boned. These cuts of fish can be prepared in a variety of ways, though it is commonly salted and dried then broiled. Scrod can also be prepared via frying, baking or broiling.
Health Benefits: Nutritional information varies slightly for scrod depending whether it is from cod, haddock or another whitefish. Generally, however, a 3-ounce serving contains about 75 calories and 15 grams of protein.
Tilapia: Tilapia is a type of white fish that has a very mild flavor and low calorie count. Because has a mild natural flavor, tilapia goes well with a variety of ingredients in many different recipes. Tilapia can be prepared using a variety of methods including baking, roasting, steaming, grilling and frying.
Health Benefits: Tilapia is very low in calories, containing only about 36 calories per ounce with 1 gram of fat and 7 grams of protein. This fish also contains about 22% your daily value for selenium and 9% your daily value for vitamin B12 per ounce.
Trout: There are several different varieties of trout including brook trout, brown trout and tiger trout – the most popular, however, is rainbow trout. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, trout is one of the healthiest fish you can eat. Trout is also very versatile – you can prepare it by baking, grilling, roasting or frying. You can also steam or broil it.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of trout contains about 128 calories with 5 grams of fat and 19 grams of protein. Trout also contains less than 60 mg of cholesterol and notable amounts of niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium.
Tuna: Though one of the most common methods of eating tuna is from a can, it can also be eaten fresh. When eating canned tuna, choose tuna packed in water rather than oil and check to be sure there isn’t too much added salt. Tuna steak can be prepared via grilling, baking or roasting – sushi-grade tuna can also be sliced thin and served raw.
Health Benefits: One 3-ounce serving of fresh tuna contains only 92 calories with 1 gram of fat and 20 grams of protein. Three ounces of light tuna in water contains about 99 calories with 1 gram of fat and 22 grams of protein. Tuna is also a good source of vitamin B12, niacin and selenium.
Swordfish: A swordfish can grow to weigh several hundred pounds and several feet long – these fish are naturally oily and their steaks are particularly popular for grilling. When compared to other fish like salmon, swordfish has a few more calories but it is higher in protein. Swordfish can be prepared in a variety of ways including roasting, broiling, baking and grilling.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of swordfish contains about 132 calories with 4 grams of fat (1 gram saturated fat) and 22 grams of protein. A serving this size also contains 42 mg cholesterol along with 75% your daily value of selenium and 30% your daily value of vitamin B12.
Walleye: Walleye is a freshwater fish known by several names including pike or pickering. This fish is particularly good for grilling, served with lemon and pepper or fresh herbs. Some fishermen maintain that walleye is best eaten when it is small and young – definitely right after they are caught, though they can be frozen as well. In addition to grilling, walleye can also be fried, baked and stuffed.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of walleye contains about 70 calories with 1 gram fat and 15 grams of protein. A serving this size contains 27% your daily value for selenium, 32% your daily value for phosphorus and 44% your daily value for vitamin B12.
Crab: There are several different types of crab to choose from but the three most popular types are blue crab, king crab and snow crab. In addition to eating the crab meat on its own, you can also use crab meat in soups, crab cakes and curries. When eating crab meat alone, steaming is the most traditional cooking method.
Health Benefits: Depending on the type of crab, a 100-gram serving contains only about 85 calories. Crab meat is a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids which helps to aid memory and also reduces your risk for cardiovascular problems.
Crayfish: Crayfish are related to other shellfish like lobster. These crustaceans are eaten all over the world and they are particularly popular in the southern United States. To eat crayfish, twist off the head then bend the tail sideways to snap it off the body, pulling out the meat. The tender meat can then be dipped in a sauce of your choosing.
Health Benefits: These crustaceans are low in calories (about 70 per 3-ounce serving) with 14 grams of protein per serving. One serving of crayfish contains about 25% your daily value for phosphorus, a nutrient which helps your body create and store energy.
Clams: These mollusks can be cooked in many ways – baked, fried, sautéed or steamed. Clams are often served as an appetizer but they can also be cooked up in a seafood stew or curry as the main entrée. Some of the most popular types of clam include steamers, littlenecks and cherrystones. When purchasing clams, purchase them frozen or live.
Health Benefits: Clams are one of the highest food sources for iron. Iron is essential for good health because it enables your red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body. Clams are also a good source of Vitamin B12 which is useful in maintaining a healthy nervous system.
Cuttlefish: Cuttlefish belong to the same family as squid and octopus, though their name suggests that they are a type of fish. The two preferred cooking methods for this food involve cooking over very high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or stewing for several hours. These cooking methods ensure that the cuttlefish is cooked enough to eat safely but the meat does not become tough.
Health Benefits: Cuttlefish is a healthy source of protein, containing about 28 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving. A serving this size contains about 135 calories but only 1 gram each of carbohydrate and fat. Cuttlefish are rich in B vitamins as well as selenium, phosphorus and iron.
Langoustine: Also known as the Dublin Bay prawn, langoustine is a type of orange-pink lobster that grows up to 10 inches long. Like crayfish and lobster, it is best to steam the langoustine whole then remove the head and pinch the tail while pulling the meat away from the shell. The tail of the langoustine is the only edible portion but it is very tender and flavorful, commonly dipped in sauce to serve.
Health Benefits: Like the lobster to which they are related, langoustine is a great source of low-calorie protein. A 100-gram serving of langoustine contains only 86 calories but 17.5 grams of protein. These crustaceans are also a good source of potassium, calcium and phosphorus.
Lobster: Lobster is often viewed as a delicacy but it is also a great source of lean protein and it can be prepared in several ways. If you are cooking it live and whole, boiling is the preferred method. For tails or claws, boiling, baking or grilling are all viable options. Though lobster is often served with melted butter for dipping, you can appreciate the favor of the meat itself if you prepare it simply and season it with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Health Benefits: Lobster meat contains about 25 calories per ounce with 0 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein. It is also a good source of copper and selenium.
Mussels: Mussels are a type of clam that have a long, wedge-shaped shell. Both saltwater and freshwater mussels exist, though freshwater mussels are not frequently consumed. These shellfish can be prepared by a variety of methods including baking, frying, smoking and broiling. One of the easiest and most popular methods, however is to steam them in a flavored broth.
Health Benefits: Though one mussel contains only a small nugget of meat, they are a valuable source of lean protein. Three ounces of mussel meat contains about 70 calories with 2 grams of fat and 10 grams of protein.
Octopus: Octopus is similar in appearance to squid, having 8 long tentacles. Though octopus has many of the same health benefits as fish and other seafood, it has an entirely unique taste and texture. Small octopuses may be eaten whole but the arms are the most commonly consumed part. Octopus can be prepared raw for sushi or baked, broiled, fried or grilled for use in soups and pastas.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of octopus meat contains about 140 calories with less than 2 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein. Octopus meat also contains high levels of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Oysters: Oysters are a type of bivalve mollusk, like mussels, which can be found in brackish or saltwater. These creatures are consumed as a delicacy but are also valued for their ability to produce pearls. Oysters can be prepared by steaming or boiling, but they are commonly consumed raw – it is said that they are most nutritious when eaten without any preparation.
Health Benefits: Oysters contain about 19 calories per ounce with 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of protein. A serving this size contains nearly 100% your daily value for vitamin B12 and about 22% your daily value for vitamin D.
