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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 28, 2010

The Definitive Guide to Dairy

By Mark Sisson
631 Comments

I knew going in this was going to be a tricky one, because dairy, especially raw and/or fermented full-fat dairy, resides in a Primal gray area. The literature, the evolutionary reasoning, and the anecdotal reports all unanimously point to sugar, cereal grains and legumes, processed foods, and industrial vegetable oils as being net negatives on the human metabolic spectrum, but dairy is somewhat different. The other Neolithic foodstuffs we can rule out because the science condemning them is fairly concrete and they weren’t on the menu 20,000 years ago. Heck, they weren’t just off the menu; they were basically unrecognizable as food in the raw state. Dairy, on the other hand, is a relatively recent food chronologically, but it is most assuredly and obviously a viable nutritive source in its raw form. It’s full of highly bioavailable saturated fat, protein, and carbs – in equal portions. You could conceivably survive on milk alone (I wouldn’t recommend it, but you could technically do it; try doing the same with honey or raw millet). Milk is baby fuel. It’s literally meant to spur growth and enable a growing body. Our bodies definitely recognize dairy as food, even foreign bovine dairy. But is it good nutrition?

I don’t know. I’m not sure anyone really does, in fact, which is why I place dairy firmly in Primal limbo. And so, this Definitive Guide to Dairy may come across as being a bit less than definitive, but that’s only because I’m being honest: we simply don’t know whether dairy is suitable for regular human consumption. Whether you include or exclude it from your diet, the decision must be borne from a review of the available literature (Cordain v. Weston Price, for example) with an assessment of the potential risks and benefits, followed by a personal assessment of dairy’s effect on your body (try it, then strictly eliminate it, and note the differences). If you’ve been eating dairy your entire life, your body doesn’t know anything else. In that case, you’ll want to fully drop it for at least a month to get an accurate assessment. Remember – pre-Primal, you probably “felt fine” eating grains and sugar every day. You may have to take the same approach if you really want to figure out what dairy does to you.

You could listen to Dr. Loren Cordain and other strict paleos who adamantly oppose all forms of it. They offer a number of reasons why dairy doesn’t belong in the human diet – mainly lactose intolerance and casein intolerance. Yet, the truth is,  lactose (a form of sugar) and casein (a form of protein) are both found in human breast milk, so each of us – and certainly every one of our ancestors – was not only able to tolerate but to thrive for some time during infancy depending on both of these “questionable” molecules. That’s the main thing that makes eliminating dairy a little less clear cut than eliminating grains and legumes. But let’s look a little closer at the intolerance issue.

Lactose Intolerance

The widespread presence of lactose intolerants, who still make up a majority of the world’s inhabitants, is somewhat compelling evidence that maybe dairy isn’t the ideal food many assume it to be. Worldwide, we see that most people aren’t adapted to lactose consumption after age four, when many of us lose the ability to properly digest lactose (actually gene expression for the enzymes involved in lactose digestion are down-regulated). Nevertheless, it would appear that among many people, most of whom can trace ancestry back to herding cultures, some adaptation has taken place that allows them to continue to effectively digest lactose throughout their lives. I would never argue that a lactose intolerant person should drink milk; if it makes you feel like crap, don’t eat it! At the same time, though, if that same person were to complain about getting enough fat in his or her diet, and olive oil and coconut oil weren’t cutting it, I would suggest incorporating some cream, butter, or ghee. Little to (in the case of ghee) no lactose to speak of, and you’d be hard pressed to come up with a better all-purpose cooking fat. Lactose intolerance won’t kill you if you ignore it. It’s actually pretty impossible to ignore rumbling guts, explosive diarrhea, cramps, and bloating, so I doubt the truly lactose intolerant will miss it.

Casein Intolerance

Casein is the primary protein in dairy. It shares structural similarities with gluten, a highly problematic grain protein that can shred the intestinal lining and lead to severe auto-immune issues. Bad, bad stuff, and a big reason why grains are so unhealthy. (And if you’re still not convinced that grains are unhealthy read this (PDF).) Now, paleo opponents of dairy say casein wreaks similar havoc on our guts, and it’s true that gluten intolerance goes hand-in-hand with casein intolerance. But is casein a primary cause of leaky gut, or does it slip in only after gluten has opened the floodgates? Once a floodgate is opened, any protein can enter and cause issues. And after all, casein is the primary protein in human breast milk…

Cancer

Cordain thinks milk leads to cancer, citing a fairly impressive array of studies that seem to suggest a link between milk consumption and various types of the disease. He fingers betacellulin, one of milk’s epidermal growth factors, as the causal agent. In the fetus and suckling newborn, betacellulin helps with growth and tissue differentiation. It’s completely essential for growing infants. In adults, Cordain says it passes cleanly into the gut, completely intact and free to enter circulation, where it can bind to receptors and enhance cancer cell growth. What Cordain doesn’t mention is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is also found in milk fat (especially raw, grass-fed milk, which is never included in any study) and has been shown to possess anti-cancer effects by inhibiting breast cancer cell growth and reducing the activation of insulin-like growth factor receptors (the same receptors Cordain identifies as sensitive to betacellulin). The studies Cordain cites as support of the milk-cancer connection are interesting, but their messages are muddled. As Chris Masterjohn points out, milk proteins mostly appear harmful only when separated from their natural fat. Low fat and skim milk appear to have associations with certain cancers (like prostate), while whole milk appears protective (of colorectal cancer) or neutral. It would be nice to see researchers take a good, long look at full-fat, pastured dairy’s effects on cancer rates. Conventional milk consumption probably isn’t advisable, but the jury’s still out on whether raw, pastured, whole milk is also problematic. We need more data.

Insulin Response

Milk is highly insulinogenic, more than most carbohydrate sources. We’re all aware of the dangers of chronically elevated insulin levels, but that’s also what makes milk such a popular post-workout recovery drink. If you’re insulin sensitive following a tough strength training session, milk’s insulin response can be an effective way to shuttle in protein and glycogen. I don’t do it myself, because I like to fast post-workout (and I don’t like the taste of regular milk) but some people swear by it. This is just speculation, but perhaps the potentially negative effects of milk are negated by the post-workout internal environment (starved muscles, depleted glycogen, insulin-sensitive tissue). Or perhaps those powerlifters are slowly but surely eroding their gut lining. To be on the safe side, maybe limit your milk drinking to immediately post-workout if you’re going to drink it at all.

There isn’t a whole lot of consensus on the subject. People with whom I normally agree on everything regarding nutrition have completely different takes on dairy. Some MDA forum goers report no ill effects, while others complain of joint pain and clogged sinuses from consuming even a single ounce of dairy. More than any other food, dairy seems to be entirely subjective. There is no “one size fits all” approach to it. To be on the safe side and to go “full Primal,” you would technically eliminate it completely, but that may be unnecessary for a relatively large number of people.

