Foods Not Allowed On The Paleo Diet

This is a complete list of foods not allowed on the paleo diet. It’s a sad day when you first have to say goodbye to these foods but, once you start, it’s much easier and you find there are even better paleo substitutes for these foods. The first few weeks might be tough, but if you stick with it over time, it’ll be worth it. We promise. Here’s the ultimate list of foods not allowed on the paleo diet.

Dairy Butter Cheese Cottage cheese
Non-fat dairy creamer Skim milk 2% milk Whole milk (sometimes)
Dairy spreads Cream cheese Powdered milk Yogurt
Pudding Frozen yogurt Ice milk Low fat milk
Ice cream   Soft drinks  


Soft drinks, pop, and Coke are packed with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.  NO WAY ON THIS.

Coke Sprite Pepsi
Mountain Dew Fruit Juices Grape juice
Apple juice Orange juice Mango juice
Strawberry juice Starfruit juice  
Fruit juices are super high in sugar (fructose) and will throw your paleo diet off track. Stay away.


You should avoid anything that has a grain in it. Yes, anything. If you pretend that grains are the devil, you’ll find it’s much easier to avoid them.


Cereals Bread English muffins Toast
Sandwiches Triscuits Wheat Thins Crackers
Oatmeal Cream of wheat Corn Corn syrup
High-fructose corn syrup Wheat Pancakes Hash browns
Beer Pasta Fettuccini Lasagna


Don’t know what a legume is? That’s okay because they’re not paleo diet friendly. For the paleo diet, legumes are not on the menu. Sorry. Here are the ones you should avoid.

All beans Black beans Broad beans Fava beans
Garbanzo beans Horse beans Kidney beans Lima beans
Mung beans Adzuki beans Navy beans Pinto beans
Red beans Green beans String beans White beans
Peas Peanuts Chickpeas Snowpeas
Sugar snap peas Lupins Peanut butter Miso
Lentils Tofu Mesquite Soybeans
All soybean products and derivatives Any other beans.  
Black-eyed peas (and, yes, you should also avoid the band)


Artificial Sweeteners
Bad news – sweeteners aren’t paleo. All artificial sweeteners are, by definition, artificial and not paleo. If you’d like to sweeten your foods, use honey, maple syrup, or (if you’re really really really  in a pinch) Stevia.


Fatty Meats
If you’re going to eat meat, go ahead and spring for some steak. Stay far away from these non-paleo foods.

Spam Hot dogs Other low-quality meats



Starchy Vegetables
These starchy vegetables are still vegetables,  stay away from them due to their high starch content.

Potatoes Sweet potatoes Yucca
Batata Butternut squash* Acorn squash*
Yam* Beets*  


Unfortunately, almost all alcohol does not work with the paleo diet. This includes

Beer Whiskey Tequila
Rum Vodka Alcohol and mixers


Energy Drinks
These are not good for you and are definitely not approved for our paleo diet food list. Stay far, far away.

Red Bull Monster Rockstar
Starbucks Refreshers Mountain Dew MDX Vault
XS Energy Drink 5-Hour Energy Alcohol


Sugar is almost always manufactured and should be avoided on the paleo diet.

This means you’ll need to cut out the delicious but destructive sweets and sugars that are standard in the Standard American Diet. The rule of thumb here is: if it contains a ton of sugar, it’s probably not on the paleo diet friendly. That said, here’s a specific lists of sweets that are not on the paleo diet food list.

Candy bars Snickers Snickers Peanut Butter Butterfinger
Milky Way Reese’s (NOOOO!) Payday M&Ms
Skittles Red Vines Twizzlers Hershey’s
Nestle Crunch Almond Joy Mounds Reese’s Fast Break
Reeses’s Pieces Twix Any other refined sugars.


Salty Foods

These overly salty foods fall outside the paleo diet guidelines.


French fries Ketchup not paleo.
Pretzels Chips Triscuits
Wheat Thins Cookies SunChips