Stop Eating Dairy (at least for a while)

I, like you, often search online for new Paleo recipes. What I’m constantly and surprisingly met with are “Paleo” recipes that include dairy. Now, I know the Paleo/Primal movement is growing and evolving, so changes will occur. And what seems to be happening is a meshing of the Paleo diet tennets set forth by Loren Cordain and the philosophies of Mark Sisson of, PLUS your own addictions. And by addictions I mean cheese, cream, and butter.

Nowhere in Cordain’s books does he promote, or even condone, the consumption of dairy. In fact, he believes that dairy is pretty awful for us and he’s tight with Pedro Bastos, the (anti-)dairy Paleo researcher from Portugal. Cordain, who by the way owns the rights to the term “Paleo Diet,” believes dairy can cause anything from acne to cancer to insulin resistance.

In Sisson’s opinion, you should eat ghee and butter whenever you want and consume heavy cream, cheese, and yogurt in moderation. He is very serious about raw and grass-fed sources of dairy, though. And fermentation when possible.

My question is this: when did it become okay for people who write books and blogs entitled “Paleo something or other” to publish recipes that are chockablock (yes, that’s a word) with dairy? Dairy is not Paleo, people. Of course, neither is vinegar, so I guess I should stand down on this one since some of our “Paleo” recipes call for that.

The point is that dairy actually REALLY does cause problems for a lot of people, and everyone with their books and blogs is confusing Paleo eaters by telling them to never give it up. Yes, we all love cheese. I adore cheese. I love milk and all things made from it. If I could eat dairy without significant ailments, I probably would indulge sometimes. But in my opinion, every single person needs to cut it out of their diet for the first month or so of going Paleo/Primal to find out if they have a problem with it. I can’t stress this enough.

There are people who are having major digestive problems, not losing weight, feeling fatigued, having skin problems or a myriad other symptoms because they refuse to give up their dairy (or they don’t even know they should). It’s not like everyone is heeding the advice to get their dairy from grass-fed cows either. Most grocery stores don’t even sell grass-fed milk products. So that means that you may as well be on the Atkins diet, which you know I’m not such a huge fan of.

Conventional dairy is gross, to be quite honest. It’s full of pus from the cows’ infected teats. It has to be pasteurized because there’s so much bacteria in it, rendering its nutrients less available to us and its sugars less digestible. It’s also homogenized, which means the allergenic proteins can get stuck in the fat globules, which means that even if you’re eating the butter/ghee or cream, there might be some unwanted protein in there. Some say that up to 80% of the world’s population is at least a little bit lactose intolerant after early childhood, and it’s because we weren’t evolutionarily brought up to suck on animals’ teats after we’re weaned. There’s a reason dairy doesn’t agree with people.

The conventional milk in the United States oftentimes comes from cows who are pregnant. FYI, you’re not supposed to get a cow pregnant when she’s nursing her baby because a nursing cow should have time to recuperate before she gets pregnant again. Small, ethical farms won’t do that to their animals – it’s abusive.

Anyway, there’s a ton of extra hormones in the milk that you’re drinking from that pregnant cow, like estrogen. Extra estrogen causes things like allergies, terrible eczema in children and adults, endometriosis, early puberty (anyone notice their kids developing breasts early these days?), early onset of menstruation, heinous menstrual cramps, decreased sex drive, acne, infertility, prostate cancer, man boobs, osteoporosis, here’s a list for you.

Healthy, indigenous cultures who have dairy in their diets ferment the stuff. They know it’s hard to digest otherwise, and they certainly aren’t drinking homogenized or pasteurized milk fortified with sythetic, sometimes harmful “nutrients.” Modern Western people neither ferment their dairy nor get it from grass-fed sources. The reason for the grass-fed push is that the grass imparts a fantastic nutrient profile to the milk, and it means the cow was eating what it was supposed to, so she was a healthy animal (so her teats are not full of bacteria and pus). It also means the dairy farm is more ethical than not.

