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What would a paleo food pyramid look like?

by (2581)
Updated about 17 hours ago
Created June 17, 2010 at 9:15 AM

This idea caught my interest when I was thinking about how the USDA food pyramid makes grains the foundation of a healthy diet. I searched through Google Images and looked at some images of paleo food pyramids.

I was disappointed to say the least...some did not make sense. Some put berries into the same category as nuts, as if berries weren't fruit. One had water as the foundation, but water isn't food (I don't think something that has zero calories can be considered food).

Mark Sisson's Primal Pyramid was my favorite.

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4991 · April 29, 2014 at 7:35 AM

Yes, meat is good for you. Also fruits and starchy vegetables - other veg as well too. Grains? Well, wheat, rye, barley etc are just not good. Reading on here will be a good place to start.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921
4991 · April 29, 2014 at 7:32 AM

It's OK but I think it would be better with carbs shown between veg and fruit, i.e. white potatoes, white rice etc. And there are no fats shown, which for me is a huge omission.

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4991 · April 29, 2014 at 7:30 AM

I also like this one. Especially as it has a decent amount of carbs shown.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921
4991 · April 29, 2014 at 7:28 AM

What, no carbs? I'd die...

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15966 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

Gilliebean, awesome blog. Love the gizmoto meat pic:) ill put you on my lil blogroll. i like the straightforwardness of your pyramid.

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1794 · July 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Benjamin is just a hunter and does not like to gather. Don't be mean to him.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5
5381 · June 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM

So what the heck was the gather part of hunter gatherer for? Collecting a few eggs and some fruit?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · April 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM

So we should completely trash something that is admittedly useful? Helpful.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
13993 · January 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Oh yes! V good point on the other fruits. Thanks Eugenia! And thanks Eric. :)

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20353 · January 16, 2012 at 3:55 AM

I like this one... I need the meat/ eggs / fish on the bottom to match how I eat...

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f
20353 · January 16, 2012 at 3:50 AM

Good point on the other fruits... Very nice Chart Gilliebean

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10653 · January 16, 2012 at 2:33 AM

Do I see PEANUTS at the top of the corrected pyramid...?!

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2
11682 · January 16, 2012 at 1:35 AM

I really like this pyramid too. I would only cut in half the "dairy" part, and add "other fruits" there.

4e95bc0abf05f16d79fda1a1b6f314c5
0 · August 04, 2011 at 3:49 PM

May I use this for a blog post if I credit you, Dana M?

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13993 · July 07, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Thanks Joshua! :)

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21400 · July 07, 2011 at 1:46 PM

This is the best "Pyramid" I've seen in reference to describing Paleohackers specifically (meaning, the all-encompassing "Primal/Paleo/PaNu/Omnivore/VLC Paleo" universe we face here) Good Work!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
13993 · June 12, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Hi Rico! Do you still want a HiRes of the pyramid? Go to my blog and contact me there. I can get you one. :)

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493
11099 · June 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

I really like this, definitely closer to my diet...thanks!

937163a301e4487f64b14982226ff75c
68 · April 22, 2011 at 2:23 PM

LOL I'd rather they stick the coconut oil into a tub than have it spill everywhere.

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5136 · April 21, 2011 at 2:24 AM

yeah this is awesome! I'm gonna check out your blog now...

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210 · March 17, 2011 at 4:47 AM

I agree completely. If you aren't eating grass fed beef, you ideally ought to supplement with fish oil. Gilliebean, your pyramid is super awesome. Any chance of getting an .ai of it? :]

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45 · June 25, 2010 at 2:17 AM

Wow, I really like this one!! Good job!

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13993 · June 20, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Paleo doesn't only eliminate grains, legumes and sugars. It also emphasizes good food sources. Therefore, Grass-fed is optimal; but it is not the only option. I think it's important to mention it because most paleo folks believe that it is optimal.

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13993 · June 19, 2010 at 1:07 AM

Seafood is supposed to be encompassed under "healthy fish." But good suggestion... I should have separated it out into two separate items - fish and other seafood.

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1689 · June 19, 2010 at 12:43 AM

i think seafood would be a good addition.

