Is dairy carnivore? Some would say it's keto and some may even say it's carnivore.
Heck, I eat dairy, but I'm not convinced it is 100% ok on a carnivore or keto diet for that matter.
First: Cow’s milk is designed to grow baby cows, an animal that is consumed for its delicious protein and fat. It is designed to stimulate growth
In humans, especially adults, these growth factors can grow things you might not want to grow, like cancer cells.
Let’s break down a few of the variables to consider when using or not using dairy in your diet. At the end of the video, we will cover some of the most common dairy products and some of the properties of each.
Pasteurization and other mechanical and chemical treatments - this removes some of the best properties of dairy and leaves only the worse: the sugar/casein and insulin spike liquid. Can shrink the casein which can affect gut permeability and contribute to leaky gut.
Dairy is very insulinogenic, nearly all of it. So if you are watching your weight, or trying to lose body fat, you should stay away from dairy.
If you have any autoimmune issues, dairy can be inflammatory + it can affect gut health and should be avoided.
Cow's milk has a lot more casein than human milk, about 4 times as much. Cows have a form of casein called alpha S1 casein whereas human breast milk is beta-casein. And it is this form of casein that is the most common cause of milk protein allergies.
Cows have a special enzyme called RENNET which is designed to break down the casein. Humans do not have this.
Lactose: not something most humans can digest, even if some can. And this gene is only recently developed, so we don’t have a lot of evolutionary history with it.
A1/A2 Casein - A2 is generally less inflammatory and found more in sheep/goats milk vs A1 is found more in milk and can be more inflammatory.
Now to close this video out, let’s look at the common diary products and their nutritional profiles real quick. I will offer my comments on the ones I eat and my rationale for doing so.
Milk - Pretty much never based on what we just discussed. Raw milk, sometimes, would be the way I would do it.
Cream - I do love heavy cream. I do have it from time to time. It would be much better if it was raw and not this ultra-pasteurized crap. And while it doesn't have as much lactose or casein as milk, it still does when pasteurized and processed. Some people will immediately respond to cream and some not as much.
YOGURT: No for the most part. Unflavored, organic, full-fat yogurt, especially if found from small local farms and if made from raw milk, then ya that would be something you could eat from time to time. It is very insulinogenic, so keep that in mind.
Cheese - I love cheese. Aim for imported cheese vs domestic due to most milk from other countries is from grass-fed cows. Also, try to find raw cheese and not pasteurized to keep as much of the nutrition still intact.
If you are trying to lose weight or suffer from any gut issues whatsoever, I would eliminate cheese entirely.
Butter - FINALLY a product I can get behind. I love butter. It has very small amounts of milk solids, so those that have lactose issues can usually tolerate butter. Butter is a superfood, especially grass-fed butter which is all I use.
Look for grass-fed and organic if possible, or find small local producers.
If you have lactose or casein sensitivity, try GHEE, which has about 99% of the milk solids removed. This is one of my favorite high heat cooking fats as well. Since the milk solids have been removed, you can cook at higher temps compared to butter.
The Pros and Cons of Adding Dairy To a Carnivore Diet
I've been doing a carnivore diet with dairy for months now.
It is my favorite. I'm going to list out some benefits as well as some cons and give you an idea for figuring out if you should add dairy to your diet or not.
First things first, I do not believe dairy is bad for you.
At first, I did.
Then I evolved into seeing pastured butter as the superfood it is.
Then I started seeing cream as not so bad if from a quality source. Then I started thinking about how maybe high-quality cheese could be a superfood. I now think this is the case.
Then I started seeing cheese as potentially a superfood.
Finally, I started seeing raw milk as a superfood, albeit growth-promoting one, so not something you want to drink multiple glasses ofo a day if you are watching your weight or trying to cut.
I now see dairy as a health food, granted one with a lot of nuances.
Getting high-quality, small-batch raw dairy would be ideal.Next would be single pasteurized gently pasteurized products.Next up would be grass-fed pasteurized dairy.Next up would be conventional butter.Next up would be conventional cheese and cream and milk (not ideal)
As you go further down this scale of good to not ideal, you would be more concerned with the amount you are eating. So as it goes with anything, you keep moderation in mind if you are eating lower quality dairy.
Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let's look at some pros and cons of adding dairy to your carnivore diet.
Pro #1: Variety
Dairy adds a much-needed variety to the carnivore diet, which can be quite monotonous. I mean, who wants to eat meat every single day. And for those of us that don't feel like we can afford to eat grass-fed ribeyes every meal, we may want to explore diary as a way to add variety and increase the enjoyment factor of eating a carnivore diet.
This is a HUGE pro for me personally.
Con #1: Growth promoting, calorie-dense
Dairy is loaded with nutrition. Full fat Raw milk, for example, is packed with fat and carbs, and protein, making it a complete food while also making it a whole growth-promoting food.
If you are trying to watch your weight or lose weight, you might want to consider limited or getting rid of dairy altogether, at least for a while.
Pro #2: A complete food
For the same reason that dairy is a growth-promoting WHOLE FOOD, it is also a complete food, giving you essential fatty acids and protein and vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Generally, your human body does better when it gets plenty of nutrients from whole foods. Diary is a complete food with essentials vitamins and minerals.
Con #2: Quality concerns
Unfortunately, getting raw dairy is illegal in many places, and where it isn't, there are hoops to jump through, like buying directly from a farm.
Some online suppliers in Pennsylvania offer stuff shipped to your door, but with this comes extra cost and time needed to coordinate deliverability and to unpack the individually wrapped bubble containers, etc.
For the rest of us, most of the dairy available at most supermarkets is not quality stuff.
You can find raw, imported cheeses at most grocery stores, but that's about it. If you're lucky, you'll find raw butter, though that is rare.
For many, getting quality dairy isn't worth the effort, though I do recommend you try to find a quality source of butter at least and get a bunch and store in your freezer.
Pro #3: It opens up other foods to you
You might have dairy within your favourite cheat meal or restaurant. If you go completely cold turkey, you might run into issues should this slip into your diet from time to time.
Though at the same time, you may not. So this is very person dependent.
Con #3: Inflammation/Overgrowth / gut issues
For those who have gut issues or any growth/inflammation concerns whatsoever, dairy is likely only to complicate your health more.
This is especially true of cheese and milk and cream, whereas butter doesn't usually fall into this category since most of the casein, lactose, whey has been removed.
There are other variables to consider with dairy, like whether you enjoy it or not and whether it adds variety to your diet and thus makes it more likely you will stay consistent.
Keep that in mind as you decide whether you should include diary in your diet whether that is a carnivore diet or any diet!
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