So think about this for yourself. There’s more information about dairy in our ebook we just published, too, in case you want more details. Give dairy up for a month and then try it again. See if it makes your skin itch, your face break out, your digestion go wonky, or your head hurt. Watch your menstrual cycle to see if it responds negatively to dairy. Does it make you tired? All these things are impossible to notice unless you take it out of your diet and see how you feel without it. It’s irresponsible for us in the Paleo/Primal world to just dismiss this issue just because dairy is delicious and we don’t feel like giving it up.

Don’t think just because it’s grass-fed, whole-fat dairy from raw milk that it’s without issue. I just got brave a couple weeks ago and put grass-fed ghee into my otherwise dairyless diet. I LOVE ghee. It’s amazing, but my skin got red and itchy after a day and I broke out with zits all over. I have scabs on my abdomen from itching so much. The only thing that changed about my diet was the ghee.

Think it over. And tell us, what have your experiences with dairy been?

Dr. Loren Cordain, the author of The Paleo Diet and several other Paleo books, weighed in on this blog post via email on 12/8/11. Here’s what he had to say(thanks for the support, Dr. Cordain!):

Hi Neely,

I am definitely on board with you. Dairy should not be part of a regular Paleo diet except on rare occasions as per the 85:15 rule I have laid out in my first book. In my next book (The Paleo Answer, available at Amazon on Dec 20), I have devoted an entire chapter to the health hazards of dairy consumption. You have my OK to post these comments wherever you like.

Best wishes,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor
Department of Health and Exercise Science
Colorado State University

Pick up a copy of Paleo Plan’s Quickstart Guide and Paleo Challenge eBook today!


  1. totally agree that you should cut it out in the beginning. i cut it out for sixty days, and think that was one of the smarter decisions i made. frankly, today, i think i’d still be fine, or even better off without it, but i do eat dairy. mark sisson & kurt harris gave me my introduction to this movement, not cordain. could the ‘gatekeeper’ account for much of this? (by the way, i am lactose intolerant, and can only eat firm aged cheese, ghee, butter, or heavy cream.)

    i often wonder the same thing about rice, which seems to be the darling of the paleo world these days, even though it’s inexorably linked to agriculture & the grain based diet, IMHO.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for stating this. I too, am irritated by people distorting the principals of Paleo eating. I wish Loren Cordain would have more of a presence on the internet to keep more of us straight. My diet journey was one in which I first gave up dairy, then gluten, then I went Paleo. And every step has made me feel better. When I first gave up nothing other than dairy, it was amazing how much better I felt. I always knew that dairy bothered me, but whenever I mentioned this to a doctor, they would tell me to take it out of my diet for two weeks and see how I felt. Well I never got a response in two weeks, so I went back to dairy many times. It wasn’t until I gave up dairy for good, and after about 2 months, the response was amazing. Now if I eat dairy, my fingers and toes swell up like little sausages and I get bags under my eyes the next morning.

  3. Shot in the dark here, but maybe people are trying to capitalize on the term “paleo” and bring people in because it’s a more recognize phrase than “primal”. If you’re consuming dairy, you’re primal. If you avoid dairy, you’re paleo. It’s not a hard concept to grasp.

  4. For 50 years I have been into non-traditional health research. Researching, experimenting and evaluating in order to learn. It took 33 years to do a book…and I put the information I learned about dairy into it back in 1995. Dairy is the #1 cause of tumors in the human body. I learned first hand. I also learned that if you don’t feed a tumor – it can be regressed. It took 2-1/2 months to regress (dissolve) a lemon sized tumor which two doctors said – couldn’t be done in 1976. It never came back.

    Dairy was not designed for human consumption. It may taste good, but it produces many health problems. After giving up dairy, I didn’t get a cold in 13 years. If I give in and have a latte, within 15 minutes my nose starts dripping. Cheese is absolutely the worst, as it is over-loaded with protein…and fat. Plain milk contributes to a 500 lb growth in a baby calf in its first nine months…it takes about 8 lbs of milk to make 1 lb of cheese…it is such a concentrated food that only a giant animal 8 – 10 times larger than a calf could eat it.. What human wants to weigh well over a thousand pounds?

  5. You say, “Healthy, indigenous cultures who have dairy in their diets ferment the stuff.” Isn’t cheese (and yogurt etc.) fermented? Aren’t these products ok to eat if from grass fed, healthy, humanely kept animals? (If you find you are not sensitive to dairy?)

