• Cheese: Why You Can’t Quit It

    cheese bigWhether it’s bubbling hot on pizza, ooey gooey on top of a nice juicy burger and swimming in creamy dreamy heaven with macaroni, humans love cheese. And nothing causes as much uproar as when folks find out cheese isn’t part of a Paleo diet.

    “No sugar? Okay, I know that’s not good for me anyway.”

    “No wheat? Bread will be kind of tough to give up, but I’ll find a way.”

    “No cheese? Oh, hellllllllllll no! What?! I looooooooove cheese.”Β Complete with neck snap and finger wave.

    If you’re nodding at the screen right now, you’re not alone. Why? Cheese is addictive. I don’t mean addictive in the colloquial sense like how you think you can’t live without CrossFit or how you can’t stop watching old Sex and the City reruns. No, this is something different. Ask anyone who eats Paleo which food they miss the most…a majority will say cheese. I polled my Facebook fans with the same question several months back and cheese was the top reply, hands down. Not booze. Not sugar. Not bread. Cheese.

    Cheese – and the compounds in it – alters brain chemistry because it contains compounds called casomorphins (that’s an awful lot of C’s). Said another way, cheese casomorphins cause an opioid, drug-like effect on your brain.Β Let’s investigate.

    When milk is made to curdle, the liquid component (whey) is separated from the solid component (curds). Those curds are, in large part, composed of proteins like casein which are then pressed into the form we know as cheese. In other words, cheese is concentrated casein. That’ll play into things later.

    milk = whey + curds

    curds = proteins

    The casein proteins make up about 80% of the protein fraction in cow’s milk and can take four different forms. When casein reaches the small intestine, it’s broken into smaller fragments (known as peptides) called beta-casomorphins. As the name suggests, beta-casomorphin has a morphine-like, opioid effect on the brain once it goes into the bloodstream and crosses the blood-brain barrier. And because cheese is so much more concentrated in proteins than milk, it suggests why giving up milk is like, “Meh, okay,” while giving up cheese is fraught with protest. Let’s be clear…cheese isn’t a drug but the effects it has on the brain are pretty compelling coupled with how much humans seem to adore it. Incidentally, casomorphins also causes histamine release, explaining why some people have skin (or other) reactions to eating cheese or dairy in general.

    Why are there morphine-like compounds in milk? The prevailing theory is that it functions to forge the bond between mother and offspring – yes, even humans – during nursing though it’s typically found in highest concentration in colostrum (new milk) versus mature milk.

    To summarize:

    • Cheese is a concentrated source of casein.
    • Casein breaks down into casomorphins in the gut.
    • Casomorphins have opioid and histamine responses in the body.
    • This opioid effect seems to explain why people cite cheese as one of those foods they just can’t give up when going Paleo.

    What does this all mean? As always, if you’re new to Paleo, be sure to do a strict 30 days and systematically reintroduce dairy, grains and legumes (if you want to). Unless you remove these potentially problematic foods and push the reset button, you’re unlikely to have a clear answer about whether they affect you negatively or not. A program like Whole30 or what’s outlined in “The Paleo Solution” can get you on track.

    I’m not here to tell you what’s right or wrong for your body. Trust me, I’m not hating on cheese because I used to love it (but I don’t miss what it does to me) so no hate mail, please.Β If cheese doesn’t bother your system, it’s up to you whether or not you include it in your Paleo. Now you know why it’s so enticing, the potential downsides, and why cheese isn’t part of the original Paleo diet…it’s not because people want to spoil all your ooey-gooey cheesy fun. Promise.

    Did you find it hard to give up eating cheese when you started Paleo? Do you still eat it?

    Edam cheese on the wooden table

    References:

    http://www.livestocktrail.illinois.edu/dairynet/paperDisplay.cfm?ContentID=249

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3005882

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17666771

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1374738

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17869380

    British Journal of Nutrition (2000), 84, Suppl. 1, S27-S31.

