Monday Musings: Dairy Fat Good and Placebos Win (with a twist)

Dairy resides in a murky area for some of you guys, but I think most of us can appreciate a good slab of grass-fed butter, maybe a bit of raw cheese, and some fermented dairy, either kefir or yogurt. A select few may not. If dairy makes you feel bad, don’t use it – it’s unnecessary – but if your avoidance stems purely from principle (ie, “it’s a little too Neolithic for me; I’ll just play it safe and avoid it altogether”), the latest study on dairy fat might nudge you toward its thick, viscous, white embrace. Researchers found that patients who ate the most dairy fat, from things like cream, whole milk, and butter, had a 60% lower risk of developing diabetes than patients eating the least dairy fat.

Those who ate the most dairy fat also showed the highest plasma levels of a fatty acid called trans-palmitoleic acid, prompting the study’s authors to zero in on that particular fatty acid as the potentially causative factor. There is a tendency to reduce foods to their individual constituents. Individual constituents, after all, can be “candidates for potential enrichment… and supplementation,” which makes a doctor’s job that much easier, and makes it easy to explain away “paradoxes.” Just wait: trans-palmitoleic acid is gonna be the new red wine when it comes to explaining the “French paradox.” At the end of the day, though, they do admit that “efforts to promote exclusive consumption of low-fat and nonfat dairy products … may be premature.” Hey, it ain’t much, but I’ll take it.

Next, there’s new research on the placebo effect. The major criticism of clinical use of the placebo effect is that it’s unethical for doctors to lie to patients, even if their ultimate goal is to help them, because, well, lying is bad. But what if they didn’t have to lie to manifest the placebo effect? What if patients who knowingly took a placebo sugar pill still showed improvements over the control group who received no treatment at all? If that happened, I imagine things might have to be reevaluated.

Well, it happened. Eighty patients with irritable bowel syndrome were divided into two groups. The first group received a sugar pill twice daily and took it knowingly; 59% reported reduced IBS symptoms and “adequate relief.” Of the second group, who received nothing, 35% reported similarly good results. There was no blatant deception, but the placebo group was told that sugar pills “have been shown in rigorous clinical testing to produce significant mind-body self-healing processes,” so it’s possible the placebo group was expecting something to come of it. Which, you know, is pretty much the basic foundation of the placebo effect. Science-Based Medicine is up in arms about this study, and while I don’t disagree that some measure of deceit was used, I’m not sure I agree that it’s necessarily a bad thing. I think it just reinforces how much control we have over our own health. And no, I’m not talking about anything mystical or magical. I’m just saying that if we slow down for a minute, take a few deep breaths, and realize that stressing out over a sickness – real or imagined – does us no good, we seem to start to feel better. It certainly has worked in placebo trials.

It appears the placebo effect has a lot to do with confidence: in a doctor’s expert opinion, in that pill you’re about to swallow, in the “fact” that things are going to get better because you’re either in good hands or taking effective drugs. You add that to a healthy diet, regular exercise, some sun, some outdoorsy stuff, socializing, leisure, good sleep, and smart use of pharmacologically-active modern medicines? You’re in business. Oh, and dairy fat might help, too.

How’s your relationship with dairy? Does this study make you want a closer one? And do you think you’d be won over by a sweet-talking researcher with pockets full of sugar pills? Let everyone know in the comment section!

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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94 thoughts on “Monday Musings: Dairy Fat Good and Placebos Win (with a twist)”

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  1. For me the “real primal don’t do dairy” thing was tough but I have no problem with some full fat indulgence as long as I don’t eat it at every meal. Yeah, setting that bar at a manageable level!

  2. Good morning Mark,

    Just love your messages. Brings a smile to my face.

    Congrats on the cookbook award.


  3. Mark, what about the claims that dairy causes a huge insulin response? I am confused about this. Does the fat actually neutralize that?

    As a thought on dairy: In Bulgaria and other parts of the Balkans (aka Eastern Europe), people were literally living exclusively on yogurt and had very long life expectancies. Apart from their healthy lifestyle (outdoor and lots of exercise), there must be something to it!
    I think fermented foods are really important for the health of your digestive system. And yogurt is the easiest for me to get. In France, we eat huge amounts of cheese and we dont seem to have any problems with it either.. (always full fat, no 0% Philadelphia cream cheeses here 😉 )

      1. This study indicates that *skim* milk produced the best results.

    1. I’m less concerned about insulin surges than I am about high blood sugar. No, high insulin isn’t exactly a picnic, but the sugar does the worst damage.

