A rule of thumb when reading food labels (if a label is available at all!): If you can’t name the plant or animal the ingredient came from, it’s probably not a healthy food. When in doubt, eat more vegetables.
What about calories and fat?
True, the Paleo Diet is generally a lower-carbohydrate way of eating, but that is far from its focus. Paleo discourages counting calories, for the body does not process 100 calories of refined white sugar as it does 100 calories of butternut squash. My advice? Stop counting calories and start reading labels.
There are conflicting opinions in the Paleo community about whether fat intake should be in moderation, or whether it’s safe to consume as much as you’d like. Fat and cholesterol ARE absolutely necessary for healthy hormones, satiety, skin health, and brain function.
That being said, everyone’s biochemistry is different. Your friend might love consuming 4 tablespoons of bacon fat in one meal, but that amount might make you feel sick. As long as the fat comes from a good source—pastured tallow, extra virgin olive oil, or organic avocado oil, to name a few—you may need to experiment to find the right ratio of fat in your meal.