7 signs intolerant dairy lactose casein lactase allergic symptoms milk Paleo Network-min

7 signs you’re dairy intolerant

Dairy is a huge dividing issue in the paleo world. Strict paleo would omit dairy, but a lot of people take a more primal approach and include good quality dairy in their diet. My study showed most people who identify with paleo do in fact consume some dairy. The deciding factor here is if you are dairy intolerant or not. And how would you know?

7 signs intolerant dairy lactose casein lactase allergic symptoms milk Paleo Network-min

Whilst not scientific, there are a few warning signs that will give you a pretty big clue you don’t tolerate dairy well. But what is it in the dairy that may not agree with you? Well, it’s not as simple as saying it’s the dairy, you could well have a reaction to the lactose, or the casein contained in dairy.

Today, I'm going to look at a Lactose Intolerance specifically, as this is the dairy component that seems to be most troublesome for so many people. Whilst Northern Europeans seem to tolerate lactose fairly well due to a long, long history of doing so, in other populations most people are lactose intolerant.

What does lactose intolerance mean?

Simply, this occurs when you stop making the enzyme lactase, which is required to digest lactose. Without lactase, bacteria will metabolise the lactose instead. Whilst not a serious condition, it is going to be uncomfortable and frustrating for the unwitting dairy consumer.

So what are the symptoms?

1. Symptoms are going to centre around your digestive system, so look out for:

2. Bloating

3. Gas…. Say no more

4. Crams and pains in your abdomen

5. How to put this nicely… loose bowel movements, sometimes very loose

6. Strange noises coming from your digestive system

7. In severe cases vomiting

8. Unexplained tiredness

Important to note is how soon they symptoms came on after consuming the dairy? And what type of dairy was it?

What next?

If you suspect you may be intolerant to dairy, you need to find out.

The best way to test this is by an elimination diet. No dairy whatsoever for 30 days. See how you feel, are the symptoms still there? If you've been symptom free, you can test this further by gradually introducing back in certain dairy products. I've heard some people will be fine with hard cheeses for example, but not soft cheese. Whatever you introduce, make sure it’s in isolation, and wait at least three days before bringing another dairy variable into the mix. You can experiment with raw dairy, fermented dairy, perhaps you’ll find clarified butter; ghee has a different impact on you.

Do you suspect you're dairy intolerant? Do you consume it?

borderline paleo food paleo network-min

Borderline paleo food

Eating a strict paleo diet is simple; meat, veggies, eggs, nuts, seeds and a little fruit. Right? What about all those borderline foods? Are they paleo, or not?

borderline paleo food paleo network-min


Dairy is a huge grey area for a lot of people following a paleo diet. Strictly speaking, a paleo diet omits all dairy, since it contains lactose and casin, which a lot of people can’t tolerate and other components, such as IGF-1 which may be harmful. Of course, dairy encompasses a huge wealth of foods, some better than others. Fermented dairy, such as kefir and traditional yoghurt, is going to be a lot better than highly processed dairy, such as skim milk. The key is to try it for yourself and find out what works for you.


Yes, the fruit we’re encouraged to eat every day is a food I would consider borderline paleo. Fruit, being carbohydrate, is packed full of sugar. Yes, it contains vitmains and is natural – but the sugar can’t be ignored. Of course, not all fruit is equal, and whilst I’d avoid high sugar fruit like apples and melons, berries are great as they are far lower in sugar.

Safe starches

There’s been a lot of talk lately about safe starches.  A safe starch is a carbohydrate that is low in anti-nutrients, such as phytates, for example sweet potatoes, plantain, yucca, tapioca, white potatoes and white rice. To slow down the glucose release, and lessen the insulin response from the carbs, they are best eaten with fat and protein. Why are these borderline? Clearly rice is a grain – and white potatoes are a nightshade. Whilst paleo is not, by definition, low carb, many people do take a low carb approach and should therefore take a considered approach with safe starches.

Non-paleo “Vegetables”

Corn on the cob and green beans might sit nicely on the plate masquerading as vegetables, but they’re not. Sweetcorn is a grain and the green beans legumes; both food groups which are excluded on a paleo diet.

Paleo sweeteners

Whilst honey and stevia might seem like far more natural options than table sugar, the fact is, in your blood stream they’re all the same. Whilst some sweeteners may more natural than others, they’re best off avoided.

