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Cheese on The Carnivore Diet: Yes or NO? Best and Worst Cheese

Can you eat cheese on the Carnivore diet? This is what many beginners to the Carnivore diet want to know, wondering if cheese can affect their results. If you’re new to the Carnivore diet and worry about the effects of cheese, this article will help you learn the best and worst kinds of cheese on Carnivore, plus easy and affordable Carnivore recipes with cheese.

Cheese on The Carnivore Diet: Yes or NO? Best and Worst Cheese
Highlights

Can You Eat Cheese on the Carnivore Diet?

Yes, you can eat cheese on the Carnivore diet as it’s an animal product. The Carnivore diet allows all animal-based foods like meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, and some dairy like cheese and butter and excludes all plant-based foods like veggies, fruits, grains, etc.

While some strict Carnivores believe that dairy products must all be excluded, we believe if you are starting Carnivore, cheese is fine because you are trying to stick to the Carnivore diet and focus on progress, not perfection!

Also, cheese can provide various health benefits and even boost our Carnivore results.

The Benefits of Cheese on the Carnivore Diet

Cheese is delicious and can be a part of so many Carnivore recipes. It can be part of a healthy diet [1] and help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Let’s take a look at the main benefits of cheese.

Cheese Is High in Protein and Nutrients

Cheese contains various nutrients, including proteins, fat, bioactive peptides, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals [2]. It can also increase the rates of muscle protein synthesis [3].

Cheese Contains High Levels of Fat

The fat found in cheese can be a healthy source of energy and an essential factor in hormone production, brain function, and cellular health.

Cheese Can Help Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

Cheese can significantly decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing inflammation. Also, lactic acid bacteria and bioactive molecules found in fermented foods positively affect the viability and composition of the gut microbiota and impact gene expression linked with glucose and insulin metabolism [4] [5].

Learn more: Is Cream Cheese Keto? The Best Keto Cream Cheese

Cheese Reduces Blood Pressure

Meta-analyses and observational studies show that consuming cheese can have positive effects on lowering the risk of hypertension, which may be a result of decreased BMI, waist circumference, triglycerides, and fasting glucose [6] [7].

Cheese Can Help Weight Loss

Consuming whole-fat dairy foods does not cause weight gain, despite what some may think. Cheese as an added fat source to your Carnivore meal provides more satiety, and fat makes you full for longer, leading to weight loss.

Also, consuming dairy can help increase lean body mass and decrease body fat [8].

Cheese Can Support Heart Health

While many may think cheese can cause high blood pressure due to its high sodium and saturated fat content, studies show that cheese does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and can actually help lower the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality [9].

Cheese Is Good for Bone, Dental, and Digestive Health

High levels of calcium and vitamins K and D found in cheese can have positive effects on supporting bones, teeth, and the digestive system [10].

What about the effects of cheese on the Carnivore diet?

Learn more: Milk on the Carnivore Diet: Can You Drink It?

Can Cheese Negatively Affect My Carnivore Results?

No, cheese does not negatively affect your Carnivore results as long as you consume it in moderation and consider its calorie levels.

A great tip is to eat cheese as a dessert for your main meal or as a side, as it will help increase satiety and lower the overall calorie intake.

So, if we are just monitoring our caloric intake, can we consume all kinds of cheese on the Carnivore diet? Well, no!

Types of Cheese Allowed on the Carnivore Diet

Generally, you can eat three kinds of cheese on the Carnivore diet:

  • Hard (or semi-hard) Cheeses: Cheddar, Parmesan, Mozzarella and Gouda
  • Soft Cheeses: Cream Cheese and Cottage Cheese
  • Blue Cheeses: Roquefort and Gorgonzola

But the question is, which ones are better?

The Best Cheese on the Carnivore Diet

Although cheese is generally allowed on the Carnivore diet, some kinds of cheese are more compatible with the Carnivore diet rules.

The following table compares the nutrients in different types of cheese based on the USDA information to help you choose the ones that best fit your dietary plans.

Remember that low-carb, low-calorie, high-fat, and high-protein cheeses are better on the Carnivore diet.

