Is Dairy Paleo?

Cow and calf in field

Dairy tastes amazing. Even in the face of heinous, life-altering symptoms like explosive diarrhea multiple times a day, some people will not stop eating their dairy because it is so delicious. We grow up on the stuff: milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, buttermilk, ghee, kefir, cream. Delicious, deeply satisfying culinary delights that in the Paleo world are NOT really acceptable. (By the way, eggs are not dairy, in case you’re wondering. For some reason eggs are displayed alongside all the actual dairy in grocery stores, so it causes some confusion.) Think of dairy as anything that originally came out of a cow’s teat, and that should clear things up for you. So — is dairy Paleo? Read on to learn why it’s not.

Worse for some than for others.
For some, of course, dairy is more unacceptable than for others. If I cheat and have a bit of yogurt, I pay grave consequences in the form of a rash, a candida infection, and asthma. If you cheat, you may just drive your girlfriend out of the room with your foul-smelling gas for the night, and that ice cream may have been worth it…I’ll be honest and say that if I had the option, I’d eat some dairy every once in a while, so I don’t blame you for eating it; it took me 3 years to fully take it out of my diet, despite my symptoms. So for those times when you’re faced with the decision to either break down and eat some greasy, cheesy Mexican food with your friends or to forgo the night out altogether in order to maintain your Paleo-ness, let me arm you with some background knowledge on the subject of the cheese in said Mexican food (nevermind for now the grains, beans, and beers you’ll be consuming along with it).

Not technically Paleo.
The Paleo pros all agree that before the advent of agriculture, dairy was not something people would have consumed after the first few years of life (during breastfeeding), since milking a wild mastodon would have been a little tricky. For that reason alone, dairy’s not quite Paleo. Beyond that, though, Loren Cordain, father of The Paleo Diet and author of the book by the same name, believes that dairy is one of the causes of many of our current health maladies, including some cancers, insulin resistance and acne. Loren Cordain keeps a blog, and this blog post in particular is a fantastic resource for more information on his camp’s beliefs about dairy.

But raw dairy might be all right for some people.
Another Paleo (or in his case, he calls it “Primal”) guru, Mark Sisson, has a slightly different take on dairy, and I tend to agree with him more on this one.  Since the studies on dairy that Cordain cites have been done using pasteurized, homogenized, non-whole-fat, factory-farmed dairy products, part of the story is missing.  There is a lot of evidence that supports whole fat, pasture raised raw milk’s (unpasteurized, unhomogenized) health benefits to humans, including anti-cancer and anti-acne effects. There have been indigenous groups all over the world who’ve lived vibrant, long lives on diets that include raw dairy products as a staple (see the Weston A. Price Foundation for more info on this).  Here is a fantastic blog post by Mark Sisson that further explains dairy’s place in the gray area of the Paleo world. The fact is that even raw dairy products are not Paleo, per se, but they may not be the devil’s spawn, either.  Whether you eat raw dairy is a decision you need to make for yourself based on your ethics and whether or not you can physically tolerate it.

So should you stop eating pasteurized dairy?
I say yes, but it’s not just because it’s not technically Paleo: it’s because a LOT of people can’t tolerate it.  We’ve been raised on pasteurized dairy, which lacks enzymes and other nutrients we need to digest and assimilate it; raw dairy contains those enzymes and nutrients. Because of the pasteurization of all commercial dairy (except in California) and due to some people’s genetic make-up, many of us are either allergic to the casein in dairy or we lack the enzyme, lactase, in our own bodies to digest it.  I see a lot of people who don’t know they’re lactose intolerant or casein sensitive until they take all dairy out of their diet.  If you stop eating it for 3 or 4 weeks (sometimes even a few days can be illuminating) and you notice that, for instance, your sinuses clear up, you don’t have headaches anymore, your skin looks better, or your digestion is more at ease, then I’d suggest one of two things: take dairy out of your diet or try switching to raw dairy.