In a strange way, this entire blog is just a detailed, science-based map of my own personal journey augmented with anecdotes and experiments from others on similar, but slightly divergent, paths. Much of what I write is founded in science but based on my experiences, and this particular post is no different. When things are gray and murky and the science is unclear and far from definitive, I generally go with anecdote and personal, n=1 experimentation. Personally (and, in a way, this entire blog is just a detailed map of my own personal journey), regular dairy doesn’t generally agree with me. I don’t buy or drink milk. Having said that, I’m a big fan of heavy cream in my coffee and butter in my eggs (and on my steaks and vegetables). I like a nice thick yogurt sauce on lamb, and occasionally either Greek yogurt or fresh whipped cream with berries for dessert. I even have a bit of artisan cheese once in a while. It works for me. I don’t get cramps or gas, and I don’t get leaky gut symptoms from casein alone (gluten is another thing altogether). I’d say, on average, I consume at least one dairy item each day (usually butter), but that’s not a hard and fast rule.

As I mentioned in my book, I think there’s a continuum, a cascading scale of suitability when it comes to dairy. It’s not all created equal.

Raw, fermented, full-fat dairy is probably best.

Tons of traditional, fairly disease-free groups lived with dairy (just as tons of traditional, fairly disease-free groups lived without it), and they all included some form of fermented or cultured product. Cultured butter, yogurt, kefir, clotted milk, cheese – these are traditional ways of increasing shelf life, improving digestibility, and incorporating beneficial probiotics into the gut. Fermentation takes care of most of the lactose, and some posit that it may even positively alter the structure, function, and safety of casein.

Raw, high-fat dairy is next.

Raw butter and cream are minimally processed sources of good saturated fat. They’re free of most lactose and casein, and let’s face it: butter and cream just make everything taste better. If it’s essentially just pure, raw animal fat from grass-fed animals, without offensive levels of milk proteins and sugars, what’s not to enjoy? Ghee is another good choice, and though it technically isn’t raw, it is pure animal fat without a trace of lactose or casein.

Then raw milk.

I don’t advise regular consumption of raw milk, mind you, but if you can tolerate it (no stomach upset, no bloating, no gas, no intestinal issues) an occasional glass is probably OK as a sensible vice. Some farms will even supplement their raw milk with colostrum (the extra rich, “first run” milk that provides even more vitamins and nutrients), resulting in a lower-carb, higher-fat, higher-protein product. Look for that stuff if you’re thinking of buying raw milk.

Organic, hormone and antibiotic-free dairy (full fat, of course).

Bottom line: don’t consume non-organic dairy if you can help it. Avoid homogenized milk if you can, and try not to purchase pasteurized milk (organic or not) on a regular basis. If you’re out getting coffee or something, the regular half and half or heavy cream are fine, and Kerrygold makes a great pastured, pasteurized butter that’s available nationwide.

Other things to consider:

A2 Milk versus A1 Milk

Milk proteins are made up of different beta-caseins, which vary between cow breeds. There are two main categories of beta-casein: A1 and A2, each with different effects. A1 cows (Holsteins and Friesians) produce A1 beta-caseins, which release an opioid-like chemical upon digestion. This chemical, called beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM7), is a protein fragment that figures into the joint pains, digestive issues, and leaky gut symptoms that detractors typically blame on just casein. A2 cows (Jerseys and Gurnseys), on the other hand, produce A2 beta-casein, which has been vindicated. Raw, pastured milk tends to come from Jersey and Gurnsey cows; Holsteins and Friesians produce far more milk and so are used by conventional, factory dairy farmers. The Masai, for example, have A2 cattle.

Goat

Goat dairy is another option, with more fat (that’s never homogenized, even when pasteurized), less casein, less lactose, and fewer digestive issues. Structurally and nutritionally, goat milk is one of the closer corollaries to human breast milk, making it arguably more suitable for human consumption than cow’s milk.

In the end, is there a definitive stamp of Primal approval, or Primal disapproval? I just can’t go either way. Sometimes, the correct path is to admit that you simply don’t know. You can read all the blogs you want, pour over every comment, follow every link, and pontificate about every hunter-gatherer group on the planet, but if you don’t try things out for yourself – either by trying certain dairy products or by eliminating them and noting the effects – it’s all just speculation and hearsay. In the murky, milky world of dairy, it’s up to you to decide your ideal path.

Tell me about your experiences. Is dairy part of your Primal eating strategy? If so, what (butter, milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.) and how much?

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631 Comments on "The Definitive Guide to Dairy"

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Don
Don
6 years 8 months ago

I haven’t had any type of milk in years (milk, not all dairy products). No other animal on earth that I know of drinks the milk of another animal as a regular practice, so why should we?

Bill
Bill
6 years 8 months ago

No other animal kills a cow cuts him up and throws him on the grill, and ejoys him while watching a good college football game either, what is your point?
Also if you offer cows milk to dogs, cats, probably any animal they would drink it. Just a little tough to harvest what with the paws and such.

Don
Don
6 years 8 months ago

They would if they had thumbs 😉

My point is I don’t think it’s natural to drink another animal’s milk.

DH
DH
5 years 8 months ago
I mentioned in another comment that I’m from the farm. I grew up milking cows. The real point is, no mammal once it’s weaned ever has the need for milk again. In fact most animals in the wild never have access to it again once they are weaned. Most carnivores will eat or drink anything set in front of them. But if you set a bucket of milk in front of a yearling calf or older they won’t drink it. This is true of most herbivores. I can’t think of any off the top of my head that will touch… Read more »
MW
MW
5 years 19 days ago

We have thumbs! 😀
(Maybe that’s why most of us drink milk.Natural or not)
Monkey’s and such wouldn’t know what to do with a cow (or any other animal for that matter) if they saw one.

Jason B.
Jason B.
4 years 8 months ago

Just to play devil’s advocate here, the Mongolian people survived and still do survive off goats milk (and have been doing so for the better part of a millenium or so).

Sandy
Sandy
4 years 4 months ago

Funny my yearling calf, will do just about anything to get a teat in his mouth to get some milk…Our pigs love milk and can’t get enough of the stuff, the same goes for our chickens. Our goats will drink milk over water and they are well over 2 years old. A friend down the road had a horse well over a yearling that was still sucking off her mom! Good raw milk, I’ll never give it up.

Jodie
Jodie
4 years 1 month ago
I have to say this thread made me laugh. We have a free flying budgie in our home and we have to lock him out of the kitchen when milk is around because he will go crazy trying to get at it. Supposedly milk is not good for birds so we keep him away, but the few times he has alluded us, he has seemed as happy as could be and suffered no ill effects we could see. I searched out this thread because I am slowly leading the family towards primal and was concerned with all the negative comments… Read more »
Daniel
Daniel
3 years 2 months ago

You’re right, let’s murder it, and eat it’s corpse.

