One of the things you vow to give up when you live a paleo lifestyle is cheese. Cheese of all kinds plus every other dairy product, of course, is off-limits when it comes to the paleo diet. Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask, is blue cheese paleo friendly?
Cheese is a grey area (dark grey, if you will) as it is a dairy product. Eating dairy can and will cause irritation and inflammation, so blue cheese shouldn’t even be up for debate.
One of the benefits of the paleo diet is to help reduce inflammation.
However, if you really can not resist the urge, then there are some guidelines for eating blue cheese “the right way” while you’re on your paleo diet after that, I’ll recommend a few blue cheese “alternatives” for those who can’t stomach lactose at all, not even on their cheat day.
To learn more about the paleo diet check out my other article Complete Beginners Guide To The Paleo Diet – 7 Day Meal Plan.
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How To Eat Blue Cheese On A Paleo Diet
Keep in mind that you can still get sick from cheese if you’re severely lactose intolerant. If you’re not, there are ways to sneak it into your paleo diet every once in a while.
Here’s what you should do.
1. Start By Removing All Dairy From Your Diet
Counterintuitive as it sounds, the first step is to get rid of all dairy from your pantry. Why is this important? Because you need to know how your body feels without dairy to understand whether you can handle blue cheese.
Generally speaking, dairy isn’t all that bad except when it’s pasteurized or homogenized. However, to get an accurate assessment of how it affects you, you’ll need to quit dairy entirely—at least for a month or two.
This way, you can tell the difference in how you feel when you reintroduce it.
2. Slowly Reintroduce Dairy To Your Diet
We can debate about blue cheese being paleo-friendly all day, but ultimately, cheese is still dairy.
Several types of cheese may have low lactose concentrations, but none of them has zero lactose. Not everyone is lactose-intolerant, so if you are, you’ll need to start slow when reintroducing blue cheese into your diet.
3. Blue Cheese Made With Raw Milk Only
Unfortunately, most of the cheese you’ll find in stores is made from pasteurized and homogenized milk. Dairy is good only when it comes from raw milk. You may have to go beyond your local grocery store to find blue cheese that’s made from raw milk, but it’s well worth the hassle.
When milk is purified through those processes (pasteurization and homogenization), it loses a lot of bacteria and enzymes. This microbial life is perfect for gut health and makes dairy entirely worth it, even if you’re on a paleo diet.
Alternatives For Blue Cheese While On The Paleo Diet
Dairy-Free Blue Cheese Dip
If dairy is an absolute no-go zone for you, here’s a non-dairy alternative you can try.
It’s made with coconut butter and lemon and tastes just like blue cheese made from milk. Furthermore, it is 100 % vegan, plus it only takes a couple of minutes to prepare.
It also contains a touch of apple cider vinegar, garlic, and nutritional yeast, so it’s quite a nutritious dip for your healthy paleo-friendly snacks. All you need is a blender to make this homemade dairy-free blue cheese.
Raw Milk Blue Cheese
If you must eat blue cheese, at least make sure it’s from raw milk. That way, you get all the nutritional benefits of dairy, a large part of which is the bacteria and enzymes it contains that nourish your gut bacteria.
Let’s get one thing clear: blue cheese is NOT paleo-friendly. No dairy product is. So, consider this your cheat day snack, and such cheat days should not come around often. Here is a simple homemade recipe for blue cheese dressing and dip that you can try.
Remember, raw milk or no milk at all while living a paleo lifestyle.