     

    Steph Gaudreau is a certified holistic nutrition practitioner, weightlifting and mindset coach, and the author of the best-selling Performance Paleo Cookbook. Her recipes and expert advice have been featured in SELF, Outside Magazine, Elle, and Greatist. Steph loves barbells, cats, and anything Lord of the Rings. She lives in San Diego, CA.

    71 thoughts on “Cheese: Why You Can’t Quit It

    1. I wasn’t ready to give it up when I started, but 3 months in (after eating A LOT of cheese over Christmas ’12), I decided to cut out dairy completely for a few months. Eaten regularly, it gives me a blocked nose and makes me gain fat, but I had to start feeling better and getting leaner before I could really believe the difference it was making.

      I currently eat butter a couple of times a week and savour some ice cream or cheese about once a month when eating out. This seems to work OK for me.

    2. Wow! Didn’t know my cheese addiction had a physiological aspect to it. Was able to stay off it turning a Whole30 last year. I am trying just to use it as a condiment, like shredded cheddar on chili. Not chow down on half a brick. Don’t notice any negative affects, but I think it keeps me from eating healthier food.

    3. I just ate a HUGE antipasto salad the other day when everyone else opted for pizza. I thought I was doing the right thing and now, 2days later i am literally CRAVING the salad that was loaded with cheese and have this swollen gut that I was blaming on something else. This makes sense. And it also makes me sad. i was making room for cheese in my paleo diet now that I have completed Whole 30. And I felt great up until i ate that salad.
      dammit.

    4. I had to give cow dairy up for my son who was sensitive when he was born. I was very VERY sad about it. I could do without he yogurt and ice cream but the cheese killed me. I would long for a piece of pizza or mac and cheese in the worst way. Cashew “cheese” and tapioca-based “cheeses” wouldn’t cut it. Finally, at about 8 months old, I re-introduced dairy and he was alright so I thanked every God I have ever heard of and dove into a pizza. Big mistake! It left me feeling awful – bloated, grumpy…a mess. Now I don’t miss cheese as much. I will have an occasional small piece of pizza or a little on my burrito bowl but knowing how it will make me feel now that I am not used to having it keeps me away! Just goes to show how brainwashed we are as a society. Cow’s milk is really only good for one being – a calf.

      1. Hi Emily…it’s definitely one of those foods that affects some people and not others. I’ve had that experience with cheese before…not pleasant πŸ˜‰

    5. I’m actually in a different boat–I don’t really eat cheese (although I don’t mind it), and I’m thinking of ADDING it to my diet for the Vitamin K2/Calcium benefits. Now I’m worried that I’ll get addicted lol. I’m still addicted to sugar so I know I have issues there–debate debate~

    6. Great post! Dairy, and especially cheese, is also insulinogenic), so for someone who is insulin resistant (me!), eating cheese can impede your efforts to control insulin levels, exacerbating cravings for carbs and more cheese, and slow weight loss drastically. I am currently doing keto-paleo, but when I first started out, I was doing a less-refined ketogenic diet with lots of cheese to get past my cravings for high-carb, processed junk. Eventually, I eliminated the cheese and all dairy in favor of more veggies (I went paleo!). After several weeks, I experimented with adding cheese back in and not only did I not lose weight that week, but my cravings went through the roof, and not just for more cheese. Now, to find out there is another reason for why cheese is so addictive! Knowledge is power, and knowing this new fact helps me to just say no!

      1. Hi Crystal, Just wondering how well your strategy of eating cheese to reduce your cravings for carbs and processed foods worked. I have a killer sugar addiction that keeps ruining my efforts, and I’m thinking about adding cheese to my diet to see it it will replace or reduce those bad cravings. I figure eating lots of cheese is healthier than eating lots of ice cream and cake.