Nutrient (per 100g) Cheddar Parmesan Mozzarella Gouda Cream Cheese Cottage Cheese Roquefort Gorgonzola
Calories (kcal) 403 420 296 356 343 103 369 353
Protein (g) 24.9 29.6 23.7 24.9 5.79 11.6 21 21
Total Fat (g) 33.1 28 20.4 27.5 33.5 4.22 30 29
Saturated Fat (g) 20.8 15.5 11.7 17.6 19.7 2.6 19 19
Carbohydrates (g) 1.3 12.4 4.4 2 4.56 4.6 2 4.1
Sugars (g) 0.5 0.07 1.81 0.1 3.5 2.7 0.5 1
Calcium (mg) 721 884 693 738 97 88 507 378
Sodium (mg) 621 1750 699 819 368 350 1809 702
Vitamin A (µg) 1050 228 203 753 274 36 1104 1121
Vitamin D (µg) 12 0 0 0 2 0 73 0
Vitamin B12 (µg) 1.2 1.35 1.65 1.4 0.44 0.66 3.5 2.4
Phosphorus (mg) 512 634 533 500 108 154 337 378
Selenium (µg) 18.2 35 26.7 22.7 3.7 12.4 14.2 16.7

Let’s take a closer look at some of these kinds of cheese allowed on the Carnivore diet.

Mozzarella

Mozzarella is a semi-hard, creamy cheese, low in lactose and carbohydrates. It is rich in calcium and protein and can be a great part of many Carnivore dishes, including pizzas and sandwiches.

Cheddar

Cheddar is a hard cheese with low levels of lactose and carbohydrates and high amounts of fat, protein, calcium, and vitamin K. With a sharp, tangy flavor, Cheddar tastes fantastic with meat.

Parmesan

Parmesan is a hard, aged cheese that is low in lactose and carbohydrates but high in fat and is a good source of calcium, vitamin A, and protein.

Its strong, savory, nutty, and salty flavor deepens the taste of meat dishes, but it can be more expensive than other types of cheese allowed on the Carnivore diet.

Learn More: The Carnivore Diet and Skin: How Can Carnivore Improve Skin Health?

Cottage

Cottage cheese contains good levels of protein and is low in lactose and carbohydrates. If you are sensitive or allergic to lactose, cottage cheese can be ideal for you as it’s a lot easier to digest. It can also be used as a base for dips, spreads, and sauces.

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese contains significantly more fat than cottage cheese, so it’s a more satiating option for those on a Carnivore diet. It is also rich in protein and calcium.

Lower levels of carbohydrates and sugar in cream cheese make it a good option for those looking for low-carb foods.

Blue Cheese

Blue cheese is called “blue” for containing blue or green veins created by kinds of mold, like Penicillium roqueforti or Penicillium glaucum, in the process of cheese-making.

As the cheese ages, the mold grows more, resulting in a pungent and distinct flavor, which makes it ideal for steak or burger topping. You can also eat it with bread or crackers as a snack. Roquefort, Gorgonzola, and Stilton are varieties of blue cheese.

Like many other types of cheese allowed on the Carnivore diet, blue cheese is satiating as it contains high levels of fat. It is also low in carbohydrates and rich in protein and calcium.

If you’re sensitive or allergic to mold, blue cheese cannot be the best for you, as it’s mold-ripened. Also, please note that some kinds of blue cheese contain small amounts of carbohydrates from the mold used in fermentation.

So, which kinds of cheese are not in line with the rules of the Carnivore diet?

Learn More: Can You Have Hot Sauce on a Carnivore Diet?

The Worst Cheese on the Carnivore Diet

Cheeses with high levels of carbohydrates, like the examples below, are not allowed on the Carnivore diet.

  • Processed Cheese: Since processed cheese, such as American cheese, contains additives and preservatives, which are high in carbohydrates and low in protein, it is not a good fit for the Carnivore diet.
  • Flavored Cheese: Cheese with added flavors contains added sugar or herbs/ fruits, which are not allowed on the Carnivore diet.
  • Low-fat Cheese: Cheese that contains low levels of fat can have lower calorie content, but it is often full of carbohydrates, i.e., it's not satiating enough for those on the Carnivore diet.
  • Fresh Cheese: Fresh cheese, like ricotta, is high in lactose and carbohydrates compared to aged or hard cheeses.

Now we know that consuming moderate amounts of low-carb, low-calorie cheese is allowed on the Carnivore diet and can also positively affect weight loss through increased satiety and help us improve our health.

But the question is how to add cheese to our Carnivore diet meals. Well, we need some Carnivore-friendly recipes containing cheese.

The Best Carnivore Recipes with Cheese

These Carnivore diet recipes contain cheese or are based on cheese. Use them and enjoy!

Summary

Cheese is rich in fat and protein, two micronutrients necessary in the Carnivore diet. Hard cheese can be a good option for the Carnivore diet, and processed cheese can be considered the worst. 

Cheese is a nutritious and animal-based food we can use in various forms in the Carnivore diet. The most important tip to remember about cheese is to consume it in moderation. Also, consider its caloric content when adding it to your Carnivore meals.

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