People always ask me some version of this question. Sometimes it is phrased like “is this okay to eat?” “Is this Paleo?” “Is this bad/good for me?” Perhaps those are not the best questions to be asking. You, as an individual, need to assess where you are and where you are going. Nutrition advice broadly can be prescribed as eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. However, when dealing with the individual not everyone has to adhere so closely to every rule.
Where are you? If you are twenty-something and relatively fit, you have a buffer. You can eat some pizza and drink some beer. You can crush a pint of ice cream. Where do you want to go? If you want to be an extremely competitive athlete then there is less room for pizza, beer, and ice cream. If you are not trying to be super competitive, then it’s okay to make some less awesome food choices.
Conversely, if you are in bad shape and overweight, then you have less wiggle room and need to make better choices more frequently. If your desire is to lose weight, get off the medications, get into better shape, then stay away from dense carbohydrates, processed foods, and sugar-laden snacks. So whether or not you should eat something is more dependent on you and what you are trying to accomplish than the food itself.
It is not enough just say “it’s paleo” or “it’s vegan” or “it’s low-fat” because those are just broad guidelines to guide you toward better choices but they don’t always. For example, people always find a way to get their cheat foods in through loopholes, e.g. Paleo, Vegan or low-fat brownies. Another question you want to ask is how does this food affect me. Everything you eat will have some repercussions. Sometimes we are okay with a tummy ache if we get to eat our ice cream. Sometimes we decide that it is not worth the distress and find an alternative. So when someone asks whether something is Paleo. The more important questions are how does that food affect you? Does it make you sluggish? Bloated? Achy? Gassy? Practicing an elimination diet is a great way to find out if certain categories of foods agree with you. Take grains out of your diet for a month keep track of how you look, feel and perform grain-free. After 30 days slowly add grains back in and see what, if any, side effects come with those grains.