7

votes

Completely giving up dairy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 05, 2012 at 8:08 AM

I'm 14 years old, and want to become "completely" Paleo. I'm having no problems with giving up grain products, however, dairy is much more difficult. I have to admit I'm kind of insecure about the idea, even though I know dairy isn't very beneficial. Also, I'm having conflicts with my parents on giving up all dairy products. They're mainly concerned about me getting enough calcium, and are still held back by the idea that dairy is the only source. Does anyone have any thoughts about how to get plenty of calcium without dairy? I know that you can get it from veggies, but what types, and how much would you have to eat? Thanks

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:17 AM

conciliator I have no problem with dairy being part of somebodies diet if that's what they choose. It just isn't paleo, that's all.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:15 AM

Paleo wasn't about dairy until people started turning up and tryng to change it

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:47 PM

The paleo diet movement itself is controversial in concerns to the dairy topic. If you've been to Everyday Paleo, you will see that they talk about full-fat, grass-fed heavy cream and butter... other websites say only unpasteurized. And of course, there's Whole9 and the Whole30 challenge which says absolutely no dairy, save for ghee, which has the milk proteins removed from the fat/oil. So... paleo isn't a one-size-fits-all kind of deal on some food topics... but the main thing is we're all here trying to reduce inflammation, control blood sugar, improve digestion, and get fit and healthy.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:41 PM

Why would you tell her to get off nutrition websites? I think it's great that a teenager is concerned about their health and wants to eat healthy! Learning about how foods affect the body on not only a personal level, but on a scientific scale, is a GOOD thing, no matter the age. Would you discourage a 6-year-old from learning that popsicles and ice cream for breakfast are unhealthy? Of course not! So please don't discourage this courageous 14-year-old that wants to take control of her health and wellbeing. She will have a brighter, healthier future for it. :)

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 01:40 AM

I mean - how much it reduces the absorption.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 01:39 AM

It's not clear how much. I wouldn't worry about oxalates unless you have a specific condition.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:19 AM

Spinach has a lot of oxalic acid which reduces the absorption of the calcium.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 06, 2012
at 06:42 PM

Animal sourced calcium will be better as it won't be tied up with chelating agents (oxalates, phytates, etc) as much.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:34 PM

And I'm here to reconcile peoples' opinions with the truth. If you don't want to hear that dairy can be part of an optimal diet (as optimal as any diet can be) that's not my problem, but it's the truth.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:30 PM

'Actually doing paleo' does not include the internet. If you want to strictly be paleo give up technology and become a hunter-gatherer.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:30 PM

Lactose is a polysaccharides sugar, not glucose/fructose which are monosaccharides. I came to Paleo from the SCD world, which is a Paleo-like diet optimized for gut health and was our only defense for us with IBD/IBS before Paleo became popular as a diet in 2008, and this is its mantra: poly- are very difficult to digest because they're complex sugars (ending up as food for bad bacteria, creating leaky gut), but mono- are not. So fruit/honey sugar is safe, lactose/other-sugars are not. Doesn't mean it'll kill you if you have some, of course.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:26 PM

So what are you doing here then?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:11 PM

Should the op give up fruit cause they have sugar? Sugar is precisely as healthy as saturated fat. Meaning: it ranges from not healthy to very healthy, depending on the circumstances.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:10 PM

I'd rather optimize my nutrition than do paleo. Dairy has many benefits.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 06, 2012
at 04:51 PM

"Except green leafies tend to tie up caclium with oxalates make it less bioavailable" Less bioavailable than what? What is the alternative? If humans can't get enough calcium from green leafy vegetables, where are they getting it from?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 05, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Calcium absorption from spinach was found to be about 5%.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on January 05, 2012
at 06:33 PM

Even if you're not lactose-intolerant, lactose is still lots of sugar.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 05, 2012
at 05:50 PM

Lactose is only a problem if you're lactose-intolerant, which it appears the OP is not.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 05, 2012
at 05:49 PM

Except green leafies tend to tie up caclium with oxalates make it less bioavailable.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 05, 2012
at 05:22 PM

I'm not sure it's true that Inuit had osteoporosis. Look at this link, for example, from before Matesz went off the deep end: http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2010/02/eskimo-osteoporosis.html " Anyway, this exercise demonstrated again how hearsay gets passed around the scientific community. It seems likely that neither Eaton, Konner, nor Cordain read the Mazess article, or they would have realized that it did not support their claim of lower bone density among Eskimos"