Here’s a great website for finding out more about the history, safety, sources and scientific studies of raw dairy. If you absolutely insist on keeping dairy in your diet and you don’t want to eat raw dairy for whatever reason, I strongly suggest at the very least that you only consume organic dairy that comes from pasture-raised cows.  It doesn’t contain the pesticides that conventional dairy does, and it provides more beneficial fatty acids because the cows ate grass instead of harmful grains.  Also, the animals on organic farms are treated far better than they are on conventional factory farms.

We can get everything we need without dairy.
The idea behind Paleo is that we can get all the nutrients we need from animal carcasses (including meat, marrow and organs), eggs, vegetables, fruits, and some nuts and seeds.  People are attached to dairy partly because of the calcium it provides for healthy bones. To that, Cordain would say that dairy is so acidifying to your body that it causes you to leach calcium from your bones, and that eating too much calcium can negatively affect zinc absorption.  If you want to get your calcium, eat seaweed, dark leafy green vegetables like kale, and have some tahini (sesame seed butter) every now and then with some sliced veggies. 3 tbs of tahini contains about as much calcium as a cup of whole fat milk. Or eat the soft, small bones of salmon and other fish. Lastly, know that there was far less osteoporosis in Paleolithic people than there is in people nowadays…

What are your thoughts on dairy?  Do you eat it?


  1. Actually high-fat dairy is an excellent source of some critical nutrients like Vitamin K2, therefore I try to include some butter and cheese in my diet.

    It is also a good source of calcium. Now, I’m not sure if it’s really necessary for us to get that much calcium but it doesn’t hurt to be on the safe side.

    1. Since this is a Paleo blog, I’d have to agree and disagree with you. High fat raw dairy does have some excellent nutrients in it, but the Paleo theory is that fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, meats, fish, and organs all have more than enough of those and other critical nutrients. As far as the calcium goes, Cordain’s camp has this to say about it: “I believe that all dairy products are problematic. Cheeses do not cause the high insulin response as does milk, yogurt and other fermented dairy products, but is one of the most acidic of all foods. Paradoxically, despite its high calcium content, its net acidic load promotes calcium loss from the bones…” For more on that, here’s a link. At that link, you’ll find this quote, to top things off: “Finally, there is evidence of higher fracture incidence rates in countries with higher milk and calcium intake82, some long term prospective studies have failed to show a benefit from drinking milk or taking calcium supplements…and a recent meta-analysis…concluded that calcium intake doesn’t decrease the risk for fractures. And calcium intake is only part of the story – we need to consider the GI absorption and the renal excretion, and in these regards, vegetables from the brassica family have a clear advantage over milk.” I think we place a lot of undo emphasis on dairy in this country…

  2. I see you saying that paleo people didn’t have problems like we have today, such as tooth cavity and osteoporosis. Am I wrong, or is it true that paleo people didn’t live nearly as long as we do, either? Could this be the reason they didn’t have some of the same problems?

    1. Good question – it’s worthy of a blog post and I’ll write it soon. The short answer is that there’s a lot of evidence that our ancestors did NOT live short, brutish lives. And that many of them lived as long as we do, except they weren’t kept alive by respirators and/or oftentimes life-numbing prescription drugs. There’s some speculation that because their bones may have been in such better condition than ours that the aging techniques anthropologists use on bones may have been flawed (an ancient 60 yr old’s bones may have looked like a modern day 30 yr old’s). Also, there was quite a bit of infant mortality, which skews the average life-span. Here’s a good article on it.

  3. Hey…great post, great info. Just curious why eggs (I am assuming predominantly chicken, not wren or heron or owl) are in the Paleo diet if dairy is not since they both seemed to come into play with the ag era.
    Sidenote: I don’t do well on eggs at all, and it’s one reason I keep so many nuts and seeds in my diet, especially at breakfast. After reading the nut/seed info, it’s a little discouraging. Thanks for such great posts!