        1. When I first started the ketogenic diet, I quickly discovered that I was able to control my cravings and hunger best by going really low carb – I’m talking 10 g net carbs a day – any higher and I would cheat. At such a low carb level, there are not a lot of carb choices to choose from. Basically, I felt that it was either I could eat dairy or I could eat veggies, but not really both. This was the very beginning of my keto journey and since I was just coming off daily binges of high carb, processed junk that I had grown really, really attached to (read: addicted!) I opted to get my carbs from dairy. This way, I could still eat all of my favorite foods, just the low-carb versions: bacon cheeseburgers without the bun, cheese crust pizza with pepperoni, heavy cream in my coffee, cheesy eggs, etc. Yum! Doing this got me past my carb addiction, so eating dairy worked in doing what I needed it to do at that time. Without it, I doubt I would have made it to where I am today, so no regrets.

          There came a point, however, when the weight loss slowed, the constipation became problematic, and I was still suffering from the β€œketo flu.” In general, I was still feeling pretty crappy – lethargic, weak, foggy. I was 7 weeks in and I still had not become keto-adapted. I also was starting to feel as obsessive about cheese as I did with all of the junk food I had replaced it with – I was having to try to control myself to keep from binging on it. I was at the point where I was melting 4-5 ounces of it in a frying pan and calling that a meal… a couple times a day. Not healthy behavior! So, that is when I replaced the dairy with veggies, and ALL my cravings went away completely. After 3 weeks, I did experiment by adding dairy back in and my cravings came back, I had trouble controlling my calories, and I went from losing 3-6 lbs a week to only losing 0.5 lb that week.

          So, in my experience, dairy was definitely helpful in the beginning to curb the stronger carb addiction, but it eventually became an addictive problem in its own right, but because I was in control of the carb addiction, I was empowered enough to eventually eliminate the dairy too. It is a process, and as long as you are making progress forward, you are doing good. Just try to do better today than yesterday. Good luck!

          1. I also wanted to mention that I still eat clarified butter – I make my own from unsalted Kerrygold butter from organic, grass-fed cows. It is really easy to do (I think Steph has a how-to post on here somewhere). With clarified butter, the lactose, whey and casein proteins have been removed (all the problem elements), leaving behind only the healthy butter fat with its fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, and K2. So, to me I am getting the benefit of dairy without the problem elements. It also has a higher smoke point than butter, so I use it in all of my cooking, unless I specifically want the flavor of coconut oil. The trick, I found, was to heat the butter slowly over very low heat, then let it cool long enough for 3 distinct layers to appear – the top is the whey and water, the middle the butter fat, and the bottom is the casein proteins. I skim the whey off the best I can, then pour off the butter fat through cheesecloth to strain. Then I store in my cabinet as use just like butter. I found that it does not negatively impact my weight-loss and cravings control efforts at all – in fact the healthy fats help. The first full week that I completely eliminated dairy except the clarified butter (week 12 for me – it had been a gradual elimination process) was the week that I finally became keto-adapted – full of energy and focus and good moods, which has continued to this day (I am on week 18) – and I lost the most weight that week, except for the first week. It has been 4 1/2 months and I have lost 65 lbs, and I feel completely in control of my eating for the first time in my life πŸ™‚

            1. Thanks so much for sharing (need to bookmark this page to refer to again :). It sounds at least encouraging enough to try. You’re right about taking it one step at a time, and having this awareness will definitely help out. I rarely eat clarified butter/ghee–another step I can make!

            2. It is all about experimenting and finding what works best for you, which can also change over time. Good luck, Glacier!

            3. Crystal: Your comments have helped me tremendously! Thank you. I too am at the point where I need the cheese to avoid eating all the carby snacks & foods I have given up: Fritos..mallomars..pretzels..macaroni sald..etc…This is much harder than I thought but I am determined to keep going. Endeavoring to “do better tomorrow than I did today” is very do-able & kind to myself. I get very angry at myself when I fail (translate: cheat..lol) but I know I am human and this is a process. I need all of you “coaches”…thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

              ~ Lori

    7. I haven’t given up cheese, nor will I (same with dairy). Even though I love the paleo principles, there are plenty of native/traditional cultures that drink milk, eat dairy etc. Of course, organic, grass fed, whole fat, raw dairy products are best. I also like fermented/cultured dairy. Not only does it taste awesome, but a great way to get brain healthy saturated fats. I think you can follow Paleo but still include dairy.

