Paleo regime is a great way to boost your immune system, detox your body, and enhance your overall health condition. On the other hand, Paleo requires you to give up on many yummy foods such as pasta, bread, grains, sugar, snacks, and my all-time favorite dairy products.
I can go without milk in my coffee, and I can go without cereal for breakfast; hell, I can even give up on sweets as long as I can munch on fruits instead. I can make some healthy pasta substitutes. But how can I live without cheese? How can I give up on something so creamy and delicious such as yogurt?
Well, should I? Is Paleo so strict?
If you are a dairy lover, as much as I am, I bet you are yearning to find out can you eat yogurt on the Paleo diet? So let’s not wait a minute longer and solve this mystery.
Let’s Cut To The Chase: Can You Eat Yogurt On Paleo?
Here is a short and unfortunate answer – NO, you can’t eat yogurt on this diet. Like, not even in small amounts, it is just not right. All dairy products are forbidden in this regime completely, and you will need to find an adequate substitution for them.
Why Is Yogurt Not Paleo?
As we all know, yogurt is a form of dairy, and almost all dairy is off-limits, and here I will list all the reasons why:
- First of all, it is not natural for humans to consume dairy, which comes from cows, sheep, and goats. How can I say that? Well, humans are only supposed to consume milk from their mothers when nursed as infants.
- Second, dairy has to go through so many processes in order to become edible. This means it can’t be used on Paleo since it was not available to a caveman. Also, at that time, animals like goats, sheep, and cows were not domesticated; therefore, they did not milk them.
- I bet you all heard that dairy consumption was linked to developing some very serious chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
- It’s believed that around 65% of humans are somewhat allergic to dairy products. Usually on cow’s milk since we are not designed to digest the lactose, a type of sugar present in milk, properly.
- The quality of dairy nowadays is usually very poor, and it is usually filled with added sugar. The biggest problem is that it comes from sick cows that have been mistreated and pumped with hormones and antibiotics.
- Lastly, all the nutrients available in yogurt and dairy products can be obtained from other foods.
Still, many people are confused about whether yogurt is forbidden or allowed, but why? Let’s talk about this a bit more.
Why Is There Confusion?
As I said, some people think yogurt is Paleo, and others do not.
People who do not agree that yogurt is Paleo fully agree with the points I just covered above. On the other hand, others think that very good quality dairy, here I talk about raw milk, free from processing, unpasteurized, full-fat, unsweetened milk that comes from only grass-fed animals, is beneficial for humans.
They also claim that yogurt can be good for you because it contains many nutrients like calcium, protein, and good probiotics. I said how people are mostly lactose intolerant, but these people think about how the solution to the allergy problem is in consuming goat and sheep’s milk and yogurt.
Nevertheless still, after all this, I can safely say (unfortunately) that yogurt is not Paleo food. Of course, it is only up to you to decide you will be flexible and still use it while on Paleo, or you will support the strict Paleo eaters and cut the yogurt out of your diet plan.
What Yogurt Substitutions Are Allowed On Paleo?
If you’re on a Paleo diet, you may want to look for a Paleo yogurt substitute that can help you overcome the dairy crisis that will for sure occur. Here are my favorite yogurt replacements.
This is a very fancy and popular alternative to yogurt made with coconut milk. The coconut yogurt contains almost all the same active cultures as the dairy version. It is also rich in many of the same vitamins and nutrients that are present in dairy-based yogurt.
If you miss the creaminess of your favorite yogurt, believe me, this replacement will not disappoint you. It is rich and creamy, so you can eat it on its own, or you can include it in some of your favorite recipes that require yogurt.
As you’d expect, coconut yogurt has a mild coconut flavor. If you are not a fan of coconut, that might repel you.
This alternative is widely popular and enjoyed by vegans. It is made from soy milk, and it resembles traditional dairy yogurt in flavor as well as in consistency.
Soy yogurt is available in almost all stores, but it would be best to make it on your own. All you need to do is substitute regular dairy milk with soy milk and let it ferment.
But please be careful soy is a relatively common allergen!
Arrowroot powder is an ingredient that has multiple health benefits. It is a grain-free, gluten-free, Paleo-friendly ingredient.
Arrowroot yogurt is high in iron, Vitamin B, and potassium. It has the ability to stimulate your immune system.
This yogurt is the best substitution for Paleo eaters since it is made from a combination of ground arrowroot, probiotics, and a thick fruit puree. It’s important to note that this yogurt has a grittier texture, and it tastes more like grain and fruit than a dairy product.
Almond yogurt has less protein than dairy and soy yogurts, but it is still suitable for people following the Paleo regime since it is made from nuts. This type of yogurt tends to have a smooth, creamy texture and a mild sweet flavor.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the same probiotics and active cultures as yogurt, but it will still offer you some of the healthy benefits of almonds, such as antioxidants and vitamins. It will help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Not bad if you ask me.
As the name says, it is made from rice milk. It has the same active cultures as dairy yogurt. The taste is mild, and I am sure it will suit almost everyone.
But there is a catch; it has a much thinner consistency than dairy or soy yogurt, so please do not use it in any recipe that requires traditional yogurt. The best way to consume this yogurt is on its own.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Yogurt?
You might be interested in what exactly happens to your body when you eat yogurt. Below I mentioned some of the most important health benefits of eating yogurt:
- High in protein
- Rich in nutrients
- Help in weight management
- Good for bone health because of the calcium content
- Boosts immune system
- Could help to protect your heart
- Boosts digestion due to probiotic content
How To Make Your Own Yogurt At Home?
Ever thought about making your own yogurt? No problem at all! And you will be happy to hear how easy it is.
All you need is some milk and a starter culture. If you do not have a starter culture, you can use yogurt or probiotic capsules that you have in your home.
Making yogurt is only a 3-step job:
- The first step is to place the milk, in my case, the coconut milk, in the jar.
- The second step is to add starter culture, a probiotic capsule, or a spoon of yogurt and stir it well.
- The last step is to cover it with a cheesecloth and wait for approximately 24 to 48 hours until the probiotics activate.
Congrats, you just mastered yogurt making!
Can You Eat Yogurt On Paleo – In The End, It Is All Up To You
I mentioned this before, and I will do it again.
There are two different currents in the Paleo world – those who are strict paleo eaters and those paleo eaters who still find the way to include dairy, rice, and potato in their regime.
The decision is only for you. If you still want to stick with traditional dairy yogurt while on paleo, none can blame you. The only advice I can give you is to choose top-quality organic products that come from grass-fed animals.
Also, opt for goat or sheep milk and yogurt instead of choosing regular cow dairy products.