Dana Carpender
2 years 2 months ago
My guess — and, like all of this, it is merely a guess — is that cheese was the first non-human dairy consumed by humans, and that it was consumed before we ever went from following herds of ruminants to controlling them. Think of it: You’re a hunter-gatherer. You kill a young goat, or sheep, or buffalo. In its stomach, you are likely to find cheese curds. Do you throw them away? I very much doubt it. I’m guessing it was the consumption of cheese found in young ruminants that led to the realization that herds of ruminants would provide… Read more »
Claire
Claire
1 year 9 months ago
It’s also not natural to drive or use aircon or prescription drugs, but I’m doing those things. Anyway, my rabbit goes crazy when I have a cup of tea (which includes milk) and tries to get in the cup! I don’t allow him to eat anything that he shouldn’t eat, though. I think it’s simply a choice we make or that is made for us by our bodies and there’s no right and wrong with our personal choices (or at least, we’re the individuals who have to put up with the consequences). I can’t eat yoghurt, but can eat all… Read more »
Dana
Dana
6 years 8 months ago
My cat Lundi adores dairy cream. I won’t give her the regular milk because the lactose would bother her stomach, but cream does no harm and she typically gets a small amount for breakfast. It seems to benefit her coat, too. She has the least dandruff of any of the cats and we have dry winters here. But yeah… saying “no other animal does this” is hardly reason for us not to do it. There are indigenous traditional tribes who consume milk; the Maasai come immediately to mind. Have you seen a traditional Maasai warrior? Tall, slender, strong, with gorgeous… Read more »
Don
Don
6 years 8 months ago

It’s a good enough reason for me 🙂

It just seems a bit unnatural and just my personal opinion/taste. It’s mine – don’t take that away from me.

Al
Al
5 years 8 months ago

you’ve seen many naked maasai with your own eyes and are qualified to report on their status? Or you’re re-gurgitating an old report?

Those herdsmen might very well be the picture of health. I prefer to only listen to first hand accounts of them….

Zach
Zach
4 years 11 months ago

AL,
I actually have seen the Massai people in person and they are an absolutely beautiful people. Actually they are one of the few groups of people on earth that are allowed to kill Lions with out punishment.

Malika Duke
6 years 5 months ago

LOLOL.. ’cause other animals can’t heard and milk cows or goats… But, we can!

Jennapher
Jennapher
3 years 5 months ago

@ Al.. I have seen the Masai people with my own eyes and they are how Dana describes them. Unless ofcourse they are not getting enough food in which case they will look malnourished but the ones that are getting enough to eat are strong, tall, slender and can jump REALLY high.

dr.maapkra
dr.maapkra
5 years 2 months ago

Haha! ;D AMEN! I get SO tired of the “this is natural”/ “this is unnatural” rhetoric. One of the reasons for the success of Homo sapiens, I think, is our innovativeness!
Grains may not support us being optimally healthy, but they did lead to the rise of civilization! Please keep judgements of “good” and “bad” away from my food, and let’s just focus on consuming whatever makes our bodies work the best 🙂

Henry Miller
Henry Miller
6 years 8 months ago

That is not true. Cats drink cow milk anytime they can get it. Ask any farmer who stopped doing dairy, they will tell you that the cats went from two litters of kittens a year to one when they were unable to sneak milk.

Lisa
Lisa
5 months 27 days ago

My dog and cat would not drink pasteurized milk and I suffered lactose intolerance, but now that I’m drinking raw A2 milk and raw butter I’m fine and my dog begs for raw milk.

Magnus
Magnus
6 years 7 months ago

What if a pack of wolves took down a cow or something that was laden with milk?

My guess is they would easily lap up the milk just like theyd devour everything else.

Brian
Brian
6 years 7 months ago

That’s because they can’t. Put a bowl of milk in front of a dog or cat and watch them go at it like there’s no tomorrow.

Icarus
Icarus
6 years 7 months ago

Or any animal, really. Why do rats and mice like cheese so much? My guess would be because dairy products have something of a universal appeal, at least to mammals.

PJT13
PJT13
6 years 2 months ago

Some cats cannot drink milk because it would kill them – Siamese I believe. Paleolithic man didn’t drink milk because animals weren’t domesticated and would have eaten him before he had a chance to steal their milk! As for animals not eating other animals – they may not rustle up a burger in front of the football game, but just watch those lions tear their prey apart. That’s what our ancestors would have done, and savoured the best bit ’til last – the bone marrow. Happy PB eating! it’s done me the power of good!

DH
DH
5 years 8 months ago

This isn’t a slam but it made me laugh. You must be from the city. I grew up on the farm with rats and mice all over the barns. I used to get paid to kill the rats. Dairy is not the primary or favorite food of these rodents. They’ll eat more grain than anything else, and big rats like chicken eggs. Mice will actually go after peanut butter before they will cheese. I set lots of traps for them too!

Angela
Angela
3 years 7 months ago
Rats, like humans, cannot produce their own calcium, and they must get it from food sources. All rats love dairy, for just that reason. If they have no external source of calcium, their bones get so weak that they can break their legs just trying to walk. I have had pet rats for decades, and a couple of rescues came to me with broken back legs for just that reason. How did rats evolve to need calcium in their diets? Probably because of their long history of living with and around humans, who also need external sources of calcium.
Jake
Jake
3 years 5 months ago

I too had a pet rat. Her name was BB and shes was the sweetest fat rat ever. However if approached with cheese she would react out of character and lunge for the cheese as if she was starving. She liked cheese more than peanut butter or actual store bought rat treats. Just my experiance with my rat 😀

Caroline Cooper
5 years 5 months ago
Hi Friend, I have a Jersey cow and I can tell you that adult animals from other species LOVE to drink milk, if they can get it. We used a bull for breeding our cow. He loves to suckling on our cow! It’s a serious problem when you come to milk the cow and she is dry from a nursing bull! Our cat loves getting milk and will hang around during milking for a squirt. A by-product of butter making is buttermilk. Our hogs just love buttermilk. Our chickens love yoghurt. I could go on but animals do love milk.… Read more »
JBailey
4 years 4 months ago

My experience too!
I let my steer nurse until the day we sold his mom and he was more than happy too. Same goes for other cattle trying to sneak a drink. And my hens go nuts for milk products, especially after it sits in the sun a little and starts to sour.

NickGumbi
NickGumbi
4 years 9 months ago

Quite simply it is an issue of modern manners and availability. Good question.

D.M. Mitchell
4 years 3 months ago

No other animal on earth cooks its food or farms it, too. So what’s your point? Milk, from a macro-biotic point of view, is a liquid with fat, protein, and carbohydrates. If you put a bowl of milk before a dog or a cat, they will drink it. They just can’t milk the cow themselves.

Greyson
4 years 2 months ago

This is a common argument against milk consumption, that no other animals drink it. And it’s a good one.

But this got me thinking. If a lion kills a lactating zebra, do you think it would consume the milk stored in the zebra? I think yes. But an even more interesting question is, do lions seek out the milk in the animal, like they seek out certain organs?

Just a thought to ponder.

Robert
Robert
3 years 11 months ago
Not entirely true. And not a good reason nevertheless. The reason why animals don’t drink milk for very long is that it costs a lot for the animal to produce milk and thus stopping is beneficial. And if there is a function in the body that is not needed it will probably devolve. And also… Scandinavians for example have been proven to evolved a tolerance for lactose due to the fact that agriculture was much more difficult in the north and thus they kept animals and drank milk to have a steady source of food throughout winter. That habit pressured… Read more »
kemibe
3 years 7 months ago
A friend sent me a link to this blog, and at a glance I like it because its posts are clearly based on considered thought and research, even if I suspect I might disagree here and there. Perhaps I should respond in the context of what might have been “correct” many millennia ago, as this seems to be the focus of this blog. Instead, I’ll take the standpoint of a lactose-tolerant American living in the current century. “…if that same person were to complain about getting enough fat in his or her diet…” I know of no one who has… Read more »
Harj
Harj
3 years 4 months ago

Years ago when milk was delivered in glass bottles with foil tops here in the UK, wild birds would peck holes in the foil to drink milk

Jenell
Jenell
1 year 8 months ago

Because it’s delicious?