Scallops: Scallops are a type of shellfish that are typically sold without the shell. They are known for their fleshy texture and mild, sweet flavor. These shellfish can be prepared in a variety of ways including searing, broiling, baking, grilling and roasting. Try wrapping them in bacon and throwing them on the grill!
Health Benefits: Scallops are slightly higher in cholesterol than some seafood, but it is still rich in protein and low in fat. A 4-ounce serving of scallops contains about 100 calories with 1 gram of fat and about 20 grams of protein.
Shrimp: Shrimp is not only an incredibly healthy food, but also very convenient because it takes just a few minutes to cook – you can also buy it precooked and simply reheat it yourself. Eating shrimp has been shown to increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels while boosting your mood and reducing your risk for certain types of cancer. Shrimp can be prepared in a variety of different dishes – it can be served with cocktail sauce as an appetizer, cooked into pasta or used in soups and stews.
Health Benefits: One 3-ounce serving of shrimp contains about 84 calories with 1 gram fat, 0 grams carbs and 18 grams protein. Shrimp are also a good source of iron, phosphorus, vitamin B12 and niacin.
Snails: Eating snails may seem strange but if you’ve ever heard of (or tried) escargot, that’s exactly what it is! Snails are a type of mollusk and they are surprisingly nutritious, especially when eaten raw. To prepare snails yourself, you must feed them a diet of lettuce for 10 day to purge their intestines. Giving them only water for two days before preparing them will cause them to discharge all their slime as well.
Health Benefits: A 3.5-ounce serving of escargot contains about 90 calories with 16.5 grams of protein and only 2 grams of carbohydrate. Snails also contain 3.5 mg of iron, nearly 400 mg of potassium and 250 mg of magnesium.
Squid: Squid, also known as calamari, can be prepared in a variety of different ways but some of the most popular methods are steaming, frying or boiling. A unique way to prepare this food is to consume calamari steaks raw. Perhaps one of the most well-known squid dishes is fried calamari (squid rings), often served as an appetizer.
Health Benefits: A 3-ounce serving of raw squid contains about 78 calories with 1.2 grams of fat and 13 grams of protein. Frying the squid increases the calorie and fat content, but the squid itself still contains valuable nutrients like phosphorus, copper, selenium and B vitamins.
Acorn Squash: Acorn squash is an integral ingredient in many fall recipes, particularly soups and stews. Upon looking at the acorn squash, you may not know what to do with it but it can also be baked or boiled and served as a flavorful side dish. The yellow flesh of this vegetable is firm and yellow-orange with a mellow, slightly sweet flavor.
Health Benefits: A one-cup serving contains about 9g of dietary fiber and 2g protein. Acorn squash is also a valuable source of antioxidants which help to prevent and repair cellular damage caused by free radicals.
Asparagus: Asparagus is a somewhat strange-looking vegetable, growing in stiff green spears with tips that resemble the tops of wheat stalks. Before cooking asparagus, it should be rinsed well and the tough ends should be trimmed. Steaming or boiling asparagus are two of the easiest cooking methods but it can also be roasted or grilled with a little salt and pepper.
Health Benefits: Asparagus is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits. Asparagus has also been identified as a vegetable that is good for digestive support, acting as a sort of “prebiotic” because it doesn’t begin to break down until it reaches the large intestine.
Artichoke: To prepare artichoke, cut off the stem just below the bud and remove any brown or dry leaves. Trim the tips off the remaining leaves then boil in a pot of water for 25 minutes or until the leaves can be pulled off easily. Simply toss the leaves with some olive oil, salt and pepper for a tasty side dish or peel and eat the leaves individually, dipping them in your favorite sauce.
Health Benefits: One medium artichoke (about 130g) contains only 60 calories with 0g fat and 4g protein. Artichokes also contain polyphenols which increase bile flow, thus making it a natural diuretic and helpful for liver health.
Arugula: This leafy green is often referred to as “rocket” in the UK and it is actually a member of the cabbage family, not a type of lettuce. To preserve the freshness of this vegetable, do not trim the roots or stems until you are ready to use it. Wash the leaves thoroughly to remove dirt then toss with your favorite dressing or use it to top off a burger or sandwich.
Health Benefits: Arugula is loaded with phytochemicals which help to rid the body of toxins and carcinogens. This vegetable is naturally low in fat and cholesterol but rich in vitamins A, B, C and K.
Beets: Raw beets are reddish purple in color, similar in appearance to a radish with a long tail and greens growing from the top. Not only can beets be consumed raw, but they are also tender and juicy when roasted. Add some sliced beets to a fresh salad or serve them slice thin with lemon juice. Beets belong to the same family as chard, spinach and quinoa.
Health Benefits: Beets are a rich source of folate, manganese and fiber. A 1-cup serving of beets contains about 37% your daily value of folate, 22% of your daily manganese value and about 15% your daily recommendation for dietary fiber.
Beet Greens: When you purchase fresh beets, don’t chop off the greens and throw them away – they contain valuable nutrients, not to mention a unique flavor. Beet greens can be cooked in a similar way to spinach, sautéed in oil, roasted or used in soups. Keep in mind that beet greens do not keep as well as other greens – use them within 1 week for the freshest flavor.
Health Benefits: A one-cup serving of beet greens contains about 40 calorie with 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber. Beet greens are also a good source of vitamins A, C, E and K.
Bell Peppers: Bell peppers come in a variety of different colors, each with its own unique flavor. These vegetables can be enjoyed raw with dip or in salads – they can also be sautéed, stir-fried or roasted. Allowing bell peppers to ripen before using them maximizes the availability of the carotenoids and vitamin C contained within the vegetable.
Health Benefits: A one-cup serving of bell peppers contain about 28 calories along with nearly 200% your daily recommended value for vitamin C. These vegetables are also rich in vitamin A, vitamin B6 and folate.
Bok Choy: Bok choy is a name given to two varieties of Chinese leaf vegetables, also referred to as Chinese cabbage. This vegetable can be prepared in ways similar to other dark leafy greens like kale or Swiss chard – it can be steamed, sautéed or roasted. Bok choy works particularly well in soups and stir-fries.
Health Benefits: One cup of shredded bok choy contains about 20 calories with 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of dietary fiber. This vegetable is a particularly rich source of vitamin A which is essential for eye health.
Broccoli: When purchasing broccoli, look for a bunch with a firm stem and a tight, springy crown. Broccoli can be eaten raw or steamed, sautéed or roasted. The stem and leaves are edible, but many people prefer to trim the stem close to the crown and chop the crown into florets before preparing.
Health Benefits: Broccoli contains several phytonutrients which play an essential role in supporting the body’s natural detoxifications systems. A 1-cup serving of broccoli contains about 30 calories with 3 grams protein and 0 grams fat – it also contains over 100% your daily recommended value for both vitamin C and vitamin K.
Broccoli Rabe: Also known as rapini, broccoli rabe resembles broccoli and has edible leaves, stems and buds. This vegetable has a slightly bitter taste and is commonly used in Italian and Portuguese cuisine. Broccoli rabe is often sautéed or blanched and served as a side dish.
