Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
3 Dec

Should You Be Eating High-Fat Dairy?

dairy3One thing that sets the Primal way of eating apart from other ancestral health approaches is our acceptance of dairy fat. Obviously, those people who can’t tolerate dairy shouldn’t eat it, but in my experience a significant portion of the community can handle high-quality, full-fat dairy, especially butteryogurt, and cheese. We like these foods for many reasons. They’re delicious. They make vegetables more appealing and nutritious. They’re inherently nutritious themselves, containing fat-soluble vitamins and important minerals, while the potentially problematic components of dairy – the whey, casein, and lactose – are either absent or mitigated by fermentationFermented dairy is a good source of probiotics, too. All in all, dairy is worth including if you can do it.

The rest of the nutritional world seem to be catching up with us on this. Recent years have seen a rash of meta-analyses, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials that question the assumption that low-fat dairy is healthier than full-fat dairy. Even Harvard’s Walter Willett, that seed oil-loving silver fox with the voluminous mustache, has come out in tepid support of full-fat dairy. Official recommendations lag, as they always do, but it’s changing. Just check out some of the studies. They don’t just exonerate dairy fat. They increasingly and repeatedly find connections between dairy fat and improved health.

  • A recent study entitled “Milk in the diet: good or bad for vascular disease?” found that the evidence “indicates that increased consumption of milk does not result in increased CVD risk and may give some long-term benefits” including reduced blood pressure and body weight, and that the “SFA in dairy may be less of a risk factor than previously thought.”
  • In women, a recent study found that the effect of dairy on cardiovascular disease depends entirely on the type of dairy consumed. Cheese consumption was inversely associated with risk of heart attack, while butter used on bread increased the risk. Awesomely and unsurprisingly, butter used for cooking did not increase the risk.
  • According to another review of the influence of milk fat on CVD risk, the “majority of observational studies have failed to find an association between the intake of dairy products and increased risk of CVD, coronary heart disease, and stroke, regardless of milk fat levels.” While butter and other sources of milk fat may increase LDL-C “when substituted for carbohydrates or unsaturated fatty acids,” they also increase HDL and may even improve the HDL:total cholesterol ratio.
  • Another study found that neither low-fat dairy nor full-fat dairy were associated with cardiovascular disease. However, full-fat fermented dairy was protective against CVD.

Many of those studies are based on dietary recall, which is notoriously unreliable. Can you remember how much dairy fat you ate five years ago? Five months ago? Five days ago? It’s more accurate to look at how biomarkers of dairy fat consumption, specific fatty acids or nutrients unique to dairy (or at least uncommon in other foods) that signify dairy fat intake when they show up in tissue or blood, relate to health conditions:

  • In overweight teens, levels of the dairy-specific saturated fats pentadecanoic acid and heptadecanoic acid in the blood were associated with lower inflammatory markers, even after controlling for calcium, vitamin D, protein, and omega-3 intake (all dairy components that may influence health).
  • Higher levels of trans-palmitoleic acid (a dairy fat) were associated with lower insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and diabetes risk.
  • Although higher circulating trans-palmitoleic acid meant higher LDL-C, it also meant lower triglycerides, improved blood pressure, and less diabetes in a cohort of white, black, Latino, and Chinese Americans. Circulating pentadecanoic acid was also linked to reduced cardiovascular disease in that same cohort. I’ll take the higher LDL-C if I get all the other stuff.
  • Dietary intake of menaquinones (vitamin K2), “which is highly determined by the intake of [full-fat] cheese,” was associated with a reduced risk of incident and fatal cancer.

