Here’s a two-part question from a faithful reader: Can I be Paleo and eat dairy products? Also, why is whole milk and cream better than skim milk?
First off, let me define dairy as any milk product from another animal. This includes milk, cream, butter, cheese. Eggs are not dairy- they just happen to be sold near the dairy products at the store. If you are new to living a Paleo lifestyle, then it is important to remove dairy from your diet for ideally 30 days, although a small test can be done in as short as 14 (very strict) days. This will help you to determine if you have any sensitivity to dairy because it gives your digestive system a rest, and when you reintroduce the milk products after this time you might experience signs it doesn’t agree with you. These can be very obvious digestive disturbances, sinus congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes or more subtle like minor bloating or being moody. Not to fear, you can still get plenty of calcium from foods like leafy greens and mineral rich bone broths.
For those of you who prove you can tolerate dairy and don’t have any inflammatory health issues, you can consume some dairy and still safely classify yourself as Paleo. The rest of you, who experience signs of sensitivity to dairy or have inflammatory issues, do yourself a favor and avoid dairy.
Raw (unprocessed, unhomogenized, and unpasteurized), and pastured (meaning the cows were allowed to graze on grass) dairy products are the best ones to consume as they contain more enzymes and are more easily digested. Organic whole milk and cream products, especially those that have been pastured, are good choices as they contain more omega 3 fatty acids and have been minimally processed. Skim milk has been heavily processed and all those important fatty acids have been obliterated.
Please send any nutrition questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org