If you’re a fan of the Whole30 diet, you may be wondering if you can still enjoy the rich and savory taste of Parmesan cheese. The Whole30 diet is all about eating whole, unprocessed foods for 30 days to reset your body and improve your overall health.

While some dairy products are allowed on the diet, others are not. So, where does Parmesan cheese fall on the spectrum? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Whole30?

Before we dive into whether or not you can have Parmesan cheese on Whole30, let’s first discuss what the diet entails. The Whole30 program is designed to help people identify food sensitivities and reset their bodies by eliminating potentially inflammatory foods for 30 days. During this time, participants are encouraged to eat whole, unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins.

What Dairy Products Are Allowed on Whole30?

While dairy is generally discouraged on the Whole30 program due to its potential inflammatory effects on the body, some dairy products are allowed in moderation. These include ghee (clarified butter), butter from grass-fed cows or buffalo milk, and high-quality fermented dairy such as kefir or yogurt.

Can You Have Parmesan Cheese on Whole30?

Unfortunately for cheese lovers, Parmesan cheese is not allowed on the Whole30 program. This is because it falls under the category of aged cheeses which are not recommended due to their potential inflammatory effects on the body.

Why Isn’t Parmesan Cheese Allowed?

Parmesan cheese is considered an aged cheese which means that it has been fermented for an extended period of time. This fermentation process can create histamines and tyramines which can cause inflammation in some people. Additionally, aged cheeses like Parmesan contain higher levels of lactose which can be difficult for some people to digest.

What Can You Use Instead of Parmesan Cheese?

While Parmesan cheese may not be allowed on the Whole30 program, there are plenty of other flavorful ingredients that you can use in its place. Try using nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute.

Nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy flavor and is packed with vitamins and minerals. You can also experiment with using herbs and spices such as basil, oregano, and garlic to add flavor to your meals.

The Bottom Line

While it may be tempting to include Parmesan cheese in your Whole30 meals, it’s best to avoid it during the 30-day program. Instead, try experimenting with other flavorful ingredients such as nutritional yeast or herbs and spices to add depth and complexity to your dishes. By sticking to the Whole30 guidelines, you’ll give your body the chance to reset and improve your overall health.