Dairy fat contains over 400 of these fatty acid “species,” making it the most complex natural fat. Not all of those species have been studied – 400 is a tall order – but there is evidence that at least a couple of them exert beneficial effects:

Conjugated Linoleic Acid

You know CLA by now. It’s the “good trans-fat,” the one that causes feverish vegans to point and scream about dairy “having trans-fats!” until you calmly explain the difference between manmade trans-fats in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and beneficial trans-fats produced in the rumens of cattle and sheep.

covered CLA a few years ago, focusing especially on the differences between supplemental CLA (often mostly trans-10, cis-12) and naturally occurring CLA (90% cis-9, trans-11), so I won’t go too much into it. Suffice it to say, supplemental CLA is a different beast altogether whose effects cannot be extrapolated out to dairy containing CLA. The dose is larger and the structure is different. That said, dairy naturally rich in cis-9, trans-11 CLA has been shown to be beneficial in trials. In a 2010 trial, pecorino romano (a raw sheep cheese high in CLA that I highly recommend) improved markers of inflammation and atherosclerosis in human subjects compared to a control cheese low in CLA.

Butyric Acid

Butyric acid is a short chain fatty acid produced in the guts of mammals by fermentation of fiber by gut bacteria. Since ruminants like cows are processing tons of fibrous plant matter, they make a lot of butyric acid which ends up in their dairy fat. Most research has focused on the benefits of endogenous production of butyric acid in the colon, but one human study suggests that oral butyric acid in the amounts we could expect to get from dairy fat can also have beneficial effects on our health.

However, it was an enteric-coated oral butyric acid supplement that helped 53% of subjects with “mild to moderate” Crohn’s disease go into remission and 16% have partial improvement, not a mouthful of butter. Enteric coatings allow supplements to make it into the colon whereas butter will be digested before making it. I suppose it’s possible that poor digestion could allow for some butter (and butyric acid) to make it down to the colon, but that’s not a desirable condition. The results of this study may not be applicable to butter consumption.

Milk Fat Globule Membrane

Dairy fat is encapsulated in a “milk fat globule membrane” that also includes various other bioactive compounds that seem to exert beneficial effects. Indeed, consumption of buttermilk, which is rich in MFGM, has been shown to reduce blood pressure in human subjects. Another study showed reductions in cholesterol, especially triglycerides, with buttermilk consumption.

What about low-fat dairy?

Low-fat dairy doesn’t seem to help with blood pressure or adiposity. It either has no effect on or increases a certain marker of inflammation, while eating butter, cream, or cheese has either a beneficial or no effect on inflammation. And although milk is often implicated in cancer, that’s only true for low-fat and skim milk; full-fat milk appears to be protective.

For all the potential benefits of these dairy-specific fatty acid species, I’m hesitant to elevate any one of them. Dairy is a whole food, and it’s likely the entire package that’s responsible for the effects. Plus, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to disentangle the fatty acid components from the other nutrients in dairy. CLA comes with calcium comes with milk fat globule membranes come with vitamin K2 comes with potassium comes with protein, and so on. And even if we could isolate the effects of various dairy nutrients and study them, that goes out the window we eat the stuff. When we bite down on a slab of aged gouda or toss a pat of grass-fed butter over some steamed broccoli or quaff a flagon of kefir, the myriad components of dairy are mingling in our mouths and our guts and being incorporated into and used by our tissues. We can’t disentangle dairy nutrients in the real world. Why would we want to? If we do, we end up with CLA supplements that don’t work quite as well as grass-fed dairy. Just eat the dairy. Studies – and millennia of tradition across dozens of cultures – support this practice.

Whatever’s doing it, something in the full-fat dairy is improving our health over and above low-fat dairy – and that’s what matters most. Choose your fancy. Raw milk? Drink it if you got and want it. Aged sheep cheese? Enjoy. Yogurt? Do it. They all seem to be associated with good health, protection from CVD and diabetes and obesity. Since the healthy user effect doesn’t really apply to full-fat dairy (since “everyone knows” full-fat dairy is bad for you), I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s actually exerting beneficial effects on people who eat it.

What does this mean in the big picture? Is full-fat dairy unabashedly Primal? If you’re tolerant of it, then yes, I suppose it is.

In a future post, I’ll explain how you can figure out if you’re dairy intolerant.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care and be sure to leave a comment!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Thank you for this post Mark! I’m currently making my first batch of homemade Raw Milk Kefir. Hopefully it turns out OK!

    Rocky.