.info
2 months 16 days ago
Animals don’t have the ability or intelligence to go up and milk another mammal. Most of them wouldn’t allow it. Animals instinct would be to take down/kill the animal first. Anyways, some others have mentioned this, so I won’t continue. Like Mark said at the end of the article “you have to decide for yourself.” Thats exactly what I have done. I have had every limb on my body give me issues, externally and internally. I have had bad inflammation, auto-immune disorders/symptoms, crohns disease, IBS, food allergies to all fruits and vegetables. Basically what it boiled down to was my… Read more »
Harpo
Harpo
6 years 8 months ago

What about yoghurt? I adore FAGE’s 10% fat Greek style [it’s strained].

Then I could move on to Alpro soy yoghurt, not dairy, not primal but just 2.8gm carbs per 100gm.

Advice please! Yoghurt is my weakness…

Kishore
Kishore
6 years 8 months ago

Please keep in mind that soy products can be bad news.
1.Soy is the most sprayed on crop, so you get a large pesticide load. Soy is processed in Aluminum vats, so that can add to toxicity.
2. Soy milk contains large quantities of phyto-estrogens.
3. Slows down thyroid
4. Hemaglutinin is found in soybeans. This compound is known to make red blood cells aggregate, therefore increasing your cardiovascular load
5. Soy based infant formulas are linked to ADD. They contain 80 times more manganese than breast milk. Too much manganese content is linked to neurotoxicity

Glenn
Glenn
6 years 7 months ago

6. … and 85% of soy harvest is GMO 🙂

Most soy is poison.. don’t do it to yourself

Ed
4 years 3 months ago

Soy has been implicated in producing hormonal problems. But there is a lot to be said for the overall benefits of soy. The best bet is to eat only organically-produced soy to avoid the predominantly nasty GMO soy that is out there. Fermented soy gets high marks for healthiness.

Renee
Renee
6 years 7 months ago

Soy is highly allergenic to children. If you are going to introduce it into a child’s diet, it must be the very last food you introduce. Soy has got to be one of the worst substitutes for breast milk.

Rowan
Rowan
5 years 4 months ago

hey, i just want to say that i had really bad excezma as a child, and my parents moved me off cows milk and on to soy milk, and my excezma cleared up in a week, i had soy milk as a substitute for everything from 3 till 11, and it was fine for me, infact, i never had an excezma break out again, apart from when i was in a cast, but thats unrelated. 🙂

Mary
2 years 1 month ago

Soy is sometimes called the abominable bean. So true!!!

musajen
musajen
6 years 8 months ago

Yogurt and Kefir are a part of the “Raw, fermented, full-fat dairy” that Mark advocates as the best. Fage is great, but go for the full-fat variety.

Kishore
Kishore
6 years 8 months ago
Mark, thanks for the detailed info. I recently experimented with RAW, organic, grass fed whole milk for 2 weeks (about 2 gallons a week)and it did not work for me. I could instantly feel abdominal bloating and I started looking ‘softer’ in the mirror. I used the the same milk to create some home made yogurt and that seems to work well. In fact, it tastes and smells so much better than pasturized milk yogurt. The glycemic load for whole milk seems low (around 3), why do you think it is insulinogenic? For anyone interested in pasture raised, organic, grass… Read more »
Chuck
Chuck
6 years 8 months ago

I’ve read anecdotal evidence that the Dutch population is the tallest among the nations and also consume the most milk. But, of course, correlation is not causation.

C2H5OH
C2H5OH
6 years 1 month ago

They’re Nordic, silly;]

Willi
Willi
5 years 7 months ago

The Netherlands isn’t Nordic. It’s in western Europe, and Dutch is a West Germanic language, like German and English.

Americans often confuse the Netherlands with Denmark, which is Nordic (in northern Europe, with a North Germanic langauge), but they’re completely different countries. 🙂

Anyway, the Netherlands is the tallest country in the world, and top for cheese consumption, but I think milk consumption is highest in the Nordic countries — and people there are pretty tall too.

Candice
Candice
5 years 5 months ago

What’s so great about being the tallest….so we all get taller…then what? What’s the advantage in that, really?

Sarah
Sarah
5 years 2 days ago

Reaching stuff on the top shelf?

pfchoirguy
pfchoirguy
4 years 6 months ago

One of the most physically effective and efficient ancestors of modern day humans was homo erectus. Homo erectus was the largest of human ancestors….just saying

ScottyJ
ScottyJ
4 years 1 month ago

The Netherlands is ethnically Germanic, which is what C2H5OH meant by Nordic.

Germanic people are on average the tallest people in the world, which is why countries with large Germanic populations are the tallest.

“There is no evidence that enriching a diet with (or avoiding) a particular food will alter the height one is otherwise destined to reach.[2]”

It is genetic, and not due to dairy consumption.

Eabby
Eabby
4 years 1 month ago
If by any chance you are really meeting Americans who confuse the Netherlands with Denmark, you are meeting some of the Nation’s educationally disenfranchized. Most Americans recognize the Netherlands due to Amsterdam and Apartheid, and Scandinavians as simply Vikings. Being an American, and having actually lived in Scanland, they have high consumptions of meat, fish, especially dairy,sugar, and carbs. So although they may also be very tall, at an average being 6 feet, their skin also ages extremely fast, looking 10-15 years older than they are in comparison to the rest of Europeans/Caucasians in the world. Diet? Not to mention… Read more »
Will2
Will2
3 years 8 months ago

Depends what Nordic means. Dutch people are a mix of various germanic tribes (predominantly). Although the dutch are on everage one of the tallest people’s in the world, the tallest of the dutch are the Frisian peoples, who mostly live in central/northern Netherlands, Germany, and parts of Denmark. Frisians are taller and blonder (nordic) than the average dutch person, and eat a diet with lots of dairy products. So yes you could say that they are nordic, atleast partly, and at in any case are likely to respond better to dairy products than the average human being.

Gordon
Gordon
6 years 8 months ago

70% of the milk consumption in the world is goat milk. Mongolia is a milk based food country but they drink sheep and mare’s milk. These animals graze on grass , not grains. In my opinion thats the difference in healthy milk consumption. People experiencing difficulty with milk are experiencing difficulty with the grain products fed factory cows.

Chris
Chris
6 years 8 months ago

I’ve had fermented Mare’s milk sold out of a yurt in Kyrgyzstan. It tastes TERRIBLE.

barbara
6 years 8 months ago

I’ve the the Finnish “squeaky cheese”… it tastes like a barn smells. Thumbs Down.

Jen
Jen
3 years 8 months ago

Dude! Sorry, but this statement (despite how crappy the milk tasted) is awesome. I dream about visiting former Soviet states.

Ed
4 years 3 months ago

The benefits of goat milk are that it is tasty but also isn’t the allegedly harmful A1 cow’s milk that predominates. Goat milk also doesn’t have the problems of non-organic milk that contains hormones, pesticides, and all the other toxins.

