The Paleo List Answers:IS YOGURT PALEO?

Paleo?  Primal?  Dairy?  Non-Dairy?  Yogurt can be a confusing food to the new paleo/primal lifestyler, hence the many requests through our paleo food list app to add yogurt to the list.  Luckily, we have Alisa at paleoinpdx to tackle this tangy treat.  Enter Alisa:
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What is Yogurt?

Yogurt is a fermented dairy product, made from the bacterial fermentation of milk. During the fermentation process, the bacterial cultures cause a breakdown of the lactose, which then forms lactic acid. This is what gives yogurt its distinct tanginess and texture. Yogurt is rich in calcium, probiotics, vitamin D and protein, but percentages vary based on brand and variety.


These days, there are many other yogurt varieties on the shelves as well. Peruse the grocery store and you’ll find almond or coconut milk, soy, sheep, buffalo and goat’s milk yogurt, just to name a few.

Is Yogurt Paleo?

From a strict paleo standpoint, dairy yogurt is not paleo, but pure non-dairy yogurts made from something like almond or coconut milk is fine. Generally, the non-dairy yogurts available in supermarkets are laden with sugar and other undesirable ingredients, so read labels carefully. Alternatively, homemade yogurt is also an option and a simple Google search will bring up plenty of recipes.

From a primal perspective, dairy yogurt is accepted, as long as it doesn’t contain additives, thickeners, refined sugars or other unnecessary ingredients. Be sure that it is truly just yogurt, and opt for plain full-fat Greek and grass-fed, if possible.

Other Thoughts

The choice to include yogurt in one’s diet is completely based on the individual. If dairy doesn’t agree with a person, then the choice should be obvious. However, some people are able to tolerate yogurt over other sources of dairy. If not, non-dairy yogurt will most likely be fine.

Yogurt – dairy or not – is easy to make at home and allows one to control the ingredients, along with the quality of the milk. There are many ways to make yogurt and it can be done with the oven, heating pad, slow cooker, dehydrator or the most obvious, a yogurt maker. If opting for the yogurt maker route, I recommend using the Yogourmet Electric Yogurt Maker and culturing the yogurt for 24 hours.

Additional Info

Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo?  Do you need help planning some Paleo meals?  Check out this great Paleo cookbook:

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