As a cheese lover, I was wondering if I could still enjoy my favourite dairy product when going on the Carnivore diet. If you have the same question, keep reading to find out if you can eat cheese on the Carnivore diet. You will also get to know the best cheese to satiate your cravings while remaining loyal to your carnivore lifestyle.
Table of Contents
What Is Carnivore Diet?
The word Carnivore means meat-eater, and the Carnivore diet is simply consuming meat and animal products (meat, poultry, seafood, animal organs) with limited amounts of dairy products.
Trying to replicate the primary eating habits of our early ancestors, the Carnivore diet bans fruits, vegetables, grains legumes, and focuses on increasing the intake of protein and fat for optimal health and weight loss.
Some of the reported benefits of this diet include improved digestion, enhanced energy levels, and decreased inflammation. But remember that to have Carnivore as your long-term diet, you need to consult healthcare specialists and consider your body and situation.
As mentioned above, apart from meat and animal products, limited amounts of dairy are also allowed on the Carnivore diet. But what does ‘limited’ mean here? Keep scrolling to find out!
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Dairy Allowed on The Carnivore Diet
Although we mentioned limited dairy product is allowed, it is only permitted in some versions of the Carnivore diet. More strict versions ban dairy altogether.
The versions that allow consuming dairy products let dieters eat high-fat, low-lactose foods, including butter, ghee, heavy cream, and hard cheeses like cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella and aged gouda.
Why are these dairy products allowed, and what is their difference from other dairy products? These types of dairy products contain low levels of carbohydrates and good amounts of fat and protein, making them ideal options for a high-fat, low-carb diet like the Carnivore diet.
However, diet aside, if you’re sensitive or allergic to lactose or casein found in dairy, it'd be good to avoid it altogether and use other sources of fat and protein.
Are You Dairy Intolerant?
A great way to find out if you have any dairy allergies is to start with an elimination Lion Diet. The Lion Diet has become increasingly popular in healing diseases beyond Carnivore.
An elimination Lion Diet involves eating exclusively ruminant animals, water and salt only. Start with 30 days and start introducing a little dairy. If you experience the following, you may have a dairy or cheese intolerance!
One of the dairy products loved by young and old is cheese, and everybody prefers specific kinds of cheese. Let’s see if we can continue our love of cheese on the Carnivore diet or not.
Calories: 431 kcal
Vitamin A: 1017 IU
Vitamin C: 0mg
Can You Eat Cheese on The Carnivore Diet?
Yes, luckily, we can eat cheese on the Carnivore diet as long as it is made from animal products, like cow's milk, goat's milk, or sheep's milk. Cheese is allowed on the Carnivore diet for its high levels of protein and fat, which are much-needed macronutrients in this diet.
However, remember that no diet allows any foods in excess. You need to keep a balanced diet and consult a healthcare professional to determine the amount of cheese you eat based on your body's needs and situation.
Now that we’ve heard the good news about consuming cheese, let’s see what kinds of cheese are allowed on the Carnivore diet.
Types of Cheese Allowed on The Carnivore Diet
Generally, those on the dairy-friendly version of the Carnivore diet can consume three types of cheese, including:
Hard (or semi-hard) Cheeses: Cheddar, Parmesan, Mozzarella and Gouda
Soft Cheeses: Cream Cheese and Cottage Cheese
Blue Cheeses: Roquefort and Gorgonzola
Yes, we can consume all the above types of cheese, but is there a kind better than others for any reason? The following section will tell us.
The Best Cheese on The Carnivore Diet
To see if any type of cheese is better on the Carnivore diet, we need to weigh our options, analyse their positive and potential negative points and choose the best ones that fit our needs and preferences.
Hard Cheeses: Mozzarella, Cheddar, Parmesan
Hard cheeses like mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan contain low levels of lactose and high levels of fat and protein, making them ideal for the Carnivore diet, which prioritises high-fat and low-carb meals.
Also, with a longer shelf life than soft cheeses, hard cheeses are great choices for setting a healthy Carnivore diet meal plan.
Mozzarella is a semi-hard, creamy cheese, low in lactose and carbohydrates. It is rich in calcium and protein (6g per ounce) but contains lower fat than some other types of cheese and can be a great part of many dishes, including pizzas and sandwiches.
Calories: 280 kcal
Vitamin A: 1639 IU
Vitamin C: 0mg
However, mozzarella contains high levels of saturated fat, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Also, it is high in sodium, which can result in high blood pressure in some dieters if used in excess.
Cheddar is a hard cheese with low lactose and carbohydrates and high levels of fat and protein (7g per ounce) and is rich in calcium and vitamin K. also, with a sharp, tangy flavour, Cheddar tastes fantastic with meat.
