Question from Sandy A. – Why we can’t eat cheese on the Paleo diet?
This is a common question in the Paleo Recipes and Support Facebook Group so I compiled a list of the answers here in this post so you can read through responses from real people. Have your own questions? Ask them in the above group and see if they get featured in the Paleo Questions category.
My personal take on it – first off, when people ask me the reasoning behind why you can or can’t eat cheese on the Paleo diet, I struggle with exactly how to answer because to even answer it suggests that the Paleo diet is a one-size-fits-all quick-fix diet rather than long-term dietary guidelines that are a guide to help you get started on your individual diet.
Because, yes, I believe every person can and should tailor their diet just for them based on their personal preferences, location, the seasons, genetics, tolerances, short-term and long-term health goals, etc.
So, the point is – #1 be kind to others when they eat differently than you #2 – just because there are general guidelines in a diet it doesn’t mean you need to strictly follow them all the time or forever #3 – think of Paleo as a starting point and work from there to find what works for you.
My personal experience with dairy is that I don’t think that regular, pasteurized dairy is good for our bodies for some of the reasons people cited below, such as the enzymes are heated out of it at high temperatures when it is processed, it is inflammatory, etc. However, some people tolerate it ok but I recommend you remove it from your diet completely for at least two weeks, preferably a month when you first do an elimination diet like Paleo so you can clean it out of your system.
Then you can try to carefully add back the simplest form of dairy (milk) and see how you react – give it three days. If you’re good, you can continue to add in more. Keep in mind though that processed dairy really isn’t good for you in the long run so you should at least try to limit your consumption even if you do seem to tolerate it.
A much better alternative to pasteurized milk is raw milk. Raw milk isn’t available in all states because of the laws and I don’t want to spend this whole post telling you all about it but just know that it’s super awesome because all the good stuff isn’t ruined when it’s heated at high temperatures. So it can actually do some of the things people talk about in the post below, like improve your digestion because of the enzymes in it.
If you want to learn about the benefits of raw milk and other traditional and superfoods then I recommend learning more about Weston A. Price and his work and foundation if you haven’t already.
Sarah B: People in the Paleolithic era did not milk cows or consume milk from another species – only human milk. Therefore, there were no dairy products. Humans are the only animals that drink another species milk, it’s not otherwise found in nature. Millions of people have issues with lactose for this reason – our bodies have tried to adjust to the consumption by producing enzymes to digest another animal’s milk through evolution but the reality is that we are only meant to consume human milk.
Sarah B: You should try Danielle Walker’s paleo cheese sauce recipe; it is SO GOOD. https://againstallgrain.com/…/paleo-dairy-free-nacho…/
Lindsey M: I buy cashew cheese from Whole Foods and it’s good
Diane M: What kind, please
Selena L: I love hearing the scientific side of the diet we follow! It’s fascinating!
Emily N: In the podcasts, she suggests sticking to a2 milk which she gave a few examples of goat, sheep and camel milk and cheeses
Best advice so far!
We stay strict with no gluten or sugar, and we’ve had amazing success!
Some people are really strict and that’s great. Other people can add in a few other food items and still be ok. Either way, it’s still better than the “average” American diet. 😃
Erica M: Mimi L. the problem with some vegan cheese, what’s sold in most stores, is processed and has chemicals. Unless it’s a very naturally made vegan cheese.
All of that aside, good advice.