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 05, 2012
at 02:45 PM

SWAG = scientific wild ass guess.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 05, 2012
at 01:21 PM

Did I really misspell their*? Lol... woops.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 05, 2012
at 01:21 PM

This is such a great question, I'm surprised it's not up-voted more! o.O Anyway, my answer is below, and I hope you find the balance that's right for you and your body. :) I also found some charts online that better illustrate... show your parents the bok choy compared to the milk, and they're jaws will drop. ;) 1st calcium comparison chart: http://www.diseaseproof.com/CalciumVeggies2.JPG 2nd calcium comparison chart: http://www.dairyfreecookingforkids.com/images/tables/CalciumInFoodChart.jpg

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on January 05, 2012
at 10:54 AM

Goat dairy is definitely a good suggestion, as is just cutting back. Also, perhaps your parents would be open to the idea of a calcium supplement while you try the no-dairy approach for a month or two?

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on January 05, 2012
at 10:50 AM

I second Dr. Harris' outline, as it's actually what I've started Paleo with. However, I'm not entirely sure that dairy is not a problem for me, and in my 2nd month I switched over to goat dairy for yogurt and cheese, and just kept pastured cow butter. For January, I'm leaving out the yogurt and cheese to see how I do and might reintroduce it next month.

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14 Answers

11
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 05, 2012
at 01:48 PM

Don't get caught up in paleo "purity" striving for "complete" paleo. Just do what works. Minimizing things like dairy, gluten, other neolithic foods, etc is 90% (SWAG) as effective as eliminating them all together.

I was a milk-addict when I was a kid, drinking nearly a gallon per day at times. But I've recently weaned myself off large amounts of fluid milk, while not cutting all dairy out (after all, occasional cheese, cream, sour cream, etc... are all very tasty!) I've found that I do better without the fluid milk, there might be some advantage to go totally dairy-free, but I'm not willing to forgo foods I enjoy without significant health advantages.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 05, 2012
at 02:45 PM

SWAG = scientific wild ass guess.

6
6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 05, 2012
at 01:13 PM

I can definitely relate to giving up dairy! I'm doing the Whole30 challenge this month, and talked about (whined about) my issues with giving up dairy on my blog.

The idea that we need dairy for adequate calcium is definitely a myth. You can get calcium from foods like broccoli, spinach, sardines, and most nuts... and you might not even need as much as you think, as Living Paleo suggests.

I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist, but I have a theory that the reason for why people eating a neolithic diet seem to believe they need large amount of calcium (and they probably do) is because of their highly acidic diet. Because they eat such large quantities of grains, they need the extra calcium to strengthen their bones from the acidic load. But of course, getting calcium from dairy can be problematic for a lot of people.

One question to ask is, do you actually have a problem with dairy? If you do, and it effects you negatively, I would opt to give it up all-together, and read this article at Whole9.

However, if you are able to tolerate some dairy, then you might consider staying away from conventional dairy, and get more higher quality full-fat dairy sources, and read this article at Paleo Diet Lifestyle.

You might even consider reading both articles -- the Whole9 article which is against dairy entirely, and the Paleo Diet Lifestyle article which promotes certain types of dairy -- and then come up with your own conclusion.

Good luck, and hope you find the balance that's right for you! :)

3
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 05, 2012
at 08:17 AM

Broccoli would be a good choice for a vegetable. I would keep dairy(maybe have a little less). Perhaps keep butter.

I like Kurt Harris's view on dairy:

http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on January 05, 2012
at 10:50 AM

I second Dr. Harris' outline, as it's actually what I've started Paleo with. However, I'm not entirely sure that dairy is not a problem for me, and in my 2nd month I switched over to goat dairy for yogurt and cheese, and just kept pastured cow butter. For January, I'm leaving out the yogurt and cheese to see how I do and might reintroduce it next month.