    1. @josscorkin – Hey Joss! My main point is that dairy – especially pasteurized, homogenized, low-fat dairy – has effects that aren’t as noticeable as gas and bloating. It’s best to take it out of your diet for a month to see if you are NOT sensitive to it in any way. The only cheese I’d really be ok with is that from unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk – the way it was traditionally consumed. That way you’re not getting any stray protein in your dairy fat and you’re getting all the nutrients possible. I understand people don’t like the idea of not eating dairy, but it really can be harmful to a lot of people. It’s your choice.

  6. So even milk that is unpasteurized that I get weekly as part of my cow share is not good for me? Because that’s on the contrary to what I’ve read before.

    1. @Joshua – I actually didn’t say that it is definitely not good for you, but I stressed that milk doesn’t agree with many people digestively and/or immunologically, especially when it’s not fermented. It’s up to you to decide if it’s causing you harm. I think you’re on the right track with raw milk – good for you for going that route. But I tried raw milk, too, and it definitely didn’t work out for me, even fermented. My main point is that you have to at least give yourself the opportunity to find out if it’s harmful to you by taking it out of your diet completely for a month or so and then trying it again. Hope that helps clarify.

  7. Alright, I just wasn’t sure if it was or was not. Because it hasn’t caused me any problems and I’ve only heard of it’s benefits. But I read @Barbara’s comment and I wasn’t sure how true the part about cancer was.. Or if it even applied to raw unpasteurized milk. I don’t want to risk cancer. But I don’t want to just drop my cow share because of one comment. I’ve only heard benefits about raw milk. This was the first time I’ve heard otherwise.

    1. @Joshua – There is some research to support dairy’s contribution to increased tumor size. However, it’s mostly when there is already a tumor. It doesn’t necessarily cause tumors. I actually asked Pedro Bastos – a Paleo dairy researcher – about what he thinks about raw dairy and his response is here. Here’s a good article I wrote with a bunch of links to his other research and others’ research. But honestly, I go way more in depth about it in our ebook, which you can purchase here. There are unseen effects of dairy, so it’s really a judgment call, even when it’s raw.

  8. I agree that regular milk is not good. However, for example, my doctor put me on antibiotics, so I’m adding organic sheep and goat’s milk yogurt while I’m on them. Are there any better ways to prevent unhealthy unbalances while on antibiotics? I know sunchokes are high in inulin, but I thought they required healthy gut flora to already be there in order to promote them.

    1. Helen – I use a probiotic called Inner Eco,which is fermented young coconut water. It’s the strongest probiotic I know of, with over 100 billion organisms in each serving (1 tbs). I’d use that over yogurt any day.

  9. I SO appreciate this! It seems like ghee is totally accepted now – (a la whole 30 etc) – just tried some (grassfed,etc) and i have itchy eyes and skin! I wish i could have raw dairy and ghee -but it turns me a mess!

    Thanks for everything – really like the paleo plan and appreciate how informative and helpful it is

  10. Does this apply to milk and cheese from goats and camels? I’ve read (very little) that not only are they more nutritious but they’re also easier on the digestive system. Is it lactose that’s the issue, and do all milks contain it regardless of the source? What about lactose-free milk?

    1. Maxwell – Yes, anything that comes from an animal’s teat is considered dairy. It all has lactose and casein in it, but in varying amounts and types (of casein). Some people can tolerate goat or other animals’ milk while they can’t tolerate cows’ milk, but it doesn’t always work that way. You’ll just have to experiment to see how your body really responds to dairy. It’s lactose and casein that are the issue – some people aren’t lactose intolerant, but they have a casein sensitivity and vice versa, and some people have issues with both.

  11. I drink 3-4 gallons of fat-free milk a week. No adverse reactions. No health problems. I’m 25. I don’t have acne or rashes or any of those ill effects described in the article. It’s a delicious, high-protein drink. I’ll eat paleo meals, but always with milk.

  12. What about all the research and findings about the health benefits of dairy? Like it aiding in weight loss and getting rid of belly fat. And it having a ton of protein? How can it be so good but so bad at the same time?

