On Dairy, and avoiding Dogma in Diet

One of the differences between the paleo diet and primal lifestyle is the latter allows for dairy (if tolerated).  Dairy was one of the food groups I was most strict about avoiding because I was focused on balancing my hormones and conventional dairy generally contains moderate to high levels of recumbent growth hormone (as well as antibiotics).

So, when I was very strict with my paleo diet, if I wanted to eat yogurt for breakfast, it looked like this:

Moderately high sugar, virtually no protein.  This isn’t satiating and has little dietary benefit other than the probiotics offered via live cultures (which was my motivation for eating yogurt in the first place).

As I delved further into the primal lifestyle, I learned that grass-fed dairy (butter, milk, or cheese) is important for  vitamin K2.  Vitamin K2 is only found in grass-fed dairy (or grass-fed meat, particularly organ meats); it delivers calcium to our bones to strengthen them and also helps us metabolize vitamins A and D.  It is suggested although not proven that Vitamin K2 also reduces the risk of heart disease.

As usual, eating animal products in which the animals were allowed the surroundings and diet they are meant to have results in healthier, more vitamin-rich food for us.

Now, I don’t always avoid dairy, but I’m being smarter in my choices.  I choose grass-fed, high-fat (you need fat to absorb the K2 as it is fat-soluble) dairy with no added hormones.

Notice there’s much less sugar and much higher protein (and can you see to the side where it said it was produced without the recombinant bovine growth hormone?).  I’m still getting those probiotics I wanted for my gut health, but this will actually keep me full, won’t spike my insulin, and I get the elusive vitamin K2.

The coconut milk yogurt was never the best choice (unless you are actually allergic to dairy I suppose, but then I would still argue it shouldn’t be eaten at all), but it was a choice that fit with the diet I ascribed to at one time.  That is the danger of dogma.  Our vision becomes so limited, we stop educating ourselves and employ a selection bias that only allows for input that underscores our current beliefs, and we sometimes make decisions that aren’t actually the best for us.

You’ve probably heard “Eat Real Food” before….this is just one example of why.


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