      Stay away from the rBGH-enhanced stuff though. It tends to contain higher levels of IGF-1. I’d love to know if the “insulin response” everyone talks about is actually increased levels of IGF-1 in people’s systems after they drink CAFO milk or eat CAFO cheese.

    2. Oh wait, you’re in France. They don’t have that nasty rBGH stuff there. Never mind. 😛

  4. I eat dairy all the time, and don’t seem to have any trouble with it. Good sharp cheddar, European-style or Greek-style yogurt (with berries, that’s my dessert mainstay), kefir. As long as it’s full-fat, preferably organic. I don’t actually drink milk, just its fermented products, and I think they’re all great. But I’m of mixed northern/western euro stock almost exclusively and I’m sure I have a pretty good tolerance for lactose. 🙂

    1. If you’re consuming fermented dairy, you’re not actually getting a whole lot of lactose. It’s a sugar, and it’s what the fermenting bacteria consume when they are making lactic acid.

      Here in the States the nutritional labeling standards are such that anything not counted in the initial nutritional assay is by definition a carbohydrate–whatever happens to be left over. So lactic acid gets counted as carb for some reason, even though there’s nothing carby about it. So the carb count on plain yogurt is actually overstated somewhat. If you make your own and ferment it for twelve hours or more, you’ve got even less lactose.

      In pre-industrial European countries they’d drink raw milk, but raw milk is more likely than pasteurized to begin fermenting on its own, since it contains its full complement of lactic acid bacteria. Unfortunately those are destroyed during pasteurization. But someone drinking milk back in those days was as likely to be consuming soured milk as not. Again, less lactose.

  5. I do enjoy my full fat Greek-style yogurt, it’s a worthy indulgence in my book! My 17 mo old son loves it too, I have to hide from him when I don’t want to share. Some of my girlfriends give me a hard time about eating full fat dairy, they’re the “addicted to artificial crap like yo-plait non-fat key lime pie” victims. You know what I mean-it’s insane that that garbage is considered healthy by CW standards! The jokes on them.

  6. I eat small amounts of goat yogurt and goat cheese, but that is all, as I tend to consider dairy cheating based on the whole paleo concept and the fact that human adults probably did not consume dairy prior to the neolithic era.

    With this said, I find it curious you don’t push goat’s dairies over cow’s dairy more Mark. Unlike cows, who have 4 stomachs, goats only have 1 stomach and thus are more physiologically similar to humans. Goat’s dairy also contains smaller fat molecules and is easier to digest. So if one would want to cheat a little and eat dairy I would think it wise only to consume a dairy designed for an animal who processes their food with one stomach as opposed to 4. Would you guys not agree?

    1. Yup. That’s what I drink. It’s also the closest thing to human breast milk there is. And has very little casein. It’s really the ideal milk. I’m lucky enough to get mine from a local farm, but I’ve sen it in the grocery store (the pasteurized kind). Good for making yogurt and kefir too.

      1. Goat milk has plenty of casein, but it’s the A2 variety instead of A1. Lots of smaller organic cow dairies use A2 producers, it’s worth asking around for what breeds are used.

    2. Goats and cows have the same digestive systems. Both are ruminants, neither drink milk as adults, neither use anything other than their abomasum (4th or “true” stomach) to digest milk as babies. Goats milk is considered easier to digest because the complement of proteins and sugars are the closest to human breast milk among domesticated animals.

    3. On the other hand, if you ferment cow’s milk, it breaks things down somewhat–probably why people started using yogurt and kefir and cheese and that kind of thing in the first place.

      I have no particular axe to grind either way. We do lots of things that we might not have “done naturally”–you’re on a computer, for cryin out loud, and so am I. And when you get right down to it, primates are insectivores, so why eat goat or beef at all?

      1. Not all primates are insectivores, particularly the ones we’re more closely related to.

      2. If you dismiss how humans evolved then this whole primal concept of eating and health would be dismissed as well in your opinion. Just because modern life is different in many many ways doesn’t mean we should dismiss our genetic encoding.