    8. As you know, Steph, I don’t eat strict Paleo nor do I intentionally ever make my meals/days Paleo, but many of them just happen to be. I would however be really interested in doing a 30 day experiment with myself to see if dairy/grains/legumes actually do bother me. I have cut back my consumption of dairy this month because I realized I was REALLY over doing it. I am feeling A LOT better and functioning A LOT better with just minimizing my intake; however, it’d be really interesting to see what 30 days without it completely would do for me. I am so interested!

      1. I had no idea that dairy (particularly milk) and grains (particularly gluten) was making me feel less good than I do now. The experimentation part was really important in helping me figure that out πŸ™‚

      1. This is part of why dairy is such a grey-area food but remember the point of my article was simply to educate about casomorphins, not make a judgment call about whether folks should eat dairy or not πŸ™‚

    9. Love these scientific articles Steph – it’s awesome learning the hows & whys of everything! Quitting cheese & dairy wasn’t too hard for me but I was worried about the social/emotional side of it – my partner & I would often do an end-of-week cheese & wine happy hour on a Friday evening. I didn’t want to lose this but as soon as I identified what I was wanting – the catch up & wind-down, not necessarily the cheese itself – we’ve found a great replacement in a little antipasto plate of olives & sun-dried tomatoes. We still have the glass of red with it though πŸ˜‰

      1. Hi Liz…I’m glad you got the spirit of the article. So many people wonder “Why is cheese so enticing or hard to avoid or why do I crave it?” so I was hoping to shed some light on that. I happen to think it’s delicious but I don’t love what it does to my body so I avoid. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story!

    10. Even though I love brie, it wasn’t hard for me to give up cheese because I did not eat it on a regular basis. What was hard for me to give up was BREAD! And ’til this day, even after doing Paleo for 5 months, the smell of it drives me crazy. Man, I love me some bread!! πŸ™‚ But I stay away from it because on the few occasions I gave in, I noticed right away the negative response my body had to it. I felt so sluggish right after..I would have never known bread was the factor. Love the site!

    11. I’m not surprised to hear this about cheese and it’s psychological effects.
      When I did whole30 in August, I missed cheese. After whole30 I was like yay cheese! However I also discovered dairy intolerance πŸ™
      I’m now doing another whole30 starting tomorrow as my eating habits have gotten out of control, and I like the restrictions of whole30. I will miss cheese though. Oh cheese, oh cheese cheese cheese. *sigh*
      Great post btw.

    12. I was so sad to learn about the casomorphins in cheese and gluteomorphins in grains. But it explains why I am so addicted to cottage cheese and yoghurts… and bread. *sigh*

    13. Your timing is impeccable Steph. We went to a seminar about Whole 9/Whole 30 in August here in San Diego and you were there! I was so excited to find your website to start changing our eating habits immediately. Then October 7th my husband and I finally started our first Whole 30. The results have been remarkable. I knew we were emotional eaters, but I really never knew how much until we did Whole 30 and we couldn’t have that food crutch. The Whole 30 has been tough, but at the same time enlightening. I am amazed how I no longer get some cravings and how healthy I feel. I never realized how much food was running my moods on a daily basis. No more highs and lows. The first food we are looking to add back this coming week to see what happens was cheese. It is like you described…sugar I understand I should do without and also have had no real issues with removing grains…but I miss my cheese. We will see what happens and I would be lying to you if I told you I wasn’t scared coming off my Whole 30 protective bubble. But I know I need to see what happens with adding back certain things according to the Whole 30 directions. So again, I appreciate your blog on cheese and your timing! Keep the great info coming! Knowledge is power!

      1. Hi! Aw yes…that was a great seminar πŸ™‚ That’s so great that you did it together and learned so much. Well done!!! I know how that feels to come off the bubble…have you read any of what Dallas and Melissa wrote about off-roading or life after Whole30? There are some great resources on their site. I’m happy you found the article timely!

