Is Tajin Paleo? (& Substitutes)

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You can use tajin to add some taste to a variety of dishes. Find out what its ingredients are and whether this seasoning is considered paleo.

Tajin contains dried chili peppers, dehydrated lime juice, salt, and silicon dioxide (a compound that is present in natural food and water to avoid caking).

For many people, the drying and dehydrating will already make it so tajin does not enter their paleo diets.

However, even if you don’t agree with the things above, there is not much of an argument that silicon dioxide could be extracted from food and water.

In turn, tajin is not paleo.

Is tajin processed?

One of the main guidelines of a paleo, aka paleolithic diet, is avoiding foods that are processed in a way humans in the Paleolithic era would not be able to achieve.

Tajin is made from the following ingredients:

  • Dried chili peppers
  • Dehydrated lime juice
  • Salt
  • Silicon dioxide (a compound that is present in natural food to avoid caking).

You could argue that some more advanced cavemen would be able to dry chili peppers and dehydrate lime juice (if they had these ingredients near).

However, it is hard to say that they would be able to extra silicon dioxide from foods and/or water in the concentrated amounts in tajin.

In short, because it contains processed ingredients, tajin is not paleo.

Does Tajin have sugar?

The Tajin brand claims that one gram (1/4 teaspoon) of its tajin contains the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 0 calories
  • Sodium: 190 mg (8% of the Daily Value)
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Other carbs: 0 grams

This together with the lack of added sugar in the ingredients could make you think that there is literally 0 sugar in tajin.

However, I would assume that due to the dehydrated lime juice, there is at least a little bit of (“natural”) sugar in tajin.

Does that mean tajin is unhealthy?

The main principle behind the paleo diet, or at least eating what ancestors with similar genes as you ate, is that 100’s of thousands of years of evolution is a valuable source of information about what the human body is supposed to eat.

At least more valuable than people claim that just because there is no evidence of a certain food being bad/suboptimal, it also does not cause negative effects.

From this, the main point about tajin being healthy or not would be, because it is not paleo and because there is not sufficient evidence of it not being unhealthy, it could be that tajin is unhealthy.

In simpler words, because there is not enough evidence of no harm, you would assume (at least for now) that more paleo-friendly ingredients would be healthier.

For more specific health goals like losing weight, it is easier to make more precise predictions. Since it does not contain significant amounts of calories, tajin is generally good for weight loss.

Tajin substitutes that are more paleo friendly

Whether or not the substitutes below are paleo depends on your definition of paleo.

You can argue that drying foods and then cutting them into small pieces is paleo-friendly.

However, you can also say that in many areas of the world, many of the unprocessed versions of the foods below were not available.

Additionally, it is also not particularly the way you would normally eat these foods.

That being said, you may find some of the following tajin substitutes more suited for your paleo diet:

  • Paprika powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Dried lime zest
  • More general herbs and spices
  • Salt

Especially the herbs, spices, and salt are generally considered paleo. If you really want to make sure you are following the guidelines from the diet, you would mainly choose these.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.