The Paleo Approved Food Pyramid

The Paleo Food Pyramid

So what foods make up the paleo approved food pyramid?

I’ve touched on the paleo food pyramid before, but I feel that it should be more well known just how incorrect and dangerous the conventional, “government approved” food pyramid actually is.

For starters, lets take a look at some conventional “accepted” food pyramids:

As we can see from the above pyramid, grains, cereal and foods like rice are at the bottom. If you’ve come to understand how terrible grains are for the body and in particular the digestive system, then you’ll be shocked to know that the recommended serving size is 6-11 servings. I’m guessing that those servings are per day. It is no wonder why our kids are obese at schools, and why so many people suffer from conditions affecting their stomachs and digestive tract. This particular pyramid is the result of a quick google search.

Next, we have the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) recommended food pyramid:

As we can see, yet again, grains are the largest and therefore most important group. It is pretty terrifying to realise that this is what is peddled to all the organisations in America that promote “healthy eating”. It is these models that professionals, such as diatitians and nutritionalists build their client’s eating programs off of. Ridiculous if you ask me. What seems to always amaze me is that the topmost segment of the pyramid is almost always fats.

Here is another pyramid from Michegan University:


I like how this one is called “Healing Foods Pyramid”. What? At least this one has some vegetables in it, but why are meats so near the top? This one makes no sense at all. Anyway, you get the point, most “conventional” pyramids have the same basic premise of grains, vegetables and fruits at the bottom of the pyramid and meats and fats at the top. This is, as you may guess, completely opposite to paleo and primal eating principles.

Paleo Diet Food Pyramids

And on to greener pastures, so to speak, I present to you the paleo food pyramids. 

This is Mark Sisson’s updated food pyramid: 


As we can see almost immediately, meats and foods like eggs are at the bottom of the primal/paleo pyramid. This is obviously wrong, right? Nope, this is the way food pyramids should look. Meats generally contribute to the majority of your caloric intake on a day to day basis, and vegetables are largely responsible for the other nutrients. Above that are fats, followed by fruits and other moderation foods and lastly herbs and spices.  Also included in the topmost segment of the pyramid are sensible indulgences.

Unfortunately, because the primal/paleo diet food pyramid is so different from other pyramids, or rather conventional pyramids, it would be a political and logistical nightmare to explain by authorities. Having said that, can you imagine if schools taught kids that this was the right way to eat? Kids would have more energy, focus and better body composition. This is the way it should be, yet will sadly not be the case in our lifetimes. Unfortunately, because during these fundamental years in a child’s nutritional development, the constant consumption of high carbohydrate foods programmes their genes to rely on carbohydrates. This programming makes changing to an ideal, fat burning body more difficult the older they get.

Originally, the paleo food pyramid had more of a focus on vegetables as a primary food source, followed by meats and animal proteins. This changed when Mark re-evaluated the food pyramid and where calories come from.

Originally, Mark’s food pyramid looked like the one below:



So not much has changed really, however the updated version does have more information on it and is therefore my recommended, preferred reference tool. The swapping of vegetables and fruits with meat, fish, fowl and eggs is not serious, as both of these foods groups should be your primary foods that make up each meal. The simple balance between all of these beneficial food groups is what makes the paleo approved food pyramid so effective and powerful when applied properly.

Ultimately at the end of the day, the paleo food pyramid is a fantastic way of structuring your eating, and provides all the adequate nutrients to the body for healthy, happy and productive long lives. I have been applying paleo eating principles to my life for a long time now, and I’ll never not eat according to the paleo food pyramid. 

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Keep well, keep paleo!


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