ThePaleoList Answers: Is Goat Cheese Paleo?
Today we are taking a break from popular condiments and getting back to some real food. Dairy, according to strict paleo guidelines, is not paleo. But are there varying degrees of healthfulness in dairy foods? One of our users asked us to take a look at goat cheese because of this. Alisa at paleoinpdx was gracious enough to research this alternative to cheese made from cow’s milk. So is goat cheese Paleo?
What is Goat Cheese?
Goat cheese or chèvre is simply cheese made from the milk of goats. It’s known for its distinguished pungent and salty flavor, and like cow’s cheese, also comes in many varieties. It has a similar fat content to that of cow’s milk cheese, but provides a higher percentage of medium-chain fatty acids, which is the influence of its notable tartness.
The simplest technique to make goat cheese involves naturally curdling raw milk, and then draining and pressing the curds. Other processes include the use of rennet or an acid to coagulate the milk. Aged goat cheese includes brining as well, which allows the cheese to form a rind. Then, it’s stored in a cool place for several months.
Interestingly, goat’s milk is closer in comparison to human milk than that of a cow’s, which is why some people with low tolerance to cow’s milk can tolerate it better. Additionally, it’s usually not as processed as cow’s milk products.
Nutritionally, goat cheese provides probiotics, calcium, protein, vitamins A and K, phosphorus, niacin and thiamin.
Is Goat Cheese Paleo?
Goat cheese is dairy, which means it is not paleo, although it is considered primal. Again though, as mentioned in the yogurt post, this does not mean it will work for your body. Just because it falls under the primal umbrella does not make it okay or a one size fits all. It’s a matter of determining if goat cheese is right and tolerable for you. If it’s not, then the choice is obvious or you accept the consequences when you choose to indulge.
If you do eat goat cheese, opt for organic, raw and grass-fed whenever possible. Quality goat cheese can be easy to find, particularly if you have access to co-ops, specialty markets, farmer’s markets and stores like Whole Foods. Alternatively, you can go directly to the source if there is a goat farmer in your area. So is goat cheese Paleo? No, it is not.