    1. Hi Kris! Eggs actually were and are a part of hunter gatherer diets, seasonally and where they’re available. They got/get them by raiding nests. The only difference now is that we generally only eat chicken eggs and we have access to them all the time. I recently started NOT eating eggs in the morning and opting for (guess what) meat instead, and I feel more satiated, so I’d give that a try if you’re worried about your nut consumption and are wanting more protein in your breakfast. Hope you’re doing well!

    2. Hi Kris,
      I am curious if you have tried duck eggs? Our grandson has a reaction to chicken eggs, but duck eggs are no problem. :)

  4. I have been on a very strict diet this year and have lost a good deal of weight. I have been looking into the paleo lifestyle to maintain my weight loss.

    I recently stopped or rather slowed my (cow) dairy consumption and replaced it with (goat milk) dairy and coconut and almond milk products.
    What are your thoughts on goat milk cheese/yogurt/kefir occasionally.

  5. I have just spent a number of weeks in Tanzania and Kenya. I was astonished by the Maasi…
    Tall, slender, very strong, very fit and many long lived..
    Their limited diet is- seeds, nuts, fruits (in season only) goat meat, cow blood and unpasturized cow milk.
    Not a grain to be had. But lots of milk. I wonder a lot if the grain/milk combo is part of the problem.
    I can eat cereal but not with milk, and I can drink milk if I don’t eat cereal.

    1. @Patrice – Yes, this could be. However, one of the only genetic changes we’ve made since the dawn of agriculture is that some groups of people have mutated so that they continue to produce lactase through adulthood. The Maasai seem to be one of these groups, as well as some others. It may be that. I’m jealous you got to be around them!

  6. What are your thoughts on almond milk? Since nuts are high in phytic acid, should foods derived from nuts be avoided? Also, is the calcium and vitamin D from almond milk easily absorbed? What about acidity? Does almond milk cause leeching of calcium from your bones the way cow’s dairy does?

    1. AK – Well, I’ll start out by saying that I don’t personally eat nuts or seeds because they cause joint pain in me, and I’ve found that they do the same for others and many people can’t digest them very well. All nuts and seeds have quite a bit of phytic acid in them, and so they’re the first thing I think to take out of someone’s diet when they have been Paleo for a while, but are still having digestive, musculoskeletal and sometimes other symptoms. I tell people to start out eating them if they want to, give it a month or so on the diet and then reassess whether nuts and seeds work for them and in what quantity. If the calcium in almond milk is calcium citrate or other krebs cycle chelates, then I don’t see why it wouldn’t be absorbed, but I’m not a fan of supplementing just calcium, as it really messes with the balance of other minerals and nutrients. If the vitamin D in almond milk is Vitamin D3, then i don’t see why it wouldn’t be absorbed by your body. Acidity? Almonds are not acidifying like dairy, so no. Hope this helps.

  7. Thanks Neely, that does help. I don’t have an issue with nuts, other than occasional scratchiness on my throat. But I recently read a book called Cure Tooth Decay which talks about using diet to prevent and potentially reverse tooth decay. What’s interesting is that while the author never talks about The Paleo Diet, his dietary recommendations are almost exactly the same. The big difference is his stance on dairy. He strongly recommends it, provided it’s raw, full-fat, grass fed organic dairy. But he also recommends that people avoid nuts and nut milks precisely because of phytic acid. It’s an interesting book. I’ve read a lot about the Paleo Diet and very little has been said about tooth decay. Usually, the emphasis is on weight lose, reversing diabetes, and so forth. So it’s really interesting to see someone essentially arrive at a Paleo-like diet from a completely different angle. I guess the root of my question has less to do with almond milk and more to do with getting adequate calcium, which I believe is why the author of Cure Tooth Decay recommends raw dairy. If you haven’t read the book, it might worth looking at and provide another topic to address on your blog. I’m sure your readers are concerned about their teeth along with the rest of their health. The author makes a strong case for why grains are evil.

