The Paleo Diet – Dairy

Milk has been the recipient of some pretty amazing press. The Got Milk? campaign showed us that drinking milk could make you super athletic, like Tom Brady.


Or beautiful, like Tyra Banks.


Yep. That’s some pretty powerful advertising. And there are many compelling arguments. Milk is full of good fat, protein, and carbs. It is also high in calcium and vitamin D. All of that is great, but we have to question whether milk, or any dairy, has a place in our diet. (Sorry Tyra).

First, we can go back to our friends at Whole 9 to take a look at the downsides of dairy. A quick summary is that the proteins could be harmful to our bodies in a similar way that gluten is. Additionally, lactose, the sugar component of milk, can be very difficult for some people to digest. About 65% of adults are lactose intolerant – around 90% of Asians (lucky me). Also, while some praise the calcium content of milk, it has been widely shown that you can get plenty of calcium from many other foods.

All of those arguments put a pretty good dent in the dairy argument, but the following video perfectly sums up my thinking on the topic. This is Dr. Michael Klaper:

My thoughts:

If you have difficulty keeping weight on/gaining muscle, milk may be a good option for you – assuming you can digest it. Opt for whole milk to take advantage of the fat-soluble vitamins.

If you are trying to lose weight, ditch milk and cheese anywhere you can. Exceptions to the dairy rule include butter (preferably clarified), fermented dairy (kefir), and heavy cream (if you can handle dairy). If you are trying to maintain weight, small amounts of cheese shouldn’t bump you off track, but don’t go pounding a full wheel of brie.

Stay tuned for more paleo info!


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