Martin @ Leaky gut research
3 years 8 months ago

When my MD recommended me goat milk for eczema I thought she was crazy. Only later I learned about the immunomodulation properties of goat and camel milk.

eero
eero
6 years 8 months ago

I believe Kurt Harris from http://www.paleonu.com/ recommends full-fat dairy as a way of making low-carb more viable.

If you drop the carbs, calories have to come from somewhere, and most of us can’t have 3 steaks a day.

So another benefit of cream/butter, is that they are a cheap, easy way to fill the void that low-carb creates.

Whatever theoretical harm full-fat dairy may have is probably negated — and then some — by the benefit of dropping carbs.

PHK
PHK
5 years 9 months ago

Dr. Harris makes much more sense to me than Dr. Cordian on the dairy issue that paleo diet is not an re-enactment. for those who are not allergic or intolerant, dairy is inexpensive, nutritious & add variety.

Grok certainly had some access to animal milk (if he killed a lactating animal).

regards,

GadgetBoy
6 years 8 months ago

I add milk to my coffee. I was a big fan of cookies and milk, as well as a big bowl of cereal in the morning, but my conversion to the PB made that disappear!

kongluirong
6 years 8 months ago
I always had more sinus problems when I drank a lot of milk. When I went to a naturopathic doctor, she told me that I was allergic to milk. So I stopped using regular milk for cereal and used soy milk instead (I’m off the soy now, especially since I don’t eat cereal anymore) and my seasonal allergies definitely improved. I used to get a bad sinus infection when I had too much ice cream. So, I think it’s plausible to be allergic to milk, but I also know that milk is mucilaginous(produces mucus). More recently, I had some cheese… Read more »
TomGreenwald
6 years 8 months ago

I don’t drink milk very often, but if I do I only buy unprocessed milk from a local farmer.

RawZi
RawZi
6 years 7 months ago

Same here, local A2 small family farmer, cows are outdoors all day every day all year. They’re the most beautiful healthy cows I’ve seen and this milk is the most delicious…of cow milk. I haven’t tried mare, yak etc. Oops, did I say that was for me? It’s pet milk. It’s not insta-chilled. My hamsters eat unsalted cheese and unsalted butter. My cats drink kefir, cream, eat butter and cheese.

shel
6 years 8 months ago

raw goat milk is ambrosia. but make sure the breed from which it comes is a fatty producer.

…from personal experience though, drinking milk before a hike crashes my blood sugar to the point of seeing spots and experiencing sweaty shakes.

some people have to be careful with dairy.

Ben
Ben
6 years 8 months ago

I found one of the best ways to incorporate dairy into the primal lifestyle is to have a glass of kefir mixed with my favorite protein powder for a post Lift Heavy Things workout. Gives me a nice shot of protein but without the carbs from lactose and gives me some daily probiotic benefits. And if I understand it right the calories from the converted lactose are alcohols which don’t create the huge insulin response of carbs.

Nancy
Nancy
6 years 8 months ago

At one point in my food journey I really wondered why I didn’t feel better since I was not eating grains or sweets. Then I eliminated dairy and my sinus problems cleared up and I felt overall much better. I do miss the cheese, but even goat cheese causes sinus congestion for me. I had a hard time giving up half and half in my tea, but I’m happy now using almond milk for that purpose.

Darc
Darc
6 years 7 months ago

Watch out, every commercially produced almond milk I’ve seen has tapioca in it…a no-no for paleo diets. Maybe you make your own almond milk?

SarahK
SarahK
2 years 1 month ago

Why do you say tapioca is to be avoided? It’s made from the roots of the cassava, some south/Central American people survive on it as a mainstay in their diet.

julianne
julianne
6 years 7 months ago

My father had horrible mucus with milk and switched to A2 milk as it doesn’t induce mucus.
Amazingly he is completely mucus free with A2

Dr.Dairy Free
5 years 6 months ago

It was amazing how my sinuses cleared up as well. For years I thought it was an alergy to dust, or something else.

trackback

[…] Original post by Mark Sisson […]

Elizabeth
6 years 8 months ago
As a huge fan of raw milk, I appreciate your willingness to see both sides of the issue, Mark. I love dairy, and I truly don’t believe it’s anything but healthy for me personally. But that’s just my experience. I do firmly believe that if you’re going to drink milk, choose milk products like you mention above: organic, raw, fermented, always full-fat etc. But I also understand some people just don’t have a high tolerance for dairy. Sometimes this is temporary, and if they remove dairy and take other action to heal their gut they may regain their lactose/casein tolerance.… Read more »
Rick
Rick
6 years 8 months ago

I agree, i’m not a raw meat fan, i try to not overcook steaks and such. I think raw milk helps make up for alot of the good things we burn with fire.

Pikaia
Pikaia
6 years 8 months ago

It not accurate to suggest that bovine casein proteins are equivalent to human casein proteins. Less than half of the amino acids are conserved between the human and bovine caseins.

Milk protein intolerant children may be bovine whey-intolerant, bovine casein-intolerant, or both. A cow’s milk free diet for mom will eliminate symptoms in these babies, but they continue to consume human caseins from breastmilk without discomfort.

Dave, RN
Dave, RN
6 years 8 months ago

“…especially raw, grass-fed milk, which is never included in any study”

In which case, throw that study out. Grocery store milk and raw milk from pastured animals is not the same thing.

Colin
Colin
6 years 7 months ago

It seems like every single study done since the 1800’s only applies to pasteurized dairy and cooked meat. It drives me crazy. Raw milk has the enzymes in it naturally that break down the lactose. My mother is lactose intolerant and drinks it with no problem. Whenever someone says anything about the nutrition in dairy or meat it should be disregarded until it is proven to apply to raw.

Dozer
Dozer
6 years 8 months ago

What about GREEK YOGURT (Greek Gods-Plain Whole Milk)? I realize it is dairy, but in your opinion does the process of adding live cultures to yield yogurt make the dairy product more user friendly?

Michael
Michael
6 years 8 months ago

it falls under fermented which mark put on the top of the list

Harpo
Harpo
6 years 8 months ago

I apologise for wandering vaguely off-topic with regards to protein; but what’s the consensus on whey protein powders?

As opposed to say pea protein which my vegan friend consumes?

Kishore
Kishore
6 years 8 months ago

Whey protein can be great if it is:
1. COLD processed
2. not ion excanged
3. comes from pesticide free, grass fed cows milk

1,2 ensures that the protein retains fragile immunoglobulins and retain it’s natural strucure.

It’s mostly junk that you find in most stores.

Tara tootie
6 years 8 months ago

Ive been looking into this a bit. Can you reccomend any brands/sources that meet these criteria??

Elizabeth
6 years 8 months ago

The best price I’ve found on this type of protein is at Swanson Vitamins, called Ori Hofmekler’s Vanilla Whey Protein Powder. Cold-processed and from grass-fed cows, very few ingredients, no crazy sweeteners or anything.

There are only a few brands out there like this, but that one’s the most economical. Whether or not it’s the best, I’m not sure.

Kishore
Kishore
6 years 8 months ago

You can buy Ori’s whey protien directly from his ‘warriordiet’ website. I personally use it post workout and love it, vanilla is the best.

Roman
6 years 8 months ago

what powder do you use that isnt cold pressed or ion exchanged?