3
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on January 05, 2012
at 08:12 AM

Paleo opposes dairy because of lactose and casein problems. I agree with this opposition, but there's a middle approach that actually works fine for me without adverse effects: goat/sheep lactose-free dairy. The goat/sheep casein is different than the problematic cow one, and the limited lactose helps on that too. Interestingly, I wrote an article on my blog about exactly this just a few hours ago: http://eugenia.queru.com/2012/01/04/paleo-and-dairy/

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 05, 2012
at 05:50 PM

Lactose is only a problem if you're lactose-intolerant, which it appears the OP is not.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on January 05, 2012
at 06:33 PM

Even if you're not lactose-intolerant, lactose is still lots of sugar.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:11 PM

Should the op give up fruit cause they have sugar? Sugar is precisely as healthy as saturated fat. Meaning: it ranges from not healthy to very healthy, depending on the circumstances.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:30 PM

Lactose is a polysaccharides sugar, not glucose/fructose which are monosaccharides. I came to Paleo from the SCD world, which is a Paleo-like diet optimized for gut health and was our only defense for us with IBD/IBS before Paleo became popular as a diet in 2008, and this is its mantra: poly- are very difficult to digest because they're complex sugars (ending up as food for bad bacteria, creating leaky gut), but mono- are not. So fruit/honey sugar is safe, lactose/other-sugars are not. Doesn't mean it'll kill you if you have some, of course.

2
Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

on January 06, 2012
at 05:06 PM

You are 14. Get off nutrition websites before you develop an eating disorder. You know what's healthy: veggies, fruits, lean meats, dairy. Don't be afraid of fat, don't be afraid of carbs, use them in moderation as they work for you. And dairy is good for you if you tolerate it, especially as you are 14 years old.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:41 PM

Why would you tell her to get off nutrition websites? I think it's great that a teenager is concerned about their health and wants to eat healthy! Learning about how foods affect the body on not only a personal level, but on a scientific scale, is a GOOD thing, no matter the age. Would you discourage a 6-year-old from learning that popsicles and ice cream for breakfast are unhealthy? Of course not! So please don't discourage this courageous 14-year-old that wants to take control of her health and wellbeing. She will have a brighter, healthier future for it. :)

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 05, 2012
at 05:33 PM

If you have no symptoms of dairy intolerance I don't think you need to give up dairy completely. I don't think I'd do Matt's gallon per day :-)) but I use a little cream in my coffee, I eat 1/2 cup of yogurt every day and I occasionally cook my eggs in butter.

On the other hand, if you notice symptoms of something not being quite right, your dairy would be the first thing to suspect.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 05, 2012
at 08:15 AM

Green leafy vegetables. Just have a normal sized portion with your dinner. No need to go oveboard on them.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 05, 2012
at 05:49 PM

Except green leafies tend to tie up caclium with oxalates make it less bioavailable.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 05, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Calcium absorption from spinach was found to be about 5%.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 06, 2012
at 06:42 PM

Animal sourced calcium will be better as it won't be tied up with chelating agents (oxalates, phytates, etc) as much.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 06, 2012
at 04:51 PM

"Except green leafies tend to tie up caclium with oxalates make it less bioavailable" Less bioavailable than what? What is the alternative? If humans can't get enough calcium from green leafy vegetables, where are they getting it from?

1
5633a30aa44e3a6e02ed3373c5874c93

on January 08, 2012
at 02:14 AM

Thanks for all the great answers! Unfortunately I'm "not allowed" to give up dairy (seriously, my parents are so closed-minded it's insane), I was thinking of a compromise where I have the occasional kefir, cheese and butter. I also found the marrow bone broth idea to be interesting.

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:46 PM

Robb Wolf interviewed Loren Cordain about his new book: The Paleo Answer

Cordain mentions the RDA for calcium is likely based on unrealistic assessments due to the fact they were arrived at in milk drinking cultures. Seth Roberts takes on epidemiology and in the process points out: In spite of the conventional idea, the rate of hip fracture has been highest in places where people eat a lot of calcium, such as Sweden, and lowest in places where they eat little, such as Hong Kong.

Now, take a minute before you tell them about this stuff and ask yourself whether or not hitting them with logic and science will actually help or hinder your cause.

1
44739854bd06eb5c32af5d33aa866864

(859)

on January 05, 2012
at 06:01 PM

I use to buy raw grass-fed whole cow's milk and make my own yogurt, drinking around 1 cup per day... low in lactose, lots of good healthy fats and full of vitamins/minerals... right?

Well, all that may be true, but I decided to cut dairy out for a month and it has made a significant difference. My digestion is more complete, and the acne I had on my face went away... Also, for a couple days after cutting out all dairy I had headaches, which I never get otherwise. It could be unrelated, but after doing a little reading it seems like I'm not the only one that has experienced these symptoms.

In my case, I think it has to do with the A1 type milk casein (the milk protein found in most US milk) and the possible issues associated with its consumption. Goats milk is mainly A2, and also low in lactose, so I might experiment with that in the future to see if it makes any difference.