Health Benefits: A single 3 ½-ounce serving of broccoli rabe contains more than 50% your daily recommended value for vitamin A and C – it is also a good source of folate. A serving this size contains about 20 calories, 3 grams of protein and 0 grams of fat.
Brussels Sprouts: Many people avoid Brussels sprouts under the assumption that they are bitter or unpleasant. When cooked properly, however, they have a tender texture and a unique flavor. The key to eating Brussels sprouts is not to overcook them – blanch them in hot water then sauté them with garlic and bacon for a tasty side dish.
Health Benefits: One half cup of Brussels sprouts contains about 28 calories with 6 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams of protein. These vegetables are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.
Butternut Squash: Butternut squash is classified as a winter squash, known for its high carotenoid content. These squash are typically cooked and used in vegetable medleys, soups and stews though they can also be cooked and served alone as a side dish. Certain spices like nutmeg and cinnamon pair particularly well with this squash.
Health Benefits: One cup of cubed butternut squash contains about 82 calories with 22 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams of protein. Butternut squash is also a good source of vitamins A and C as well as magnesium, potassium and manganese.
Cabbage: Cabbage is a fiber-rich vegetable that comes in a variety of forms. Two of the most common types are regular green cabbage and red cabbage (which is actually purple in color). Other popular varieties include savoy cabbage and Napa cabbage. Cabbage can be eaten raw in salads, though it is easier to digest after it has been boiled, steamed or sautéed. If you want the cabbage to remain crisp, rather than soft, sauté it rather than steaming or boiling.
Health Benefits: Cabbage contains about 22 calories per cup, chopped, depending on the variety. It also contains 1 gram of protein as well as high levels of vitamin C and vitamin K.
Carrots: Carrots are available all year, but they are the freshest and most flavorful during the summer and fall. These vegetables have a slightly sweet flavor and a crunchy texture which makes an excellent addition to salads. Carrots can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, roasted or sautéed. Try simmering them with a little vegetable broth and honey for a tasty side dish.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped carrots contains about 52 calories with 12 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein. Carrots are also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.
Cauliflower: Cauliflower is very similar in appearance (and in fact, related) to broccoli – it grows in tight clusters but has a white color rather than green. This nutrient-packed vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of ways. To avoid waterlogged, soggy cauliflower, sauté or roast the vegetable rather than steaming or boiling it.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped cauliflower contains about 25 calories with 5 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams protein. Cauliflower is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and folate.
Celery: Celery has a unique peppery taste and a crisp, crunchy texture. This vegetable is typically eaten raw with dip, chopped into salads or eaten plain. The greens attached to the celery stalk are also edible and make a flavorful addition to your favorite chopped salad.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped celery contains about 16 calories with 3 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein. Celery contains notable quantities of vitamin K, folate and vitamin A.
Chili Peppers: There are a wide variety of chili peppers, many of which are known for their spicy flavor and medicinal uses. A chili pepper is actually a fruit pod from plants belonging to the nightshade family, protecting the seeds which are often the spiciest part of the plant. Chili peppers can be consumed raw or cooked, but they are frequently dried and used to flavor dishes or oils.
Health Benefits: Raw chili peppers contain about 11 calories per ounce with about 3 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein. They also contain high levels of vitamin C and a variety of other nutrients.
Collard Greens: Collard greens are one of the most commonly eaten vegetable and they are known for their cholesterol-lowering ability. These greens belong to the same family as broccoli and kale and they have a slightly bitter taste. To minimize this taste, avoid overcooking the greens or pair raw greens with a flavorful dressing in salad. Chopping the greens and letting them sit for 5 minutes before preparing may help them to cook more quickly.
Health Benefits: A one-cup serving of cooked collard greens contains about 50 calories. Collard greens are loaded with vitamins A, C and K as well as minerals like calcium, iron and manganese.
Cucumber: Cucumbers are the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world because they are easy to grow and very good for you. Cucumbers can be either seeded or seedless and you can eat them with or without the peel. Cucumbers are typically eaten raw in salads or with dip. For something different, try peeling the cucumber into strands with a peeler instead of chopping it for a salad.
Health Benefits: Cucumbers have very high water content which makes them a popular choice for juicing. This vegetable contains about 8 calories per half cup of slices with 2 grams carbohydrate and 0 grams of fat.
Dandelion Greens: You may not realize it, but the greens of the dandelion weed are edible and actually quite nutritious. You can eat wild dandelion greens, but be sure that they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides before you do. Dandelion greens are typically enjoyed raw in salads, juices or smoothies but they can also be sautéed or blanched.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped dandelion greens contains about 25 calories with 5 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram protein. Dandelion greens are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K as well as calcium and manganese.
Eggplant: Eggplant is classified as a nightshade vegetable, known for its deep purple coloration as well as its unique taste and texture. The flavor of eggplant is slightly bitter, but it can be offset with proper cooking – the texture is spongy. Eggplant can be consumed raw, but it is typically steamed, sautéed or roasted. One of the most popular uses for eggplant is in the Italian-inspired dish Eggplant Parmesan.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped eggplant contains about 33 calories with 8 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram protein. Eggplant also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin B6, magnesium and manganese.
Endive: Also known as escarole, endive is a leafy green vegetable with a slightly bitter taste. This vegetable is typically eaten raw in salads, though it can also be sautéed or used in stir-fries. Endive is particularly common in Asian cuisine and is a popular winter vegetable throughout Europe.
Health Benefits: Endive is extremely low in calories, containing only about 8 calories per chopped cup. A serving this size contains about 1 gram carbohydrate as well as 11% your daily value for vitamin A and 72% your daily value for vitamin K.
Fennel Root: The green tops of the fennel plant are often used as an herb, but the root bulb itself can be eaten as well. Fennel root has a crunchy texture with a refreshing, slightly sweet flavor. This vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked into soups and stews. Fennel is most commonly associated with Italian cuisine and it is typically in season starting in the autumn throughout the early spring.
Health Benefits: One cup of sliced fennel contains about 27 calories with 6 grams carbohydrate and 3 grams dietary fiber. Fennel also contains significant amounts of vitamin C, potassium and manganese.
Green Beans: While many types of beans are excluded from the paleo diet because they are legumes, green beans are a nutrient-rich vegetable that can be enjoyed on the diet. Green beans are known for their crisp, crunchy texture when eaten fresh and their tender, slightly sweet flavor when steamed or boiled. Try adding raw beans to your favorite salad or cook them into soups and side dishes.
Health Benefits: One cup of raw green beans contains about 34 calories with 2 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber. Green beans are also rich in vitamins A, C and K as well as potassium and manganese.
Green Onion: Green onions, also called spring onions or scallions, are a stalk-like vegetable often chopped for use as a garnish. These vegetables have a refreshing, light onion flavor that works well in salads and soups as well as sauces. A handful of sliced green onion can go a long way in dressing up a simple dish!
Health Benefits: One raw green onion contains only 3 to 5 calories with a single gram of carbohydrate. Green onions contain a variety of nutrients including vitamins A and C as well as calcium and iron.
Jicama: Also known as the yam bean, jicama is a taproot vegetable belonging to the bean family. This vegetable is fairly starchy with a crisp and refreshing flavor. Jicama can be eaten raw in salads, adding a nice crunch, or cooked into both sweet and savory dishes. This vegetable is particularly popular in Central American and Caribbean cuisine.
