LEAN. As long as it is lean meat than it is good meat. Whenever I think of lean meat my mind automatically goes to chicken. It is cheap and easy to fix. It does, however, get boring. With Paleo, along with lean meats like chicken and turkey, you are encouraged to eat a lot of fish. Fish and other seafood have some of the best percentages of total calories from protein (high) and fat (low). Here are the top ten: (Cordain, page 102)
- Skinless turkey breasts 94%/5%
- Boiled shrimp 90%/10%
- Orange roughy 90%/10%
- Pollock 90%/10%
- Broiled lobster 89%/5%
- Red snapper 87%/13%
- Dungeness crab 86%/10%
- Alaskan king crab legs 85%/15%
- Buffalo roast 84%/16%
- Broiled mackerel 82%/18%
What About Red Meat?
Eat it. There is nothing wrong with eating red meat on the Paleo diet, just make sure it is lean. When you buy red meat make sure to trim all visible fat from it before you cook it. Some of your best bets are sirloin beef steak and lean beef flank steak. If you buy ground beef, make sure it is at least 93% lean. Also, make sure to drain off all fat when it has finished cooking.
What About Eggs?
There is a lot of conflicting information about there about eggs. Yes, they are a great protein source, but they are also high in fat. Cordain recommends limiting your egg consumption to six eggs per week(Cordain page 103). I eat a lot of egg whites and normally discard the yolk. Again, I am not an expert, but if the fat content of the egg is what makes eggs questionable, then try eating egg whites. They are still packed with protein, but with minimal amounts of fat. I will be eating more than six per week, but they will be egg whites. You'll have to make that call on your own.
How Much Meat Can I Eat?
You can eat as much as you want. Again, you'll have to make this call on your own. Every meal with Paleo should incorporate lean meat, veggies and fruit. You cannot only eat meat. Our bodies are not designed on handle only protein. "If protein-dense, extremely lean meats and seafood are your major sources of calories, you will get sick - with nausea, diarrhea and weakness - because your body can't handle this much undiluted protein without something else, either fat or a carbohydrate" (Cordain 101). Be smart. Eat plenty of lean meat, but make sure you are getting your nuts, fruits and veggies.
What Times of Day Should I Eat The Most Protein?
From what I have read so far I recommend you mainly listen to your body. You do need protein with every meal. Post work out meals may need to be a bit more carb heavy (fruits and veggies people!), but still include some lean meat. Breakfast may be a challenge for some of you since our culture promotes a lot of high sugar and starchy meals in the morning. Most Paleolithic people had salmon and crab for breakfast. It will take some getting used to, but starting the day off with some fish or chicken and some fruit is a good way to go.
Tomorrow will be all about fruits and vegetables. Please feel free to post in the comments if you have any questions or if I have maybe stated something incorrectly. I will do my best to find the answers! If you are participating in the challenge, tell us how you are preparing or what you are most concerned about. Are you nervous? Excited? What food do you think will be the hardest for you to give up? Why are you participating? I want this to be an open forum for discussion so we can all learn from each other. Let me know what you think!
I have added a Paleo shopping list to the top right side bar under "What Is Going On?" Take a look.