Gluten-free, Dairy-Free – But NQP (Not Quite Paleo)

So we all know which foods are Paleo, right? Sure – the foods you can hunt for and gather, and eat right away without processing. It’s like a definition . . . anything processed simply cannot be Paleo.

But – how many so-called ‘Paleo’ recipes have you seen with rice malt syrup, coconut oil, protein powder or other processed things?

Not all ‘Paleo’ is created equal …

It seems some people are confused – equating Paleo with gluten-free, sugar-free, milk-free, low-fructose, nut-free and even vegan. The so-called Paleo Balls are actually not very! They generally contain milk protein or soy isolate protein, plus cocoa and sugar … all really non-Paleo!

While many seem happy to blur the lines – the Institute publishes information drawn from peer-reviewed science sources– and we would like to set the record straight. Gluten-free, dairy-free is not Paleo – but it is a move in the right direction.

To help everyone understand, we created PaleoRanking – the app. It is the Institute’s proprietary system for benchmarking how Paleo a food is.


Bottom line? To decide if something is Paleo or not … visualise yourself as Paleo Pete the Stone Age man. He hunted for and gathered things to eat. Sometimes he threw them on the fire before eating. That’s it.

If your ‘Paleo’ recipe calls for anything that needs processing first, (say flour which is grass grain that has been winnowed, hulled, ground, separated and sprinkled with chemicals to assist baking) – then it was probably not available to Paleo Pete.

Or you could search the app for the ingredient and see if its PaleoRanking falls between 0 and 3. Then you’ll know for sure.cropped-paleo_image.jpg



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