Can You Eat Rice on a Paleo Diet?

Paleo Diet

As one of the more well-rounded diets that you can decide to engage in, Paleo allows you to eat numerous types of foods with a few significant restrictions.

If you’re just getting into changing your eating habits for the first time, it’s important to ask: Can you eat rice on the Paleo diet?

Considering rice is one of the most vital components of most diets, including veganism and vegetarianism, you might be wondering if it’s something you can add to your diet.

What Is the Paleo Diet?

The entire premise behind Paleo is that your meal plans are going to revolve primarily around the foods that our ancestors ate.

No, not the foods for our great-grandparents, but our hunter/gatherer ancestors.

The main thing to remember with this type of eating plan is that although there are plenty of foods on the “allowed list,” you will also need to have a healthy lifestyle to see the benefits of changing your diet.

Just like our hunter/gatherer ancestors, who spent the majority of their day active, you will also need to take the time to exercise regularly to see the actual benefits of Paleo. If you want to do that ‘naturally’, go here and here.

When you look at the food you can eat while on this particular diet, you can quickly see how it mimics the appetites of earlier generations of humans.

The best way to understand a new diet is to ask important questions like what foods are allowed, what changes can I expect, and just how easy is this diet supposed to be?

With the help of the answers below, you should be able to determine whether Paleo is the right avenue for you, as well as gain valuable insights to help you adjust your pre-existing diet.

Can I Eat Rice on Paleo/AIP?

can you eat rice on a paleo diet, Can You Eat Rice on a Paleo Diet?

One of the most common questions about Paleo and AIP is whether you can eat rice or not, especially as it is a staple for many meals.

If you want to get technical about the diet, you’ll find that all grains are off-limits, including rice.

However, it all depends on the person and their dietary restrictions.

For example, if you are gluten-free, the idea of cutting rice out of any diet may be too much to handle, which will give you some flexibility.

It’s important to remember that although rice is technically classified as a grain, it is substantially different from well-known grains, including corn, barley, wheat, and oats.

As with any diet you embark on, it’s essential to be realistic to ensure that you can stick to your new lifestyle change; otherwise, you might be more likely to fall off the wagon.

Eating a small amount of white rice with a meal isn’t going to set you back, as long as it’s consumed in moderation.

Still, others on the opposite end of the spectrum suggest that rice is not allowed in a Paleo diet.

It all depends on who you are and what you expect to achieve from your healthy eating habits.

Can You Eat Potatoes on a Paleo Diet?

can you eat rice on a paleo diet, Can You Eat Rice on a Paleo Diet?

Another staple food item that you might think is essential is potatoes, though they are often looked at as one of the worst things to eat in a variety of diets.

The main gripe that diets have against potatoes is that they are very high in carbohydrates.

Still, they can also be essential in a variety of eating plans, especially if you are an athlete.

You’ll also find that they rank particularly high on the glycemic index.

This means that when you eat them, your body absorbs the sugar into your bloodstream quickly, causing a surge in blood sugar levels.

When it comes to Paleo, the starch content of white potatoes is far too high to be considered beneficial, especially if you are dealing with a medical issue, such as diabetes.

With that said, there is a fantastic alternative that is considered to be Paleo—sweet potatoes.

Interestingly enough, sweet potatoes and white potatoes don’t vary too much in terms of fat, carbohydrates, or fat.

However, sweet potatoes are deemed more nutritious, so they are an acceptable alternative.

Similar to rice, deciding whether to eat potatoes or not is up to your personal preference, though most suggest that they are not recommended.

You will want to consider the health benefits they bring to the table, though.

Sweet potatoes feature a lot of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium, which can assist with many functions such as energy production and possibly preventing heart disease.

What Can You Eat on the Paleo Diet?

Now that we have explored the types of foods you should avoid while on Paleo, let’s get into the foods that are “approved” and “safe” for this particular diet.


If you’re someone who has always had an affinity for fresh ingredients, you’ll be glad to know that vegetables are one of the primary food groups that you will be reaching for when you start Paleo.

As with any other ingredient you consider eating, it is essential that the vegetables are unprocessed.

This is the foundation for the Paleo diet.

Remember, you want to eat as if you were living in the times of hunter/gatherers.

The best vegetables to fill your fridge with when you start Paleo include:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Radish
  • Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Pickles
  • Beets
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Celery


Along with vegetables, you will also want to make sure you amass an extensive collection of fruits as they are packed with an assortment of essential minerals and vitamins.

Similar to vegetables, fruits must be fresh and unprocessed to be acceptable.

You’ll also turn to fruits quite often if you’re someone who has a very active sweet tooth.

You won’t be able to rely on any pre-packaged sweets once you start your new diet.

Some of the best fruits for Paleo include:

  • Banana
  • Lychee
  • Berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)
  • Citrus (oranges, lemons, limes)
  • Apples
  • Melons (honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe)
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Peaches

Meat and Poultry

can you eat rice on a paleo diet, Can You Eat Rice on a Paleo Diet?

Any Paleo recipe that you find online will focus primarily on meat.

After all, it was the most crucial ingredient of any meal served by our ancestors.

It’s a fantastic source of protein, which assists your body in several ways, from maintaining and building muscle to increasing your energy stores.

However, as with the other ingredients, you aren’t going to want to focus on processed meat, such as bacon, as it negates the purpose of living a healthier lifestyle.

Meats (Grass-Fed)

  • Pork
  • Veal
  • Lamb
  • Beef

Game Meat

  • Rabbit
  • Elk
  • Deer
  • Bear
  • Moose
  • Reindeer
  • Deer
  • Duck

Poultry (Free-Range)

  • Goose
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Quail

Fish (Wild-Caught)

can you eat rice on a paleo diet, Can You Eat Rice on a Paleo Diet?