    Rocky wrote on December 3rd, 2013
    • Are you using grains or powder? Powder is easier with no straining involved. I make my own all the time and it’s so easy. Not one ruined batch yet. Good luck with your first batch.

      Nocona wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  2. I am pleased to see that dairy can be included in a “primal” diet. Unpasteurized goat milk and kefir that I make from some of it has been a significant part of my otherwise pretty paleo diet for years. And I do well on it. I do think that the quality of the dairy is critical. Any milk/yogurt you buy in the store is pretty highly processed and most of it is from CAFO mega-corporate farms, where the animals live in horrendous conditions and are fed antibiotics and other toxic substances. I get my milk from a local farmer who I know cares about her goats. I just ordered some raw butter, which I am excited about!

    Lisa Wolfe wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  3. I had no idea that fermenting impacted the casein. I’ll have to look into that.

    Kris wrote on December 3rd, 2013
    • Found it: “A study published in the January 2010 issue of the “Journal of Dairy Science” showed that the enzymes present in kefir break down milk caseins. The resulting substances — known as peptides — have a broad range of health-promoting effects. They can, for example, bolster your immune system.”

      Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/548413-kefir-enzymes/#ixzz2mSKY5ROd

      Kris wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  4. My dad, a Swede from the old country, used to make a fermented milk dish from raw milk from our Jersey cow, Bertha. Sprinkled a little cinnamon on top of a little dish of it and gave it to me. It was divine. Wish I knew how he did it! It was milder, creamier and less acid than yogurt. He always told me it would make me strong. (It did.)

    maidel wrote on December 3rd, 2013
    • I bet it was filmjolk. It used to be homemade by nearly everyone in Sweden. You can buy starter online. Nick’s Natural Nook on eBay has good feedback :)

      Shannon wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  5. Glad to hear of the planned post about how to tell if you are dairy intolerant. Thanks!

    JoyAnn wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  6. But.. when you think about how this is “PRIMAL” the way we ate ages and ages ago… they didn’t make cheese. So, how is that part of the ” primal blueprint” I’m not against cheese.. I’m just curious how it fits in when people talk about eating how we ate ages ago. you know what I mean?? I want to know how to respond to people when they ask me this! :) because they didn’t make cheese back then..

    Brittney wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  7. Gluten + dairy = trouble for me. Dairy sans gluten = happy. That said, my main form of dairy intake is cheese, butter, and a bit of cream (hate milk and not particularly fond of yogurt). As a kid I used to eat butter straight and go barefoot everywhere. Starting to realize the biggest mistake I’ve made to date was grow up!

    Susan wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  8. So much conflicting data out there, do lean on Mark to synthesize information on health-related topics (even though I do not eat meat) on top of the 40 years of studying health, fitness, nutrition and supplementation. I eat a couple of cubes of aged goat cheese many days as part of my last meal of the day. That’s it for me as far a dairy goes. Otherwise, fish oil, olive oil, free range eggs and coconut oil are my primary source of lipids.

    George wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  9. What does it mean by full fat dairy? It seems like all you find at the store is low fat everything. Where can I find it? Does it need to be organic? Sorry a lot of questions, I’m new to this.

    Matt wrote on December 3rd, 2013
    • Whole milk, heavy whipping cream, butter or ghee, 4% fat cottage cheese (oddly called “small curd”, at least here in California), and all the cheeses not labeled as low-fat. In my opinion, organic dairy is much better than conventional dairy for many reasons.

      Allison wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  10. Could someone speak to “The China Study” claiming casein is a direct catalyst to cancer? Milk has scared me since I read this

    Jeff wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  11. So many foods available to us today are not strictly primal, so I think one must look at the fat profile and see if the approximation is apt. Full fat dairy qualifies.

    Danielle Thalman wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  12. I used to be severely lactose intolerant. Since going primal, however, I must have healed my gut or something because I can now eat full-fat dairy without all of the “gut wrenching” side effects. Is it possible to heal the gut in this manner, and if not, why can I now tolerate dairy?

