Healthy Baking, Informational Articles

What is Paleo?

In this guide, I'll explain the ins and outs of What is Paleo, how to adhere to a paleo lifestyle, and the potential benefits it could lend to your life!
What is Paleo?

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Hi Bold Bakers!

Since sharing my favorite alternative recipes and ingredients with you, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how to make different recipes fit the variety of diets and lifestyles that are out there. From Vegan to Keto to Paleo, all of these styles of eating and cooking have different attributes and reasons behind why someone would want to give them a try.

As I have expressed in my “What is Keto” post and my “What Is Vegan” post, I personally do not sway in any one direction. I more like trying out and comparing lots of different things so I can share my experiences with you. If I HAD to choose one particular style of eating, though, Paleo is probably the most similar to how I already choose to eat. What is paleo all about anyway? Well read on and I’ll share my tips and tricks on giving this lifestyle a try.

What Are the Guidelines?

Paleo and gluten free chocolate cupcakes.

The term “paleo” comes from the word “Paleolithic.” When applied to one’s diet, eating in a paleolithic-style means trying to eat foods that are similar to what might have been eaten during the Paleolithic era, which dates from approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.

So what does that mean? A paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering. Things like legumes, beans, wheat products, dairy products, and processed foods are not a part of the paleo diet. This is the main reason I find the paleo diet to be so attractive, as I personally have seen a massive change in my general health and amount of energy after removing processed foods from my diet.

By “going paleo,” you will naturally be cutting out gluten and dairy, which are some of the most common food allergens. For these reasons, I find this style of eating to be very attractive to those who want to improve their overall health without having to think too hard about what foods to eat and which to avoid. 

Why Choose a Paleo Diet?

Paleo banana bread.

The reason it can so easily improve your health is that the body is thought to be genetically mismatched to the modern diet that emerged with modern farming practices. Farming changed what people ate and established dairy, grains, and legumes as additional staples in the human diet that were not a part of our diet for most of our evolution. This relatively late and rapid change outpaced the body’s ability to adapt. This mismatch is believed to be a contributing factor to the prevalence of many health conditions.

Can Most Recipes Become Paleo?

Unlike adapting recipes to be vegan by just removing the animal products with a 1:1 replacement, it is a bit trickier when it comes to making things paleo — especially in baking bread and sweets. The reason is the flours and ingredients that are used to make many classic recipes cannot just be replaced in the same ratio for grain and gluten-free flours.

Many of the paleo approved flours, while they can be baked with easily, act differently than regular flour in the way they interact with liquids, heat, etc. This is why I love creating recipes for you. My recipes exclusively utilize contemporary alternative baking ingredients. I never use gluten, wheat, dairy or refined sugar and I always test all of my recipes to guarantee that they always deliver on being both delicious and nutritious!

Try These Paleo Recipes

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Kellie Kuter
Kellie Kuter
4 years ago

Hi Gemma. I’m a caregiver and I do a lot of meal preparation and baking for one of my clients who is diabetic. She also has a lot of allergies mostly chemical. She does keto and paleo almost exclusively (although she eats microwave popcorn). I have made a couple flourless breads that were very good but she wants sweets. She only uses stevia. I downloaded a conversion chart but it’s not clear how much applesauce or the like to add to make up the lost sugar bulk. Do you have any recipes that use stevia instead of sugar?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


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