Can You Eat Yogurt on a Carnivore Diet?
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Is Yogurt a valuable part of your Carnivore Diet? Or are you going to Zero Carb purgatory by eating it?
The short answer is… Yes.
However, the devil is in the detail as they say.
If you class yogurt as the low-fat crap that fills up most of a supermarket yogurt aisle, then the answer is definitely no. That stuff is just watery rubbish filled with nasty sweeteners and preservatives.
They remind me of when you have been painting your home baseboards white, and you put the paintbrush in a jar of water to stop the bristles from hardening.
And you are left with milky colored water. So, these types of yogurts are good for stopping paintbrushes from going hard, but they should not be a part of a healthy nutrition plan!
Now, let’s have a look into what are can possibly be good yogurt options and why you may want to eat it.
What is the Carnivore Diet?
It is a diet which is as close to how our ancient ancestors ate, as you can probably get in our modern food system. It is a diet that promotes thriving over surviving.
You eat animal products.
You do not eat non-animal products. You know plant matter based foods.
It can be that simple.
If you are looking for a great read from one of the top carnivore diet doctors then check out “The Carnivore Diet” by Dr. Shawn Baker. I highly recommend that book!
What is Yogurt?
Yogurt is basically 2 main types of bacteria and milk.
So why the yogurt question?
Carnivore Diet means you can eat animal products, and yogurt is dairy, and dairy is an animal product. So, you are good to go.
However, we have unlimited supplies of basically all foods in the western world. So, you must consider if you should eat all animal products with abandon, no matter what.
Is yogurt a good idea?
In my opinion, I do not believe you should eat copious amounts on the daily.
After all, could our ancient caveman grandfather have occasionally been able to whip up some natural yogurt? Yes, for sure.
Could he have popped down to the supermarket for a giant tub of it daily? No, of course not.
So how often can you eat it?
Well, that is down to how well you can handle it. If you can eat it every day and you feel great, then you can eat it every day.
If you can eat it for 2 days in a row and feel great, but on the 3rd day you start noticing a bit of breathing congestion or other wanted symptoms then you have your own personal answer to the question.
I view ruminant muscle meat as an everyday essential. Most carnivore diet advocates say this is what should make up the biggest portion of your diet.
Then you can add in other meats, organs, fish, and seafood to boost your range of nutrients.
I view dairy as a garnish. You can have it, and enjoy it, and it may help you adhere to the diet easier but it isn’t really a fundamental part of the diet.
Dairy is more of an optional extra if you can tolerate it. For me, life is too short not to stick a slice or two of cheese on my burger patties.
We even go deeper on the dairy discussion with this article:
Why would you want to eat yogurt
Like I have said yogurt isn’t necessarily a main component of the Carnivore Diet, but it can possibly be a useful addition for a few reasons:
- Variety: Especially in the beginning, only eating meat and fish is difficult for some people to stick to. So, having things like yogurt can break up the monotony.
- Calorie boost: Again, in the beginning, transition phase some people struggle with eating enough food. Yogurt can help fill in the energy gap until you get used to eating more meat and fish.
- Digestive enzymes: Proper yogurt by default has digestive enzymes in it. They may help you have a healthy gut microbiome which has been linked with improved physical and mental health. (2) (3)
- Protein: Yogurt is a nice and tasty way to get an extra protein boost. The protein in yogurt is highly bioavailable. You are looking at about 9 grams in a cup.
Why would you want to avoid eating yogurt
There are some potential drawbacks to eating yogurt, here are some examples:
- Intolerances: some people are intolerant of lactose in dairy, and whilst the bacteria in yogurt does feed on the lactose in milk and reduces its levels, people may still be allergic to yogurt to some degree. Casein plays a role in this. (4)
- Carbohydrates: yogurt is relatively high in carbs, whilst still low carb it is not close to the zero carbs some people like to stay near while on a carnivore diet protocol.
- Not optimal: it is simply not as nutrient-dense as a steak, so if you are hungry, why not just eat more steak?
- Addiction: some people are simply addicted to carbs and carbs in moderation is not an option as it sends them on a spiral of destructive eating. In these cases, it is best to stick to ruminant meat and avoid “carby” foods like yogurt.
- Sugar: most industrial made yogurt found in the local supermarket is loaded with sugars and sweeteners. These yogurts are definitely not carnivore diet approved.
Make your own
If you have decided you can tolerate yogurt, and you want to eat it. Then the best option by far is to make your own. This allows you to have full control of what ingredients you are using.
You need to start with a mother culture of bacteria, which can easily be bought online.
You add it to warm milk and leave the bacteria to do its magic. When it is ready to eat, you save some to add to another batch of warm milk, and you now have an everlasting supply of yogurt.
Yogurt makers really come in handy if this is the path you would like to take. Here is an example of one with glass jars that are superior to plastic and less toxic.
If possible, you should use full-fat raw milk, if you do not have access to raw milk then use good quality full fat pasteurized milk.
Check out this website to help locate where raw milk is sold:
If you cannot be bothered to make your own, then just be careful about what you are buying.
The best two options are plain natural yogurt and Greek yogurt. Make sure somewhere on the tub, it states it contains “live bacteria.”
If it does not then I would avoid it as it is probably processed rubbish. For example, Greek Style Yogurt is not actually Greek yogurt.
It is just a processed imitation of real Greek yogurt and does not contain live bacteria.
Oh, and always avoid low-fat options, they are totally pointless in my opinion.
Fat happens to be a major component of the carnivore diet and this article sheds the light on fat:
Also, if you find natural or Greek yogurt too plain or bitter, and you want a bit of flavoring. Then I would say it is safer to add your own, so you have control over what you are eating.
However, if you are trying a strict elimination diet then the extra flavoring could be a no-no.
Some thoughts and where to start
You can follow the teachings of the carnivore “gurus” or you can take advice from articles like this. But at the end of the day at some point, it is down to you.
You probably need to experiment with it and find out what works for you.
One guru might say NO YOGURT, but if eating yogurt improves the chances of adhering to the diet then it could be a good thing for you.
Or if one guru says you can eat yogurt, but when you do you get congested or your arthritis returns. Then you may want to avoid it.
Motivation and instruction
Most people new to the carnivore diet are looking for both motivation and instructions on how to make it easier.
I would highly recommend joining the Facebook group World Carnivore Tribe as you will find both newbies and carnivore veterans willing to answer questions.
Good luck and we truly hope you find the results you are looking for!
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or dietician or nutritionist. Consult with and ask your doctor about any diet or medical-related questions. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.