    Ara wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  13. I stopped all dairy a year and a half ago when I went hard core Paleo. I did not realize that I was fairly lactose intolerant. Not to a disabling point but just having mucous and flem in large amounts until I went Paleo. Then I drifted off Paleo after a year introducing dairy back in while still avoiding breads and starches. The flem and mucous came back. I can do without milk and most products but I really miss cheese. So I treat myself now and then but always notice a reaction. But its funny I don’t get much of a reaction from Milk. I do treat myself to KerryGold Butter without any reaction either.

    Mary P wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  14. This is certainly one of the topics, that generates alot of replies. Maybe b/c the primal way is much more resilient, towards things that tastes good (and makes life worth living), but has a bit of a bad rep, both in the CW world and very much in the hard core Paleo world. Alcohol, potatoes, dairy to name a few.
    You have to be stupid, not to be able to see the importance of cheesemaking, in order to preserve calories, through the (modern) history of Man. Every culture has some sort of cheese on the “program”. It was simply a way of storing the hard earned food, so it would´nt go bad. I haven´t done a Google search on it, but my guess is that, dairy is older than organized grain production (wine and beer prolly is too ;-) ). I dont drink much (high fat) milk, but the cheeses remains a stable for me, and has been that way for my entire life. I am sad to hear, that some ppl can´t digest dairy products. It really is an important foodgroup, that some folks must have developed some sort of unability to break down, over many generations, due to some sort of genetic mutation resulting in insufficient production of the right enzymes.
    One has to think, why it has´nt been the ability to breakdown grainbased carbohydrates and/or proteins, that has been degenerated over the millenia lol.
    Well, I´ll be toasting to the Paleo folks on Friday, as I drink a lovely chianti with some aged Italian cheese. Yes, redwine and cheese really is a match made in heaven. Coincidence? You be the judge on that one ;-)

    spritz wrote on December 4th, 2013
  15. I am fortunate enough to have access to a state certified raw milk organic dairy in New York State. Raw milk is the ONLY dairy I can tolerate (other than fermented dairy), or I have full blown lactose intolerance symptoms. I am thriving on this!

    Bradpj53 wrote on December 4th, 2013
  16. Sorry – confused Brit here. What’s “heavy cream”? I keep seeing it in recipes and on websites like this one and I’m a bit confused….

    In the UK we have single cream (thicker than milk, but still really runny), double cream (gloopy), and “extra thick double cream” (nearly solid, but still a bit gloopy). Oh and clotted cream…

    Going back to eating butter is one of the joys of my palaeo life. A bit like eating a whole avocado with my lunchtime salads in the summer…. It felt like such luxury.

    Clare wrote on December 4th, 2013
    • It’s all about the fat content. “Heavy cream” is also called “heavy whipping cream” (or sometimes just “whipping cream” in the States, and has a fat content of 36%+. If you visit http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cream they list the different fat content levels of cream in different countries. It looks like US heavy cream = UK whipping cream or double cream, depending on your fat content preference.

      Cassie wrote on December 4th, 2013
      • Cassie – thanks. That clears a lot of things up (recipes, these kinds of forums etc). I figured that must be right, but grateful for the “translation” from American into British…(!)

        Clare wrote on December 5th, 2013
  17. Do you all realize that full fat milk has been banned in school cafeteria’s thanks to Michelle Obama dictating to the public, when she is not even a nutritionist.

    Shirley wrote on December 4th, 2013
    • Things are getting bad in our country now and I feel so locked out of my child’s life when she’s at school. I’m worried about what she eats and will have a talk with the school this afternoon to ensure she eats healthier food, demanding they feed her whole milk as well. Some places are banning parents from sending a lunch to school with their kids even. They want to enforce their version of a *healthy, balanced* diet on our kids. You know, that *healthy* diet that’s making us all sick, fat and downright unhealthy? Socialism at its finest.

      britbrit05 wrote on December 4th, 2013
    • I highly doubt that. I haven’t seen full fat milk in a school cafeteria in the last 10-15 years. That has nothing to with Michelle Obama.