Calories: 403 kcal
Vitamin A: 315 IU
Vitamin C: 0mg
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However, cheddar is high in saturated fat and contains high levels of calories, and sodium, meaning that dieters at risk of high blood pressure or heart disease must not use it in excess.
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 (10g per ounce).
Its strong, savoury, nutty and salty flavour deepens the taste of meat dishes, but it can be more expensive than other types of cheese allowed on the Carnivore diet.
Also, since it's high in sodium and saturated fat, you need to be careful in eating it to avoid heart disease and high blood pressure.
Soft Cheeses: Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese
Soft cheeses such as cottage cheese and cream cheese are famous for their soft texture and creamy and mild flavour. This type of cheese contains lower levels of sodium and saturated fat than hard cheese.
They can be excellent choices for dieters looking for a lower calorie and fat content in their Carnivore diet cheese.
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.
Calories: 103 kcal
Vitamin A: 97 IU
Vitamin C: 0mg
However, its low levels of fat prevent it from being as filling as some other types of Carnivore diet cheese.
Unlike cottage cheese, cream cheese contains more fat, making it a more satiating option for Carnivore dieters. It is also rich in protein and calcium.
Lower levels of carbohydrates and sugar in cream cheese make it a good option for dieters looking for low-carb foods.
However, cream cheese is known for high levels of calories, which are not suitable for those striving to lose weight using the Carnivore diet.
Calories: 342 kcal
Vitamin A: 955 IU
Vitamin C: 0mg
Also, some kinds of cream cheeses contain added sugar or artificial ingredients, which is against the Carnivore diet rules.
Blue cheese is called “blue” for containing blue or green veins created by kinds of mould, like Penicillium roqueforti or Penicillium glaucum, in the process of cheese-making.
As the cheese ages, the mould grows more, resulting in a pungent and distinct flavour, 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 varities of blue cheese.
Calories: 353 kcal
Vitamin A: 716 IU
Vitamin C: 0mg
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.
However, blue cheese is high in sodium, meaning excess use can contribute to high blood pressure.
Also, since it’s a mould-ripened cheese, dieters who are sensitive or allergic to mould must avoid it. Remember that some kinds of blue cheese contain small amounts of carbohydrates from the mould used in fermentation.
All in all, different types of hard cheese, like mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar, or even gouda, can be considered the best cheese on the Carnivore diet.
Pros of Cheese on The Carnivore Diet
Cheese is delicious, but it’s not the only reason we use it on the Carnivore diet, as it comes with various health benefits as follows.
High Levels of Protein: The Carnivore diet focuses on protein intake, and cheese is a good source of it. Protein helps build and repair body tissues. It also plays a vital role in satiety, which is necessary for weight management.
High Levels of Fat: The Carnivore diet focuses on consuming fat found in cheese as a source of energy and an essential factor in hormone production, brain function, and cellular health.
Nutritional Value: Cheese contains vital nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K2, which contribute to bone health, immune function, and cardiovascular health.
Versatility and Convenience: We can use cheese in various Carnivore dishes, including sandwiches and meat-based meals. Also, with a long shelf life, cheese is easily accessible for meal planning.
Although cheese has the above benefits, nothing is 100% good. We need to know about the potential negative effects of cheese - like anything else - to take the necessary measures to stay healthy.
Cons of Cheese on The Carnivore Diet
Cheese can have the following negative points. But before elaborating on them, we must mention that you need a healthcare professional prior to going on any diet, including the Carnivore.
High Levels of Calories: High levels of calories in many types of cheese can be a concern if you follow the Carnivore diet to lose weight. So, you need to consume it in moderation.
High Levels of Sodium: Cheese, especially processed kinds, contain lots of sodium, which can result in high blood pressure and heart disease if used too much.
Lactose Intolerance: If you’re sensitive or allergic to lactose, you need to avoid cheese, as most types of cheese contain lactose, causing some digestive issues.
So, considering all these positive and negative points, what kinds of cheese are the worst for the Carnivore dieters? Scroll to find out!
The Worst Cheese on The Carnivore Diet
While the Carnivore diet allows various kinds of cheese and is okay with fat and most of the nutrients contained in cheese, some kinds of cheese are not recommended in this diet for their high carbohydrate content.
Processed Cheese: Since processed cheese, e.g., 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.
Flavoured Cheese: Cheese with added flavours may contain 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 the Carnivore diet.
Fresh Cheese: Fresh cheese, like ricotta, is high in lactose and carbohydrates compared to aged or hard cheeses. Also, its moisture content can make it less convenient for meal planning.
The Best Carnivore Recipes with Cheese
To make this process easier and help you add cheese to your Carnivore diet, the following section gives you a free cheese-based meal plan, plus some Carnivore diet recipes containing butter.