If you're on the paleo diet, you're ditching carbs and loading up on solid protein. By cutting back on bread and sugars, you're changing your metabolism to burn more fat for fuel and build lean muscle.

However, when you think of the typical American diet, it's pretty heavy in carbohydrates and sugars. Even fruit and veggies, which are good for you, have natural sugar and carbs. So, what are the best foods to eat when paleo? Here are a few staples, thanks to nutritionists.

Leafy Greens

Go for kale chips, spinach, and other leafy greens for a filling lunch or crunchy snack, says Michelle Dudash, R.D.N., author of Clean Eating for Busy Families. Leafy greens are low in carbs, so they are paleo friendly, and they have tons of nutrients, such as iron and protein to fill you up.

Oily Fish

Whip up some salmon or halibut for dinner or open a can of tuna or sardines for a salad topper. Fish is great for the paleo diet, as it's high in protein and good fats to reduce inflammation and boost the metabolism, she says. Plus, you don't need to worry about carb and sugar content.


Yes, you can surely go crazy for coconuts on the paleo diet. Try coconut butter, milk, cream, oil, and actual coconut. She recommends adding it to baking and cooking needs, as it's a great staple to have in the pantry for healthier meal prep at home. You can also heat it up and drizzle over different foods for a sweet treat.


Nuts are paleo-friendly, says Jamie Johnson, R.D.N. They are packed with protein and good fats and are very low in carbs and sugars. You can add them to yogurts, oatmeals, and chia seed puddings, or you can crust them on fish and lean proteins, like beef and chicken. Or, just snack on them raw. Try almonds, pistachios, cashews, and more!


Same with nuts, Johnson recommends adding seeds to your diet, such as chia, hemp, sunflower, and pumpkin. These are all low-sugar, low-carb picks for paleo eaters, and they are really nutrient dense. Loaded with good fats and protein, they'll keep the munchies at bay.

About the Author

Isadora Baum

Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, author, and certified health coach. She writes for various magazines, such as Bustle, SHAPE, Men's Health, Women's Health, Health, Prevention, POPSUGAR, Runner's World, Reader's Digest, and more. She is also the author of 5-Minute Energy with Simon & Schuster. She can't resist a good sample, a killer margarita, a new HIIT class, or an easy laugh. Beyond magazines, she helps grow businesses through blogging and content marketing strategy. To read her work or inquire, please visit her website: isadorabaum.com.