  8. Hi Neely.
    Am also pretty confused over the dairy issue as some paleo guru’s while not recommending dairy products, do in fact promote & sell whey protein powders (sometimes with sucrose added). Others seem to think it is ok (while others seem to gloss over the topic) I would have thought so long as the dairy is grass fed/sourced or fermented then it can’t be all bad…the fact that there is such confusion between the experts suggests to me that it is probably not as harmful to our health as we might think. I think the issue with dairy is more about where it is sourced & whether it is pasteurised or not???

  9. Most of the sites I’ve seen for paleo agree that butter, grass-fed, and especially ghee (clarified butter) are paleo (despite not having it during paleo times) and are great to use for cooking. Something to do with the fat make-up and no lactose left in it features.

    1. Hi Amanda – I’m not really sure why the other sites have agreed on that. While there are certain exceptions to the Paleo diet that are kind of hard to avoid in the modern world, I don’t think that dairy is one of them in any of its forms. I’ve explained why in the post above and this post:

      It’s more of a “Primal” thing to eat dairy. It’s really not something we could naturally get our hands on after weaning as humans. I think it’s a really delicious food, though, and that’s why a lot of Paleo bloggers/chefs/experts are ok with making an exception for it. I honestly think a lot of people would feel a lot better if they didn’t eat it, since it’s not just the lactose that people have problems with, but the casein. I, for instance, can’t even drink fermented raw milk or pastured ghee – I get eczema and asthma, and I don’t doubt many people have similar problems. It’s up to you to decide in the end.

  10. yes calcium can be got from other areas apart from dairy products, actually the US has the highest intake of calcium in the world but still one of the highest osteoporsis rates. I have been making bok choy thai curry recently Yum!.

  11. I would rather drink almond or coconut milk than regular milk. The one thing I don’t think I can live without is the kefir. You get a better “dose” of the pro-biotics if they are alive. I have tried taking pro-biotic supplements and didn’t get the same results that I did with the kefir. I would try organic, raw dairy products but I don’t have access to them where I live.

  12. I am 19 years old and have been doing paleo for some time but I am wondering, I am fit, have no health problems and am not negatively effected by any foods why should I remove dairy? I am not lactose intolerant. It seems that most articles talk about removing dairy because of the negative effects caused by lactose and casein by if they do not negatively effect me then I see no reason to remove them. Thoughts?

    1. David – I always suggest that people remove dairy for a few weeks when they first go Paleo. That way, you can really, really see if it’s doing anything to you. You may have no idea that it’s causing something that you’ve just gotten used to (bowel movement irregularities, foul gas, skin irritations, sleep disruption, even mood issues). That’s my advice to you. Find out for yourself if it bothers you, and then make the choice to eat it or not. And if you do eat it, make sure it’s very high quality (raw if you can, pasture raised, organic, high fat) dairy.

  13. I’m very interested in what you have to say about dairy and the paleo diet. For the past year or so I’ve abandoned cow’s dairy for goat and sheep’s and have noticed a drastic difference in my ability to digest dairy that isn’t from a cow. In addition, my boyfriend who has a much more sensitive digestive system than I, has also discovered an ability to easily digest goat and sheep’s dairy in comparison to cow. I’ve read that it has something to do with a shorter protein chain in goat’s dairy, making it more easily digestible…. thoughts??

    1. Holly – I have said a lot about dairy and the Paleo diet here:

      As for your specific questions, yes, sheep’s, goats’, and cow’s dairy are all very different in both their lactose and casein make-ups, which can definitely make a difference in how well they’re digested. If that’s what you’ve discovered on your own, then I’d stick with those milks and not cow’s milk. Unless you want to try out raw cow’s milk, which a lot of people can tolerate much better than pasteurized cow’s milk.

  14. Hello, I have some questions because I am very new (4 days now) the Paleo-Diet.

    If I really need a dairy product, can I stick to a Lactose-free product?
    Would another alternative be Soy-Joghurt or Soy Cheese?
    I bought Gluten-Free Pasta and just read that it is made out of rice, water and salt. Is this a no-go as well?
    Corn or anything that contains corn is not Paleo either right?
    I have been reading that sour cream is okay to use and then again it is not good to use..?