Health Benefits: One cup of sliced jicama contains about 46 calories with 11 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram protein. This vegetable also contains about 40% your daily value of vitamin C and 5% your daily value of potassium per 1-cup serving.
Kale: Kale is often regarded as a super food because it is so rich in nutrients. This vegetable has been shown to help relief stress, reduce cholesterol and even reduce the risk for cancer. Kale can be eaten raw in salads and it can also be steamed, sautéed or boiled for use in side dishes, soups, stews and casseroles. Kale is also particularly popular for use in raw juice and green smoothies.
Health Benefits: A one-cup serving of raw kale contains about 36 calories with 7 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams of protein. Kale is particularly rich in vitamin A and vitamin C as well as copper and manganese.
Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi is a cultivar of the cabbage plant, often referred to as the German turnip. This vegetable can be eaten raw in thin slices or cooked into soups, stews and side dishes. Kohlrabi is particularly popular in German and Austrian cuisine, though it is also used in India as part of traditional Kashmiri cuisine.
Health Benefits: One cup of raw kohlrabi, sliced, contains about 36 calories with 8 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams of protein. Kohlrabi is also a good source of vitamins C and B6.
Leeks: Leeks are a stalk-like vegetable that look similar to large green onions. These vegetables belong to the onion family and they can be prepared a variety of ways, though preparing them can be tricky if you haven’t done it before. Start by chopping off and discarding the dark green portions. Rinse and chop the white and light green parts then let them sit for 5 minutes before using them in soups, stews and side dishes.
Health Benefits: One quarter cup of chopped leeks contains about 8 calories with 2 grams carbohydrate and 0 grams fat. Leeks are rich in vitamin K – they also contain vitamin A, manganese and iron.
Lettuce: You may already be aware that there are many different types of lettuce: iceberg, Romaine, Boston, green leaf, etc. But not all lettuce is created equal. Romaine lettuce is one of the healthiest varieties while iceberg lettuce is little more than water. Lettuce is typically consumed raw in salads, tossed with other vegetables and dressing for flavor. Try using large leaves of Romaine lettuce as a wrap for your favorite lunch meat and veggies!
Health Benefits: One cup of shredded Romaine lettuce contains about 8 calories with 2 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram protein. Romaine lettuce also contains vitamins A and C as well as folate and vitamin K.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms are not actually a vegetable but a type of edible fungus. There are many varieties of edible mushrooms including white, portabella, crimini, shitake and more. Mushrooms are particularly common in Asian cuisine and they can be prepared through a variety of methods. Not only can mushrooms be eaten raw and in salads, but they can be cooked into soups, stews, casseroles and other dishes. The flavor of mushrooms varies depending on the type, but they typically have a tender and slightly spongy texture.
Health Benefits: One cup of sliced mushrooms contains about 15 calories with 2 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram dietary fiber. Mushrooms also contain B vitamins, pantothenic acid and copper.
Mustard Greens: Mustard greens are a type of dark, leafy green very similar to kale or collard greens. These greens can be eaten raw, but they do have a fairly bitter taste. Steaming, sautéing or blanching are some of the most common methods for cooking this vegetable. Try sautéing them with garlic and shallots or some lemon juice for flavor.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped mustard greens contains about 21 calories with 3 grams carbohydrate and 3 grams dietary fiber. A serving this size also contains 3 grams protein with 177% your daily value for vitamin A and 59% your daily value for vitamin C.
Okra: Okra is derived from a plant that produces long, edible pods – it is also known as bendhi or bhindi. Many people dislike okra because it has a natural sliminess. If you cook it correctly, however, you can minimize this. Start by washing the vegetables well then slice and blanch them in hot water before draining. When using okra in a dish, don’t add it until the very end – this will minimize its moisture absorption.
Health Benefits: One cup of okra contains about 31 calories with 7 grams carbohydrate and 3 grams fiber. A serving this size also contains 2 grams protein and about 35% your daily value for vitamin C.
Onions: When it comes to onions, there are several different types to choose from – red, white, sweet, etc. Onions are often eaten raw in salads, though they can also be sautéed or stir-fried as a side dish or as flavoring for a main entrée. Sautéing tends to bring out the sweetness of onions while raw onions have a slightly bitter taste.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped onions contains about 64 calories with 15 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams dietary fiber and 2 grams protein. Onions also contain significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium.
Parsnips: Parsnips are a root vegetable, very similar in appearance to carrots aside from their white color. This vegetable is known for its sweet, succulent taste and texture, particularly popular in Mediterranean dishes. Parsnips can be eaten raw in salads, but they are commonly cooked in soups and stews. Do not overcook parsnips or they will become mushy.
Health Benefits: One half cup of sliced parsnips contains about 55 calories with 13 grams carbohydrates and 3 grams dietary fiber. A serving this size also contains 1 gram of protein as well as 17% your daily value for vitamin C and 11% your daily value for folate.
Pumpkin: Pumpkin is a type of squash, known for its orange skin and flesh. This vegetable is particularly popular for use in fall recipes like pumpkin pie and roasted pumpkin soup. Pumpkin is very versatile – it can be steamed or boiled, roasted or sautéed and used in soups, stews, desserts, side dishes and more. The seeds of the pumpkin are also very good for you, full of healthy oils and fats.
Health Benefits: One cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains about 49 calories with 12 grams carbohydrate and 3 grams fiber. This serving size also contains 2 grams protein and over 200% your daily value for vitamin A.
Radishes: Radishes are the small red roots of a cruciferous vegetable – these roots, along with the greens, are edible and highly nutritious. Radishes are often eaten raw, especially in juice form, though they can be cooked as well. These vegetables have often been used medicinally to treat skin disorders, sooth insect bites and to act as a natural diuretic.
Health Benefits: One cup of sliced radishes contains about 19 calories with 4 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram protein. Radishes are also rich in vitamin C with small amounts of folate and potassium.
Radicchio: Radicchio is a red-leafed vegetable that looks similar to red cabbage. This vegetable has a bitter, almost spicy taste that tends to mellow when it is grilled or roasted. Radicchio is fairly common in Italian cuisine, often eaten grilled with olive oil or mixed into dishes. Try chopping radicchio with other tender greens and sautéing them in flavored oil for a tasty side dish.
Health Benefits: One cup of shredded radicchio contains about 9 calories with 2 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein. This vegetable is also rich in vitamin K and has small amounts of vitamin C, folate and copper.
Rutabaga: The rutabaga is a type of root vegetable with flowering tops. These vegetables look very similar to turnips and they can be prepared in much the same way – steaming, boiling, roasting, stewing or mashing. Rutabaga works well as a side dish all on its own, but it is commonly used as an ingredient in soups and other dishes.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped rutabaga contains about 66 calories with 15 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein. A serving this size also contains 53% your daily value of vitamin C along with 15% your daily value of manganese.
Shallots: Shallots are small, round vegetables related to onions. These vegetables grow in cloves, much like garlic, and have both a strong flavor and smell. Shallots are often used to flavor dishes, not often served on their own. Try sautéing some shallots when stir-frying vegetables or use them to flavor soups and stews.