    14. I ditched dairy for a while and reintroduced it with crossed fingers. I was thankful I could continue my long held romance with melty goodness. πŸ™‚ I have some form of dairy daily, whether a glass of whole milk, butter, or a bit of cheese. I can live without it, I just don’t want to. And I make sure to get my hands on the good stuff, not just rubber pretending to be dairy. πŸ™‚

    15. I have managed to restrict my cheese intake to occasional sprinkles of blue cheese (once or twice a month). That keeps me cheese happy… Oh, and when my kid begs for them I’ll make cheddar filled jalapeno poppers.

    16. Wow..it’s like you were in my head! I’m trying for gluten free (and mostly succeeding), but cheese is the thing that would keep me from going paleo. I think I’ve proven to myself that I can go without sugar and wheat pretty easily, but this article makes me wonder how long I could go without cheese . . . I’m going to experiment with that . . .. as soon as I finish off the huge bag of cheese in my fridge.

      1. Thanks Cami. If it makes you feel better without it, perhaps it’s worth doing. If you feel the same with it as without, then you’re probably among the lucky πŸ™‚

    17. This makes a lot of sense! Once I start eating cheese, I can’t stop! Does the same go for heavy whipping cream? I’ve stopped eating dairy but I still have heavy cream in my coffee and it’s the highlight of my morning…but if it does the same thing as cheese then I better stop.

      1. Hi Karly….heavy whipping cream does contain a small amount of protein but when you compare it to cheese (which is concentrated proteins plus fat) you can imagine why there’s a different. For what it’s worth cream doesn’t hold the same allure for me as cheese πŸ˜‰

    18. Hi Steph, thank you for all the very knowlegable articles found in here.

      Concerning cheese I seem to miss the point of not eating it, from at nutrition point of view.
      (It could be because im not a native english speaker)

      If I understand your argument correctly you say that cheese is bad because the protein in it ends up causing opioid and histamin responses wich is addictive to humans.
      But if the addiction is the only side effect, is it really bad then?

      Cheese seems to be a great high protein, high fat, low carbs source. That must work as an argument in favor of eating cheese. I fail to see the nutritionally bad thing about it so please enlighten me?

        1. Ok, so if one does a 30 days strict period without any dairy products and then afterwards don’t find that there is a digestive issue to eating cheese (bring it back to one’s diet in controlled amounts) there shouldn’t be any health related problems with it?

            1. It is, I didn’t think the first question (this one) got posted, feel free to delete πŸ™‚

    19. But if the amount of casein proteins do not cause digestive problems (eg. if you put it in your diet after a 30 day strict period and doesn’t feel a digestive problem) then there is no problems with it?

      1. Theoretically, yes. That’s why knowing your context is really important. I’ll throw something else out there though: silent inflammation.

    20. I would argue that the reason some people can eat cheese and that others cannot is due to possible leaky gut syndrome in those that cannot eat it. Otherwise the casomorphins would not end up in the blood stream and cross the blood brain barrier. I know that the GAPS diet and other similar diets have been shown to improve/heal leaky gut syndrome and allow people to reintroduce foods back into their diet that they were not able to eat before. Just a thought. πŸ™‚

    21. wow! thanks for this informative article! i am a lover of cheese! but i knew it wasn’t the right “snack”(string cheese) or anything for me because I could eat it all in one sitting if i wanted to. so, i decided to cut it out just because i didn’t want to be eating so much of it all. great to know that there’s a reason for than!

    22. Steph I follow a low carb primal blueprint model ( under 30g carbs a day) All the cheese I eat says zero grams of carbs on the nutrition label.
      Eg. brie,gouda,Jarlsberg, emmental,kerrygold dubliner etc.

      So when Crystal says it’s very insulinogenic I get confused. Since insulin is released in response to carbs as well as protein I understand that cheese would cause an insulin spike but wouldn’t the fat in the cheese help to blunt the insulin spike? Steph, Crystal or anyone who can weigh in on this please ? It would be much appreciated. I worry because insulin is apparently the fat storing hormone and here I am eating cheese on a low carb diet. So I guess if I eat cheese I’m not in ketosis ?

