So I’d like to address questions we’ve had on whether certain foods are “allowed” on the paleo diet, such as water chestnuts, snow peas, bamboo shoots and beets.
Snow peas: officially beans/legumes and therefore not paleo, however they are good in my books. Anything green and “vegetabally” is better than beer and cookies.
Water chestnuts: actually an aquatic vegetable according to Wikipedia, so I think they are safe.
Bamboo shoots: I don’t see any reason they wouldn’t be paleo, high fibre, low carb vegetable…
Beets: The paleo experts seem to be divided on this one. Probably because beets, along with other relatively sweet/starchy root vegetables are relatively high in carbs. I say relatively because that’s in comparison to greens. They are still great compared to bread and pasta. In my opinion, OK in moderation and depending on goals.
But let’s get past this and get to the heart of the question. Does it matter if it’s officially paleo? In this post, I explain why we called this a “real food challenge”. Paleolithic nutrition works wonders, but we don’t want it to be a “diet” and we want you to understand why it works so that you can start making your own decisions about what to eat. This is exactly the message I tried to get across in this post. One of the reasons paleo nutrition works is that it keeps your insulin in check. It also improves digestion and reduces inflammation. So when deciding on these foods, consider how much you are eating and ask yourself:
– Will this spike my insulin more than I need given my objectives?
– How does my body react to this?
– Do I digest this well?
– How do I perform on this food?
– How do I feel on this food?