See our All About Potatoes page for why potatoes are, strictly speaking, Paleo ‘approved’, but also why they are perhaps not suitable for every digestive system.
Potatoes are a ‘Grey Area Food’ for us here at Paleo in the UK simply because of the high degree of reactivity in those people who have compromised intestinal or immune systems. Our site is working from the basis of creating optimal health and this is one of those foods which can impact that for more people than possibly realise it.
This means that if you’re at all curious about how you get on with potatoes, digestively and in terms of other symptoms such as joint pain and skin conditions, then we recommend that you try without them for 30 days. Then you can bring them back in to truly ascertain what potatoes do for you. See our Paleo Reintroductions page for more on how to do this and what to look for.
If you have read our All About Coffee page you will know that caffeine and the polyphenols and antioxidants in drinks such as coffee and tea have the potential to be both good and bad for us. Coffee has a bit more in it that tips it towards the ‘Foods That Are Out’ category but reintroductions are perfectly possible. Tea, on the other hand has less ‘bad’ compared to the ‘good’.
We still place it in the ‘Grey Area’ for the simple reasons that caffeine is a stimulant and can negatively affect those with adrenal, blood pressure and neurological conditions. However, if you have always felt fine drinking tea (and remember this is being drunk either black or with almond/coconut milk as dairy is off limits) then there is a good argument for it being anti-inflammatory and healthful, certainly in smaller quantities. This can be green tea, white tea and/or black tea.
As with everything in the Grey Area, you may like to try a week or so without these foods and drinks to see if you feel any different. With these caffeinated beverages it is always good to cycle them in and out of your life, basically to sensitise your body to the effect they have. Doing so may show you just how potent and powerful a drug caffeine really is!
We are putting this here, even though it is, strictly speaking (and according to our About Alcohol page) this is eliminated. We place it in the Grey Area too because whilst it absolutely contains far more anti-nutrients than nutrients (and is in no way nutrient-dense) there is more to nutrition than nutrients.
Before we go on, if you want our deepest, heartfelt advice – try AT LEAST 30 days without alcohol as part of an introduction to Paleo living.
But at Paleo in the UK we recognise all elements that contribute to wellbeing and health. In our experience, social inclusion is an enormous part of what builds a life and a happy human being. Evolutionarily speaking, alcohol has, for centuries, been used as a social ice-breaker and a tool to remove a layer of inhibition whilst connecting people in networking and leisure settings.
So yes, if you want the science on what alcohol is doing to you metabolically and biochemically, that’s on our “All About Alcohol” page.
But if you want to know how alcohol really affects you as a person you have to understand that if alcohol is a means by which you more able to socialise with friends then it is worth establishing your personal alcohol tolerance so that you can do this without too many negative health impacts. And there are definitely ways to drink which are much healthier than others.
Want to know more about how to drink alcohol and establish your unique dose? We have a whole section on this precise topic on our Paleo Reintroductions page.
If you want to start a fight in the Paleo community, simply mention Rice or Potatoes in public and watch the insults fly. The thing with rice, especially white rice, is that it is a grain and therefore typically excluded (because it contains all of the anti nutrients of grains such as gluten – see our All About Gluten page for more). But here is one area where the very processing and refining of the grain is a good thing… because doing so removes many of the anti-nutrients.
If you add into this that many people inadvertently go ‘low carb’ when going Paleo (see our Macronutrients page for why Paleo doesn’t automatically mean ‘low-carb’), white rice can be a really useful ingredient to bring back into your diet, particularly if you’re partaking in the activity often associated with Paleo: CrossFit. Why does Rice get a pass and how can you work out if it’s a good thing to bring back into your life (after a process of elimination)? The instructions are on our Paleo Reintroductions page.