The carnivore diet has become increasingly popular in recent years, as people look for ways to optimize their health and well-being.
On the carnivore diet, you’ll consume a variety of animal-based foods such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and pork. But, what about cheese? Can cheese be included as part of a carnivore diet?
In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of eating cheese on carnivore diet and provide some tips for choosing the best cheese.
If you want to skip right to the list of the top 10 cheeses for a carnivore diet, click here.
Why You Should Eat Cheese On A Carnivore Diet
Here are all the reasons why cheese can and should be part of your carnivore diet:
1. Cheese Is Nutrient-Dense
Cheese is an excellent source of protein and fat, as well as important vitamins and minerals such as calcium and Vitamin K2.
When you eat cheese, you are getting a great deal of macro- and micronutrients that will fuel your body and provide it with the energy it needs to get through the day.
No one argues that meat is the most nutrient-dense food around, but cheese is not far behind.
2. Cheese Is Delicous
There are so many types and varieties of cheese, it’s almost impossible not to find one that satisfies your palate.
Whether it’s the soft and creamy texture of brie or the salty and pungent flavor of blue cheese, there’s something for everyone.
Many people, including me- find the combination of meat and cheese simply irresistible!
If you are also eating fish on the carnivore diet, then cheese pairs perfectly with it too.
3. It Can Improve Digestion
While for some people (especially those with lactose intolerance) dairy may be hard to digest, for many others, adding cheese to a carnivore diet can help to improve digestion.
Cheese provides beneficial bacteria, as well as calcium and other minerals, which play a role in the healthy functioning of the digestive tract.
Moderation is key- some people find that moderate amounts of dairy improve their overall digestive health, but once they eat too much of it- they expirience constipation and other digestive issues.
4. It Can Help You Stick To This Way Of Eating
The carnivore diet is a strict diet. Eating meat, eggs, and other animal-based products all the time is tasty and fun.
But after a long time, some people start feeling “bored”. Also, when going out with friends or family- you might find it hard to find something to eat.
By including cheese in your meals, you can add more variety and make it easier to stick to this way of eating.
It’s much better to eat some high-quality brie or blue cheese than binge on processed snacks.
5. Great Source of Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is a very important nutrient, which has been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved bone and heart health.
There are many Vitamin K2 supplaments on the market, but from my expirience- these can cause side effects such as heart papilations.
Why take supplaments, when you can get your Vitamin K2 from cheese? Many types of cheese are great sources of Vitamin K2.
6. Good Source Of CLA
Cheese (espeically cheese made from grassfed milk) is a good source of linoleic acid (CLA), which has many benefits for health.
Reasons To Avoid Cheese On The Carnivore Diet
As I showed, cheese on carnivore diet can have many health benefits, however, there are a few reasons to consider avoiding cheese on the carnivore diet. Here are the main ones:
1. Some People Can’t Digest Dairy Well
People with lactose intolerance will need to avoid cheese in their carnivore diet, as they will be unable to digest the lactose in cheese.
There are also many people that were not diagnosed with lactose intolerance but still expirience problems digesting dairy.
For these individuals, eating dairy such as cheese can cause digestive upset, bloating, and gas.
2. Cheese Is Addictive
There are some studies that show that cheese triggers the same part of the brain as many drugs.
Casein, which is a protein found in dairy products, can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors causing a feeling of pleasure.
Some people are more sensitive to these effects than others. If you find yourself eating a pound of cheese a day (like I did!) then it’s very possible that you are addicted!
Eating cheese without being able to stop, can cause weight gain and other health issues.
3. Cheese Can Cause Constipation
Some find eating cheese on a carnivore diet to be problematic because it can lead to constipation.
This is not something all people on a carnivore diet experience, but it is something to be aware of and to consider if you are having digestive issues.
It can also depend on the amount and type of cheese you are eating.
4. Cheese Can Cause Weight Gain
Many cheeses are very high in fat. Adding “just” a piece of cheese to our meals, can add significant amounts of fat to our diet, which we wouldn’t otherwise have eating meat.
Many people can’t overeat fatty meat, but when it comes to cheese, it’s different.
I found myself many times FULL after a big steak, not being able to think about eating more.
But, when I think about cheese at that moment, some kind of magic happens and I definitely can have a slice.