    Thank you for your help :-)

    1. Tracy – I really wouldn’t suggest a lactose free dairy product, as they’re usually really highly processed, low fat, and from factory farmed dairy – all non-Paleo things. No, soy is definitely not a good alternative to dairy. Please search the blog at for all of these terms and you’ll find a lot of information on all of this. Almost all gluten-free products like that will be made with grains, unfortunately. Corn isn’t Paleo. Dairy is a debatable topic in Paleo. Here’s more info:

  15. I have been struggling with Hashimotos for a while and am just working up the nerve to try the paleo diet. I however have found that I am pregnant. Do you think it is safe to begin now?

    1. maria – Yes! I do. Just make sure you get enough food. Sometimes it’s easy to under eat when you first start the diet. If you’re super hungry, eat. If you’re really tired, well, it might be from being pregnant, but consider eating because that’s one of the major signs of hunger for people. I’m not saying go crazy and OVER eat, but just make sure you get enough.

  16. As someone starting the paleo diet to help with my own health and with the health of my loved ones, I was surprised to read your encouragement about eating unpasteurized milk.

    I do agree with the above issues concerning allergies and lactose intolerance as being a cause of many unwanted and unanticipated symptoms that come with dairy ingestion. However, I urge you and everyone reading/posting on this site to educate yourselves BEFORE ingesting unpasteurized dairy products.

    Louis Pasteur invented pasteurization in an effort to make dairy safer and less hazardous to consume. The bacteria that can be found in unpasteurized milk can cause diseases varying from a bad case of diarrhea to meningitis or kidney failure. These are diseases that can kill, and sometimes cannot be reigned in by modern medicine once the serious effects have taken hold.

    For instance, a short list of infections that can be transmitted via unpasteurized milk include: E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Mycobacterium bovis, Listeria monocytogenes, Brucellosis, and Yersenia enterocolitica. Of note, I have seen children in the ICU before due to kidney failure (hemolytic uremic syndrome) from E. coli O157:H7 infections from ingesting unpasteurized dairy or “raw” dairy products. This disease is often serious, and usually affects children more often than adults.

    Please educate yourselves and your loved ones before recommending “raw” dairy products. And if you decide to abstain from all dairy, make sure your family is getting enough calcium in alternative forms! (kale, spinach, sardines, vitamins, etc!)

  17. Yes, and if you really want to educate yourself, the 0157 strain of E. Coli was ‘tle.developed’ in feedlots by feeding grains/corn to cattle. Pastured animals that are entirely grass-fed should not have this bacteria.

  18. Ahhh, the dangers of Dairy. For me, Kefir and Raw Milk Yogurt are wonderful. No cheese and no commercial dairy. Goat’s Milk is good, I use it now and again. Now if we could get people to hate Corn and Corn Byproducts as much as some hate Dairy…. America we become healthier.

  19. I’m a dental professional and see the benefits of dairy (I try for organic, raw, unprocessed) the calcium phosphate is ph neutralising, it restores an acidic environment and yes can actually reverse the demineralisation process of ‘early’ lesions only!! It can not ‘cure’ decay once it has gone through enamel. But I believe prevention is better than cure. See a good dentist or dental hygienist and ask questions, of your not getting the answers, see someone else! Not all of us are forward thinking…
    You can eat nuts, just make sure that acidic influences to your dentition are neutralised after. I believe the key to good oral health is GREAT Saliva and great hygiene and see your dental professional. A good dental professional will be honest and tailor treatment to YOUR individual needs..
    Stay healthy :))

  20. Is feta considered bad “dairy”. I was read that it doesn’t contain lactose like cow dairy. Am I way off base?

    1. nikiking – I don’t know what “bad dairy” means or whose standards you’re using. In my opinion all dairy is bad dairy if you can’t tolerate dairy. Feta definitely has lactose in it. Sorry :)

  21. You get more calcium and other nutrients from bone broth and green vegetables than any dairy. Easy to make and you can use it to make soups.

