Paleo Kosher, Paleo Halal, and Other Religious… | The Paleo Diet®
noun_Search_345985 Created with Sketch.
noun_Search_345985 Created with Sketch.

The latest from The Paleo Diet®, just for you.

Hot topics, new recipes, and science

Paleo Kosher, Paleo Halal, and Other Religious Dietary Restrictions

By Christopher Clark
December 31, 2014
Paleo Kosher, Paleo Halal, and Other Religious Dietary Restrictions image

The world’s major religions came along thousands of years after the Paleolithic era ended. Each religion set forth different dietary laws, guidelines, and restrictions. Today, The Paleo Diet® is helping millions of people globally achieve their health goals. These people have reverted to pre-religious era diets, but can the modern Paleo Diet be adapted to harmonize with religious dietary restrictions?

Is Paleo Kosher possible? Can practicing-Muslims, -Catholics, and -Hindus follow the Paleo Diet? For the most part, yes, such adaptations are possible, simple, and straightforward. And for Hindus and devotees of other religions advocating vegetarianism, certain aspects of the Paleo Diet can significantly improve these diets, from a nutritional perspective.

Judaism/Kosher

Kosher laws are extremely complex, but generally include restrictions on how animals are slaughtered, which animals/birds/seafood can be eaten, and which animal parts can be eaten. Pork products and shellfish are generally forbidden. There are also restrictions on consuming meat and dairy at the same meal. As The Paleo Diet eliminates dairy, this latter restriction is easily satisfied. In lieu of pork, you can consume kosher cuts of other animals, including beef, lamb, and fowl. Shellfish are off the menu, but you can consume most other marine life. Kosher laws do, however, forbid fish without fins and scales. Most commercially available fish are acceptable, but certain species, including catfish, marlin, eel, stingray, swordfish, and turbot are not permitted.

Organ meats are, of course, a mainstay of the Paleo Diet. Organ meats can be kosher, but must come from kosher animals and must be properly prepared. For example, kosher laws prohibit the consumption of blood. Removing blood from muscle meats is accomplished by soaking the meat in water, salting it, then re-soaking. Liver and other organs, however, contain larger amounts of blood and thus must be made kosher by special broiling techniques. To be sure, buy meat and organ meats from kosher butchers or buy kosher-labeled products from your supermarket, marked with the OK or OU Kosher Certification symbols.

Additionally, we recommend the consumption of grass-fed/pastured animals as opposed to grain-fed animals. Grass-fed beef generally isn’t kosher, but there are some progressive companies raising pastured animals and slaughtering them in accordance with kosher principles.

Islam

Eating Paleo should pose no problems for Muslims. As with Judaism, pork products are off the menu, but other animal foods, including beef, lamb, and fowl, can easily compensate. Islam requires all animal foods to be halal. This is a set of guidelines similar to kosher guidelines, including restrictions on blood. For halal products, visit a halal butcher or look for halal-labeled products, marked with the IFANCA halal symbol.

Catholicism

Catholics will have no trouble following the Paleo Diet. The only restrictions would be during Lent when meat is forbidden on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays. On these days, you’ll simply want to consume eggs or fish instead of the meat you might have otherwise consumed.

Hinduism

Vegetarianism is required under most interpretations of Hinduism, as well as several other religions, including Buddhism (sometimes, but not always), Seventh Day Adventism, and Jainism. When meat, fish, and eggs are removed from the menu, dairy and legumes become more or less essential. These religions, therefore, are not particularly well suited to the Paleo Diet. Nevertheless, the Paleo Diet offers important insights, which can dramatically improve vegetarian diets, from a nutritional perspective.

The Paleo Diet, for example, discourages the use of industrial seed oils and oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids. These include corn, soybean, canola, grapeseed, peanut, sunflower, safflower, and canola oils. Vegetarians could greatly improve their health by eliminating these oils and instead opting for Paleo-approved oils, including olive, coconut, avocado, and macadamia.

Even More Articles For You

Probiotics, Paleo, and Gut Health
Adopting a Paleo lifestyle promotes a healthy gut microbiome, but certain medical conditions require additional supplementation of natural probiotics.
By Christopher Clark
Going Beyond the “Beyond Burger”: Do you really know what’s behind the craze and the glittery curtain?
The Beyond Meat burger is all the craze right now tasting like a real meat burger. But is it a Paleo option and most importantly is it healthy?
By Bill Manci
Schizophrenia and The Paleo Diet
With a growing rate of schizophrenia worldwide, any measures that may help improve this, should be considered - could adopting a Paleo lifestyle help?
By Casey Thaler
Paleo Leadership
 
Trevor Connor
Trevor Connor

Dr. Loren Cordain’s final graduate student, Trevor Connor, M.S., brings more than a decade of nutrition and physiology expertise to spearhead the new Paleo Diet team.

Mark J Smith
Dr. Mark Smith

One of the original members of the Paleo movement, Mark J. Smith, Ph.D., has spent nearly 30 years advocating for the benefits of Paleo nutrition.

Nell Stephenson
Nell Stephenson

Ironman athlete, mom, author, and nutrition blogger Nell Stephenson has been an influential member of the Paleo movement for over a decade.

Loren Cordain
Dr. Loren Cordain

As a professor at Colorado State University, Dr. Loren Cordain developed The Paleo Diet® through decades of research and collaboration with fellow scientists around the world.