      1. If you do a little googling about glycemic index, you’ll find that cheese has a higher GI than some cereals, but it’s still lower than some other foods such as potatoes. Even meat, which has zero carbohydrate, is capable of provoking an insulin response. It’s important to note that GI (glycemic index) and insulin index are not the same.

        Here’s a quote from Mark’s Daily Apple:

        “The insulin helps drive amino acids into the muscle cells where they’re needed. At the heart of this process, one thing is for certain: the body knows what it’s doing.

        But there’s another dimension to the protein-insulin issue. When we eat protein-rich food, another chemical is released by the body that actually has a contrary effect to insulin. Protein-rich foods also result in a release of glucagon. (Carb-rich food does not.) Glucagon raises blood sugar levels in part to allow for absorption of amino acids in the liver and their subsequent transformation there to glucose. In our evolution, we developed the capacity to make what we required out of what was available. If dinner was going to be part of a mammoth carcass, then the body could enjoy the protein it needed and use insulin response to store essential amino acids. Simultaneously, it had the glucagon to keep blood sugar stable in the absence of carb-based foods.”

        I guess the question to ask yourself is whether you’re meeting your goals. Are you trying to be in ketosis? Because just eating a low carb diet and being in ketosis are not exactly synonymous. Have you ever tried not eating cheese? Lots of folks have sensitivities to the protein component, of which cheese is quite concentrated.

        Just some thoughts. Hope that helped!

    23. Oh I should mention that I eat about 50 grams of cheese as the upper limit on a daily basis. Usually it’s 25 grams . 50 is rare.

    24. So this might be a stupid question, if I’ve been eating paleo + cheese, and I don’t feel any ill effects, why should I eliminate it? Thanks

      1. There’s lots of research going on about the inflammatory nature of dairy. Even if you don’t feel any effects you could still be incurring inflammation. The best way to know for sure is to eliminate it completely for 30 days, like in a Whole30. I thought dairy was okay with me too, until I took it out 100%.

    25. I just came in from heavy yard work, have been on strict paleo for a month, but had a slice of colby yesterday. Wow, was I craving more cheese at lunch time. I suspected that my craving was over the top, so I decided to google paleo cheese. I ended up here, read the entire thread of comments, and promptly fixed myself a bowl of finely shredded raw cabbage, an ounce of steamed salmon, some apple cider vinegar and olive oil, and a dash of salt free organic seasoning. Craving gone with the first bite. Olive oil, and the combined flavors of raw cabbage and steamed salmon seemed to have tricked my brain? What a relief. That cheese craving was SCAREH.

    26. I’ve been back and forth with strict paleo and flexible primal. Consistency is the hardest for me. I have all the tools, I know what to do–but then I get sidetracked and sidelined by a bit of pizza or ice cream. After doing the Whole 30 I realized my biggest issue was giving up dairy.

      I lost the most weight after two weeks of no dairy and I was sad. I knew it was an issue–and about the potential influence on opiate receptors, but I thought being primal and allowing a small amount of Parmesan cheese and full fat grassed cream in my coffee was no big deal until I dropped all that weight after giving it up.

      I have since returned to enjoying my morning mochas–no more Starbucks-but my home version does include 2 teaspoons of local maple syrup and org. Almond milk. I’m at the point where I don’t really want to do the Whole30 again, but I’m a huge proponent for using elimination diets to determine sensitivities.

      It’s summer and ice cream–even local grassed ice cream–has become too much a part of my weekly diet. I was only eating coconut milk-based ice cream and no dairy, until I discovered the local co-op started carrying two things: grassed raw milk mozzarella and grassed ice cream. I was good for a while….then it snowballed into weekly consumption. That’s how I got here–thanks for the reminder about the addictive properties of dairy–even the good stuff can affect us in not-so-good ways.