  13. What’s with people making statements they claim as factual with no sources? Most websites I’ve been researching for the Paleo Diet give facts they heard somewhere but can’t recall or link a source.

    1. Lynne – Do you mean for adults? Most humans lose the ability to fully digest dairy (including breast milk) at about the time they’re weaned, so between the ages of 2 and 6 (people breastfed for a long time before it was taboo to do so). So no, while it’s the best thing in the world for babies, not so much for adults.

  14. Hi Neely-
    I initially followed Cordains first book religiously, with initial success and then everything went south. I had serious health issues which were being aggravated by the lack of fat(quantity) and the excess of fructose, from the unlimited amounts of fruit he recommended. After losing too much weight and a worsening of hypoglycemia, I looked elsewhere. My take away? His approach, in volume one, was seriously flawed. Fruit in quantity is bad, except for lemons and limes. Fructose above certain levels is absolutely awful for us. He’s correct on grains and legumes. He’s correct on non starchy vegetables. I don’t touch sweet potatoes right now and feel no need to ever again and I’m extremely active. I go no further than limited amounts of pumpkin and butternut squash. Nuts, in my opinion should be limited. I used to eat a ton because I was always hungry because of the lack of fats on his diet. But nuts are extremely difficult to digest if you’re suffering from digestive disease. I had terrible trouble with them. Even sprouted and ground. Dairy? I agree on all but butter and properly fermented yogurt. When my health deteriorated so did my ability to tolerate dairy. However, when I discovered the importance of fats and the make up of Pasture raised butter, I began eating it. And lots of it. Butter does not suffer the same fate as other dairy regarding pasteurization, and proteins are in levels low enough not to cause problems for most people. On top of that, butter is loaded with beneficial acids, needed to heal the gut lining. Cordain recommended Canola, still recommends flax. Canola is a poor choice at best and flax is way to high in short chain 3’s in relation to 6’s and highly unstable, like all seed and nut oils. Why not eat salmon or sardines or take a small amount of cod liver oil? I respect Cordain but from someone who suffered from serious autoimmunity and turned it around, well, I’ve got questions about the complete dairy smear. Even though I agree with a lot it. Weston Price had plenty to say about the benefits of butter oil. Vitamins A,D,K2.
    Have you ever followed say, The Gaps diet protocol. I did and reintroduced ghee, then butter and then yogurt. Very slowly. Like a teaspoon a day. I couldn’t eat dairy for years. With a slow methodical approach I was able to. So much of trouble with dairy is what you described and a lot of it is poor digestive and gut health. Overgrowth of fungus and bacteria all of which make dairy like pouring gas on a fire. In my experience, properly fermented dairy has been extremely helpful as a means of reestablishing micro flora which was destroyed by multiple rounds of antibiotics, bad food, toxins, etc over many years. Probiotics alone, were not successful. Avoiding probiotics was not a successful strategy either. Yogurt and butter were very effective and I was highly skeptical of both after reading Cordains book six years ago. At the same time, I don’t touch other forms. He also limited eggs as well and had no love for saturated fats. Well, I know differently now.
    Sorry for rambling but you’re supplying a lot of excellent info here, but I wanted to throw a smidgen of my personal experience in as well. I believe in Paleo, but in some ways, it needs to be modified for individual needs and circumstances, and is a work in progress. Maybe in the future I’ll be dairy free or maybe I’ll be eating bricks of raw, grass fed cheddar. Time will tell. In the meantime..
    Best Wishes,

  15. Neely-
    I sent a long reply a little earlier. It may be helpful, it may not. I’m always open to being wrong or to new and old ideas. I was completely against dairy for a long time and maybe I should revisit that principal. I will look into it one more time. Maybe I can rework the fat, protein and carb ratios to make a traditional paleo plan work for me. Do you address weight gain in your plans? Do you address a higher fat, lower carb approach? Does Cordain address these concerns in his last book? I’m skeptical of dumping grass fed, dairy fat for high 6 plant oils for energy needs.
    Best Wishes,

  16. Neely-
    I went through the site and it’s quite comprehensive. I would’ve refrained from emailing you because this has all been covered. I’m going to drop butter and yogurt and adopt a little starch(sweet potatoes) and up my intake of grass fed beef tallow. I’m sure my glycogen stores aren’t adequate. If anything amazing or relevant happens, I’ll let you know. Take care and great site!!

