Paleo Protein List | Body Solutions

Paleo Protein List


So as discussed earlier, the next few weeks we will be laying out different Paleo macronutrient sources (protein, carbs and fats) both from the pure Paleo crowd and a modified approach we use with clients with explanations why.
So this week we discuss the list of proteins.  Below are proteins by the Paleo book (1). pg 106.

Paleo Protein List (all meats trimmed of visible fat)
Lean Beef
Flank Steak
Top Sirloin Steak
Extra lean hamburger with fat drained off (no more than 7% fat)
London Broil
Chuck Steak
Lean Veal
Lean Pork
Pork Loin
Pork Chops
Lean Poultry (skin removed)
Chicken breast
Turkey Breast
Game Hen breat
Eggs (limit to 6 to 12 a week)
Other Meats
Rabbit meat
Goat meat
Organ Meats
Beef, lamb pork, and chicken livers
Beef, pork and lamb tongues
Beef, lamb, and pork marrow
Game Meat
Muscovy DuckWild Boar
New Zealand DeerWild Turkey
BluefishRed snapper
GrouperStriped bass
Northern PikeWalleye
Orange roughy

These are meats that are generally recommended against based on their low protein % relative to a higher fat%:

Fat pork chops
Lean lamb chops
Pork Shoulder roast
Ham lunch meat
T-bone steak
Chicken thigh / leg
Ground beef 15% fat or more
Lamb shoulder roast
Pork Ribs
Beef Ribs
Fat lamb chops
Dry salami
Link pork sausage
Hot Dog

Notice anything if you follow some Paleo recipe sites?  Eggs are both on the acceptable list and non recommended based on higher fat content and lower protein content, which is easily corrected.  This is a modification we make.  We allow clients eggs twice a week and in a ratio of 1 yolk to every 4 whites.  Egg yolks are not bad despite what you hear, it has protein, vitamin D and biotin which are essential (among other nutrients) but we limit eggs based on their high allergy content with most people.
Another item you may notice on the avoid list and most people probably cringed, was bacon. We  dont pull bacon from clients diets.  If they want it they can have a few pieces a week, no big deal.  Saturated fat in the diet is essential, we just keep it moderated based on an individual’s needs.
So when picking protein sources choose the leaner versions.  Paleo gets twisted depending on who you read.  By that we mean some people turn paleo into a ketogenic diet. Which is more moderate to actually lower protein (.7 to .9 grams per pound of lean tissue very high fat, usually around 85% of total calories and carbs are below 30 a day (2)).
While some people do well on this diet, some people do not.  The true paleo plan is actually higher in protein (lean ones) 50% of your calories come from fruits and veggies and fats are as needed or to fill in the gaps.
Since 90% of people see us for fat loss we generally keep fat a bit lower (totally based on an individual and will vary person to person and if male or female.)
Notice you didnt see protein powder on this list anywhere?? Here is another modification we use, we actually use whey protein for some clients.  But this is tricky, protein powders are not created equal.  We use a 100% grassfed whey we have made to our specs.  Most commercial protein powders are garbage.  They are high in metals, mold and fungus not to mention come from conventional dairy cows that have been raised on hormone and antibiotics.  Which when ingested will not only increase your toxicity levels but also your estrogenic production, plus the protein cans are generally lined with bpa (not good, really not good).  So if you can’t find a good one, simply avoid it, not the end of the world.
We dont use protein powders with every client,  but some, only post workout for recovery and it also aids with glutathione (glutathione is entirely too long of a subject for one sentence, read that attached link for more info.)  If someone does not handle dairy (whey) we move them to a pea protein but  NEVER use soy proteins, ever…
So there is your Paleo protein list.  We don’t make too many variations other than amounts allowed which is based on an individual, digestive health, sex and lean tissue.  There is no one size fits all.
Next week we talk Paleo carbs and carb modifications, where it really gets hairy!
1. Cordain, Loren (2002,2011). The Paleo Diet, revised edition.
2. Volek & Phinney (2011). The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living.