Paleo baked goods

The more popular paleo becomes, the more popular paleo breads, paleo cookies and paleo cakes become. They might be made with almond meal and coconut flour, and use dates as a natural sweetener – but take care with these. They often still have a lot of sugar and are best kept as an occasional treat.

Pseudo grains

We know how bad gluten is – wheat is a grain strictly avoided on paleo. There are a lot of other pseudo grains that don’t contain gluten, that are become popular, especially amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa. Whilst a lot better than conventional grains, it’s worth bearing in mind that gluten-free and paleo aren’t the same thing!

 Manufactured meat

So we know meat is paleo, but it becomes a lot more borderline when we look at things like bacon, sausages, hamburgers and cured meats. If you’ve not made them yourself, you need to know how they’ve been made, as many processes will use sugar, soy and chemicals that most definitely aren’t paleo

recipe paleo coconut milk make your own homemade-min (1)

Recipe: DIY Coconut Milk

I've written a lot before about some of the dodgy coconut milk on the shelves of your local health food store. You really have to check the ingredients carefully, it's near impossible to find one without the mysterious “guar gum”, not to mention stabilizers, emulsifiers and a host of chemicals I'd rather not consume. If you want to learn more about some of the dodgy ingredients, you'll need to read this.

So whilst you can find the odd brand without all of the added nasties, it's surprisingly easy to make your own coconut milk. You just need a bit of time!

Recipe Coconut Milk Easy DIY Natural Homemade Paleo Network-min (1)

Recipe: DIY Coconut Milk
Prep time: 
Total time: 
This simple recipe makes about 4 cups of coconut milk, just scale as required. Whilst it's easy to make, it does need some time - so ideally make it the day before you're going to need it.
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 4 cups distilled water
  1. Soak the coconut flakes for about four hours in the water.
  2. Once the flakes have gone mushy in the water, put in your blender, and blend for a few minutes until it's a nice evenly mixed in texture.
  3. You'll then need to strain the mixture. I like to do this through a cheesecloth as it's much easier on the washing-up than using a sieve!
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use within three days or so.
  5. Oh - and the contents of the cheesecloth? Don't waste it! You can use the leftover coconut pulp in your paleo baking!


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Ask the Paleosphere is dairy paleo milk cheese lacto paleo-min

Ask the Paleosphere – Dairy

It’s all very well reading the Paleo theory about why we should and shouldn't consume certain foods, but what I find most valuable is finding out how people actually eat – and how different foods affect them.

With over 79,000 followers on the Paleo Network’s Facebook page, it’s become a great place to ask questions. A lot of the questions I've been asking seem to resonate with a lot of people, so I thought it would be useful to share some of the questions here.

Ask the Paleosphere is dairy paleo milk cheese lacto paleo-min


Dairy seems to be a source of a lot of controversy in the Paleo-sphere. Whenever I post about dairy, I get equally large numbers of people condemning me for mentioning it, as I do people who comment that they enjoy it regularly in their diet. I don’t agree with taking a dogmatic approach to “Paleo” – surely it’s more important to learn how you tolerate things like dairy and eat accordingly?

So when I asked my Facebook followers for their thoughts on dairy – what did they say?

Out of 218 people who left a comment, I counted 48% of people avoid dairy – and 52% of people do consume it. However, in almost all cases those who consume dairy seem to do so with quite limited constraints.

Limiting dairy

Of those who eat dairy, almost everyone said that they do so “in moderation”, with most people only eating a certain type of dairy, and avoiding others. Some of the responses included:

  • Fermented
  • Only cheese
  • Fermented
  • Yoghurt only
  • Raw & organic
  • Kerrygold butter only
  • Fermented full fat only
  • Butter & cheese minimal
  • Can’t do milk but eat cheese
  • I use cheese as a condiment on occasion
  • Only sour cream, aged cheese and buttah
  • Only raw dairy from grass-fed Jersey cattle
  • I can never give up fine cheese and ice cream!
  • Yes but only pure grass fed! Bio dynamic etc!
  • Only a bit in my Coffee, and only goat's milk
  • I love my cheese so allow a little as a treat and kefir
  • Butter and a very limited amount of special cheeses
  • Only organic butter and a tiny smidge of occasional cheese
  • Grassfed always – raw and local when possible. One serving a day.
  • I'll only ever have a tiny bit of white cheese that hasn't been processed a lot.