      parson wrote on December 4th, 2013
  18. Milk is very calming to me. It is food to me when I’m hungry and can’t think of anything else to eat and it also seems to calm me down when I get anxiety. I grew up on 2% and just used to buy it because it was what I’d always done but upon discovering low-carb diets and paleo I will never go back to low fat again! I didn’t seem to lose weight on cheese but conventional pasteurized milk doesn’t seem to hurt anything. I’ve always been kind of thin. At 5’5″ I have hovered at about 135 lbs. for the last decade but now on eating “real” foods I am down to 123 lbs (26.5″ waist down from 28″) . I also walk 2 or 3 miles a day (slowly, about 1.5- 1.8 mph usually on my treadmill scattered out throughout the day), do dishes by hand and hang clothes on the line and do some walking in the afternoons when I go pick up the little one from school. Too bad though bikini season is over! Lol I know a lot of people are proponents of raw milk but I don’t see anything wrong with pasteurization, I avoid ultra-pasteurized though. Yes, you lose some vitamin content and the structure of the milk does change some, but that holds true with all foods. We humans were made to dominate the Earth and use it to survive and we have the ability to build and cook and invent. I just think it’s a problem when we start manipulating nature through science.

    At the beginning of low carb I didn’t lose weight for months but that may have been because I still ate some processed foods like Vienna sausages and regular cheese and yogurt. I don’t eat those things anymore and my weight is down now. So, basically, I don’t think full-fat milk harms my weight loss but cheese probably does. I also eat some fruit, usually a banana a day or something. I down butter daily and sometimes love to eat raw coconut butter by the spoonful! I eat grains occasionally like on days when we need to go to the grocery store and there isn’t much of a choice lol but for the most part I avoid them. I don’t think grains are quite the evil paleo enthusiasts make them out to be, but I don’t believe they are necessary in our diets. If they were necessary humans wouldn’t have been able to exist as hunter-gatherers nor would they have been able to migrate into colder climates. Our grains today, however, have been so processed and modified it’s a wonder anyone can even stomach them. Add to that the way we manipulate foods by microwaving them (microwaving foods changes the molecular structure of the foods so our bodies probably don’t even recognize the food) and genetically altering them. This is not natural and is likely causing multiple problems and increased allergies and food intolerances. Not to mention cloning. Most cloned animals are so messed up that have to be euthanized at birth yet food from cloned animals and their offspring have made their way into our food supply now and who knows what the long term consequences of this is going to be?

    But, anyways, cutting out grains works and is a must for anyone really wanting to get a trim waistline. I believe milk is healthy if you can stomach it, raw or pasteurized, whichever your body can tolerate.

    britbrit05 wrote on December 4th, 2013
    • Oh, yes and bellydancing and zilling are a staple in my life for exercise! I just do it when the urge to dance hits me but don’t worry about cardio or timing my workouts like I once did. You’d be surprised the strength floorwork especially takes and it is great for our pelvic floors as women!

      britbrit05 wrote on December 4th, 2013
  19. I just read the link about dairy and cancer which seems to say that dairy may only be problematic when stripped of it’s protective fats, and at the top of this article, you echo this sentiment by referring to “the potentially problematic components of dairy – the whey, casein, and lactose”. What does this say about whey isolate products which have been stripped of their “protective” CLA-containing fats? This is a primary ingredient in the Primal Fuel product, so does that mean Primal Fuel is possible carcinogenic? Just wondering because I have been using whey isolate for years and was unaware that they may be unhealthy.

    Peter wrote on December 4th, 2013
  20. how about dairy and autoimmune disease? is it inflammatory in the body? I am very happy to eat just cheese, greek yogurt, and kefir if it is ok… fermented food is good! thanks for this post!

    denise petersen wrote on December 4th, 2013
  21. I hope cottage cheese is on the good dairy list. I make my own with full fat raw milk from grass fed cows.