Dave
6 years 8 months ago

I stopped drinking milk when I was very young, but have periodically included it (and yogurt) in varying quantities at times, including right now.

Without fail, I have noticed my immune system is dramatically weaker during the times when I drink milk (note: I have been eating cheese forever with no effect). For me, there has to be a good reason to include milk because I end up having to deal with colds and flus that I wouldn’t get otherwise.

anand srivastava
anand srivastava
6 years 7 months ago

I have also been drinking since childhood. And somehow I notice that if I eat yogurt early in the morning, I have a tendency to catch cold.

I guess it does do something bad for me. I have stopped getting much milk after realizing it.

Ridgeback Runner
Ridgeback Runner
6 years 8 months ago
Raw milk in some states is hard to come by. However, if you are interested in getting raw, untouched milk, ask the farmer if they will sell you some for your dog. I have a farmer near me that is organic, does not homogenize, but does pasteurize. To get around this he sells me the unpasteurized raw milk ‘for my dogs’ or basically not for human consumption. Saves him a step, covers his butt, and I get pure deliciousness. On another note, I do plan on going a month or more without milk soon to see how things change. So… Read more »
gregandbeaker
gregandbeaker
6 years 8 months ago

I’ve been a heavy consumer of dairy my whole life until three weeks ago when I decided to test how I felt without it. So far–no different. I’m going to go six weeks without it for a proper test, but I am looking forward to adding heavy cream back into my coffee if I see no differences 🙂 All I’ve my ancestry traces back to herding cultures in northern europe, so perhaps (and hopefully for my coffee’s sake) I’m well adapted to it.

Jim Purdy
6 years 8 months ago

Mark, I just quit my zillion-cans-a-day Diet Coke habit, because of the aspartame.

I replaced it with chocolate milk, but I think I do have sensitivity to casein, so I guess I’ll have to give up the milk.

But coffee and tea give me chest pains and a rapid heartbeat, which at times have sent me to the emergency room.

And I get bottled water delivered, but the company that delivers it says they don’t know if the bottles have BPA.

I need a beer.

But beer tastes disgusting.

Dang it, Mark, what can I do?

Aaron Curl
6 years 8 months ago

I gave up diet mountain dew and have been craving sweets like a maniac! I never used to crave sweets when i was drinking diet dew! I just drank a mountain dew throwback…real sugar. Now I dont want to get hooked on this crap! I need a beer …but then 1 will turn into 12…..guess I’ll stick to water! Maybe I can add a little sugar to my water.

Jim
Jim
6 years 7 months ago

Have a beer or two. It isn’t going to kill you. And may even help to lower your stress levels a bit. Is wine better? Yes. Is whiskey a better alternative? Sure. But, if you like beer, have a beer or two every once in awhile. If you’re doing everything right 90%-95% of the time your indulgence is completely acceptable.

Nitsy
Nitsy
6 years 7 months ago
Aaron, i used to be a major sugar fiend, couple of years ago i started drinking half a fresh lemon in a 750ml bottle couple of times a day, it has done wonders for my health… it even cured my hayfever… plus the sugary drinks crave only returns after a major night out where yes 1 beer does turn in a fair bit more… also on a side not i have a half a glass of luke of warm water with half a fresh lemon juice to kick start the system and it also does great for hangovers… the energy… Read more »
Jim
Jim
6 years 7 months ago

Wine? Bourbon? Buy a Brita, filter your tap water, and pour it into a glass that’s made out of . . . well glass. Need H2O on the go? Buy an aluminum water bottle.

Becky
Becky
4 years 7 months ago

I have a problem with aluminum bottles. I find the water tastes “tinny” unless it is ice cold. Then I can still taste it ocationally. What else can on the H2O be carried in?

BillP
BillP
4 years 3 months ago

Nalgene polyethylene bottles or their new Tritan resin BPA-free bottles, very nice.

Alain
3 years 10 months ago

You can find stainless steel water bottles pretty much anywhere: REI, sports store, health stores.

anand srivastava
anand srivastava
6 years 7 months ago

How about a home brewed lemonade, made with the tap water possibly filtered in a plastic container ;-).

Shantel
6 years 8 months ago

I would love more information on Whey protein too. I’ve been using a goat whey protein powder for some time post workout. I’m moving into primal eating and I am conflicted on using it or not.

Roman
6 years 8 months ago

Where do you get your goat whey from?

Shantel
6 years 7 months ago

I get it from bodybuilding.com

Organic Gabe
6 years 8 months ago

I don’t drink milk, but I love cheese.

Audrey
Audrey
6 years 8 months ago

I’d love to know more about cheese. I can live without drinking milk, but I love gorgonzola cheese on my salads with walnuts and fruits, and I love really good cheddar cheese on my eggs with spinach. Is this legally primal??????

RawZi
RawZi
6 years 7 months ago

Where can I get unsalted grassfed raw gorgonzola? What type of animal is that from? Sheep?

Alain
3 years 10 months ago

My understanding is as long as you can find raw, 60 days old aged cheese, you will be fine. Google raw cheese and it will get you to a few cheese websites. Or check Whole Foods or your local farmers’ market.

Henriette
6 years 8 months ago

Scandinavian girl here
– and I just love my full fat jersey milk organic and grasfed- sadly it is hard to get raw milk that would be my first option.’

Sarah
6 years 8 months ago

Seriously, colostrum? As someone who grew up on a goat farm & drank quite a bit of the milk, I wouldn’t touch colostrum with a ten foot pole. It’s really quite important that the kids not get it after a week or so; are you sure it’s okay for human consumption?

RawZi
RawZi
6 years 7 months ago

It used to be sold fresh or frozen (fluid) grassfed unhomogenized up till about a year ago under FDA authorization as a medicine for children rare medical conditions. It became illegal, as I understand it; because people were getting it and using it in place of milk.

Joel M
Joel M
6 years 8 months ago
Mark, I love milk in the morning. It fills me up and satisfies me so I’m not hungry soon after. I recently stopped drinking it and have found that I don’t feel as good and am always hungry. Note: when I did drink milk it was in the morning and post-workout and occasionally at night. All the other dairy products (yogurt, butter, cheese, cream) work fine with me…as long as their full fat and raw. I can’t stand the low fat products. Once I get my hands on some more raw milk I’m going to start drinking it again and… Read more »
Dana
Dana
6 years 8 months ago
Of course, those traditional dairy societies that you mention? Raw milk clabbers fairly quickly; it hasn’t had the good bugs cooked out of it. So it must have been pretty uncommon for those traditional peoples to drink regular milk. It was probably almost always fermented. So, then, the presence or absence of lactose intolerance becomes pretty much a non-issue. The only groups I’ve heard of that have developed a gene for lactose tolerance are the Maasai and some Scandinavian group or another–but there are more traditionally dairy-consuming groups than those. Coconut oil may not always be a relatively inexpensive form… Read more »
Ross
Ross
6 years 8 months ago
Tallow is quite high in saturated fats, as opposed to lard, which is quite soft at room temperatures and even when refrigerated. About buying lard in stores: don’t. Really, don’t buy lard unless you’re buying it direct from someone who raises pigs. Most lard in stores is supplemented with partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats)to firm it up and make it last longer. It’s a disaster from a health perspective. The right way to get lard: buy pork back fat from an ethnic grocery and render it yourself. Have a few glass jars or tupperware containers to store it in. In… Read more »
Icarus
Icarus
6 years 7 months ago
Actually, the lard itself (or rather the polyunsaturated fats in lard) is hydrogenated. It’s quite a tragedy, really, ruining a great tasting, versatile, and nutritious fat like that. Of course, nobody really makes a fuss about it because in our society lard is considered so unhealthy that it’s practically a swear word, so who cares if you convert 10% of it to trans fats, right? Same thing happens to coconut and palm oil, too (although most upscale stores sell good quality tropical oils now.) Personally, I like the flavor of yellow tallow, but that may just be because most of… Read more »
RawZi
RawZi
6 years 7 months ago

I’ve read the yellow is only from older females. That maybe from birthing so many calves their livers stop converting the beta-carotene into Vitamin A.