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13993 · June 18, 2010 at 2:00 AM

Hey Ben! Sure! Thanks! Feel free to link it to my blog (http://clubfritch.com) if you wanna... Or to this question! :)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15966 · June 18, 2010 at 1:21 AM

gilliebean, can i post this to my blog? i wont take credit, no worries. thanks. http://fundamentalliving.blogspot.com/

9e621c9cf0a36b4034a3d6e7cfc4e1f4
221 · June 17, 2010 at 6:31 PM

I like this a lot -- it's very similar to Mark Sisson's however representing the calories vs. quantity, an important distinction. Mark's is good to show to newbies who think we eat meat exclusively (not that there's anything wrong with that.)

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2604 · June 17, 2010 at 4:54 PM

I love this, but I realised that most of the core bottom row items are in a container of some sort, making them appear processed, which seems a little anti-paleo.

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539 · June 17, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Wow, I like this. Thank you, gilliebean.

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267 · June 17, 2010 at 11:39 AM

This is an amazing question. Can't wait to see the answers!

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12 Answers

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
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13993 · June 17, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Here's my submission:

what-would-a-paleo-food-pyramid-look-like?

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921
4991 · April 29, 2014 at 7:30 AM

I also like this one. Especially as it has a decent amount of carbs shown.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15966 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

Gilliebean, awesome blog. Love the gizmoto meat pic:) ill put you on my lil blogroll. i like the straightforwardness of your pyramid.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
13993 · January 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Oh yes! V good point on the other fruits. Thanks Eugenia! And thanks Eric. :)

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f
20353 · January 16, 2012 at 3:50 AM

Good point on the other fruits... Very nice Chart Gilliebean

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2
11682 · January 16, 2012 at 1:35 AM

I really like this pyramid too. I would only cut in half the "dairy" part, and add "other fruits" there.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
13993 · July 07, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Thanks Joshua! :)

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0
21400 · July 07, 2011 at 1:46 PM

This is the best "Pyramid" I've seen in reference to describing Paleohackers specifically (meaning, the all-encompassing "Primal/Paleo/PaNu/Omnivore/VLC Paleo" universe we face here) Good Work!

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493
11099 · June 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

I really like this, definitely closer to my diet...thanks!

98148e265e1a9b27ce1c206190c1b8a4
5136 · April 21, 2011 at 2:24 AM

yeah this is awesome! I'm gonna check out your blog now...

Dc12fef4f7c25d968ab11be99f3eaba7
45 · June 25, 2010 at 2:17 AM

Wow, I really like this one!! Good job!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
13993 · June 19, 2010 at 1:07 AM

Seafood is supposed to be encompassed under "healthy fish." But good suggestion... I should have separated it out into two separate items - fish and other seafood.

6869a1f2294b3a717a53645589a91d18
1689 · June 19, 2010 at 12:43 AM

i think seafood would be a good addition.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
13993 · June 18, 2010 at 2:00 AM

Hey Ben! Sure! Thanks! Feel free to link it to my blog (http://clubfritch.com) if you wanna... Or to this question! :)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15966 · June 18, 2010 at 1:21 AM

gilliebean, can i post this to my blog? i wont take credit, no worries. thanks. http://fundamentalliving.blogspot.com/

9e621c9cf0a36b4034a3d6e7cfc4e1f4
221 · June 17, 2010 at 6:31 PM

I like this a lot -- it's very similar to Mark Sisson's however representing the calories vs. quantity, an important distinction. Mark's is good to show to newbies who think we eat meat exclusively (not that there's anything wrong with that.)

101b3a5c96d313d22262f65bdff20acf
539 · June 17, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Wow, I like this. Thank you, gilliebean.

2e47fde921accd6c6b2aa71902f9de86
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140 · June 17, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Here's the pyramid I made to explain what I eat to people...so much easier to show them a picture than to go through all the details of what's allowed and what's not!! It's mostly based on the recommendations in Primal Body Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas, and the proportions reflect what I usually eat. I had a lot of fun making it, and I think you can tell :D

what-would-a-paleo-food-pyramid-look-like?

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4991 · April 29, 2014 at 7:28 AM

What, no carbs? I'd die...

4e95bc0abf05f16d79fda1a1b6f314c5
0 · August 04, 2011 at 3:49 PM

May I use this for a blog post if I credit you, Dana M?

937163a301e4487f64b14982226ff75c
68 · April 22, 2011 at 2:23 PM

LOL I'd rather they stick the coconut oil into a tub than have it spill everywhere.

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf
2604 · June 17, 2010 at 4:54 PM

I love this, but I realised that most of the core bottom row items are in a container of some sort, making them appear processed, which seems a little anti-paleo.