        And we are omnivores, we ate whatever we could find out in the wild (again, this is the whole concept behind eating primal) and insects are proven to be quite nutritious, I am not a fan of the texture however :P.

      1. Guess I should have done my homework first, I see. And after looking into it further it appears both animals have only one stomach, but 4 chambers. Huh, learned something new today.

    4. The four stomachs, as I understand it, are for the processing of plant fibres (cellulose structures) which we can’t and just past out. Here we are talking about consuming calf food (ie milk and it’s products) and I don’t know whether a calf requires four stomachs to process the milk, I rather doubt it, I would imagine it was easily digested, that would make more evolutionary sense to me.

    5. goats defiantly are ruminants, I don’t know where you got the information that they are not. As far a being better for you than cows milk. Well yeah, they are trying to produce a 100lb animal (ish) whereas a cow is trying to produce an 1200lb animal…the naturally occuring growth hormones produced are going to be a lot easier on our bodies than the getting a cow to full size versus an adult goat.

  7. You know for people allergic to dairy that have to avoid butter there is ghee that is save to use and it is better for cooking. Also if milk is an allergy that you want to get rid of, there is a diet called the specific carbohydrate diet that can heal the gut so you can eat dairy again. Or you might try the newer GAPS diet by Dr. Cambel-McBride.

    1. I eat dairy. I feel fine when I eat it, and I think I’d starve trying to eat primal without it.

  8. Raw milk pretty much cured me of some skin and digestive ailments, as well as some hypo thyroid symptoms. This could not be achieved with any other food/supplement.

    RAw milk and Raw milk kefir are probably 2 of the most powerful foods available to us.

    As for the comments about goat milk by Householder. Raw Goat Milk is amazing and a very very healing food, but I don’t think it is any better for you than cows. Easier to digest? Sure.

  9. Ive always eaten dairy,snowville’s nonhomogenized whole milk and creams, the greek yogurt, homemade yogurt whey and creamy cheese, I have keifer grains… my parents just bought two goats, so now I have a steady supply of raw goat milk.

    Actually, I was considering cutting dairy for a little while to see if it would help with weightloss (which has stopped for the past busy month), but I think I will just reduce it.

    1. I get Snowville here too! It’s pasteurized, but low-temp. Stays fresh for way longer than Kroger milk. And they don’t homogenize it either. Good stuff.

  10. I love milk but became lactose-sensitive or intolerant and now have to drink the lactose free kind. Not sure if egg nog would be primal but I indulged and consider my 20, after I found some Lactaid Eggnog.

    1. Wow! For some reason I love icecream, yogurt, cream, & butter, but milk itself grosses me out.

  11. The whole appeal to me with the “primal/paleo things has little to do with what my distant ancestors did or didn’t do. It has to do with what is healthy. We get as close as we can. Elimination of grains has made a huge difference of a positive sort. Same said for sugar. With dairy, it is such a luxury to enjoy butter and cream with no discernable ill effects. Having eliminated tons of sugar from my diet on a daily basis in the two ways I’ve mentioned might give me a little room for those luxuries.

  12. I crave dairy which suggests to me it’s probably not good for me. Cheese gives me awful stomach aches, whey isolate doesn’t, milk is less bad, cream iffy and butter seems okay, so I am guessing it is casein intolerance. I am hoping I can keep grass fed butter in my diet. I tried ghee but don’t really like the taste. Butter is useful when I need to add fat to a meal as I can just put it on veggies etc.

    1. … i’m finding that any “phlegm-y” response i used to have with cream (in my morning coffee) has decreased the further i get into NOT eating wheat –


      i don’t have any problems with other dairy products before or after the wheat stopping – but being of northern european ancestry – perhaps i am mostly just genetically lucky w/regards to dairy–

  13. I played around with dairy for a couple months to figure out my tolerance. Butter and ghee seem to present no issues regardless of quantity. Milk (even raw) and Greek Yogurt more than 1/2 cup or so every couple days breaks out my skin, makes my joints ache and makes me phlegmy. A shame because I looooooove Greek Yogurt. Clearly it doesn’t love me, so I keep it to my “20%” and indulge in a treat every now and again.