Health Benefits: Raw shallots contain about 20 calories per ounce with 5 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram protein. A serving this size contains about 7% your daily value of vitamin A and 5% your daily value of vitamin B6.
Snow Peas: Snow peas are very common in Asian cuisine – they are eaten whole, in the pod, while the pod is still unripe. These vegetables can easily be eaten raw, though they are often stir-fried, steamed or sautéed. Snow peas are high in a variety of nutrients, both vitamins and minerals.
Health Benefits: One cup of snow peas contains approximately 41 calories with 7 grams carbohydrate and 3 grams fiber. This vegetable also contains high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A and manganese.
Spaghetti Squash: Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash known for its yellow flesh and mild flavor. The name of this squash comes from the fact that, after cooking, the flesh can be shredded with a fork into spaghetti-like strands. This being the case, spaghetti squash is a popular low-calorie alternative to pasta but it can also be roasted and served as a side dish or sautéed with other vegetables for a main entrée.
Health Benefits: One cup of cooked spaghetti squash contains about 42 calories with 10 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams of dietary fiber and 1 gram protein. A serving this size also contains 9% your daily value for vitamin C and 8% your daily value for manganese.
Spinach: Spinach is widely regarded as one of the most nutritious vegetables on the planet, known for its broad leaves and bright green color. This vegetable contains high levels of vitamin C while also being a good source of vegetarian protein and natural energy. Spinach is often eaten raw in salads, though it can also be blanched, steamed or sautéed – many people also like to use it in soups and stews.
Health Benefits: One cup of raw spinach contains about 7 calories with 1 gram each of carbohydrate, fiber and protein. Spinach is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.
Sugar Snap Peas: Sugar snap peas are a hybrid of two other vegetables, snow peas and green peas. While the pods of green peas are difficult to eat, sugar snap peas were designed to be edible both whole and raw. These vegetables make a tasty addition to raw salads, though they can also be steamed or boiled and served as a side dish. To get the most nutritional benefit from these vegetables, eat them while they are fresh and avoid storing them too long.
Health Benefits: One cup of sugar snap peas contains about 26 calories with 5 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams each of fiber and protein. These vegetables are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K.
Sweet Potato: Though regular potatoes are not considered to be paleo due to their high starch content, sweet potatoes are generally accepted as a paleo food. These vegetables are known for their orange flesh and slightly sweet flavor. A sweet potato can be cooked using the same methods as regular potatoes – boiling, mashing, steaming, frying and sautéing. For a tasty snack, try baking thin slices of sweet potato into chips!
Health Benefits: One cup of cooked sweet potato contains about 180 calories with 41 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams dietary fiber and 4 grams of protein. A serving this size contains more than 7 times your daily value for vitamin A, 65% your daily for vitamin C and 50% your daily value for manganese.
Swiss Chard: Swiss chard is a dark green, leafy vegetable. This vegetable is particularly common in Mediterranean cuisine and it is regarded as one of the most nutritious vegetables in the world. Boiling or steaming are the recommended cooking methods for this vegetable, though it can also be sautéed or cooked into soups and stews. Colored stems tend to be tough and difficult to digest, but varieties with white stems can be chopped and eaten.
Health Benefits: One cup of raw Swiss chard contains only 7 calories with 1 gram each of carbohydrate, fiber and protein. Swiss chard also contains significant quantities of vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium and manganese.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are an incredibly versatile food, used in salads, pastas, soups, side dishes and more. These vegetables are known for containing lycopene, a carotenoid pigment that acts as an antioxidant in the body. There are many different types of tomatoes from small cherry and grape tomatoes to plum and roma tomatoes and even large beefsteak tomatoes – they even come in multicolored heirloom varieties!
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped tomatoes contains approximately 32 calories with 7 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of dietary fiber and 2 grams of protein. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C as well as folate, potassium and manganese.
Turnips: Turnips are a type of root vegetable that is often white or purple in color with leafy greens growing above ground. These vegetables can be eaten raw but it is generally recommended that you cook them through steaming, broiling or roasting. Turnips are popular for use in roasted vegetable medleys as well as soups and stews.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped turnip contains about 34 calories with 8 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams dietary fiber and 1 gram of protein. A serving this size contains about 30% your daily value for vitamin C and 8% your daily value for potassium.
Turnip Greens: In addition to eating the root of the turnip plant, you can also eat the leafy greens. These greens have a noticeably bitter taste but they are known for their calcium content. Turnip greens can be eaten raw in salads or sautéed like other leafy greens. To make these greens cook more quickly, chop them into bite-sized pieces and let them sit for five minutes before preparing.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped turnip greens contains about 57 calories with 8 grams of carbohydrate and 5 grams of dietary fiber – these greens are also rich in protein, with about 5 grams per cup.
Watercress: Watercress is a type of cruciferous vegetable that belongs to the mustard family. This vegetable has small, rounded leaves and a peppery flavor. Watercress can be eaten raw or cooked into soups and casseroles. It is also common to use this vegetable in sandwich filling, as a garnish or in fresh juices and green smoothies. In addition to its nutritional value, watercress has also been shown to enhance skin, hair and nail health.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped watercress contains about 4 calories with 1 gram of protein. A serving this size contains about 22% your daily value for vitamin A and nearly 25% your daily value for vitamin C.
Zucchini: Zucchini is a type of summer squash known for its oblong shape and green color. All parts of the squash, including the skin and seeds, are edible. Zucchini can be eaten raw in salads, though it is commonly cooked through steaming, roasting or sautéing. Zucchini can also be boiled, but this method often results in the squash being soggy and waterlogged.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped zucchini contains about 20 calories with 4 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams protein and 1 gram dietary fiber. Zucchini s also rich in vitamin C and several B vitamins.
Apples: Apples are known for their crispness and flavor – they come in a variety of different types, each with its own unique taste and texture. Apples are commonly eaten raw, though they can also be cooked for use in desserts. Eating the apple with the skin can increase the fiber content – it may also combine with other nutrients in the apple to provide health benefits like blood sugar and blood cholesterol regulation.
Health Benefits: One medium-sized apple contains between 80 and 90 calories with about 4 grams of dietary fiber. Apples are also a good source of phosphorus, calcium, iron and zinc as well as vitamins A, C, E and several B vitamins.
Apricot: Apricot are a small, orange pitted fruit that is most commonly seen in dried and canned form. These fruits have a smooth and sweet flavor that is popular for use in desserts – it can also make a flavorful addition to snack mixes. The nutrients found in apricots have been shown to provide disease-fighting benefits as well as promoting heart and eye health.
Health Benefits: One apricot contains about 16 calories with 1 gram of dietary fiber and 3 grams of sugar. These fruits also contain potassium, vitamin E and vitamin C.
Bananas: Ripe bananas have a firm, creamy texture with a sweet flavor. These fruits are typically available all year round and they are one of the most consistently affordable fruits. Bananas can be eaten raw or sliced and drizzled with honey – they can also be mashed with a little baking powder and made into pancakes!
Health Benefits: One medium banana contains about 100 calorie with 3 grams of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein. These fruits are particularly known for their potassium content but they also contain magnesium, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin B6.
Blackberries: Blackberries are not a true berry, but a type of fruit formed by small drupelets. These fruits are known for their tart but sweet flavor and their dark juice. Blackberries can be consumed raw or cooked into pies and tarts. For the best flavor, make sure the berries are ripe.
