To Dairy, or Not To Dairy, that is the question

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tjnahm
tjnahm Posts: 73 Member
We have been "Primal" for just over 21 weeks now, and in that time I have lost 95lbs and my wife has lost just over 55lbs. Our weight loss is starting to slow down a bit, of course it naturally will, yet I still have another 70lbs or so to lose. I am curious if dairy is the culprit or if I just need to push my exercise more consistently now that I am out of the realm of losing weight on diet alone.

I don't the WHY / REASON for paleo to exclude dairy though... so that is my question. :)

Why does Paleo shun dairy while Primal embraces it?

Thanks!

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  • Drunkadelic
    Drunkadelic Posts: 948 Member
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    I would like to see how others respond to this as well.
  • jamk1446
    jamk1446 Posts: 5,577 Member
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    Paleo shuns dairy because true hunter gathers didn't herd or milk animals. They may have come across milk occasionally killing a nursing female but it was not regular. Most dairy available to us today is pasteurized and homogenized. It destroys the proteins and integrity of other components of the milk. These denatured milk proteins can mimic gluten/ grain proteins. This is why you will often find those intolerant to grains are also intolerant to dairy. Also, many populations lack digestive enzymes past childhood to process milk, a good indication that it should be avoided.

    Primal takes the view that 1. herding animals has been a long enough part of our history in some cultures that it may be tolerated by some individuals and that 2. not all neolithic foods are by definition harmful. But it isn't for everyone and every book/ blog/ expert on primal that I am aware of includes dairy with reservations or disclaimers. Sourcing grass-fed, non-hormone treated, raw dairy is the best if you want to include it in your diet, but it isn't widely available. So do the best you can.

    Personally, I know that milk isn't good for me at all and I can only tolerate infrequent, small quantities of cheeses. I seem to do okay with cream, butter, sour cream, and plain Greek yogurt. I buy full fat, hormone free from grass-fed cattle although it is pasteurized. I may find that I do even better if I completely eliminate dairy all together but at this point, I'm happy doing what I'm doing. The only way for you to know for sure for yourself is to experiment.
  • monkeydharma
    monkeydharma Posts: 599 Member
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    ^^^ nailed it. :)

    Outside of butter (which I don't use much of) and the occasional container of cottage cheese, we've quit using dairy... from cows. When we need cheese for a recipe, we stick with either goat of sheep cheese. We just avoid all the industrial BS that the cow industry has (goat and sheep are essentially free-range and pastured; I'd rather have non-organic sheep's milk than organic cow's milk).

    We look at the primal/paleo argument over dairy as a "doctrinal dispute between denominations". The dairy industry is so corrupted by agro-industry that we just avoid it out of principle, and buy from small or local firms.

    Oh, and Gundry takes the position that lactose intolerance is the original physiology of humans and that the ability to eat dairy after childhood is a genetic mutation that is slowly coming about since we've started including dairy in our diets.
  • tjnahm
    tjnahm Posts: 73 Member
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    Thanks for the answers guys... In this past 21 weeks I have been doing a lot of experimentation on my body and have discovered a ton of information about how foods affect me. I think I will have to purge dairy for a month and see what happens as well.

    In all honesty though, I am not too concerned about the fact that "true hunter gathers didn't herd or milk animals". I definitely take the Archevore approach in that we are looking for foods that are healthy for us. Whether or not someone ate/drank XXX 10,000 years ago isn't a basis for healthy eating in my opinion. I use this same mindset when I explain how I have lost so much weight. I say that I eat a "low-glycemic index diet to control my blood sugar and maintain insulin levels", rather than Paleo / Primal / Low-Carb.

    Thanks again for the clarification!
  • jamk1446
    jamk1446 Posts: 5,577 Member
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    ^^^ nailed it. :)

    We look at the primal/paleo argument over dairy as a "doctrinal dispute between denominations".

    Thanks! I view it this way too, I feel in this regard we parallel the spectrum of vegetarian to vegan.
  • monkeydharma
    monkeydharma Posts: 599 Member
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    I definitely take the Archevore approach in that we are looking for foods that are healthy for us. Whether or not someone ate/drank XXX 10,000 years ago isn't a basis for healthy eating in my opinion.
    While I completely see where you are coming from, may I attempt to dispute it a tad?

    When looking at the bio-mechanics of how we are genetically designed to respond to nutrients, it IS necessary to establish a basis. The biggest change in the way we eat occurred when Man figured out farming and agriculture instead of chasing their meat and veg. The second is more recent - when we started figuring out how to replace real food with chemically produced substitutes. Since the evolutionary process takes a lot longer than the 10,000 years we've been growing barley and slurping koolaid, using the hunter/gatherer model (paleo), coupled with modern science to explain WHY, is the best basis for healthy eating.

    One can spend forever arguing over whether synthetic fertilizers cause more harm than good - or one can paraphrase Cartman and say "screw you guys - I'm going home" and stick with whole foods, organically grown, and simply prepared.

    One crotchety old fart's opinion. ;)