  14. seems the start of animal husbandry is pretty tricky to nail down – goats would have no problem tagging along with rag-tag hunter gatherers providing some nice dairy benefits – and the evidence of this would probably be obscured pretty well over 10-15K (or lots more).

    also – isolated pre-swiss people may just have survived the icy mountains specifically because they accessed the goats and their tasty milk long before we have specific records of them doing so-

    sometimes i think of myself as “lacto-paleo” – funny how we are so compelled to label…

    1. These days all we can get is relatively lean meat unless we eat CAFO, and then the fatty acid profile’s off. Milk’s a great way to get something approximating the fat intake we had when we were hunting and went for the slowest and fattest in the herd.

      Even “paleo” type modern cultures eating diets higher in starch, such as the Kitavans, get a lot of fat in their diets too. In the case of the Kitavans it’s coconut fat, but it’s not like they have a lot of room for cattle herds.

  15. It doesn’t seem to bother me now that I have excluded all grains, and for that I am most grateful. I can drink two quarts a day, sometimes. Beats any SAD or CW snack foods. I used to rely heavily on nuts and dried fruit. I think I am much better off with milk.

  16. So what we are to learn from this study is people who are on a neolithic diet benefit from an increase in fat and protein. We are still missing a study on the impact of full fat dairy on people subsisting on a paleolithic diet.

  17. I eat cottage cheese to boost my protein intake. I looked at the greek yogurt and it seemed like an expensive way to eat some protein.

  18. We still keep some dairy products in the house, but they are not a mainstay for all meals. We still love a slice of sharp cheddar, the kids like a small glass of milk during the day and full fat cottage cheese is a vice. But no one in our family gets gassy from it, so we figure it ok for us, but maybe not for all.

  19. I love greek style yogurt and kefir. I wish I could get raw dairy but at this point I can’t. I did feel like I was eating too much of it, because I have yogurt about 5x a week but now I won’t worry too much about it. I love it and I feel like it gives me some added fat & I don’t have any problems digesting it.

  20. Greek yogurt (full fat) and yogurt cheese..with an occasional piece of raw milk cheese…

  21. I do have a bit of skim milk in my coffee occasionally, and I have greek yogurt a couple of times a week as well. But for one month I cut dairy and I loved what it did to my body. Since then, I try to limit my intake.

  22. Dairy and raw dairy are two completely different foods. Pasteurized dairy has all the “good stuff” removed that helps us digest it and helps our guts heal. I have intolerance to regular dairy but tolerate – and thrive – on raw dairy, which is the only dairy I consume today.

    I had issues with IBS, constipation, etc. that completely healed when I started consuming raw dairy. If I go a couple of days without it, my symptoms return.

    1. Highly agree and have had similar results. I’ll never go back to dead pasteurized milk.

  23. I think it is important to note that ALL Homo sapien sapiens are genetically adapted to process lactose for at least their early years. And those of us who decent from pastoralist cultures are genetically adapted to digest dairy our entire lifes.

  24. This sort of stuff with placebo effects always intrigue me. I think a big part of primal people not getting sick often is because of us _thinking_ we won’t. Not sure if that’s actually why, but it’s hella neat to think of it this way.

  25. I’m fully primal except for dairy but only drink raw goat’s or cow’s milk. I’ve continued to lose weight during this time. The end of this month will be 60 days with no grains at all. Been drinking raw milk for 6 months and love it.

  26. Last winter I tried going Primal with no dairy. While I lost weight, I was experiencing anxiety, so I went back to a regular diet. At one point during the year, I starting taking a probiotic called Culturelle. Prior to the Culturelle, I was lactose intolerant. (At the same time, I was also taking a cleansing-type supplement.) After it, I was able to consume dairy again without experiencing the abodominal symptoms of being lactose intolerant. Since then, I’ve been freely eating Greek yogurt, cheese, whole milk, and ice cream, and my anxiety level is pretty much ‘nil now. I think I needed the fat from the dairy. I’m not currently adhering to a Primal diet. Instead, I’m leaning toward going gluten-free, although I may dabble in a modified Primal diet at some point again. Of course, I love ice cream, so I’m glad to be able to eat it again!