  • Trout
  • Anchovies
  • Salmon
  • Walleye
  • Sardines
  • Bass
  • Tilapia
  • Haddock
  • Grouper
  • Cod
  • Flatfish
  • Catfish
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Turbot

Shellfish (Wild-Caught)

  • Lobster
  • Scallops
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Clams
  • Mussels
  • Crab


Eggs are a useful and essential part of any meal, especially when it comes to breakfast.

They are packed with omega-3s and give you the ability to protect the health of your heart over time.

Just like with chicken, you will want to make sure the eggs you purchase are from free-range chickens.

These chickens have been fed a healthy diet and have been kept in a healthy environment.

Butters and Nuts

If you love experimenting with recipes, we highly recommend trying to make your nut butter at home, especially as it’s much simpler than you’d think.

By making your own, you can help to avoid processed formulas and artificial ingredients that will negate the purpose of your diet.

Otherwise, ensure you opt for butter that is made from whole ingredients and don’t contain added sugars and preservatives.

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Almond butter
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Cashews
  • Brazil nuts

Healthy Fats

Over time, fat has received a negative connotation as more people have tried to lose fat from their bodies.

However, it’s important to note that it’s an essential part of our daily diet as long as it’s taken in moderation.

There is a difference between unhealthy and healthy fats, which can seriously affect the things you eat regularly.

On Paleo, you are surely going to want to focus on healthier alternatives.

This is because they help to boost the nutrients in your meals while maximizing the flavor of your cooked ingredients.

  • Ghee
  • Chia seeds
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Tahini
  • Butter


Another sure-fire way to amp up the flavor of your daily meals is to rely on fantastic seasonings and spices.

These can bring a new flavor profile to traditional ingredients.

One of the best features of Paleo is that it encourages you to step outside of your boundaries to try different flavors from around the world.

This is why this list of seasonings is a fantastic resource to have.

  • Capers
  • Leek
  • Chilies
  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Mustard
  • Cacao powder
  • Vinegar
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro


As with any healthy eating regime, you’ll want to make sure you avoid any drinks that are heavily processed and contain a lot of sugar.

While throwing away your sodas and fruit juices from concentrate, there are many other healthier alternatives to consider, including:

  • Water
  • Kombucha
  • Hard cider (low in sugar)
  • Spirits (Gluten-free)
  • Black coffee
  • Sparkling water (unsweetened)
  • Bone broth
  • Coconut water
  • Herbal tea

Can I Use Sweeteners While on Paleo?

can you eat rice on a paleo diet, Can You Eat Rice on a Paleo Diet?

It’s a common misconception that Paleo is a diet that gets rid of all sweets when, in reality, the primary purpose is to simply get rid of processed ingredients that we would typically eat daily.

There are several approved sweeteners that you can use if you make Paleo-friendly desserts or if you want to indulge in a great treat at the end of the week.

As with anything you eat, moderation is vital, as eating too much or too little of something can have adverse effects.

Our favorite sweeteners for the Paleo diet include:

  • Raw honey
  • Coconut sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Date sugar

Another advantage of not avoiding all sweet items during your dieting is that your body won’t feel like it’s being deprived of healthy sugar.

Not only will this help to make your transition into a Paleo diet more manageable, but it will also make you more likely to stick to your new eating plan for much longer.

Do I Have to Count Calories While Eating Paleo?

Counting calories is all dependent on your personal preference.

Some people prefer to keep track of the calories they eat versus the calories they burn, especially if they are trying to lose weight.

It all depends on what your end goal is.

Do you want to become healthier by avoiding processed foods, or are you trying to fit into an old pair of jeans?

Counting calories can be beneficial to assist with weight loss and managing a healthy weight over the long run.

However, many people on Paleo suggest counting calories isn’t something our ancestors did.

As such, it’s not a necessity for this particular diet.

Instead, they encourage people to eat only when they are hungry and to eat until they are satiated, rather than trying to make themselves as full as possible.

Regardless, ensuring you have moderation in any diet is essential to see the most success.

Are There Health Implications With This Diet?

Drastically changing your eating habits will affect your health no matter how you look at it.

Some diets will make you healthier, while others may conflict with pre-existing health conditions.
Even though you might look at food as a desire, it’s a necessity that can have positive and negative reactions depending on who you are.

As with any eating change, it is highly recommended you talk to your physician before engaging in a new lifestyle.

In this way, you can be sure that it will not pose harm to you, depending on any medical concerns you may have.

For example, if you are pregnant, talking to your doctor about Paleo can give you an idea of whether or not you will be receiving the right nutrients for you and your baby throughout your pregnancy if you go on this diet.

If you have already started your new diet and are experiencing adverse effects, such as excessive sluggishness, digestive difficulties, or nausea, it is a good idea to stop and talk to a healthcare provider.

Is Paleo Good for Athletes?

There is an assortment of athletes who have tried or are currently on the Paleo diet, especially as it is highly recommended for people who need to take in a lot of protein.

Some of the most notable names who use the foundation of this diet to benefit their exceptional athletic abilities include Tom Brady, Ray Allen, Phil Mickelson, and Dwight Howard.

Can You Eat Rice on the Paleo Diet? Final Thoughts

There are many things you can eat as someone on Paleo.

In fact, this is what makes it a popular alternative to keto, veganism, or vegetarianism, especially if you love eating meat in moderation.

If you’ve wondered whether can you eat rice on the Paleo diet or not, it all depends on your desires.

Some suggest it’s acceptable, while others prefer to avoid it.

With that said, there are plenty of rice alternatives that are packed with nutrients that will quickly become a new staple in your diet.


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