    Susan wrote on December 4th, 2013
  22. It’s a bloody good thing really, given how much full fat dairy I bought today ;-)

    Anna wrote on December 4th, 2013
  23. Awesome. The only dairy I eat is glorious full-fat plain greek yogurt. LOVE IT.

    mars wrote on December 4th, 2013
  24. I was vegan for 6 years and didn’t notice any negative effects of adding dairy back in, nor after I cut it out to try Whole30, so I’m eating it for good now! I adore it, and it helps me stay primal. I’ve got a jar of raw kefir grains “rehydrating” on the counter right now, hopefully that takes :) The only dairy I don’t care for is Greek yogurt. I much prefer the almost pourable texture and flavor of European style yogurt. If you get Strauss near you, the whole milk European yogurt is amazing! And I have to say, the day I learned real butter is GOOD for you was one of the greatest of my life, haha! I actually illegally packed home a bunch of Normandy butter from France a couple years ago. Good butter (maybe sprinkled with good salt flakes!) is just incredible.

    Cassie wrote on December 4th, 2013
  25. I can’t wait to read the post about dairy tolerance. I want to eat dairy, especially now that I’m trying to go very low-carb, but it’s so touch-and-go. I was eating a lot of fermented dairy and breaking out badly, so when I stopped and my skin cleared up a few months later, I ran an experiment. I started eating fat-free dairy, but as soon as I started eating full-fat Fage, my skin got inflamed and I started breaking out again (it seems to be particulary problematic with Fage for whatever reason). I now realize that my dairy has to be at least organic, but when I tried raw dairy, aside from flavor, I didn’t notice a difference. I also did notice that cheese, no matter what kind, encourages me to overeat while also sitting very heavy in my stomach.

    Maybe that’s reflective of a previous question about the primal-ness of dairy. I know there have been herder-gatherer cultures, and from what I’ve read, groups like the Maasai and the Himba will churn butter and consume fermented dairy, but they’re not eating cheese or anything that would qualify as a “processed” dairy (I’m using that term loosely).

    Then again, to all of you who eat cheese and don’t get slow digestion and mucous, I say more power to you!

    Deanna wrote on December 4th, 2013
  26. Didn’t eat dairy before going primal. Now have small amounts of cheese, butter and a 1/2 tsp of cream in the coffee each am.

    bamboo wrote on December 4th, 2013
  27. I have a question: I had breast cancer 8 years ago–it was highly estrogen positive. Since hormones are concentrated in fat, how do hormones in high fat dairy get processed in humans? I ate a ridiculous amount of cheese when I was in my 20′s working in a cheese shop, and always wondered if that contributed to cancer.
    So I have been a little leery of high fat dairy.
    Any information you can give me would be appreciated!!

    Meg wrote on December 4th, 2013
  28. So, Mark said he supposes that dairy is Primal. Is it or is it not?

    Sister Sue wrote on December 4th, 2013
    • Certain types of dairy are. Other types of dairy aren’t. For some people it is. For other people it isn’t.

      Mark Sisson wrote on December 4th, 2013
      • Love it. You go, Mark!
        You’re my hero.

        Samantha wrote on December 4th, 2013
  29. I am attracted to dairy. But use it as a diet supplement and not as a core fuel. High fat ice cream treat, cream on top organic milk, cheese, yogurt, organic butter.

    My red meat of choice is bison.

    So some folks look at me eating fats as if I am signing up for a heart attack.

    Full physical 2 weeks ago….Doc didn’t bother to check colesteral because I have no evidence of a problem over 30 years seeing him. His written comment on my Blood work…”I am a ridiculously healthy 6’1″ 173 lb 58 year old male. Keep doing what you are going”

    I am NOT a nutty health/workout fanatic. I simply try to pay attention, keep moving, go for long walks in nature a couple of times a month, otherwise just try to remember occasionally to bend over from my hips, hang from something, practice standing straight, lift with my legs, eat when I am hungry and DONT EAT stuff my Instinct warms me to leave alone, notice my smile, read, choose no alcohol, watch almost zero TV and try to find people and places where I can laugh.

    Anyone can do this, I AM NOT SPECIAL OR GENETICALLY PRIVILEGED.

    Just one member of the human race.

    Peace to all you out there.

