black cup of coffee and coffee beans

Is Coffee Paleo Approved? It Depends.

We ALL love it, but is coffee paleo approved?

This is the question I hope to help you answer through this blog post. As it turns out, there are mixed opinions. It really boils down to which expert you follow and how you decide to drink it.

Some will say coffee is NOT paleo approved because it can be loaded with sugar and caffein, which are both no-no’s in the paleo world. Others claim that coffee is just fine with moderate consumption prepared with no sugars or artificial sweeteners.

But we still are left with the question, is coffee paleo approved? Yes and no!

Read on to find out more!

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet is a nutritional diet that focuses on eating foods that can be hunted or gathered. It excludes all grains, legumes, dairy products, salt and refined sugars. The idea behind this diet is to eat as our ancestors did before the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago.

Paleo is high in protein, moderate in fat, low to moderate in carbohydrates, high in fiber, low in sodium, and zero refined sugars.

The diet was designed to mimic the diet that would have been available to our Paleolithic ancestors. Before modern day food processing and industrial agriculture, people ate foods that were meant for the human body to digest.

There is some debate however on the paleo diet

  • What foods actually existed and were consumed during this time
  • The availability of foods in certain regions (tropic vs arctic)
  • Modern day fruits and vegetables vs prehistoric
  • what’s included and not included
is coffee paleo approved

What can you eat and not eat on the paleo diet?

There is no one true Paleo diet. There are so many experts that have different takes on the subject. However, there are certain characteristics that remain true across all boards.

Foods Allowed on Paleo

  • Lean Meats
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Fruits and Vegetables (low glycemic)
  • Unrefined oils, such as olive and coconut
  • Honey (sparingly)
  • Root Vegetables

Foods Not Allowed on Paleo

  • White Potatoes (high glycemic)
  • Processed foods
  • Whole grains
  • Cereal
  • Refined grains
  • Sugar (added) and artificial sweeteners
  • Dairy
  • Legumes
  • Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Refined oils, such as canola and vegetable

Is Coffee Paleo Approved?

Let’s take a look at what different experts say.

Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution, is a proponent of drinking coffee on the Paleo diet. However, it varies by person. You need to step back and take a look at why you are drinking coffee in the first place.

  1. Do you actually enjoy coffee for all its glory in taste, smell, and the experience?
  2. Are you dependent upon it to keep you going throughout the day?
  3. Are you a Starbucks coffee drinking and need the mocha with extra sprinkles and whipped cream?

Unless you fall into the first category, you may want to refrain from coffee for at least 30 days. After all, one of the purposes of the paleo diet is to stabilize blood sugar levels, allowing for sustained energy throughout the day.

Loren Cordain, founder of the Paleo diet, answer the question, Is Coffee Paleo Approved, with this:

Coffee should be excluded by anyone seeking to achieve the most out of their Paleo lifestyle. The Paleo Diet focuses on eating nutrient dense, naturally occurring, anti-inflammatory foods that promote overall wellness and sustained levels of energy.

So, if you want the full effect of Paleo, it might be best to abstain.

Mark Sisson, New York Times bestselling author of Keto for Life, combines keto with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health. He discusses that coffee is more than just caffeine, it’s a whole plant that can aid with weight loss and protect against Type II Diabetes.

Here’s my final word on whether coffee is paleo approved

Coffee IS paleo approved if you’re not dousing it with sugar and creamer and you enjoy it rather than use it as a dependent to keep you awake throughout the day.


Can you have bulletproof coffee on paleo?

What exactly is bulletproof coffee? It’s a mixture of coffee with butter and medium chain triglyceride oil (MCT) that are blended together into an emulsion called “Bulletproof Coffee.” The idea behind Bulletproof Coffee was to combine two healthy fats to create an energizing beverage that helps you stay focused without jitters or crashes!

Paleo is naturally low-carb, so healthy fats must make up the majority of the fuel source. And it’s the perfect way to start the day!

One note: in order for the bulletproof coffee to be paleo approved, make sure you use grass fed butter. Butter itself is not paleo due to the milk solids, however, grass fed butter, the solids have been removed.

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How do you sweeten coffee on paleo?

So how do you sweeten coffee on paleo without adding in ridiculous amounts of sugar and milk?

Well, as it turns out, there are lots of ways!

  • Nutmeg
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Pie spice
  • Paleo approved sweeteners
  • Non-Dairy milk, such as Almond

It could take some getting used too, especially if you are new to Paleo, but in time, I’m sure you’ll find these pleasant enough!

Is there a paleo coffee creamer?

I haven’t been able to find specific paleo approved coffee creamers, but there are several other ways to add some life to your morning coffee!

Monk Fruit Sweetener is derived from the Monk Fruit found in Southeast Asia. It is a zero calorie and is considered low glycemic. Just make sure to not get a brand full of artificial sweeteners. Lakanto is one of my favorites.

Is Starbucks Coffee Paleo?

If you have to ask this question, the answer is probably no, Starbucks coffee is not paleo approved. But, as mentioned above, it depends on how you drink it. If you’re going for a sugar filled mocha, it is definitely not paleo. If you’re after a black cup of joe on your way to work, you’re probably safe.

I hope this has helped shed some light on whether coffee is paleo approved or not. Here’s the bottom line. Drink coffee is low moderation. Keep the sugar out along with artificial sweeteners. Enjoy the aromatic experience of coffee itself. And you can’t go wrong!

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