    1. …adding an update to my previous comment. I’ve been getting abdominal symptoms again when I eat dairy, so unfortunately, I’m still lactose intolerant. I thought that product had helped, but I’m getting the symptoms again. I haven’t been using the product either lately. I’ve discovered that taking lactase (sp?) enzymes does help though. (I know that’s kind of off the fat topic, but I wanted post an update.) In general, I think I need to back off dairy a bit and use it in moderation.

  27. Diving into a dairy-free world here for a while. I am so addicted to it…I dont know if it is because I have reflux all the time and it is (somewhat) soothing or if there is a different reason….but I crave it all the time….Quitting cold turkey is the only way for me…keeping fingers crossed that I can do it 🙂

  28. Great post Mark! I’ve been trying to cut-out dairy as much as possible; not because I can’t stomach it, but mainly because I seem to have acne break outs whenever I slip and have a big bowl of yoghurt and berries, or a latte (God it’s hard to skip sometimes though!).

  29. I have to agree with the above suggestion that raw milk is one of the best available foods today. It is very healing..literally cured my allergies in weeks and my skin looks better than it has in years. Bacteria is absolutely necessary and I’m not about to trust some probiotic sold at a store. They never worked for me.

    My probiotic is leaving raw milk out for days to clabber. Warning, don’t try that with pasteurized milk, it will rot and will not ferment.

    The allergies to milk I’ve found (since i once was “lactose intolerant”) are actually a lactase deficiency. I no longer am lactose intolerant since ditching pasteurized milk.


  30. Glad to see you address the dairy issue again especially as Art came on recently and was so anti.

    That study is interesting and as one who enjoys organic full fat greek yog in small quantities with berries for breakfast, a little full fat milk in tea, double cream (think that’s what you guys call ‘heavy’ cream) in coffee and in cooking, butter and some really good (generally raw milk) cheese it’s encouraging to see.

    However, I would surmise there may be some confounds in there. The non-dairy eating group may well be of the low-fat brigade and as such eating higher amounts of sugar laiden ‘low fat’ foods. And what the study found was a lowered risk of diabetes, or rather the non-dairy group had a higher risk (very likely from a higher carbohydrate profile diet).

    I would like to better understand the insulin response to dairy. Much of what I can find on line says there is no discernable response but Art seemed to disagree but I think his main premise it was allergenic creating inflammation as well. That hasn’t been my experience but then I didn’t know how much harm wheat was doing me BUT I suspect that was more to do with the high carb values than the allergenic side although it’s impossible to tease out all the effects, it’s all so interconnected. And that’s the issue.

    I’ve been reading up on the latest science looking at the insulin pathway and I think it’s fair to say we are only just beginning to release just how little we understand about the whole cascade of hormones and how one relates to another.

  31. hehe I can not live without a big bowl of blueberries and heavy cream covered in cinnomon.
    The fresher the cream the better.

    Water Tribe

  32. So I really want to try raw dairy like everyone says but I don’t know where to find it.
    I started the gradual transition to primal in October. I kept dairy because I love it and have no problem digesting it. I did switch to full fat milk, butter, greek and all organic though.

    1. Here’s a good place to start to find raw milk in your area. Laws differ by state as to were and if you can purchase it. Some states sell it in stores (like CA), others, like my state of MA restrict sales to directly from the farm, in such case buyers clubs are a good way to get your raw milk if there aren’t any farms within reasonable driving distance.

  33. I buy raw milk, and try to eat only raw milk products. I have heard that people who are lactose intolerant have a much easier time digesting raw milk, because it still contains all the beneficial bacteria that pasturized milk does not. It does not affect me, or my family. In fact, going off of grains is what has healed me of my stomach ailments. I do make my own kefir, which is very healthy for the digestive tract.
    To find raw dairy, go to the website and click on real milk. This website should have a site where you can find raw dairy in your area.

    1. It seems to me that the discussion about dairy should be similar in nature to that of meat, eggs, etc., i.e. eating a grass-fed steak is very different in its nutritional profile than grain-fed. Same for pastured eggs, wild-caught salmon, etc.

      As I posted above, raw dairy and pasteurized are two completely different foods. Information I’ve read – and my own experiences have me convinced.

