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Inflammatory Foods

The 'sparks' that initiate chronic inflammation and ultimately, disease. 

At first glance it may be quite depressing to discover that so many foods are pro-inflammatory. “Don’t these foods comprise the vast majority of the modern western diet?” Yes! That’s precisely why there’s an epidemic of poor health today. “But, what’s left to eat?” Don’t despair! As you familiarize yourself with healthy Paleo culinary options, recipe and food combinations are endless! The Paleovation Workbook offers a vast diversity of resources for scrumptious Paleo meals.

The following list represents the foods eliminated during the first month of Strict Paleo. Don't despair! The Paleovation Workbook guides the entire process. Depending on an individual's degree of sensitivity, some of these foods may be tolerated well and included in a long-term diet (legumes and parts of dairy tend to fall in that category). However, degree of tolerance varies significantly between individuals. By going through a month of strict Paleo, you will learn what feeling good feels like so you'll have a basis of comparison for symptoms generated by inclusion of other foods.

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Sugar and Sugar Substitutes – Including table sugar, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, molasses, Splenda®, Equal®, NutraSweet®, xylitol, etc; sugary drinks, such as juices, soda, alcohol, etc; even stevia triggers insulin and is excluded (though some use it as a temporary crutch).


Grains/Pseudo-Grains – Wheat, corn, rice, oats, rye, barley, millet, bulgur, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa; all products made with grains: bread, pasta, cereal, pretzels, crackers, granola, baked goods, etc.


Legumes – Peanuts (including peanut butter), soy (soy sauce, tofu, miso, edamame, soy lecithin), beans, peas, lentils; note: pea pods (snow peas, snap peas) and green beans are acceptable.


Dairy – Including milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, cream, whey and sour cream. Clarified butter (ghee) is acceptable since the potentially allergenic proteins have been removed.


Manufactured Fats and Seed Oils – Includes the following oils: canola, corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, peanut, cottonseed, vegetable; Crisco® and hydrogenated oils (in most packaged goods); all products made with these oils such as mayo, salad dressings, margarine, etc.


Chemicals – Particularly MSG, carrageenan (often added to milk substitutes), preservatives, food colorings (even added to some produce, meat and fish products), alcohol.

To learn more details about why these food groups are problematic, read our Paleo Synopsis.

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