  17. I gave up dairy altogether and lost over 10 stone. I admit I exercised, ate low carb such as lots of salads, only lean meat, game, eggs, seafood. BUT… the coming of the dairy got rid of my huge appetite, water retention, PMT and it took me months to get off the dairy. So at first I overate the junk dairy free foods and just concentrated on getting off it, I then moved the wheat.

    I went back on dairy and I rapidly went downhill over many months… it was hard to realise the dairy was doing it, and I did not want to believe it.

    At compulsive eaters anonymous, the real addiction is not food, it is dairy, wheat, sugar. People with binge eating disorders say, it is OK for the alcoholic, herion addict they can just give up all that one substance and don’t need it and get over it (they forget they must also give up all their friends, community and lifestyle they once had). Whilst, a food addict must always eat BUT a food addict can give up specific foods they do not need to eat in order to survive, that is dairy, wheat, sugar.

  18. You are all totally bodmin. Your research represents the acts of fringe delusional people looking for ways to feel better. Let’s face it. Neurosis is a real condition and eliminating all these foods and items from your diet works like a giant placebo for you. So sad.

  19. DITTO to Susans comments. I refuse to be so completely obsessed! I think we need to make wise choices and exercise, but let’s be real here.

  20. I have always used dairy with no apparent ill effects. I make my own kefir and yogurt from whole milk. In fact I started having weight issues during rhe.period of time that I used skim milk. This is all fairly new to me. I currently suffer from Fibromyalgia brought on by 2 years of antibiotics and steriods because of an eye condition called latticed retinas which required 9 eye surgeries over an 18 month period. This is an hereditary condition by the way not caused by diet. How do you explain the Masai tribes whose primary diet is cow milk based? They are known for remarkable health and beauty. Until this happened (my eye surgeries) I was remarkably healthy rarely even had a cold and not to be boastful but was often told my skin appeared much younger than my years. What I seem to be hearing (reading) here is people that have sensitivities to dairy assuming, probably with the best of intentions, that their individual problems are universal. In the Bible God referred to the promised land as “a land of milk and honey” In India where the population has a very low incidence of many of the ills heart disease for example that plague us in the u.S. Of all European women the British have the lowest incidence of osteoporosis believed by many scientists to be because if the custom of having milk in their tea. The French Paradox is well documented as a phenomenon going against so much current thought one of the healthiest western populations despite their heavy consumption of butter, cream cheeses and baked goods. In India one reason the cow is revered and not eaten is because many can be fed with her milk but only a few with her meat. I recognize that the commercial production of all animal products is downright immoral and do believe firmly that all animals used by man for anything should be treated humanely and with respect. I just have the feeling here you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It’s like a person having a problem with gluttony or alcoholism and insisting everyone must stop partaking of chocolate or alcohol. I have a strong sensitivity to grains since developing Fibromyalgia. I realize ANY grain in ANY amount can just flatten me for days but I recognize everyone doesn’t have my particular problem. I would ask that you have more respect for our individuality and ability to recognize what is going on in our own bodies rather than use scare tactics to support your own personal views.

  21. In my previous post I’m afraid I seemed overly critical and I want to tell you that I’m so grateful I found this site. When I first decided to go Paleo just a couple of weeks ago after having done Atkins and Ideal Health I knew I had to be off grains but didn’t like all the processed foods in those programs. I spent days creating a menu plan for one week so I am thrilled to see this program and really appreciate the common sense used like grazing the fridge for leftovers instead of some I’ve seen like have 3 boiled quail eggs with two macadamia nuts. I will continue to use dairy as it’s not an issue for me but at the same time will happily utilize your resourses.