If you gain weight on a carnivore diet, consider that the cheese may be playing a big role in that. Try reducing the amount of cheese, or avoid it all together.
Best Cheese For Carnivore Diet
Almost all types of cheese can be included in a carnivore diet, but you can use this carnivore diet cheese list to make sure that you are eating the healthiest cheese for a carnivore diet.
Cheddar is a natural, relatively hard cheese with a sharp flavor. It originates from the English village of Cheddar in Somerset.
Cheddar is a very popular cheese, and it’s perfect for any carnivore diet.
A 3.5oz (100g) serving of Chedder cheese provides 33g of fat, and 25g of protein. It’s rich in Calcium and contains just 1.5 of carbs per serving.
Parmesan is an Italian hard, granular cheese and is an excellent choice for a carnivore diet.
It is aged for 12 months or more, reducing its lactose content which makes it easier to digest.
A 3.5 oz (100g) serving of Parmesan cheese provides 28g of fat, and 35g of protein. It is also a good source of calcium and other minerals.
3. Gouda Cheese
This sweet, creamy cheese originates from the Netherlands and is one of the most popular cheeses in the world.
Aged gouda is also a popular choice. A 3.5 oz (100g) serving of Gouda cheese provides 27g of fat, 25g of protein, and just 2g of carbs. This makes it a great choice for those following a carnivore diet.
Brie is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk. It is pale in color. It’s also one of the most popular cheese choices on the carnivore diet.
Its taste is nutty and fruity with a hint of buttery and earthy flavor. A 3.5 oz(100g) serving of brie cheese provides 28g of fat, 21g of protein, and 0.5g of carbs.
This cheese originates from Spain. It’s made from the milk of sheep, and it’s aged for up to 2 years (reducing its lactose content).
This chees has an intense and zesty taste and crumbly texture. A 3.5oz (100g) serving of Manchego cheese provides 33g of fat, 23g of protein, and 0g of carbohydrates.
6. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese is a soft, mild-tasting fresh cheese that is made from milk and cream.
A 3.5oz (100g) serving of cream cheese provides 34g of fat, 6g of protein, and 4g of carbohydrates.
It contains more carbs than hard cheese, but it is still a suitable cheese to eat on a carnivore diet.
Gorgonzola is an Italian veined blue cheese. It’s made from unskimmed cow’s milk and has a buttery texture with a salty bite and a distinctive funky smell.
It’s a special cheese, which some people love (I’m one of those) and some just can’t stand it.
A 3.5oz (100g) serving of this cheese provides 29g of fat, 22g of protein, and 2g of carbohydrate.
This moist, creamy and soft cheese is made from cow’s milk- and it’s perfect for the carnivore diet.
The high fat content of Camembert allows it to pair perfectly with the high-fat staples of the carnivore diet.
A 3.5oz (100g) serving of Camembert provides 24g of fat, 20g of protein, and 0.5g of carbs.
This cheese is made from the milk of sheep, and it originates from Southern France.
It is known for its sharp, tangy flavor and creamy texture. It is best served when crumbed , but can be used in a variety of dishes.
A 3.5oz (100g) serving of Roquefort cheese provides 31g of fat, 22g of protein and 2g of carbs.
10. Muenster Cheese
Muenster (or munster) is a semi-soft cheese from USA. The flavor of this unique (and delicious) cheese can be described as mushroomy, eggy, garlicky, nutty, milky, and grassy.
A 3.5oz (100g) serving of Muenster cheese provides 30g of fat, 23g of protein, and 1g of carbs.
Cottage Cheese On Carnivore Diet
Cottage cheese is a curdled milk product with a mild flavor and a creamy texture.
A 3.5oz (100g) serving of cottage cheese provides 4.5g of fat, 11g of protein, and 3.5g of carbs.
Cottage cheese can be eaten on the carnivore diet, but since it’s not very low in carbs, it should be consumed in moderation.
As I showed, carnivore diet and cheese can defiantly go together. Cheese has many health benefits, as well as negative points which should be kept in mind.
I hope my explanation helped you decide if you should add cheese to your carnivore diet or not.
I also hope you make good use of my list of best cheese for carnivore diet, to make sure you choose the right one!