Is Oatmeal Paleo?

Oats
Oats are a grain and therefore not allowed on a strict Paleo diet. Getty Images/Image Source

Oats are grain. Since the Paleo diet does not allow grains, oatmeal is not a Paleo approved food.

All About Paleo

The idea behind a Paleo diet is that it is based on foods that are presumed to have been eaten during the Paleolithic area. This ranges from 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. Typically, the diet includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The foods could all be obtained by hunting and gathering. For those following a Paleo diet, they will typically avoid eating grains (wheat, oats, and barley), legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts, and peas), dairy, refined sugar, salt, potatoes, and processed foods. At the most basic level, if the food looks like it was made in a factory, it is not an approved food for the Paleo diet.

Some people adhere to Paleo eating to lose weight, eat better, or just prefer the strict dietary guidelines.

Oatmeal Alternatives 

If you are following a strict Paleo diet but are craving some hearty breakfast items, there are still some really good choices that will taste great and fill you up. Eggs are a very common breakfast food and acceptable (and encouraged) on a Paleo diet.

  • If you like a sweet breakfast, try a sunrise scramble. This mixes scrambled eggs with diced apples and cinnamon. It will fill you up and provide a sweet, warming flavor to your morning.
  • A crustless quiche is a great way to load up on veggies early in the morning. This quiche has the flavor of a traditional egg pie, but without the crust, which is not Paleo approved. Any leftovers are great served room temperature with a side salad or vegetables on the side.

If you really are craving oatmeal, consider a Paleo oatmeal that is made with coconut flour, shredded coconut, and coconut milk. You can even add fruit or sliced bananas. For other breakfast ideas, it is helpful to look at the many Paleo resources (including books, websites, and more) for menu planning and meal ideas. While it may seem to be a lot of repetition, small changes can make your meals tasty and creative.

Paleo Concerns to Be Aware Of

If you are following a strict Paleo diet, be aware that by avoiding whole grains and legumes, you may be lacking in dietary fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients. Also, by avoiding all dairy, you may be lacking in protein and calcium. There are no long-term studies on medical or health benefits (or drawbacks) of a Paleo diet. It's best to speak with a nutritionist or doctor if you are looking to lose a large amount of weight or drastically change your diet. The Paleo diet can be hard to maintain for the long term and the focus on wild game, grass-fed animals, and nuts can actually become quite expensive.