  34. I went raw for awhile. Just like pasteurized milk, it made me congested and pimply and distended my abs with bloating accompanied by cramps.

    However, I must state that I do have a diagnosed cow milk allergy. (Had asthma and allergies to everything growing up). Diagnosed by my allergist via scratch test at age 6. In fact, I hated milk most of my life and it wasn’t until my teens and 20s that I made myself acquire a taste for it due to all the health boons.

    I decided to try raw milk to see if it’d save me from the physical discomfort that pasteurized gave me. Absolutely did not. Thus, I gave it up.

    I am fine eating cheese, kefir and yogurt sparingly. However, if I eat those too frequently, the milk symptoms eventually make a comeback.

    I find that I do (allergies/inflammation) and look way better (complexion, leaner body composition and non-bloated) with fat from the animal itself versus getting it from its milk.

  35. Couple questions:

    1) For those of you buying raw dairy, how do you do it? It is illegal in most states.

    2) Why fermented dairy? Is that preferred over just plain raw milk? Fermentation breaks down the sugars, so is fermented preferred because it lowers the sugar intake or for some other reason?

    1. 1) Many states do have laws against buying raw milk. Here in Wisconsin, the public health department suceeded in recently passing a law banning the sale of raw milk. That decision is in litigation. Most folks around here simply find a farmer to supply them with raw milk, albeit under the table. The USDA does not allow many French-style raw milk cheeses (i.e. camambere) to be sold in the U.S. due to public health risks.

  36. In order to legally buy dairy in Tennessee, I joined a milk co-op, bought a “portion” of the cow, so I am a legal owner of the cow. can go into detail about the benefits of fermentation, but I believe it is the breakdown of the sugars that make it more digestible. This is why yogurt is so easily digested, even if people have issues with lactose intolerance. I am not talking about milk allergy here. That is a whole different animal.

  37. Another placebo effect: A study published in JAMA reported that SSRI antidepressants are no better than placebo for most cases of depression. The authors reviewed 30 years of data and concluded that “the benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo may be minimal or nonexistent in patients with mild or moderate symptoms”.

    for more:

    jeffrey dach md

  38. Regarding raw cheese, our Weston A. Price representative, who also heads up our milk co-op, informs us of farmer’s selling raw cheese, grass-fed beef, grass-fed lamb, free-range chickens. There is a representative in every state, which you can find on the web site. Another bonus to finding a farmer that sells the milk (as opposed to buying at a market), is cost. I pay $2/gallon for my raw, organic milk from grass-fed cows. I get my cream for $2/quart. My eggs from free-range chickens are $1.50/dozen. When the price of good, organic, healthy food is so astronomical, this really helps. Our milk comes from an Amish community, which if you know of one close to you, that is also a good place to start.

  39. I put a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream in my protein shakes, great source of energy, tastes great.

  40. I love raw dairy; consume raw milk from grass fed jersey cows, raw butter and raw cream daily. It is a life giving and healing food which has given me tremendous health improvements. it is illegal here in Florida but can sold under the label “for pet consumption only”. A crime by the FDA and Dairy Cartel. I too belong to a coop which I found through my local chapter leader of the Weston A Price Foundation. Our prices are not so good $8 a gallon for milk, $10 a lb for butter and $10 a quart for cream but worth every penny. If i can’t have raw I go without and that includes cheese.

  41. I drank full fat (pasteurized) milk for about 30 years, ate ice cream, yogurt, cheese and my only health “benefits” were constant acne all over my face, chest pain/tightness, upset stomach all the time and lots of gas. I now stay away from all dairy and have none of these problems anymore. I don’t care what study says there’s some good qualities about dairy products. Studies show that wheat has some good things in it too but I’m not gonna start eating wheat again either.

  42. Thanks for this blurb Mark! I can’t read the abstract, if you know of an article that goes into more depth on the study, I would love to know it.

    I’ve been writing quite a bit about dairy fat lately to help people understand the difference, but need to find the backing behind this before I can add it to the second edition of my book. I’m also curious if they were simply comparing those who consumed dairy fat to those who consumed low fat dairy (a common study that does produce superior results for the dairy fat group) or if they were comparing the dairy fat group to those who consumed no dairy at all. This would be of great interest to me. Thanks!