Why avoid it?

It seems that most of the people who avoid dairy, do so being aware that their bodies do not tolerate it well. Here are some of the reasons people gave as to why they don’t consume dairy:

  • No, it makes me sick
  • Cannot handle the casein.
  • My tummy doesn't tolerate it
  • Gives me pimples but I love it.
  • Gives me bloating & bad skin.
  • I break out with eczema and asthma.
  • It gives me Brain fog and belly aches!
  • My heart says yay, but my tummy says nay
  • Hot flashes stopped when dairy was eliminated!
  • My body does not like and it causes inflammation
  • Never did work well with me – since childhood.
  • I may love dairy, but it definitely sets off my auto immune disorders.
  • I dream of cheese  but unfortunately the casein protein in it burns my GI tract
  • In very small amounts. It causes acne for me. I'm 40 and just figured this out!
  • Yay for me but nay for my 20 months old. Makes him as constipated as anything.
  • Allowed it to creep back in last year, felt crap and body composition/weight plateued.
  • Quitting dairy is the only thing that cured my skin condition I've had since childhood (keratosis pilarus)
  • I've learned the hard way after a dose of post surgery pancreatitis. It's extremely alarming that people would suffer like I have at their own hand.
  • I didn't worry about my normal no-dairy or no-grain for about ten days over Christmas and now my forehead and chin have lots of pimples. Yuck!


Quite a few people commented on alternatives that they use instead of dairy, with the most common being:

  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk/ cream
  • Coconut Yoghurt
  • Hazlenut milk
  • And, er, Soy (I think this person maybe didn't realise they were on a Paleo page?)

It’s not dairy…

There were also quite a few comments from people who only have almond milk, or eggs – and others pointing out that eggs aren't dairy – and that almonds don’t have udders…

I’d love to hear your perspective on dairy. Do you consume it – and why? Please share in the comments below. Also, if you have a question that you’d like a broader perspective on, please let me know and I’ll post it on Facebook.

Can You Get Enough Calcium On A Paleo Diet-min

Can You Get Enough Calcium On A Paleo Diet?

If you've told anyone you follow a Paleo diet, one of the typical responses you’ve probably got back, is bound to be “but how can you get enough Calcium?”

As part of any healthy lifestyle it is essential to have a decent amount of calcium in the diet, as it is involved in so many crucial functions. Calcium is known to strengthen the bones and teeth and can help to reduce the risk of suffering from osteoporosis, which causes brittle bones and can be very detrimental in the quality of life for sufferers. It is also thought the mineral can help to prevent cardiovascular disease and other illnesses which can cause a lot of problems in later life.

In order to really get the benefits from calcium, it is important to incorporate it with other nutrients and vitamins, as they work in conjunction with each other to produce the most effective results. Vitamins such as C and D3 help the body to absorb calcium so that the benefits are maximised. If these vitamins are not present in the diet, it won’t be absorbed sufficiently, which means the calcium won’t offer the benefits you would expect from it.

We don’t all require the same intake of calcium; there are factors which affect the level of calcium we should consume in our diet. Children require a lower level than adults and women are usually required to take in more calcium than men. Pregnant women should also try to take in a higher level of calcium as it will be beneficial for both mother and baby.

We know that calcium is essential for the body, but we have been led to believe that we need a lot more in our diet than what we actually need. It is also a misconception that the only way we can get the calcium we need is through the consumption of dairy products and in particular milk, which is not the case. There are many other foods which provide a good quantity of calcium and more than enough to ensure we have an adequate amount in our bodies. It can also be detrimental if we consume too much calcium, as it inhibits the absorption of magnesium. Magnesium is important for a healthy body and a lack of this can have an adverse effect on the body.

As a strict Paleo diet excludes dairy, many people wrongly assume eating this way will result in a Calcium deficiency. However, this simply is not the case. Not only are there some far better sources than milk – when the processed foods are removed from your diet your calcium requirements are actually lower. In fact, it is not calcium intake that is important, rather calcium balance. Processed things such as soft drinks actually use calcium in their digestion – effectively leeching calcium from your body. If you eat a lot of these types of foods, your calcium requirements are clearly going to be a lot higher. When you eat a natural Paleo diet – real food – your requirements are going to be a lot less.