  22. I have just done a week of primal or more correctly LCHF diet. We eat dairy but all organic and as close to raw as possible. Love dairy and never have any issues with it. I have cut right back on milk becasue of the lactose but really enjoy organic brie, double cream in my cooking and of course lots of butter. I feel very satisfied after meals and can quickly get things made with the addition of the dairy and of course a great way to get the fat intake right up. In Australia we have access to a lot of great organic and grass fed dairy products close to home. I appreciate it is not Paleo. Just wanted to give my side of things.

  23. I support eating only raw, organic dairy products.

    Beyond that, the matter of eating dairy seems to be individual. Different body types, different states of health–why impose a restriction on everyone because some people can’t tolerate dairy products? Certain primitive tribes DID eat dairy and did fine. Many never heard of dairy and did fine. And possibly if dairy had been introduced to the latter, they would not have thrived on it–but that is not a certainty.

    Obviously, if a person bloats, breaks out and so forth, dairy is not the item to consume! But it can go the other way, so I recommend individual observation.

    Grains are greatly overdone and I don’t eat them myself (except quinoa and amaranth) but my husband does fine on whole grains and vegetables. No fatigue or weight gain. Different body type, more agricultural.

    NO ONE does well on sugar or toxic chemicals. Beyond that, we have to do our own research.

    1. Cypress – I’m not sure if this was directed at me (the author), but I’m assuming it was. That’s exactly what I’m saying in the article, that some people can tolerate dairy and some people can not. But the only way to find out if you’re having symptoms from it is to stop eating it and then begin again and watch how you react. That is all I was saying. A lot of people don’t even know they feel bad until they feel better…

  24. I think it’s a shame you throw kefir and yogurt under the bus on your main ‘what to eat’ page that links to this. The reason the world is lactose intolerant is because at some point most everyone gets unnecessary antibiotic treatment which kills off the natural flora in the gut that digests the lactose for us. When you re-inoculate your gut properly with regular consumption of kefir made from grass-fed milk, you then become able to process a world of toxins and undigestable starches because there is an army of bacteria fighting for your cause. I agree with every single thing on the ‘what to eat’ page except this.

  25. I have recently discovered the Paleo diet and am trying it. I am having a tough time finding things to eat. I keep eating the same things. Breakfast is really hard. Maybe as I understand the diet more, I will feel more comfortable and realize I have more options. This is great site by the way.

    1. Audiaunna – Like, for adults or for babies? Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for newborns and babies, but after a few years, most humans lose at least some of their ability to digest milk. Babies are more well equipped for it, especially for human breastmilk.

  26. I am a 46 year old male that has had very bad health for about 10 years. The hospitals thought I was crazy until they diagnosed me with a nasty bacteria infection in the TB family that invades dying patients normally with cancer or AIDS in 2011. I ended up having a really bad heavy metal and chemical issue from my past employment and my metal fillings. I have tried about every diet out there to help me while I was chelating (metal removal) and I can tell you what saved my life! First off, I had a bad yeast thing going on too along with that bacteria infection. Most people trying to heal should NOT eat any fruit of any kind which this diet allows. Even if your just using this diet to lose weight, it does not add up eating fatty nuts and meats along with fruit. I read above where someone was confusing a good Atkins diet which in the beginning did not have anything to do with those processed foods they make now. Atkins diet used in the right way meaning meats, cheeses and oils of any kind along with low carb veggies and NO fruit is a very healthy diet. BUT It did not help me heal all the way so I decided to use a RAW Alkaline diet with absolutely no fruit. It’s very important in the first month or so to not eat food that is acidic forming which this diet embraces ie cooked meat and eggs. That’s why the Atkins was not working for me even though I lost 60 pounds. I stuck with wheatgrass and barley grass powders along with DEEP green leafy veggies for the most part. I started with blending all my veggies too into a smoothie,, MAN that was rough but I stuck with it because I knew I had to heal or possibly die soon. The blending allows the liver and pancreas to rest. I also added enzymes and probiotics via kefir, yogurt and homemade sauerkraut. I had used plenty of probiotics in the past but never the enzymes, especially one I had never heard of which was pancreatic enzymes. I would take the usual enzymes before eating a meal which helped digestion but take the pancreatic enzymes on an empty stomach. These enzymes have been proven to enter the blood stream and break down barriers like fibrinogen that protects cancer cells from our immune system. I think this was the most important link to my healing! I aslo believe that being in an alkaline state is very important too or this enzyme might of not worked as well. I am about 80% healed now and I’m only 30 days into this diet and I have tried so many that I know this working. I also added some B17 into my diet which is very important with healing and staying healthy too. I eat apricot seeds for that. In summery, I just don’t think this diet is good for healing with the foods it allows but if one is not sick and wants to eat healthy it’s probably not all that bad. My life has changed due to a RAW diet and now I incorporate grass fed beef, and fish with no issues. I sear the beef for just a minute on both sides just to warm the meat in the middle but it’s raw other than that thin layer on the outside that was seared. The fish is no cooking at all and prefer only fish with scales and fins from the sea. If you are sick I suggest skipping this diet or you will be like a dog chasing it’s tale. Go with grasses and a very high alkaline RAW diet with the pancreatic enzymes!!