  43. Thanks for another fascinating discussion Mark. As far as I am concerned unpasteurised dairy is definitely primal and suits me. According to Sally Fallon in her book “Nourishing Traditions” all primal societies ate some raw protein and fat in their diet. It is the only way to get vitamin B6 into your diet. Unfortunately I am unable to eat raw meat or offal so I make do with unpasteurised cheese which is not too difficult to get. When we are having spaghetti bolognase I simply grate some cheese on the grass fed mince and the extra fat makes it a satisfying meal.Don’t get too caught up in any idealogical crusade about what Primal should or shouldn’t be. Look at the Massai tribe in Kenya. Blood and raw milk only.

  44. HI Mark. I love your blog (and just gave copies of your book to some of my top clients for Christmas – great gift!), although rarely do I actually get around to commenting! Today, though, I have a question about your post …

    I love raw dairy, and eat a lot of it. Cream with berries most nights (helps me sleep), and I use raw butter for cooking. Just yesterday a friend made a comment to me that got me worried. She said that traditional cultures only milk their cows for 4-5 months of the year, as pregnant cows’ milk is highly estrogenic – raw or not, obviously.

    I’ve never even considered this, and was wondering what you’d say about it?


  45. Mark,
    If I do not get the early morning gym time in, (which is as primal as you can get, 5:00am), the 3:00 pm greek yogurt, (everyday)mix in the almonds, pumpkin seeds and raisons, something is out of whack,
    Keep up the good stuff,


  46. I love reading your articles and I always wish you would cite where you are getting your information from….Happy New Year!

  47. I’ve been primal since April 2010.
    In June 2010 I started adding RAW Goat’s Milk to my regime with a lot of positive side effects. And only 1 bad side effect.

    The positive is that raw goats milk not only heals your gums and intestines and is a good source of bio-organic sodium for your gut lining, also alkalizes the gut with L-Glutamine…it builds, teeth, bones, makes hair grow stronger, nails grow strong and shiney, is nutrient rich with many bio-organic minerals and Vitamins. It keeps my digestion healthy, eliminates ALL cravings of any kind and calms the mood.

    Bad side effect is that it is high in Tryptophan and makes ya want to take a nap =P
    So drinking it around the clock will most likely make you a little bit more sedative.

    I switched to store bought, ultra-pasteurized milk over the holidays because my goat milk supplier was on vacation. I gained 8 lbs drinking that crap from the store.
    Nobody has an explaination why I can drink 3 gallons of RAW goats milk a week and not gain an ounce…but as soon as I stop drinking raw and buy store milk (and only drink about 1 gallon a week of that) I gain weight like mad….I’m baffled.

  48. Sadly up here in Canada (at this time) the sale of raw milk, or milk products which have not been aged at-least 60 days is totally banned.

  49. My question comes late for the post, but I’ll try…
    Since I started eating dairies again, I notice that my body odor is much stronger (sweat and also urine)… same for my boyfriend.
    I tried the pasturized products first, and then switched to the raw milk butter, raw milk camembert, etc. Same result concerning the body odors.
    Is it normal?

  50. Consuming just heavy whipping cream (usually from pastured cows) these last few months has been a nice respite from all of the sugary treats I knocked out of my diet. Whipping up some cream, adding a pinch of stevia and some bananas or walnuts can be a wonderful way to start the day. I gave some to a friend who claims lactose intolerance and she was amazed and surprised that she didn’t have constant gas for the rest of the day. Now she’s onto heavy whipping cream when she’s been putting that non-dairy creamer crap in her coffee for the last year.

    The few times I’ve had ice cream in the last few months I experience slight stomach tightness… but not with just heavy cream. So, I’d be happy to keep it in my diet. Mixes with coffee and cream so much better anyway!

  51. I’m curious about information on Sheeps milk. I lived on a sheep farm in France for awhile where I helped milk the sheep, then turn that into cheese and yogurt. It was the best yogurt I’ve ever eaten (much milder flavor and not upsetting to my stomach at all which cows yogurt always does for me unfortunately). Does anyone know why sheep products aren’t available in America (none that I have seen, anway. If you know of producers please link me up!)? I’d like to hear some chatter about sheep dairy!