RawZi
RawZi
6 years 7 months ago

Some Whole Foods Markets also sell the pork fat back, big slabs of it next to the meat couter. Kidney suet fat is dense and dry. Bovine back fat is moist and kind of softer like bacon or avocado.

RawZi
RawZi
6 years 7 months ago
Some Whole Foods Markets also sell the pork fat back, big slabs of it next to the meat counter. Kidney suet fat is dense and dry. Bovine back fat is moist and kind of softer like bacon or avocado. Tallow comes from suet (heart, kidney etc). It is so highly saturated, I don’t think there is a more saturated fat. From grassfed animals you need older animals for back fat. It is less saturated. Marrow is even less saturated. Marbelization by grain feeding occurs fast. I doubt the animals feel well or would live very long if they were allowed… Read more »
Methuselah
6 years 8 months ago

Mark,

The question you pose – “does Casein cause leaky gut or does a gluten-induced leacky gut just let casein through?” – reminds me of something I read, but cannot remember where, which was that improving gut health (cutting sugar etc) can increase the production of lactase in the gut and therefore improve lactose tolerance. Both of these points could support the notion that our intolerance of dairy is to a large extent self-inflicted by the composition of the rest of our diet.

Cathy
Cathy
6 years 8 months ago

I don’t have any glaring sensitivies to dairy so I gave it up as an experiemnt. When I gave it up last summer I was most shocked to see how my recovery times diminished after work outs. I have also had my healthiest winter ever so far (knock on wood) and have noticed that my skin looks and feels way better. I wouldn’t make a big deal out of being dairy-free if I was at someone’s home and they had made me a meal, but I am definitely loving it for my day-to-day sense of well-being.

jojo
jojo
6 years 8 months ago

Taking milk out of my diet was practically miraculous. No more stomach cramps, no more eczema. I can’t believe I drank it all those years…of course, I was raised by a dr. dad totally sold on CW, so I had non-fat, pasteurized, industrial milk. So, the worst of the worst.

I do sometimes give my own kids some raw whole fat milk. And pastured whole-milk yogurt is a pretty regular part of our diet, with no ill effect, as is ghee that I make.

Matt Stone
6 years 8 months ago

All mammals will go bonkers for milk at any age. This is primal instinct, because milk is the ultimate source of mammalian sustenance. It’s got everything in it baby! What intelligent lifeform would turn up a nose to such a thing? THAT would make us an exception in comparison to all other mammals on the planet, not drinking it when it’s available. If you really want to be primal, then rely on your instincts, not some philisophical argument about whether or not it’s an appropriate food.

Pikaia
Pikaia
6 years 8 months ago

Great! So if my instincts tell me to eat sugar all day, that’ll be primal too?

Aaron Curl
6 years 8 months ago

Good point. Just because we have access to something doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Antifreeze smells super yummy to a lot of mammals!

Icarus
Icarus
6 years 7 months ago

Are you really comparing milk to antifreeze? Wow.

Angelina
Angelina
6 years 7 months ago

That reminds me of how my father-in-law was mixing some araldite (glue) one day and all of a sudden he had 4 anteaters at his feet. The smell of the araldite had attracted them. But I’m sure the araldite is not good for them 🙂

RawZi
RawZi
6 years 7 months ago

My hamsters and cats love A2 fermented raw grass grazed fresh dairy and don’t like sweets.

Richard Malcolm
Richard Malcolm
5 years 9 months ago

But, if you’ve been solidly primal for a while, do you really crave sugar? Not me. Grabbed a handful of jelly bellies instinctively at a restaurant the other day, ate two, felt a little nauseous, threw the rest in the trash. A minor miracle!

Liz
Liz
4 years 1 month ago

yeah I had a sip of my boyfriends coffee that had been sweetened and it made my mouth taste sour for hours.

georgios
georgios
3 years 11 months ago

you have some shitty instincts if they tell you to eat sugar all day

Suzanne
Suzanne
5 years 17 days ago
Like the article says, milk consumption is indeed a very individual issue. Both NAET testing and saliva testing indicate that I personally have no problem whatsoever with milk, despite the fact that both show a fairly major problem with gluten. In the past year, since I became highly sensitive to nearly all foods, milk and dairy has remained one of those few foods I can safely take. After doing a very careful analysis of the various dietary habits I have practiced over my life-time, I have come to the conclusion that I thrive best on a diet that is about… Read more »
Darren
Darren
6 years 8 months ago

On average I have 250g of sheep’s milk yogurt, 1/2 a cup of goat’s milk and about 3oz of cheese every day. Takes care of my calcium requirements and, even with veggies and salad, I eat only about 50g of carbs per day. Dairy really is my favourite food and has no discernible ill-effects on me.

Eric
Eric
6 years 8 months ago

I gave up dairy almost 8 years ago. I immediately noticed how much better I felt without it and how much more quickly I recovered after workouts, not to mention not getting even a sniffle since. But, I also discovered about 5 years ago that I’m allergic to a protein in it, so that could be why.

I’ve found it’s easy enough to substitute coconut products for most milk products anyways.

Randy
Randy
6 years 8 months ago

What about sheep’s dairy?

RawZi
RawZi
6 years 7 months ago

Where are sheep dairy (beside yogurt) and mutton available? Why don’t I see these things more on these blogs etc? I know you are paleo and sheep are herded so they don’t count, but I want to know. They’re A2 too, which is good for many with allergies.

Andrea
6 years 8 months ago
Mark, What a great post! You have thought of everything, even the A1 vs A2 issue, that’s kind of obscure still. I love your grounded, real approach and I completely agree with you about this being an experiential issue. I get raw, pasture milk but virtually never drink it as such. I make yogurt and kefir and rarely use some in a recipe. I get raw heavy cream and creme fraiche from the same farmer and they have proved beneficial, especially for my husband, who never seems to intake enough calories. And I eat some cheese. Mostly raw. As I’ve… Read more »
Robin
Robin
6 years 8 months ago

I thought I was lactose-intolerant for years. Then I gave up gluten grains and guess what, I had no trouble with dairy (or many other foods) any more. It would be hard for me to give up dairy because I don’t like meat very much and yogurt is a mainstay for getting protein.

Have to say it’s a tough transition from vegetarian (which I was for years) to paleo! Worth it, but not easy!