08ce57b1bbb3bda8e384234389c36d94
5
1449 · June 17, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Paleo/Primal friendly food pyramids. Mark's is the second one

I would emphasize zero grains.

what-would-a-paleo-food-pyramid-look-like?

what-would-a-paleo-food-pyramid-look-like?

Thumbnail avatar
10653 · January 16, 2012 at 2:33 AM

Do I see PEANUTS at the top of the corrected pyramid...?!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
2
37177 · January 16, 2012 at 1:47 AM

I like this one a lot.

what-would-a-paleo-food-pyramid-look-like?

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921
4991 · April 29, 2014 at 7:32 AM

It's OK but I think it would be better with carbs shown between veg and fruit, i.e. white potatoes, white rice etc. And there are no fats shown, which for me is a huge omission.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f
20353 · January 16, 2012 at 3:55 AM

I like this one... I need the meat/ eggs / fish on the bottom to match how I eat...

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2181 · June 19, 2010 at 1:02 PM

I don't agree with Mark Sisson's pyramid or the Primal Food Pyramid. There are just two categories as far as I'm concerned. The base of the triangle is meat, fish, poultry and animal/saturated fats. The upper, smaller section is vegetables, fruits and nuts. And I wouldn't specify grass-fed. You may think that's preferable, but many folks don't have access to it or can't afford it, and all that does is alienate them.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
13993 · June 12, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Hi Rico! Do you still want a HiRes of the pyramid? Go to my blog and contact me there. I can get you one. :)

E65fbf7cf9f3febf0f6bfbbd6530e87d
210 · March 17, 2011 at 4:47 AM

I agree completely. If you aren't eating grass fed beef, you ideally ought to supplement with fish oil. Gilliebean, your pyramid is super awesome. Any chance of getting an .ai of it? :]

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
13993 · June 20, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Paleo doesn't only eliminate grains, legumes and sugars. It also emphasizes good food sources. Therefore, Grass-fed is optimal; but it is not the only option. I think it's important to mention it because most paleo folks believe that it is optimal.

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0 · April 29, 2014 at 10:51 AM

This one is simple for me.

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0 · April 29, 2014 at 2:38 AM

I really like the paleo "base camp" of fruit/veges, meats, nuts and seeds. I"ve found by following this eating principle on an 80/20 basis, I'm a much happier person and feel so much better every day. However, everyone is so unique and individual that experimenting with what works for each person's body is important. High quality yoghurt, cheese, kefir, ghee and butter are awesome from a health perspective and taste bloody fantastic, so if you suffer no intolerances, why not eat them....in moderation of course. Same goes for grains - especially for high level athletes. Rice and quinoa are great carbs and satisfying - although as you probably know, quinoa is from the grass family and not a grain.

At the end of the day, the paleo pyramid is a solid foundation which should be tweaked to each individual's unique needs.

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5 · April 11, 2014 at 12:43 AM

This is Primal, but check out this Primal Food Pyramid.

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1794 · July 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Benjamin is just a hunter and does not like to gather.

Don't be mean to him.

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78407 · January 16, 2012 at 1:30 AM

Last time I checked my dad died of a heart attack from eating to much bacon and eggs, not steamed rice, veggies and fruit. You guys are trying to tell people that meat is good for them and whole grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables should be eaten sparingly? Not only would I die prematurely from eating that way I would perform so poorly in sports that I wouldn't be able to play anymore. Do some more research and get educated.

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4991 · April 29, 2014 at 7:35 AM

Yes, meat is good for you. Also fruits and starchy vegetables - other veg as well too. Grains? Well, wheat, rye, barley etc are just not good. Reading on here will be a good place to start.

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0
15966 · June 18, 2010 at 1:23 AM

these are all awesome. seriously good work guys (well, i knew the grok one but awesome seeing all the others.

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46 · April 14, 2012 at 5:11 AM

I think vegetables should be compltetly trashed, its been proven agriculture was started in eygpt about 10,000 years ago, before that (and for many people even after so) it was primairly, MEAT,eggs fish & fruit. I really don't beleive excessive reliance on agriculture is healthy for humans, the earth or plants. admittedly, some plants are useful to humans.

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1794 · July 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Benjamin is just a hunter and does not like to gather. Don't be mean to him.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5
5381 · June 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM

So what the heck was the gather part of hunter gatherer for? Collecting a few eggs and some fruit?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · April 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM

So we should completely trash something that is admittedly useful? Helpful.

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