is greek yogurt ok to eat on the paleo diet?

by 35 · March 12, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Is greek yogurt ok to eat on paleo diet?

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2053 · July 02, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Well this depends, are you interested in following a paleo type diet for health or do you want to follow a diet that has strict dogma and little room for variation? If you tolerate dairy well and enjoy it, than I say absolutely eat the yogurt. If you suspect you have digestive issues and aren't sure if dairy is right for your body try eliminating it, record any interesting effects and add it back and watch for changes. Please check out Dr. Harris's site, Panu. His dietary recommendations are always helpful for anyone unsure of how to filter through all the info out there about a paleo diet. I personally tolerate dairy very well and believe it to be an extremely healthy part of my diet. For others, they will not really feel completely healthy unless they cut out dairy b/c of intolerance/allergies etc. Listen to your body.

13928 · July 02, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Strict, traditional paleo excludes dairy (including greek yogurt) because dairy was introduced during the neolithic period and can cause an insulin increase in the body.

However, the paleo community is divided about dairy. Some eat raw unpasteurized grass-fed dairy. Others eat cultured dairy (yogurt). Most who consume dairy, use full-fat dairy like creme or whole milk greek yogurt.

As others have suggested, ultimately you have to tinker with your body and decide whether it is having a net positive or a net negative effect on your health. Exclude it for a month and see. Include it again and pay attention. Tinker.

2316 · July 02, 2010 at 4:12 PM

If you got no problems whatsoever with dairy and accept the health issues that might come with its ingestion, then just eat it. It makes no sense not to eat something just because it does not fit some plan.

1930 · July 03, 2010 at 1:10 AM


I regularly consume 'Fage Total', which is 2/3 fat (mostly saturated) and fairly low carbohydrate.

37013 · April 02, 2012 at 3:04 AM

My cholesterol runs too low--130 to 180 although my TC/HDL is a desirable 2.4--and that's with cream in my coffee, butter-fried eggs and vegetables and home-made extra-fat Bulgarian yogurt (in addition to fatty beef, bacon and sardines, etc.)

Mixing berries and other fruit with the cream/yogurt moderates my blood glucose response and it's delicious, particularly if the fruit is frozen. I have clear skin and no GI after-effects.

That's the type of thought process I'd suggest you follow in making your decision about dairy. What are your health strengths/weaknesses and how do you react to dairy?

753 · April 02, 2012 at 3:21 AM

I really like bulgarian yogurt. It's not greek, though.

Medium avatar
10077 · November 16, 2011 at 7:22 PM

While one could argue pro and con on yogurt itself, in my opinion there is no good argument for eating commercially sweetened yogurt. You're better off making your own, and it's not that complicated.

77338 · May 26, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Go for your feeling. If you notice any digestive issues be cautious about it. Othrwise enjoy

294 · July 03, 2010 at 9:55 PM

For those of us not bothered by dairy or consume it very sparingly, is there a "preferred" or best brand as far as ingredient-wise?

In the past, I've had Fage, Chobani, Trader Joe's brand and currently have Oikos/Stonyfield (all plain, though all 0% fat as well). So far I like Fage best taste-wise. I suppose homemade would be the best nutritionally.

276 · July 03, 2010 at 6:42 PM

According to the Primal Blueprint (a variation of Paleo) it's fine. The breakdown goes something like this if I recall...

Best to worst.

1 - No dairy

2 - Yogurt

3 - Aged Cheese

4 - High fat Milk

5 - Processed cheeses, skim milk, flavored dairy = off limits

I think I'm missing something ... If you have access to raw milk and can make your own, all the better! I eat dairy in moderation, I rarely use it as a 'direct' food source, it's more to amp something up I'm already eating.