Health Benefits: One cup of blackberries contains about 60 calories with 1 gram of fat, 8 grams of dietary fiber and 2 grams of protein. Blackberries are also a good source of Vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.
Blood Oranges: Blood oranges differ from traditional oranges in several ways, most obviously in their dark reddish color. These oranges are also higher in anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid pigment, and vitamin C. Many people prefer blood oranges because they are less acidic than regular oranges. Blood oranges can be eaten raw or used to prepare fresh juice – they also make a tasty addition to a fresh salad.
Health Benefits: One medium blood orange contains about 80 calories with 3 grams of fiber – about 12% of your daily recommended value. These fruits are also rich in folate and vitamin C.
Blueberries: As suggested by the name, blueberries are small blue berries – they have a sweet flavor and dark purple juice. These fruits rank second only to strawberries in terms of popularity and they are the highest food source of antioxidants. Blueberries can be eaten raw or baked into pies and tarts for a sweet, fruity flavored dessert.
Health Benefits: One cup of blueberries contains about 84 calories with 4 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein. Blueberries are also rich in vitamin K, manganese and vitamin C.
Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe is a type of melon known for its orange flesh and sweet flavor. These melons are typically consumed in raw form, making a popular addition to chopped fruit salads. Cantaloupe is a very rich source of vitamin A and it contains about 30 times more beta-carotene than fresh oranges.
Health Benefits: A one-cup serving of chopped cantaloupe contains about 54 calories with 1 gram dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein. Cantaloupe also contains over 100% your daily value of vitamin A and nearly 100% your daily value for vitamin C.
Cherries: Cherries are small red fruits, also referred to as a stone fruit because they have pits. These fruits come in several varieties, both sour and sweet. Cherries can be eaten raw, after removing the pit, or used in a variety of desserts. The nutrient content of sweet versus sour cherries is not significantly different, except for the fact that sweet cherries have a higher sugar content and thus a slightly higher calorie content as well.
Health Benefits: One cup of pitted sweet cherries contains about 98 calories with 3 grams of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein. Cherries also contain about 18% your daily value of vitamin C in a serving this size as well as significant amounts of potassium.
Clementines: Clementines are small orange fruits, related to mandarin oranges that resemble other oranges in shape, color and flavor. These fruits are known for being easy to peel and they are almost always seedless. Clementines can be enjoyed raw or used as a topping for salads – they can also be juiced or used in fresh smoothies.
Health Benefits: One small clementine contains about 35 calories with 1 gram of dietary fiber, 7 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein. These fruits also contain vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium.
Cranberries: Cranberries are small red berries that grow in vines and creeping shrubs. These berries can be eaten raw, made into juice or baked into pies and tarts.Cranberries have long been known for their usefulness in preventing urinary tract infections – this is due to their high proanthocanidin content. Consuming raw cranberries may also help to protect both the liver and the cardiovascular system.
Health Benefits: A one-cup serving of raw cranberries contains about 46 calories with 5 grams of dietary fiber and 4 grams of sugar. Cranberries are also a good source of manganese, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Dates: Dates are a type of tropical fruit that grows on certain types of palm trees. These fruits are classified as drupes, consisting of a fleshy outer part surrounding a pit. Fresh dates are soft and sweet, rich in dietary fiber and natural energy. These fruits can be used as a natural sweetener in desserts and snack recipes as a replacement for sugar.
Health Benefits: Pitted dates contain about 78 calories per ounce with 21 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams of dietary fiber. An ounce of dates also contains 19 grams natural sugar and notable amounts of copper, manganese and potassium.
Figs: The fig is the fruit of the ficus tree and it comes in many different varieties. These fruits can be eaten fresh, but they are often dried and used in desserts and snack mixes. When eaten fresh, the seeds and skin of the fruit are edible and have a mildly sweet flavor. Figs can also be baked or preserved as a jam or jelly.
Health Benefits: One large fig contains about 50 calories with 12 grams of carbohydrate. In addition to 2 grams of dietary fiber, figs also contain notable amounts of vitamin K, thiamin and potassium.
Grapes: Grapes are known for their round shape and crisp, almost crunchy texture. These fruits may be either seeded or seedless and they come many varieties, most of which are sweet and lightly tart. Grapes are often eaten fresh, but they can also be dried into raisins or fermented into wine. Grapes are a common addition to fruit salads and they can also be pressed into juice.
Health Benefits: One cup of seedless grapes contains about 104 calories with 27 grams of carbohydrate. A serving this size also contains 1 gram dietary fiber, 23 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein along with 27% your daily value for vitamin C.
Guava: Guava is a type of tropical fruit that grows on over 100 species of small trees and shrubs. This fruit has a greenish yellow skin that has a bitter taste. The fruit itself may be either sweet or sour, giving off a fragrance similar to lemon. One of the most popular uses for this fruit is in the Mexican beverage guava agua fresca – it can also be eaten fresh like an apple or preserved in jellies and jams.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped or sliced guava contains about 112 calories with 24 grams of carbohydrate. In addition to 4 grams of protein and 9 grams of dietary fiber, a serving this size also contains over 600% your daily value of vitamin C.
Grapefruit: Grapefruit is a round citrus fruit, somewhat larger than an orange. These fruits are known for their tart, tangy flavor and they often have pink fruit. Because they are so juicy, these fruits are often used in breakfast juices, also valued for their high vitamin C content. Grapefruits come in seeded and seedless varieties.
Health Benefits: One half of a grapefruit contains about 52 calories with 13 grams of carbohydrate and 2 grams of dietary fiber. A serving this size also contains 1 gram protein and about 8 grams of natural sugar as well as 64% your daily value of vitamin C.
Honeydew: Honeydew is a type of melon known for its textured skin and bright green fruit. This fruit has a very refreshing flavor and is commonly used in chopped fruit salads. Honeydew can be eaten raw after removing the seeds and rind. You can also use this fruit in fresh juices and smoothies or homemade sorbet.
Health Benefits: One cup of honeydew contains about 64 calories with 16 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of dietary fiber. Honeydew is also a good source of vitamin C and potassium.
Kiwi: Also referred to as kiwifruit, kiwis are small ovular fruits with fuzzy brown skin and bright green flesh dotted with little black seeds. These fruits only grow to a diameter around 3 inches, but they have the vitamin C equivalent of a much larger orange. Kiwi is typically eaten fresh, peeled and sliced into fruit salads or used to top fruit tarts and other desserts.
Health Benefits: One medium kiwi, with the skin removed, contains about 46 calories with 11 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams dietary fiber. In addition to vitamin C, kiwi also contains notable amounts of vitamin K and potassium.
Lemon: Lemons are ovular in shape, having a tough yellow skin and sections, membranous fruit. These fruits are often used for their fragrance as much as their flavor. Though these fruits can be eaten raw, they are typically used as garnish or juiced for use in flavoring desserts, sauces and other dishes.
Health Benefits: One lemon, without the seeds, contains about 22 calories with 12 grams carbohydrate and 5 grams dietary fiber. Lemon juice contains about 60 calories per cup with 21 grams of carbohydrate and 6 grams of natural sugar.