Can You Get Enough Calcium On A Paleo Diet-min

Good Paleo Calcium Sources

There are lots of foods other than dairy products which many people just don’t associate with calcium. These foods act as a good source of calcium and provide us with other health benefits, including providing an adequate amounts of essential vitamins and other minerals.

Leafy green vegetables are a great calcium sources, as are high quantity of fish, such as salmon and mackerel. These can also offer a substantial amount of the mineral, as well as providing us with vitamins and antioxidants which are the perfect way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Walnuts and hazelnuts are other foods which act as a good source of calcium. It is important not to eat too many of these though due to the Omega 3/6 ratio, so sticking to a low quantity will achieve the desired result. Eggs are also a way of ensuring calcium is present in the body and in particular egg yolks are a good source. It is a good idea to take note of the calcium levels of the foods you are eating, so you know whether you are taking in too much or too little.

Do you eat dairy? Where do you get most of your calcium from? Share in the comments below!

Is all dairy bad Raw milk cheese health paleo primal diet-min

Is ALL Dairy Bad?

I have always viewed dairy as a collective dietary no-no. Since I initially went Paleo and my asthma vanished, I've been resolute that dairy is problematic – and something I should avoid.

Recently however, I've been reading a lot about hard (i.e. cheese) and soft (i.e. milk) dairy. It seems that many people find they can tolerate hard dairy with no issues – yet need to strictly avoid soft dairy.

What’s Wrong With Dairy?

Milk has high levels of the sugar lactose, which appears to be at the root of many of the issues with dairy. Many people are lactose intolerant, so unable to produce the enzyme lactase to break down these milk sugars. The alpha- and beta-casein found in milk also appears to be problematic as do the components casomorphin and butyrophillin.

Raw dairy is significantly better. During Pasturisation the very enzyme – lactase – needed to digest lactose is killed. Conventional wisdom at it’s finest….

The most common issues I read about in relation to dairy are digestive issues. I'm fairly convinced however that dairy is the culprit behind the Asthma that I no longer have. However, it’s hard to be certain. And if it is the culprit, is it the lactose, the casein – or something else entirely?

Is all bad Raw milk cheese health paleo primal diet-min

It seems that the further away dairy is from milk, the lower the levels of lactose – and therefore the more tolerable it appears to be. Fermented dairy – such as a home fermented yoghurt is apparently almost dairy free, so perhaps that might be tolerable too? Even if it is almost lactose free, it still isn't without problems, since the high level of carbohydrates is very insulin promoting.

One of my main concerns with it is the growth factors it contains, like IGF-1. Raw dairy seems to have much lower levels, but it appears Pasteurised dairy could have very high levels. IGF-1 is great for helping a calf to grow quickly; but it’s perhaps not so great if it encourages our cells to grow faster (hence the concern about dairy and cancer cells).

Should I Avoid Dairy?

I think the only way to identify whether dairy is problematic issue is to go for 30 days without any type of dairy, then slowly introduce back in raw dairy only. I'm keen to further experiment by consuming only raw hard cheese to see if this has any effect, before trying raw soft cheese too.

I’d love to hear what you think about dairy and how it impacts you. Do you find you can tolerate different forms, or must you avoid all trace? Finally, if your asthma has also improved or vanished since you went Paleo, I’d be very interested to hear specifically what you think made this happen.

Weston A Price Foundation Conference New Zealand Australia Events Sally Fallon-min

Weston A Price v The Paleo Diet

I went across to Auckland, New Zealand at the weekend to hear Sally Fallon-Morell, of the Weston A. Price Foundation, speak.

As with the Melbourne Sugar lectures, the audience was full of people new to the concept that the government approved low-fat diet is not the right approach. It is great to see so many people interested in making changes to their diet and I find it encouraging how many people were in attendance.

I meet up with Julianne Taylor at the talk – and I also meet and spoke Paleo with Rodney Hide. There’s nothing like being able to have real-life conversations on your favourite topic, is there? After the talk Rodney introduced me to Sally, which having had her book Nourishing Traditions for such a long time, was a real privilege.

WAPF-Paleo-Weston A Price Sally Fallon-min

Whilst there are some important differences between the Paleo style diet that I follow and the WAPF diet, I think it’s more useful to focus on the similarities, of which there are many. Whilst I believe a Paleo style diet is the optimal nutrition plan, if anyone were to convert from a SAD diet to a WAPF plan, I think they would see tremendous health benefits. If they then went one small step further to a Paleo or Primal diet, I think they’d see even more health benefits.