0 · March 12, 2013 at 8:45 AM

I don't think, at least the first few responses, show a deep enough understanding of the Paleo Diet. You want to eat yogurt? I would say to, simply, follow Cordain's 85:15 Rule: where he explains that 85% of caloric intake from modern paleolithic-like foods is still more healthy than the typical western diet, where more than 70% of caloric intake comes from foods introduced in the human food chain after the agricultural revolution. So there is always some "play in the system". Nevertheless, the idea that because your body has grown to "tolerate" certain foods that don't cause a problem digestion-wise is not paleo logic at all --and not in line with the science behind the diet. Come on now ---most of us can tolerate a vast amount of absolute crap ---I could eat chips and burgers every day and do just fine, digestively (I actually did that for a time). NO WAY is that OK, if you're really serious about the diet. If you think dairy is ok --read this article from Discover Science magazine by a man who grew up determined to devote his life to revealing the vast health benefits of milk products, until as a scientist in the field, he realized it was best to warn his own family never to touch the stuff: http://discovermagazine.com/2000/aug/featmilk/#.UT620Tcte_c

The reason we tolerate many foods that aren't good for us is because of the epigenetic system within the body. Our epigenes allow us to tolerate milk, while most Asians can't. We essentially tricked our body into accepting it after 1000 of years of herding. But the epigenetic system doesn't make changes in the fundamental human genome underneath ---which is still determined by 100s of thousands of years. I tell lactose-intolerant people ---hey, you're not disadvantaged; you just have a better toxicity warning system than most of us. Go with it and your ahead (same with Gluten intolerance).

I, for one, loved certain dairy products ---especially ice cream. But have you tried the new coconut ice creams by "SO Delicious". It's the first substitute ice cream that I think tastes much better than ice cream ---that hint of coconut is superb!

And Terra "sweet potato and apple" chips with a hint of cinnamin ---WOW. They're coming out with more and more ways to stay on the Paleo Diet without missing much of anything!


0 · December 11, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Is whey protein ok?

0 · April 02, 2012 at 2:55 AM

does anyone supplement with..whey protein? no?is it dairy? highly processed dairy at that?

1030 · November 17, 2011 at 1:08 AM

I'm not strict paleo, more like Sisson's primal diet, and I do eat yogurt, Greek and otherwise. When I started eating this way (just a couple of months ago), I ate yogurt daily, but as I've introduced new foods (eggs! bacon! beef jerky!) into my diet, I've cut back a bit and now have it maybe 2-4 x a week, usually topped with a small amount of fruit and/or homemade "paleonola." My criteria are that it is full-fat, and has no ingredients other than milk and cultures. I wasn't crazy about Stonyfield's Greek-style, but I love Fage, though it's so freaking rich & thick, it's like eating sour cream -- a little goes a long way. Sometimes I get non-Greek (???) yogurt made from local, pastured cows, for a little variety.

593 · November 16, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Is there anything particularly qrong with the fat free-Fage, Compared to full fat? Assuming that one would want to somewhat limit the fat intake (not go low, but moderate on some days), and therefore the higher fat content wouldn't be one of the reasons for eating it.

0 · November 16, 2011 at 6:29 PM

I am on the primal diet... has anyone tried the ZOI greek yogurt? Its the traditional style plain.


109 · May 26, 2011 at 3:33 PM

I say moderation. I do enjoy cream daily and cheese and greek yogurt (plain 2% as I can't find the full fat one) but not daily. I don't have a problem with dairy but am doing this paleo thing to just incorporate healthier meals for my family and to try and cut as much of the additives out of our food. My daughter still drinks milk (organic) but no juice except a little orange juice on the weekend for a treat.

10 · February 06, 2011 at 5:52 PM

I look at it this way. If I don't eat grains/sugar, dairy doesn't bother my gut. I think the "paleo" picture could include dairy if you don't call it "paleo". Just use all that knowledge you gain by reading about Paleo nutrition to tweek a program that works for you. If you have given up grains, and legumes I don't see a problem with a little dairy in the mix if it doesn't make you feel like crap. And by a little I mean a serving of yogurt, butter in cooking, cream in one cup of coffee as a treat. I don't mean a glass of milk, chocolate milk, cheese laden veggies. I personally love some yogurt and blueberries after a wod. (full fat plain yougurt).

4620 · July 04, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Paleo does NOT include dairy. I include some dairy, mostly RAW milk and Raw milk cheese along with REAL Greek Yogurt ( FAGE- not TJ) - as a protein source it can't be beat on days that a strength training days and it always a wonderful source of FAT which a a diabetic does my body good. A Paleo or Primal diet should not be a religion but a floor plan to a healthy way of life so add some FAGE if you like.

I do believe that foods need to be rotated in the diet- you should not eat just a few items all the time- Fasting helps here- Add FAGE and add IF, too

20 · July 02, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Greek yogurt is still yogurt. Which is still dairy.

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