    😄

    K-UNDY wrote on December 4th, 2013
  30. Great discussion here. I recently stopped consuming dairy to test my body and see how it responds. After a week I have found much less sinus congestion than I had been plagued with for weeks. We shall see how this evolves.

    Jim wrote on December 4th, 2013
  31. Before starting to eat LCHF, I always thought that dairy caused mucus–it was certain in my mind. Then, after going very low carb for a month or so and enjoying full-fat dairy, I suddenly realized I had NO MUCUS EVER. It was then I realized that the mucus accompanied either the carbs or the combination of carbs + dairy (and up to that time I had eaten low-fat dairy!) Anyway–this was quite a revelation to me. Now, 3+ years down the road, and a lot of full-fat dairy from sweet grass-fed animals, I’m thinner and much healthier. Plus, I’m not always thinking about food!

    Kraemer wrote on December 4th, 2013
  32. “One thing that sets the Primal way of eating apart from other ancestral health approaches is our acceptance of dairy fat”.

    Can’t agree with that opening statement.

    The real tribes is Israel which migrated into Europe lived of their pastoral animals. Just look at the etymology of the name Galatians.

    Chris wrote on December 4th, 2013
  33. I am extremely dairy intolerant, but the only dairy product currently in my diet is Bovine Colostrum – full of immune factors and other goodness that actually helps out with stem cells! I love fermented products and hope that my leaky gut heals so I can handle raw full fat fermented dairy some day to help inoculate my gut with some of them probiotics…..

    then again…..living without dairy really doesn’t seem difficult to me

    Matthew Zastrow wrote on December 4th, 2013
  34. PA – legal and RAW!
    http://www.yourfamilyfarmer.com
    straight from the farmer to you….milk and raw cheeses, pastured meats!
    This had made my primal journey so much easier!

    Veronica wrote on December 4th, 2013
  35. I have no clue if the cheeses I love come from grass-fed or grain-fed cows-, sheep- or goats-milk, but they sure are full-fat. I understand that full-fat grass-fed is better than full-fat grain-fed, but is full-fat grain-fed still better than nothing?

    Anders wrote on December 4th, 2013
  36. Why is raw milk illegal in some places? What is the rationale for this? Are people stroking out after drinking it? What gives?

    parson wrote on December 4th, 2013
  37. I am looking forward to the post on how you can figure out if you’re dairy intolerant. I have had two blood tests that I tested super high intolerant (allergic) to casein. Yet I don’t feel bad when I eat it and I have heard very conflicting things about whether the blood tests (IGg, IGe) etc. are accurate. I still eat cultured butter and I try to avoid cheese but sometimes I can’t help myself – a little cheese in certain dishes just makes them so much better! So I am wondering how bad is it if I am intolerant and still eat it occasionally, am I really doing harm to myself? I hope you address the blood tests in your post.

    Holly wrote on December 4th, 2013
  38. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price is a must read for anyone wanting to know the best ways to eat for health. Dr. Price evaluates the health and foods of 14 “primative” peoples around the globe in the 1930′s who were not yet exposed to “modern” foods. He found extraordinary health in these populations and frequently commented upon the complete lack of disease as well as their physical perfection (many pictures to back this up). When introduced to modern foods, their health deteriorated enormously. At least two of these populations existed almost solely on raw dairy (mostly fermented) and meat; the isolated Swiss added rye and some vegetables, and the Masi tribe of Africa added blood as suplemental foods. The book includes a picture of a 6’6″ Masi chief who is over 80 years old with his 8 wives and some of his large number of young children, many who had to have been born well after he was 70. Dairy may not be for everyone, but for those who can tolerate it, it seems to be a a very good choice.

    Richard wrote on December 4th, 2013
  39. Raw grass fed milk for the win!

    Jason wrote on December 4th, 2013
  40. I’m looking forward to your next post Mark as unfortunately I do think I have a problem with cow dairy. I’m missing Cheddar cheese soooo much! I wonder if you would be able to touch on the topic of A1 vs A2 milk products as this is something I’m trying to learn more about?

    Dawn Taylor wrote on December 4th, 2013

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