Lime: Limes are very similar to lemons in appearance, though they are smaller in size and have green skin. Limes are a type of citrus fruit, most commonly used for their juice or the zest produced by grating the skin. Though these fruits can be eaten raw, like lemon, they are typically used as garnish or juiced for use in flavoring desserts, sauces and other dishes.
Health Benefits: One lime contains about 20 calories with 7 grams of carbohydrate and 2 grams dietary fiber. One cup of lime juice contains about 60 calories with 20 grams carbohydrate and 4 grams natural sugar.
Mango: Mangoes are a type of tropical fruit having a green and red skin and tender orange flesh. Peeling and chopping a mango can be tricky and should be done using a similar method to avocados. These fruits can be eaten fresh or chopped into fruit salads – they can also be used to flavor tarts as well as frozen desserts, raw juice or smoothies or other dishes.
Health Benefits: One cup of sliced mango contains about 107 calories with 28 grams carbohydrate and 3 grams dietary fiber. A serving this size also contains 24 grams natural sugar and about 76% your daily value for vitamin C.
Nectarines: Nectarines are small, round fruits that look and taste similar to peaches except that their skin is smooth rather than fuzzed. The flavor of a nectarine is somewhat sweeter than a peach and they are a little smaller as well. These fruits can be eaten fresh with or without the skin – they can also be used in deserts, juices and smoothies as well as jellies and jams.
Health Benefits: One small nectarine contains about 57 calories with 14 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams dietary fiber. These fruits also contain notable amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and copper.
Oranges: Oranges are a round fruit known for their juice and sweet flavor. Oranges are typically eaten raw by removing the peel and dividing the fruit into sections. To use oranges in dessert, many people choose to remove the membrane from the fruit, isolating the flavor of the fruit itself. You can juice oranges by hand using a citrus press or an electric juicer – you can also make homemade sorbet and smoothies using this fruit.
Health Benefits: One cup of peeled orange contains about 85 calories with 21 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein. Oranges are very high in vitamin C with a one-cup serving containing more than 150% your daily recommended value.
Papaya: The papaya is a pear-shaped fruit with orange flesh that has a butter-like consistency. The flavor is sweet with soft, musky undertones. This fruit was once considered exotic, but now it is widely available. Papaya can be eaten fresh or cooked into desserts – it can also be juiced or used in jellies and jams. The enzymes found in papaya are often extracted for use in dietary supplements and chewing gum.
Health Benefits: One cup of raw papaya contains about 55 calories with 14 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of dietary fiber. Papaya is a good source of vitamins C and A – it is also rich in folate and potassium.
Passion fruit: Passion fruit was first cultivated in Kenya, though today it is more commonly known as a tropical, Hawaiian fruit. This fruit is round or ovular with yellow or dark purple skin. The interior is soft and juicy, filled with edible seeds. The fruit can be eaten fresh and it is also popular for juicing. The juice itself can be added to other beverages for additional flavor or to enhance the aroma.
Health Benefits: One small passion fruit contains nearly 230 calories with 55 grams carbohydrate and 5 grams of protein. With the skin and membrane removed, the remaining fruit contains only about 17 calories with 2 grams dietary fiber and 4 grams carbohydrate.
Peaches: Peaches are native to China, though they can be found throughout the world – particularly in the southern United States. These fruits are a type of drupe consisting of a soft skin and flesh surrounding a hard pit. Peaches can be eaten fresh or cooked into dessert – they can also be dried or preserved in jams and jellies.
Health Benefits: One cup of sliced peaches contains about 60 calories with 2 grams of dietary fiber. A serving this size also contains 15 grams carbohydrate and 13 grams natural sugar, plus about 17% your daily value for vitamin C.
Pears: Pear trees are often grown ornamentally in addition to being cultivated for their sweet, delicious fruits. Pears are typically thicker and more round at the bottom than at the top, though some look very similar to apples. These fruits can be eaten fresh, canned or dried. They can also be cooked into desserts, juiced or preserved in jellies and jams.
Health Benefits: One small pear contains about 86 calories with 23 grams of carbohydrate and 5 grams dietary fiber. Pears also contain significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K and copper.
Pineapple: Pineapple is a tropical fruit known for its spikey body and sweet yellow flesh. This fruit is available all year, though it is in season from March through June. Pineapple is often eaten fresh in fruit salads or alone, once you get through the hull. In order to prepare a whole pineapple, you must slice off the top and bottom then remove the husk and the core. The remaining fruit can then be sliced or chopped.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped pineapple contains about 82 calories with 22 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams dietary fiber. A serving this size also contains 16 grams of natural sugar and over 100% your daily value for vitamin C.
Plums: Plums are small, rounded pitted fruits that come in a variety of colors, commonly red or deep purple. The flesh of a ripe plum is tender with a little bit of a bite, the juice sweet and slightly tart. Plums can be eaten raw with or without the peel – they can also be dried into prunes. These fruits provide a number of health benefits including antioxidant protection.
Health Benefits: One plum contains about 30 calories with 8 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of dietary fiber. Plums also contain vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K as well as several minerals.
Pomegranate: Pomegranate is one of the most popular fruits, known for its unique flavor and nutrient-rich qualities. This fruit has red or purple skin, growing to a diameter between 6 and 10 cm. When you cut the fruit open, you find myriad seeds encased in juicy, edible pulp. Pomegranate can be eaten fresh, though it commonly used to make raw juice, to flavor beverages and in making desserts.
Health Benefits: One 4-inch pomegranate contains about 230 calories with 53 grams of carbohydrate and 11 grams of dietary fiber. One half cup of the seeds contains about 72 calories with 3 grams of dietary fiber and 1 gram of protein.
Raspberries: Raspberries are small red fruits, known for their sweet and slightly tart flavor. These berries can be eaten fresh on their own or as a topping for ice cream, yogurt or other desserts. They can also be baked into pies and tarts, preserved as jelly or jam, or used as a topping for salad. Another popular use for these fruits is to use them in sorbets and ice creams.
Health Benefits: One cup of raw raspberries contains about 64 calories with 15 grams carbohydrate and 8 grams of dietary fiber. A serving this size also contains 5 grams of natural sugar and 54% your daily value for vitamin C.
Strawberries: Strawberries are one of the most commonly consumed fruits in the US, known for their bright red color and sweet flavor. These berries can be eaten raw once the stems are removed and there is no need to remove the skin or seeds. Strawberries can also be baked into pies and tarts, blended into smoothies or sorbets, and even used to flavor beverages.
Health Benefits: One cup of strawberry halves contains about 50 calories with 12 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of dietary fiber. Strawberries are also rich in vitamin C, folate and manganese.
Watermelon: Watermelon is a juicy fruit with tender red flesh and a striped green rind. These fruits may be either seeded or seedless, though even “seedless” varieties have some small edible seeds. Not only is watermelon known for its high water content and sweet flavor, but it is also a valuable source of the carotenoid phytonutrient lycopene, also found in tomatoes.
Health Benefits: One cup of chopped watermelon contains about 46 calories with 12 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram dietary fiber. A serving this size contains 10 grams of natural sugar along with 18% your daily value of vitamin A and 21% your daily value of vitamin C.