Joseph
Joseph
6 years 8 months ago

I would be interested in knowing exactly what is wrong with pasteurized, homogenized milk.

RawZi
RawZi
6 years 7 months ago

Do you have several years to learn, Joseph? There’s just so many negative details about it. Do you drink that stuff a lot?

BSG
BSG
2 years 10 months ago

OUr digestive flora are made up of micro organisms. When using pasteurized, homogenized milk to make cheese or other dairy products, the clacium is not usable in the normal way and must be added back in. That is the most obvious effect structurally when making cheese, but on a micro level you can bet there are more. Homoenization changes the molecular structure, tot he point where bacteria cannot utilize it the same way – so neither can we.

pieter d
pieter d
6 years 8 months ago

Mark,

Thanks for your honest blog on dairy. Maybe a question for another post, but what happens with the milk when it is fermented?

Maybe just a little bit off topic, but does anybody know how to make your own full fat greed yoghurt (fage total style)? A recipe would be great. A google search only has ideas on the low fat kinds 🙁

thanks!

Tara tootie
6 years 7 months ago
Tara tootie
6 years 7 months ago

Okay as for your Q about when milk is fermented…

Its just the lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus spp.) changing the milk sugar (lactose) into lactic acid. SO fermented milk products have a tang (yogurt, sour cream, cheese, buttermilk) from the acid.

That was a lot of parentheses. Sorry, lol.

Katie
6 years 8 months ago
With apologies to Harpo’s vegan friend, but “pea protein”??? Is there really such a thing? That’s hilarious! Which brings me to wonder, how on Earth, Harpo, did you manage to become friends with a vegan? Did you lie about your primal existence? : ) Jokes aside, I think any whey or protein powders most likely do more harm than good. They are man-made foods which require advanced technology to produce, so the denaturization of proteins, fats and cholesterol are most likely destructive to the gut. Stick with real food. Milk is real food as long as all its fat is… Read more »
Kishore
Kishore
6 years 8 months ago

Cold processed whey from grass fed cows can be a good protein supplement, especially for athletes and weight training individuals.

Juan Moore
Juan Moore
2 years 10 months ago

Or you could just drink whey instead of rehydrating processed whey powders. It’s stable at room temp for up to 3 months.

Jolly
6 years 8 months ago

I take in a lot of Dairy daily (primarily whole, organic milk, heavy cream, cheese, and greek yogurt)

I have difficulty getting in enough calories as it is – I’d hate to see where I was without dairy in my diet.

gilliebean
6 years 8 months ago

“In the murky, milky world of dairy…” Tee hee… Thanks for this Mark. Great post. I use raw cream, cultured butter, raw butter, and raw cheese. I also make my own creme fraise and sometimes yogurt.

FoodRenegade
6 years 8 months ago

I function really well on raw, full-fat dairy from pastured animals.

And I’m a particular fan of fermented dairy: sour cream, yogurt, kefir, cheese!

Those are definitely safer for the average person to eat.

A TIP: When I can’t get my hands on raw milk, I don’t buy organic pastuerized milk at the store. I buy organic CREAM and water it down. Tastes like milk, but digests a WHOLE lot easier than pasteurized organic milk does.

(Maybe that’ll help some of your readers out.)

All the best,
~KristenM
(AKA FoodRenegade)

Icarus
Icarus
6 years 7 months ago

Watered-down cream tastes nothing like milk. It tastes like…. watered-down cream.

The sugar and protein in milk definitely impart a flavor that is lost by simply drinking the milkfat. (Not that I have a problem with drinking watered-down cream, mind you.)

BenevolentForce
BenevolentForce
6 years 8 months ago
I’ve been completely off milk (raw or otherwise) for years now, and don’t miss it. On rare occasion, I’ll have some cream in my coffee (although I hear coconut milk is so much tastier). I also eat some full fat Fage about once or twice month. The only dairy I get quite a bit of is cheese… and when I say quite a bit, I mean, I eat it every day, and always have (even pre-Primal). I’ve been meaning to experiment with a cheese-free existence, but a world without cheese might be a world I don’t want to live in.… Read more »
BenevolentForce
BenevolentForce
6 years 8 months ago

Oh… and butter! I cook with butter nightly. Man, I love me some butter. I also love the faces my friends make when they see how much I use in the dinners I make them.

Silly non-Groks!

Kishore
Kishore
6 years 8 months ago

Please keep in mind that it’s important to buy organic butter. It can be one of the most chemical laden food if it’s not organic.

BenevolentForce
BenevolentForce
6 years 8 months ago

Thanks! Yeah, we are a strictly organic household. 🙂

Patti
Patti
5 years 7 months ago

I hear you sister! My 10 year old asked me if I would give up cheese for life if I never had to clean the house or do laundry again. I choose cheese!

Sharon
Sharon
6 years 8 months ago
My history with dairy has been a weird adventure. At about age 40, for some unknown reason, I noticed my hips felt creaky when I walked, but only periodically. This went on for about 10 years until I decided to include a lot of yogurt in my diet. Soon I could hardly walk because of the pain and tightness in my hips. After some intensive research and experimentation I figured out it was the yogurt causing the problem. 7 years later I started having the hip problems again so cut out all dairy and it cleared up for the most… Read more »
Michaell Crews
Michaell Crews
6 years 8 months ago

What about rice milk? Is that acceptable?

Ross
Ross
6 years 8 months ago

Rice milk is highly processed rice.

Since rice is a grain, it’s not very primal. White rice is a highly starchy grain and seems to lack most of the antinutrients of other grains and so may be the least offensive of grains.

But, it’s a grain. And highly processed.

Wen
Wen
6 years 2 months ago

Is there a Rice Milk that is made of Brown Rice, or is that not very primal either? (I am Brand New to this site via ChuckyZ 🙂 Need to amp up my game…and so here I am.)

Amazing how much of this Primal Plan is similar to things I have done in the past.
For me I have tended to take a few various plans and blend them into my own. Thanks CZ & to this site… I am sure to be on a Grand New Adventure!!!

silverbenz
silverbenz
6 years 7 months ago

I used to drink rice milk some time ago when I gave up dairy experimentally. To presume to answer your question: Rice is a grain, so definitely NOT acceptable in the Primal/paleo scheme of things

Caveman Sam
6 years 8 months ago
I dig dairy. The cavefamily goes through 4-5 gallons of non homogenized cream-top milk a week. I’ve been trying to cut back, and convince the fam too as well but it’s been a slow process because we love it… a lot. I drank skim milk for years growing up (thanks Mom) and until this last summer I had been drinking 1 or 2% for about 10 years. I’ve never noticed any problems but like Mark said, I’ve never not had a large amount of dairy in my diet so I need to do some testing. That’s a good idea for… Read more »
pjnoir
pjnoir
6 years 8 months ago

Fage yogurt, lots of goat cheese, grass fed cream for my coffee. I no longer drink milk- not ready for raw yet. But goat cheese and how its made fits the bill for me.

Bobby Fernandez
6 years 8 months ago

The consumption of dairy is one of the most subjective eating experiences partly because it is a pure representation of the water and earth body constitution (Kapha) as explained in Ayurveda. If anybody consumes dairy and already has an aggravated Kapha then milk will surely cause discomfort and other GI problems.

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