No, vinegar is not part of the Paleo diet.

I just received an inquiry the other day from someone who’d purchased one of my download plans, asking why there was no vinegar on it.

So what’s the deal with vinegar?

A few things:

  • The Paleo diet is an anti inflammatory way of eating, using a net alkaline food plan.  Vinegar is acetic acid, so not conducive of promoting a basic pH.
  • Vinegar contains yeast.   Yeast is not something we want to intentionally put into our bodies, especially since many people are working to get over a yeast overgrowth condition in their gut.  (So how is the occasional glass of wine ok, then?  The amount of yeast that remains in the final product after the wine making process is very, very small compared to vinegar.  However, those with yeast in their gut would likely still want to avoid wine.)
  • Paleolithic people didn’t likely ferment their food; the idea is to base what we eat on the food groups they consumed.

But what about cider vinegar?  Hasn’t it got tons of health benefits?

Yes, there are many studies that indicate cider vinegar may be helpful with certain health issues; that still doesn’t mean it’s Paleo.  Just like plain kombucha, which also has studies showing it to be a helpful part of dealing with various health problems; one might choose to add a little splash of vinegar to their salad dressing or drink a kombucha as a source of probiotics after taking a course of penicillin to treat an ear infection, for example, but again, that does not mean those two foods are Paleo.

There are far worse things one might integrate into their diet that are not Paleo, and I’d be far less worried if a client told me they’d used balsamic on their salad along with olive oil compared to if they told me they’d eaten bread and and butter before dinner.

Just stating the facts here!

It’s quite important to me to continue to promote True Paleo, less the lines become more and more blurred with all the new cookbooks, blogs and books popping up out of the woodwork that do not.