  22. What are your thoughts on organic heavy cream or whipping cream? I just use it in my coffee, I tried Almond Milk for about a month but could not get use to it. I was reading that heavy cream is mostly fat which is ok on a Paleo diet as long as its of high quality.

    1. Nick – Just remember that it’s still dairy, and I always suggest to people that they go completely dairy free for at least a few weeks to find out if the dairy is causing any symptoms (it can range from anxiety to gas to skin problem, the list is endless really). So it’s ok if it’s from pastured cows, and preferably raw in my opinion (as I stated in the article). BUt it’s dairy.

  23. I have an autoimmune disease diagnoisted in May 2012 called Myasthnia Gravis I wonder if this diet will cure me. I am going to try it.

  24. I don’t understand something.

    What is and what is not paleo is laid out quite carefully in Loren Cordain’s book on the paleo diet – he’s the guy who coined the term and defined the diet.

    He never says that dairy isn’t part of the diet. This is an invention made later by others. Why?

    1. Annie Cloudwalker – Not sure what book you read, but Loren Cordain is one of the most outspoken anti-dairy Paleo people out there…

  25. Any thoughts about goats’ milk and goats’ milk products? We raise and milk goats; pasture-fed, no hormones, no steroids, no antibiotics, no pesticides on the farm, no herbicides on the farm. We’re not “certified” organic because we don’t care to go through the certification process, and we don’t sell our products.

    1. Darla – I say that sounds like a pretty awesome thing to have in your backyard :) If you and your family thrive on goats’ products, then by all means eat them. But I’d definitely give yourself the opportunity to find out for sure if you react negatively to that dairy product. Take it out of your diet for a couple weeks and when you put it back in, look for any new symptoms (allergies, mucus, digestive stuff, headaches, and eczema are common).

  26. My problem isnt a need or crave of dairy products…however I have grown accustomed to eating greek yogurt or cottage cheese as a pre-workout meal. How do i kick this habit and go for more paleo breakfast options?

  27. Evidence suggests cattle are one of the earliest creatures human beings domesticated-as far back as 15,000 years ago. Because there were no refrigerators at that time and cattle tend to be large, scientists don’t think the creatures were bred and raised alongside nomadic tribes for their meat necessarily (although this was an inevitable end for many of them), but postulate that humans kept them for milk as well. By that logic, shouldn’t dairy be considered “Paleo?”

    Now – the argument goes deeper than that. One thing we forget in our consumer-driven world is seasonal availability. In a global market, this doesn’t affect us as much as it used to; when oranges aren’t in season in the US, we can import them from elsewhere to quell our citrus craving. But there’s a shifting interest in the scientific community to how *when* we eat–rather than what–affects the population of microbes naturally living in our guts – tiny microbes that have *huge* effects on our metabolisms. It may be that these microfloral populations live and die in a sequence that was programmed into them over tens of thousands of years (a sequence that veterinary scientists believe may be partially responsible for the incredible weight changes we see in, for example, hibernating bears). These microbes are best equipped to digest foods that are supposed to be plentiful only at certain times of the year – so by consuming all types of food all the time, we’re interfering with their growth and their ability to work for *us*. It’s incredible how important those bugs are to keeping us healthy!

    Anyway, all of this to say, I’m wondering if dairy isn’t an acceptable food but only when it would have naturally occurred in our “paleo” cattle – springtime, when they were having their own babies, and making milk on their own? Something to ponder, anyway! =)

  28. I have a different opinion of dairy. I have advocated a similar diet to Paleo for many years, only recently realising that there was such a thing. I find eating dairy, with the extra processes needed to produce the product, like butter, cheese and yoghurt goes against what we would have been able consume at the time but milk, however I feel would have been available regularly from the lactating mothers. I think that these would have been of prime focus for our Hunter gatherer ancestors….

  29. It is perplexing to be told about heinous reactions (acne, explosive diarrhea, asthma, etc.) that can be overcome by giving up all dairy, when one has never had one of those symptoms.