Almond Oil: Almond oil is, as the name suggests, the oil pressed from raw almonds. This oil is high in monosaturated fats, the type that is good for your heart. Almond oil has the subtle flavor and aroma of toasted almonds and it is popular for use in sautéing and stir-frying foods. Try using almond oil as a substitute for other cooking oils in your favorite Asian-inspired dishes.
Health Benefits: Almond oil contains about 119 calories per tablespoon with 14 grams of fat, but only 1 gram of saturated fat. A serving size of only 1 tablespoon also contains about 25% your daily value for vitamin E.
Avocado: Though technically a fruit, avocado is often considered a type of oil in paleo circles due to its high content of monosaturated fat. Not only can avocado be consumed raw but it can also be used as a substitute for oils and other fats in baking recipes.
Health Benefits: Avocado contains about 45 calories per ounce or about 240 calories per cup, chopped. A 1-cup serving contains about 22 grams of fat (only 3 of which are saturated fat), 10 grams dietary fiber and 3 grams of protein. Avocado is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and folate.
Avocado Oil: Avocado oil is very similar to olive oil but it is less common in paleo circles because it is more expensive. This oil isn’t as heat-stable as olive oil so it is best used in dressings, not as a cooking oil. Avocado oil provides high amounts of vitamin E and monosaturated fat with a mild flavor.
Health Benefits: Avocado oil contains about 124 calories per tablespoon with 14 grams of fat, including 2 grams of saturated fat. This being the case, avocado oil is much healthier than many vegetable oils.
Clarified Butter (Ghee): Regular butter is not considered “paleo” mainly because it is highly processed. Some followers of the paleo diet do consume grass-fed butter – butter made from the milk of grass-fed cows – and others stick to just clarified butter, also called ghee. Though made from cow’s milk, the butter used in ghee is boiled so the residue can be removed. The final product is then dairy-free.
Health Benefits: Clarified butter contains about 201 calories per ounce with 23 grams of fat – 14 grams of saturated fat. A serving this size contains about 60mg cholesterol as well as small amounts of vitamin A and vitamin E.
Coconut Milk: Coconut milk can be purchased from a carton or a can – canned coconut milk is solid and is the type most commonly used as a cooking fat. This type of coconut milk is made by pressing the liquid from grated coconut meat and it is high in saturated fat. Coconut milk is commonly used in Indian and Asian dishes, particularly soups and curries. The cream from canned coconut milk can also be whipped and used as a frosting for baked goods and other desserts.
Health Benefits: Canned coconut milk contains about 55 calories per ounce with 6 grams of fat, 5 of which are saturated. Coconut milk also contains small quantities of iron, calcium and manganese.
Coconut Oil: Unlike many cooking oils, coconut oil is solid at room temperature. Coconut oil does taste like coconut, so be careful how much you use if you aren’t a big fan of coconut flavor. This oil is high in saturated fat and it is particularly good for high-heat cooking methods like frying and baking. When buying coconut oil, look for organic or unrefined.
Health Benefits: One tablespoon of coconut oil contains about 116 calories with 14 grams of fat – 12 of which is saturated fat.
Flaxseed Oil: Flaxseed oil is pressed from whole flax seeds and it is incredibly high in omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, this type of oil is fairly unstable and tends to go bad quickly if not stored properly. It also doesn’t heat well so it is best used in dressings and other cold recipes.
Health Benefits: Flaxseed oil contains about 120 calories per tablespoon with 14 grams of fat – only 1 gram of fat, however, is saturated fat. A serving this size also contains about 12% your daily recommended value for vitamin E.
Grapeseed Oil: Grapeseed oil is pressed from the seeds of grapes and it is often a byproduct of winemaking. This oil contains primarily polyunsaturated fats, so it is not as heat-stable as other types of oils. It can be used for sautéing over low heat, but it is best for use in salad dressings.
Health Benefits: One tablespoon of grapeseed oil contains about 120 calories with 14 grams of fat but only 1 gram of which is saturated fat. A serving this size also contains nearly 20% your daily recommended value for vitamin E.
Lard: Lard is simply the rendered fat from pork – when it comes from beef or lamb, it is called tallow. This type of fat is solid or semi-solid at room temperature and it is popular for use in baking and frying. To make your own lard for cooking, simply chop and puree pure pork fat in a food processor then melt it over low heat. Strain the fat and let the liquid cool to room temperature.
Health Benefits: Though exact calorie counts vary, lard typically contains about 250 calories per ounce with 28 grams of fat (11 grams of saturated fat). A serving this size also contains about 27 to 30mg of cholesterol.
Olive Oil: Olive oil is one of the most versatile cooking oils and thus one of the most popular oils in the paleo diet. This oil can be used in dressings or for cooking methods such as frying, sautéing and baking. There are several different grades of olive oil including virgin and extra-virgin. Virgin olive oil is produced by mechanical means only (no chemical treatment) and extra-virgin is a higher quality oil made from virgin olive oil.
Health Benefits: Olive oil contains about 119 calories per tablespoon with 14 grams of fat including 2 grams saturated fat. A serving this size contains no cholesterol but about 10% each of your daily value for vitamin E and vitamin K.
Palm Oil: There are several different types of palm oil and there is some debate as to whether this type of oil is truly paleo or not. Many followers of the paleo diet maintain that palm oil is paleo-friendly as long as it is organic and wasn’t produced on a commercial plantation. Palm oil contains high levels of saturated fat so it is solid at room temperature. It is most commonly used as a cooking oil but should be used carefully due to its unique and pervasive flavor.
Health Benefits: Palm oil contains about 120 calories per tablespoon with 14 grams of fat – 7 of which are saturated fat. A serving this size also contains about 11% your daily recommended value for vitamin E and small amounts of vitamin K.
Sesame Oil: Sesame oil is pressed from raw sesame seeds, known for its slight nutty flavor which is popular for use in Asian dishes. This oil doesn’t react to heat as well as other oils so it is best used in small amounts as a supplemental flavor rather than a main cooking oil. Sesame oil contains antioxidants and healthy polyunsaturated fats.
Health Benefits: One tablespoon of sesame oil contains about 120 calories with 14 grams of fat – 2 grams of which are saturated fat. Sesame oil also contains small amounts of vitamin E and vitamin K.
Tallow: Tallow is the name given to a variety of animal fats, most commonly from beef and lamb. This cooking oil is solid at room temperature but melts quickly over heat – it is particularly popular for use in sautéing and frying. If you purchase tallow from the store, be sure it is from organic, grass-fed meats. You can also make your own tallow by chopping up fat from beef or lamb and blend it in a food processor. Next, cook the fat over low heat (covered) for several hours until it cooks down then strain the fat and let the liquid cool.
Health Benefits: Beef tallow contains about 250 calories per ounce or 115 calories per tablespoon. A serving size of one tablespoon contains 13 grams of fat (6 grams of saturated fat) as well as small amounts of vitamin E.
Walnut Oil: This type of oil is high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids but it is not very stable. This being the case, it is best to purchase it in small amounts and use it quickly – you should also avoid heating this type of oil. Though expensive and somewhat hard to find, walnut oil has a delicious flavor that works well with a variety of dishes.
Health Benefits: Walnut oil is very similar to almond oil in its nutrition profile – one tablespoon contains about 119 calories with 14 grams of fat but only 1 gram of saturated fat. Walnut oil also contains small amounts of vitamin K.
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