Are Raisins Paleo? And Other Questions Answered
If you have spent any time looking into various health trends of the day, you have probably heard at least some talk of the caveman diet, or perhaps more recognizably, the paleo diet. You might even be looking to learn more about this diet, and even take some of its principles on, but you aren’t sure of the exact ins and outs of it.
The paleolithic diet has been around since, well, forever… but the “paleo diet,” as it is now commonly known, is a relatively new phenomenon. Though the concept of a paleolithic diet was initially suggested in a work by gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin back in 1975, and further developed by authors in 1985, it was not until 2002 that Loren Cordain trademarked the term “Paleo Diet” with his book of the same name; however, the paleo trend only really started to take hold in the past few years, becoming a major player in the diet world from 2012 onwards.
The basic concept of the diet is relatively simple: you should only eat items which a caveman would have been able to obtain. This means that you cut out any processed food, dairy, added sugar and salt, and most grains. There is also a recommended daily calorie intake of about 55 percent seafood and lean meat, and 15 percent fruit, nuts, and seeds.
This leaves a fair amount of ambiguity and personal judgment for the eager paleo diet adopter, and there are a lot of questions that are hotly debated within the paleo community. For example, what about dried fruit—are raisins paleo? Are eggs paleo? And how does one get their calcium intake without eating dairy?
Let’s start with the first one: are raisins paleo?
Short answer? Technically, yes, most raisins are paleo. They are naturally high in sugars and thus incredibly sweet, which means that they do not tend to come with extra sugar added (as is the case with most other dried fruits). Since they are a natural food without additives or extra processing, and contain high amounts of some essential vitamins and minerals, they are thus ok to eat on the paleo diet.
However, the important thing to remember is that because they are so high in sugars, they should generally only be consumed in smaller quantities in order to be truly paleo. So can you eat raisins on a paleo diet? Yes, you can. Generally few servings a week of raisins can be a good way to curb your sweet craving, but it is important not to overdo it.
How about eggs?
Eggs, on the other hand, are much easier to categorize. Eggs are most definitely paleo, and can be used as a cornerstone for a paleo dieter’s protein intake. And in contrast to many other diets that recommend just eating egg whites, for the paleo diet the whole egg should be consumed. In order to eat strictly paleo however, it is recommended that you try to only eat free range eggs.
Lastly, how do you get enough calcium when you are on the paleo diet? The first thing to understand in answering this question is that, despite common perception, dairy is not the only food source from which to get calcium. In fact, some of the best sources of calcium are dried seaweed, canned salmon, and sardines. Other good sources include leafy greens such as spinach and collard greens.
Failing this, the second thing to know is that in your paleo diet, you are still able to consume dairy—should you choose to—in small quantities. With this in mind, it should be relatively easy to find your daily calcium needs, which may in fact be less than you previously thought.
There are a lot of questions and debates over which food items are allowable on a strictly paleo diet, and which should not be allowed, in order for your diet to be considered “true” paleo. However, while these debates will rage on and on online, the main thing to remember is that a person’s diet is very individual—you have to figure out what works for you. Use the information online to help you as you try to find a paleo plan that works for you, and only settle when you have found a schedule that works for your overall health and wellbeing. If you can do that, you will find that it does not matter if others consider you a “true” paleo dieter or not after all.