    I am completely opposed to pasteurized dairy, and anything except raw, organic, pastured dairy. But other than that, is this not an individual matter? The only problem I have with dairy is when I eat too much and get tired. That occurs if I eat a LARGE amount.

    My own body seems to respond best to fermented dairy–goat and cow. Cheese, kefir, yogurt. And raw butter as well. So, that is what I eat.

    “One size fits all” nutritional advice does not work well for me. EVERYONE should avoid junk foods, sugar, added chemicals, GMO, etc. But in the realm of whole, organic, pastured foods, do these issues not vary according to individual body type?

  30. Just a quick question: I read about raw milk everywhere, but here in Germany everybody warns us from drinking raw milk as it is supposedly full of bad and dangerous bacteria.
    You can’t really get it anywhere.
    But I’d lke to try it as I love milk and sometimes have a real craving for a glass of ice cold milk.
    Any opinion on this? Do you think it’s safe to drink?
    Would apreciate your reply, thanks!

  31. I have a question, if you cut out dairy completely won’t you never be able to go back because your body can’t handle it anymore? Would a little bit of yogurt every week, while eating Paleo mess things up?

  32. I’m about a week into my Paleo diet (but am slowly weaning myself off yogurt and popcorn). Also, I’ve missed bread sooo much I made “Paleo Bread” – made with almond flour, coconut flour, pumpkin puree, eggs, etc. For long term – do you think that’s a good idea/bad idea?

    I can’t always afford only grass fed and organic meats, fruits and veggies. Is that a huge deal? Will I still get most of the benefits of the Paleo diet? Also – I’ve found myself eating large portions of fruits (although that is tapering off as my appetite /food cravings spike less often) but I know one can still have too much of a good thing. One of my goals includes weight loss – should I be more restrictive of my fruit intake?

  33. I’ve been on the Paleo diet for almost 8 years, and my son and I do not touch dairy at all. Dairy contributes to inflammation, therefore those of us who are curing autoimmune issues should not consume dairy.

  34. Hi,

    I’m not strict paleo by any means, but I do find the concept interesting and sometimes I lean that way in my home cooking. Recently been trying various starchy roots: Parsnip and carrot home fries (with onion and garlic) turned out awesome!

    I have long noticed that certain nuts and raw legumes make my throat itch, so I’ve been avoiding them for a few months. Haven’t noticed a huge difference in my overall well being (other than a non-itchy throat), but it’s hard to say because I’ve also lost 30 pounds in a year on a gymnastic-based exercise program.

    Question: Do you think dairy contributes to weight gain? Like many others, I love me some dairy and seem to tolerate it well enough. But it’s possible that the (unsweetened whole organic) yogurt and organic whole milk raises my average weight by a few pounds, mostly fat. For example, I ran out of milk and yogurt about a week ago, and haven’t restocked. I then celebrated thanksgiving with two different families, had two full leftover meals. had 1/2 an apple pie for breakfast. And 1/2 a pumpkin pie too (well that does have dairy, but I skipped the ice cream and whipped cream)

    And after all that? I lost 4 pounds. The main difference? I wasn’t consuming yogurt or milk daily this week.

    1. Hi Joel,
      Dairy (or any food that you have a sensitivity/intolerance to) can contribute to weight issues, and upwards to 70+% of the adult population has some degree of dairy intolerance (which may or may not result in digestive symptoms). Because people can be sensitive to a food without knowing it, we do recommend (at some point in a person’s Paleo journey) to completely remove all dairy (including butter and ghee) from the diet for at least 4-6 weeks, and then reintroduce them (one at a time) to determine if you might have a hidden food sensitivity or allergy. This is called an elimination-provocation challenge, and it remains the gold standard for identifying food allergies. Our next 30 day Paleo challenge starting January 1st would be a great opportunity to ‘challenge’ dairy out of your diet! :) Happy Holidays, and best of luck and good health to you!

      Kinsey, Paleo Plan

  35. Forgot to mention I had leveled off for a few months after my 30 pound loss, then gained several and maintained at that weight before losing 4 this week.

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