  27. You wrote this whole informative blog about why dairy is bad to help people realize why they shouldn’t consume it. You had me at “Pus infected teats.” ’nuff said.

  28. This is addressed to Elizabeth H and her January post. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia some months after the birth of my third child.The doctor wanted to medicate me but I was breastfeeding and declined. Fortunately, I was able to link my worst attack (full fibro-fog, aching too much to get out of bed at all) to a large meal I had eaten the night before consisting entirely of pesto (wheat noodles, parmesan) and ice cream. That was my first hint that dairy might not be good for me, although I had given it up for a time when breastfeeding my first child, as he reacted terribly to it. Within five days I not only felt much better physically but my low-grade depression had vanished. So I think my fibromyalgia was actually caused by dairy.I have gone back and forth with dairy in the 18 years since, mainly because it is so addictive. Studies have shown (no I don’t have the citations on hand, but I can look them up if you like) that wheat and dairy form opioid peptides that affect the brain. That has certainly been my experience. I gave up wheat as well when I contracted rosacea and realized that my nose would turn red exactly two days after I ingested anything with wheat. I recently went Paleo for six weeks with virtually no weight loss and now am on the 17 Day Diet — much better weight loss, which I attribute to the reduced fat content of the diet. To me it makes sense that if you want to burn fat you may need to reduce the fat you consume somewhat. However, I refuse to eat the dairy product component of that diet, even fermented. I had been feeling depressed again in the last six months which I thought was empty nest syndrome, and now after going strictly non-dairy again I find the black moods lifting. So I agree with Neely that certain symptoms of dairy may take a long time to manifest and a long time to lift once you remove it from your diet. I think some component of it may build up in your system. If anyone is interested in other side effects, my son’s colic and toddler daughter’s constipation both vanished when I took them off dairy products, as did another daughter’s mild eczema. I also have a child and two brothers who have Type 1 diabetes, and both wheat and dairy products have been implicated in that auto-immune disease.

  29. First of all, thanks for the article. It has made me reconsider my usage of ghee. Here’s the thing, I’ve been doing the Whole30 challenge and, so far, I feel OK. But every time I eat eggs made on ghee I get a little stomachache/feel like I’m gonna throw up. I thought it was related to the eggs, but then I prepared some meat using ghee and I had the same sensation. I don’t feel like this when I cook chicken using ghee, though (I guess it’s becase the taste kinda “disappears”). So should I avoid it? And what kind of oil can I use instead of ghee? I really don’t like coconut oil to prepare omelet and meat.
    Thank you so much. :)

    1. Hi Amanda,

      If you’re making your own, you might try using a different brand of butter or if you’re using store bought, you might try a different brand than you’re currently using. I actually had the same problem and I switched brands and felt much better. Alternatively, you can use any type of animal fat such as bacon fat, duck fat, chicken fat, etc. Bacon fat tastes great and is easy to make. Next time you cook bacon (preferably pastured), just save the rendered fat in a jar and keep in the refrigerator. For a quick sauté over low to medium heat, olive oil and avocado oil are good choices. Good luck on your Whole30 challenge! Sally.