There are a number of principles that are the essence of the nutrition recommended by the WAPF.

FIRST PRINCIPLE: No refined or denatured foods

So much SAD food is refined or modified in some way;  sugar, flour, industrial seed oils, HFCS and so many more. If people did just one thing differently, completely removing these products from their diet would surely be the most beneficial. On this point Paleo/ Primal and WAPF are in complete agreement.

SECOND PRINCIPLE: Every diet contained animal products

As with Paleo, the WAPF believe that a healthy diet needs to include animal products and an optimal diet can’t exclusively contain plant food. Organ meats were mentioned a lot in the talk as an important source of many nutrients.

THIRD PRINCIPLE: Nutrient Density

The primitive diets studies by Weston Price were far richer in nutrients than much of the food available today. Mineral content in soil is depleted so many produce just don’t have the same nutrient density. This is where selecting good quality food comes in. Organic, home grown and grass-fed all promote far better nutrient density than the same items produced from intensive farming. Again, this is completely in line with Paleo.

FOURTH PRINCIPLE: All cultures cooked some or most of their food; but always ate some of their animal foods raw.

Weston Price noted that whilst primitive cultures did cook animal products, they also all ate some raw. This came down to raw dairy, which, whilst I agree it is absolutely better than pasteurised dairy, I find a big grey area. The talk focused on comparing processed dairy to raw dairy – where clearly raw dairy is the winner. Excluding dairy wasn't discussed, which is the approach taken by a lot of the Paleo community, myself included.  My areas of concern with dairy are around the insulin response and the growth hormone IGF-1, which weren't mentioned at all during the talk. I’d like to come to a more definitive view point on dairy, so had hoped to hear compelling reasons why dairy should be included. As it stands, until I find more conclusive evidence, I'm still of the view that dairy is best excluded.

FIFTH PRINCIPLE: High Levels of Enzymes and Beneficial Bacteria

This focuses on foods that provide enzymes to promote good digestion & metabolic health. Whilst raw dairy is noted as a good source, the super-foods here seems to be lacto-fermented foods such as Sauerkraut. The take-away point for me here is on fermented foods – something I need to make a conscious effort to include in my diet far more.

SIXTH PRINCIPLE: Seeds, grains, legumes & nuts are soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened

This principle starts off in line with Paleo, observing how components such as anti-nutrients, phytates and lectins in grains are not desirable. Where Paleo excludes grains and legumes altogether, WAPF promotes preparing these foods to minimize the damage. As with the dairy issue, I didn't hear any compelling reasons why it is better to have grains in this form, than not at all. This is the main point on which Paleo/ Primal varies to the WAPF – whilst I’m certain people transitioning from a SAD diet to a WAPF would see significant improvements by preparing grains and legumes – I think their health would be far more optimal foregoing the grains and legumes altogether.


SEVENTH PRINCIPLE: Total fat content of traditional diets varies from 30% to 80% of calories, but only about 4 of calories come from polyunsaturated fatty acids.

This is a key point on which Paleo and WAPF are in agreement. I would probably promote this as the key point, since it concerns the importance of saturated fat and the dangers of the industrial seed oils.

EIGHTH PRINCIPLE: Nearly Equal Amounts of Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

This is also essentially in line with Paleo, stressing the importance of maintaining a good Omega 6/ Omega 3 ratio. This comes down to making the right choices in choosing quality meat and avoiding seed oils.

NINTH PRINCIPLE: All diets contained some salt

I think this point is hard to accept for people transitioning from Conventional Wisdom, where we are told how dangerous salt it. Once the processed food is removed the natural levels of salt remaining are often very low, so supplementing with a good mineral salt is very beneficial.

TENTH PRINCIPLE: All traditional cultures made use of bones, usually as bone broth

Another point I need to work on, bone broths are such a great source of nutrients, easy and cheap to make and very satisfying.

ELEVENTH PRINCIPLE: Traditional cultures made provisions for future generations

This principle was very interesting and concerns issues such as optimal spacing of children, nutrition of pregnant and nursing women and teaching nutrition to the younger generations. This seems to be all too often ignored or not considered in modern society.

Paleo vs Weston A Price?

I learnt a lot from this talk and it was a great reminder that I need to make sure I make provisions to include more organ meat, fermented foods and bone broth in my diet. I plan to make sure I include these regularly.