Morale of the story; just try taking it out and see how you feel, then go from there!

0
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 06, 2012
at 05:23 PM

I would say eat a lot of spinach salad leaves with your paleo seafood or meat choices.

My default dinner is organ meat or seafood and salad.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=45

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 01:39 AM

It's not clear how much. I wouldn't worry about oxalates unless you have a specific condition.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:19 AM

Spinach has a lot of oxalic acid which reduces the absorption of the calcium.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 01:40 AM

I mean - how much it reduces the absorption.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 06, 2012
at 04:55 PM

Well this is some paleo forum. Somebody asks for tips on giving up dairy but generally speaking, the answers were to carry on using dairy. Is there anyone on here actually doing paleo?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:34 PM

And I'm here to reconcile peoples' opinions with the truth. If you don't want to hear that dairy can be part of an optimal diet (as optimal as any diet can be) that's not my problem, but it's the truth.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:10 PM

I'd rather optimize my nutrition than do paleo. Dairy has many benefits.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:26 PM

So what are you doing here then?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:30 PM

'Actually doing paleo' does not include the internet. If you want to strictly be paleo give up technology and become a hunter-gatherer.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:47 PM

The paleo diet movement itself is controversial in concerns to the dairy topic. If you've been to Everyday Paleo, you will see that they talk about full-fat, grass-fed heavy cream and butter... other websites say only unpasteurized. And of course, there's Whole9 and the Whole30 challenge which says absolutely no dairy, save for ghee, which has the milk proteins removed from the fat/oil. So... paleo isn't a one-size-fits-all kind of deal on some food topics... but the main thing is we're all here trying to reduce inflammation, control blood sugar, improve digestion, and get fit and healthy.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:17 AM

conciliator I have no problem with dairy being part of somebodies diet if that's what they choose. It just isn't paleo, that's all.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:15 AM

Paleo wasn't about dairy until people started turning up and tryng to change it

0
8487a2f7fb8be0a568275667af0794c8

on January 05, 2012
at 12:12 PM

Hey, I'm sixteen and have been paleo for almost a year know. Before hand I was raw vegan (eliminated dairy cold turkey) and it helped clear up my skin(especially when I dropped the grains). In order for your body to absorb calcium, you need to have magnesium with it. Brocolli of course is a super source but so is rare or even raw ground beef. In addition you can make your own calcium supplement by fine grinding egg shells ( one per day) and adding a bit of lemon juice to it to make it bioavailable to the body. You can buy gelatin capsules at most health food stores or pharmacies and its a cheap supplement. In addition, almonds, salmon, sardines, almost all green leafy vegetables and flax are good sources. The body does not need as much calcium as you have been lead to believe.

"Tere is also evidence showing that certain cells in our body play the roll of bringing calcium into our bones, and other cells which play the roll of taking calcium out of our bones. There is a limit for how many cells responsible for bringing calcium into our bones stay around for. If during our lives we begin to consume too much calcium, these cells will be used up a lot faster due to the fact more are needed to transport the calcium into our bones. If say after 10years you have no more calcium transporting cells, your body is no longer going to be able to replenish our bones with calcium to stay strong. This may help explain why Eskimos who consume a high amount of calcium, up to 2000mg a day through sea animals, have a high rate of osteoporosis. Sourced from :http://www.livingpaleo.com/dairy-isnt-the-only-answer/

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 05, 2012
at 05:22 PM

I'm not sure it's true that Inuit had osteoporosis. Look at this link, for example, from before Matesz went off the deep end: http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2010/02/eskimo-osteoporosis.html " Anyway, this exercise demonstrated again how hearsay gets passed around the scientific community. It seems likely that neither Eaton, Konner, nor Cordain read the Mazess article, or they would have realized that it did not support their claim of lower bone density among Eskimos"

0
E644cb0db27318ceda19322f59f0b9c3

(165)

on January 05, 2012
at 10:40 AM

Hey Tansaku!

I am lactose intolerant. I have been on/off with dairy, but i must admit, after i have eaten cheese (aged Gouda cheese for example), butter or milk(lactose free, D vitamin added) i feel my teeth are stronger.And i would say the sensation comes very quickly.Try products that are lactose free or with a low content of it. If you are not getting your food with organic-super-quality, i think it would be wiser to add some milk, especially when u are not intolerant!

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