  30. I was a competitive bodybuilder for several years and my trainer had me eating a cheese and yogurt everyday. I bought organic and grassfed too. After 4 years of this, I began to feel terrible. I had terrible joint pain and constant ear problems. I thought my weight lifting days were over my knees and wrist hurt so bad. From the advice of a friend, I decided to cut out dairy completely. It only took a few days for me to notice a huge difference! The joint pain was no longer there, my ears were no longer clogging up and I had more energy. I thought I would die if I had to give up cheese, guess what? I didn’t die and I do not even miss it. I no longer eat meat either. It completely grosses me out. Now, I am giving up grains completely due to the fact that I think it is causing me all kinds of digestive issues. I am pretty much on a plant based diet now with some seeds and nuts occasionally. I make sure I get plenty of good fat and I have great skin and lots of energy. I am able to lift again and I am feeling fabulous at 51.

  31. I just discovered your site and it seems… reasonable. I have gone through many diets over the years, most recently the Ornish Spectrum (most restrictive, for heart disease). I lost 40 kg, but have since gained back half and I’m trying desperately to avoid a complete rebound.

    Independently I came to the conclusion that grains are what have been doing me in – even brown rice. And sugars. I didn’t realize how addicted I’ve become to them.

    I did try Atkins some years ago and it didn’t work well for me. But this plan seems somehow more reasonable. Especially considering recent research about how eaten cholesterol doesn’t correlate with blood cholesterol.

    The reason I’m posting to this blog post is because of the dairy. I’ve never had a problem with dairy before. No digestive problems at least. And I was thinking that some low-fat cottage cheese (low in carbs, only 200 calories for a satisfying container) would be ok and couldn’t think of any reason it couldn’t.

    Again, I found your explanation here *reasonable* – not adamant one way or the other, but just some good points and suggestions.

    I’m still uncertain what to do about cottage cheese. It seems like a nice satisfying and low-calorie “filler” during the day if I need a snack. And I’m really worried about sugar, so it even seems better than fruits. But I’ll give it some thought.

    On now to check why legumes are bad! I thought edamame were great for my diet until now!



    1. Hi Doug,

      I’m so glad you’ve discovered our site and you’re interested in Paleo! I think you will achieve great benefits from the diet. Here’s what I suggest – try a strict Paleo diet for 30 days. This means you should avoid all grains, legumes and diary, including cottage cheese and see how you feel. If after the 30 days, you really miss diary, add it back in a little at a time and see if you react. You might be able to tolerate cottage cheese or you may realize that you do better without it. Whenever I gravitate back to dairy, I realize I feel best, and maintain my weight most easily when I just avoid it. Regarding your concerns about fruit, I definitely agree that your intake should be limited to 1 or at most 2 fruit servings a day for weight loss. Keep in touch and let us know how it goes!


  32. What if I milk my cows and make butter-cheese etc with that milk that I have MILKED myself? (They’re grassfed)

    1. Hi Some Village Gal,

      It all comes down to individual tolerance! I personally can handle some good quality grassfed cheese every now and then, but can’t even handle raw, grassfed milk. Everyone is different! I think it’s important to look at what you can individually tolerate, and I believe that’s why Paleo is great! Because we can add in “non Paleo” healthful foods when they can benefit us individually.

      Hope that helps! If you’re not sure how well you tolerate it, take 30 days off of consuming any dairy, and add in one kind and pay attention for a few days to see if you notice any signs of sensitivity.

      Aimee McNew, MNT, Certified Nutritionist

  33. I looked up this way of eating as I am always open to learning new healthy ways of eating. When I found this blog on milk, I felt I needed to say something. I grew up on milk and still drink a lot of milk. I have never had issues with acne nor have had heavy menstrual cramps. In fact, my periods were way lighter and shorter than a friend of mine who does not drink a lot of milk. I also have not had issues with a low sex drive or being overly tired and definitely not infertile. I had six children, attended college full time while raising them, and maintained a 3.0. I did not have a lot of help with the children while I was going to school as my husband worked 60 hour work weeks on a regular basis. I never struggled with my weight until menopause which has given me 10 extra pounds. I’m still not considered overweight for my age and height. My point is here, is there are people out there, who do not have issues with dairy. Calcium is important for our bones and teeth. yes, i know you can take vitamin supplements but milk does have benefits.

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