Whilst I completely agree that prepared grains are far superior to their refined counterparts – and that raw dairy is far superior to pasteurised, I didn't hear anything to make me consider changing my anti-grains, legumes and dairy stance.

What do you think about the Weston A Price principles? Do you agree with their stance on dairy and grains?

Is milk paleo dairy primal lacto cheese-min

Dairy and Paleo

Dairy is one Paleo area I've been thinking about a lot recently.  A lot of people follow a strict Paleo diet, and include dairy, known as a lacto-Paleo diet.  Dairy is also the main difference between a Primal and a Paleo diet (Primal includes modest amounts of high quality dairy).

Prior to my trip to the AHS in August, my diet was a lot closer to Primal than it was Paleo.  Pedro Bastos gave an excellent lecture at the AHS on Dairy, Hormones & Human Health, which was quite an eye opener for me.

When I got back, I started the Whole30 which meant excluding dairy for 30 days.  I used to drink lots of tea everyday, with milk (I am English after all) – but luckily I got over this in America, as tea just didn't seem to be as common place over there.  I also used to have a fair amount of yoghurt and cheese, which I also gave up.  I expected to be counting down the days when I could resume my dairy habit, but it just didn't happen.

Since August I haven’t had any milk, but I have had cheese a couple of times and yoghurt once.  And the strangest thing?  I just don’t miss it at all.  I now enjoy drinking lots of different types of tea without milk, or hot water with a slice of lime.  I'm not really sure how I’d include milk again now!  I do like the taste of cheese and yoghurt, but I just don’t feel the need to include them in my diet.  Since I've gone stricter Paleo, I've been feeling fantastic.  My skin, sleep, mood, focus and general well being– everything has improved.  I should probably reintroduce dairy to identify exactly the effect it has on me – but given that I don’t miss it, I’d rather just continue to avoid it.

Is milk paleo dairy primal lacto cheese-min

I'm often asked how I can possibly get enough calcium without dairy.  I eat a good amount of dark green leafy vegetables, which are a great source of calcium.  From what I have read calcium balance is far more important than calcium intake.  When eating a diet high in acid-producing foods, such as the standard western diet, the kidney balances the acid load using the alkaline calcium salts from the bones.  As I don’t eat any processed food or grains and have a good balance of alkaline and acid foods in my diet, I have a good calcium balance – and therefore a lower calcium intake is not a problem.

Taking an evolutionary standpoint, obviously milk would not have been drunk until relatively recently, as ruminants weren't domesticated, so certainly wouldn't have been milked.  The purpose of milk is to nourish the offspring of the mother and enable it to grow – when you consider we are the only animal to eat another animals milk, it does seem a little odd?

One of the main arguments against dairy is IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor 1).  IGF-1 is increased by the cow’s growth hormones, which cause the cow to produce more milk.  IGF-1 is believed to promote cancer by increasing cell division and multiplying of cancer cells.  Commercial dairy cows are kept in gestation (by being artificially inseminated) almost constantly to ensure they produce milk.  They are milked ten out of 12 months – whereas a more natural milking pattern would involve only milking during early pregnancy.  It’s obviously in the interests of the dairy producers to do this, as they want to produce as much milk as possible.  The further into the pregnancy the more growth hormones are contained in the milk (as clearly the purpose of the milk is to support a growing calf).

For me, the jury is still out.  However, if I do decide to consume dairy again, I’ll go out of my way to find raw milk – I don’t think I could ever be happy with any commercial, pasteurised milk as I feel far to removed from the process and will never really know what is in it – and the condition of the cow(s) it came from.

What do you think about dairy?  Do you feel better of worse including dairy in your diet, or leaving it out?  I'd love to hear your views!

Raw dairy milk cheese australia legal health paleo primal diet-min

Is Raw Milk Coming to Australia and New Zealand?

What is Raw Milk?

Most milk readily available for sale is pasteurised.  Pasturisation is the process where the milk is heated to high temperatures, to destroy harmful bacteria that may be present.  However, as well as bacteria, the process of pasteurisation changes the nutritional profile of the milk and the insulin response.  Raw milk is increasingly popular and where it comes from properly cared for animals on a good farm, the risk of harmful bacteria is reported to be low.  Pasteurising milk has been the norm in Australia since the 1950’s.

Is Dairy Paleo?

