Butter’s In, But All Other Dairy’s Out? Wrong! NO DAIRY ON PALEO!
“Nell, can you clear something up for me?”, a blog reader emailed me a few days ago. “Obviously butter is dairy, and I thought dairy was not part of the Paleo diet, yet some of the other experts in the Paleo space use grass fed butter. What’s the deal?”
Excellent question! And one that is probably the most commonly confused issue with whether or not it is part of the Paleo diet.
Some say, “you can eat dairy as part of your Paleo diet if you tolerate it”.
Not so much. Just because you don’t feel bloated or have a breakout of pimples on your face, does not mean that your body is not becoming acidic from ingesting dairy or that you’re not asking your body to deal with casein, a protein found in all dairy products which acts much like gluten in terms of its contribution to leaky gut and as an anti nutrient.
Others say, “dairy is part of paleo living because cavemen would have consumed dairy if they’d come across a pregnant auroch or beast of some description and killed it; they’d likely have eaten the whole thing”.
Maybe so, maybe not. I can’t prove that one way or the other but the likelihood of it being a regular part of the caveman’s diet is not very high.
Still others say that specifically butter can be part of the Paleo diet because it differs from other milk products, specifically low fat or skim milk products in that its higher fat content could potentially lower the glycemic load. They recommend using only grass fed butter which has then been clarified.
Anytime any question comes up on whether or not something is Paleo, I always go straight to the expert, my mentor, Dr. Loren Cordain, Phd.
To me, his work is the go-to source for anything and everything that is (or is not) True Paleo. And, he provides the science to back up his work, so there’s nothing left unanswered.
If there is any doubt about dairy not being Paleo, all one needs to do is review Chapter Four of his latest book, The Paleo Answer. He reviews throughly all the reason why we humans should not be consuming dairy in any way, shape or form, regardless of it being from a grass fed source or not.
If you’re not interested in reading the whole chapter, check out the last line which reads, and I quote:
“Paleo Bottom Line: Avoid Dairy Products”.
If someone wants to eat grass-fed butter, that’s their choice, just as it’s everyone’s choice to eat candy, or go to the fast food restaurant or eat hummus or have a soy latte (none of which are Paleo), but that doesn’t mean that the particular food they’re eating is suddenly somehow Paleo.
Call it something else!