      Now I’m upping my protein and adding in green smoothies and going back to limiting my cheese to just a couple ounces a week (it freezes very well!) and saying farewell to dairy-based ice cream. My rationale was that it was easier to stay away from pizza (I live in NY) if I allowed myself some cheese each week…juries out on that one–and there’s no verdict. Because I still eat pizza a couple times a month or less. Don’t think I’ll ever stay 100% paleo, but I think that’s okay. πŸ™‚

      PS thanks for the awesome chic-fil-a recipe–I changed up a bit to simplify steps for me–but it’s an awesome way to eat cod too!

      1. Hi Lesley…this is the perfect example of why and how the transition to a real food lifestyle is definitely a journey. I really appreciate you sharing your personal reflections and struggles along the way.

        Keep up the great work! Also, I’d never thought of that as a great way to make fish…brilliant!

    27. Wow. I knew milk made me feel sketchy so I don’t drink it. Also knew cheese wasn’t so good for me but didn’t want to stop it. After reading this, I’m done. Oh sure, once in a great while I’ll eat pizza, but no more chunks of cheese untill dinner, a piece here, a piece there. Thanks for the deltailed description of what cheese does in our gut, this explains many of my wierd feeling, sketchy headedness.

    28. At the end of our Whole 30 with our whole family of 8. We’ve been talking about what we miss most. Hoping to find good alternatives. A top contender was cheese. Thanks for explaining why! Now what to do to replace that ooey-gooey goodness? We seem to have a couple dairy sensitive kids and the dairy free cheese doesn’t cut it. I like the idea of saving it as a condiment for an occasional add in For those who can or are willing to risk it.

    29. Before my Whole30, I knew I had a problem with dairy milk & ice cream. They hated me. Cheese didn’t seem to be an issue. It’s been a couple weeks since my Whole30 ended, and I’ve been putting off reintroducing any kind of dairy. I knew I had issues with milk and ice cream before, so I wasn’t going to bother reintroducing them. I didn’t think I’d have a problem with cheese once I decided to eat it. WROOOONG. I was awake all night with bloating, painful gas, extreme nausea, and you know…etc… Two days later, I got on the scale and I’ve bloated up 2.6lbs and I still feel bloated, and my stomach feels twisted. So, I am DONE with cheese. I hear almond/cashew cheese isn’t too bad, so I’ll try that.

    30. Dang, recently heard the same from Tom Malterre on Bulletproof Radio. It acts very similar to gluten in this way.

      1. I know for me, I just focus on the fact that it generally doesn’t make me feel very good, especially if I eat a lot of it (and I can almost never eat just a little…so I usually avoid it.)

    31. Do you know if cream cheese has the same effect? It doesn’t seem curd-y; so I’m wondering/hoping it’s different!

      I’ve been 99% off of cheese for about a year, but cream cheese is the thing I miss the most – especially for twice-baked cauliflower!

      1. Hi Jana…I’m not really sure. Ultimately, dairy consumption is a very grey area: some people feel great with it and others don’t. Try experimenting with all dairy out of your diet for 30 days, then reintroduce to see how you feel. If you choose to include dairy in your diet, I recommend full-fat dairy from high-quality sources (no low-fat or fat-free processed dairy!).

    32. Now I’m totally confused. I’m day 21 of 30 Day paleo..doing great lost 8 kilos, felt great.Thought it was OK to eat some brie cheese, but hadn’t eaten much. For some reason I decided cheese would be ok last night and had a slice.(Full Fat) Had a really great sleep but since i got up have slowly felt sick and as the day goes on have got worse. Now I know why.
      Why is grass fed butter any different? Am I allowed that. I have pan fried fish with it and no problems.

      1. Hi Alison,

        I really recommend something like Whole30 or the plan in Robb Wolf’s book, The Paleo Solution. In it, you abstain from foods like dairy for 30 full days, then you reintroduce them in a methodical way so you can pinpoint what, if anything, made you feel unwell. Simply put, butter has fewer protein and carbohydrates than does cheese. However, if you were testing your sensitivity to dairy, you’d want to eliminate grass-fed butter for the month, too.

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