I’ll come back to this issue in the near future, as it is definitely not a quick answer and there are many different views in the Paleo community.

Raw dairy milk cheese australia legal health paleo primal diet-min

I used to consume a moderate amount of dairy (mainly cheese, butter and milk), but I stopped for my Whole30 in August, and just haven’t started again.  I'm not saying I won’t ever eat dairy again, but I feel so good without it; I'm not missing it – and I'm certainly not lacking any dairy specific nutrients in my diet.

I'm often asked how I can possibly get enough calcium from my Paleo diet, but from my research I get plenty of Calcium from green leafy vegetables, for example.  Because I have a good diet, I don't lose much calcium – I have a better calcium balance.  It appears when eating a poor diet, calcium is released from the body; for example, to balance the Phosphoric acid found in soft drinks, as well as the balance the acidity.  This leaves those with poor diets with a far higher calcium requirement than those on a caveman diet.

We’ll see.  If I do have dairy again, I’ll certainly be looking for raw dairy, which I've found quite hard (and slightly secretive) to locate here.

The Food Standards Agency for Australia & New Zealand has currently got a proposal out to consider allowing raw dairy to be sold in Australia and New Zealand.  This appears to be on the back of consumer demand.  The agency is clearly viewing this from a public safety perspective, which is surely a good thing.  Legalising the sale of raw milk would give confidence that the raw dairy available, is produced to high, regulated standards.  With legislation currently forbidding the sale of raw milk, the raw milk that is available is unknown and unregulated (unless of course, you own a dairy cow).  Can you really be certain where it is from and how the animal was cared for?

Unfortunately, it looks like they have recently decided raw (drinking) milk will not be permitted.  They consider the potential health risks too high. This is a shame, as people will continue to find and drink raw milk – which would be far safer were it regulated.  They do however, appear to be relaxing the rules on certain hard cheeses.

 Where to Get Raw Milk in Australia & New Zealand

You'll have to ask around locally, and perhaps befriend a farmer or two…

In the meantime, if you eat dairy make sure it comes from a good source.  It should be organic – or better still from the farmer direct at a farmers market.  I’ve read a lot of reports about cheap milk being watered down with “permeate”, which is created by removing the fat from dairy waste and concentrating the result.  Cheap milk may also come from animals which have been given antibiotics.   Just this week we’ve had reports of a (cheap) Australian milk brand being contaminated with a cleaning solution.  Whilst it costs more, dairy is an area where it really is worth making sure you have got the best possible quality.

Is dairy a part of your diet?  Do you think farmers should be allowed to sell raw dairy?  Let me know what you think, in the comments, below!

Conventional wisdom bad advice paleo diet primal-min

More Health Advice/ Conventional Wisdom

Another gem from my afternoon of reading “health” magazines in all of their Conventional Wisdom glory.  This one was in the October issue of “The Australian Healthy Food Guide”, in an article all about fat.

Conventional wisdom bad advice paleo diet primal

  • Choose a canola, sunflower or olive oil reduced fat table spread instead of butter

This sounds very similar to the advice in yesterdays post, based on an irrational fear of saturated fat.

  • When cooking, use spray oil wherever possible

I’ve not seen spray coconut oil, so can only assume they must mean spray “vegetable” oils.  The whole reason for spraying is to use less fat.  In that respect I guess it’s better to use less vegetable oil – but none would be a much bigger health improvement.

  • For salad dressings, choose a vegetable or seed oil such as canola, sunflower, olive, soybean, sesame or peanut

+1 point for the olive oil.  But I’d personally rather have my salad undressed – with a serving of meat & an avocado to make sure I got some good fat with my lunch.  As for putting soybean oil on my salad – what a horrible thought – don’t do it!

  • Choose low-fat varieties of foods whenever possible

Instead of natural, whole foods, with no added or altered ingredients, go for Franken foods instead!?

  • Choose reduced-fat or skim dairy foods

Fat soluble vitamins in the dairy can’t be absorbed, without the fat.  Also without the fat, the sugar content is proportionally higher – increasing the insulin effect.   Not to mention the fact fat is not the villain?

Fat is essential for so many functions.  It is a great energy source, without the crash and burn of relying on carbohydrates for energy.  I wonder how many more years it will take before health magazines catch up?  Will they actually tell us to increase our intake of good fats and give up the grains?  One day?

Conventional wisdom bad advice paleo diet primal-min