Dairy – a Dietary Controversy

For example, I see a number of clients with digestive disorders of one sort or another – IBS, Leaky Gut, Diarrhea, etc. They are in good company with about 75% of the world’s population which is genetically unable to digest milk and other dairy products.

This is a problem known as lactose intolerance.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance are actually caused by difficulty digesting casein, the main protein found in milk, which is often used in processed food products as a binding agent.  Casein proteins can actually induce inflammation leading to things like eczema, ear infections, congestion, and sinus problems. Casein, then, is a good thing to avoid.

Whey protein contains very little lactose, so may be tolerated by some people who are lactose intolerant. Some people can get by with its use, others cannot. Bodies are different.

Mark Hyman, MD, author of several books on healthy eating and living, recommends avoiding dairy, especially where there are signs of lactose intolerance. “Dairy consumption can lead to increased cancer risk, increased fracture risk, constipation, irritable bowel, bloating, gas, diarrhea, allergies, eczema and acne. None of that sounds good to me.”

Ghee, a relatively new product on grocers’ shelves, is clarified butter which has had all the water and milk solids removed from it. That means that it can be consumed by some people who are allergic to dairy. Again, bodies are different, particularly when it comes to processed foods and/or foods that were meant for other animals’ babies.

If you want to test yourself for dairy sensitivity, try this experiment. Get off of all dairy, except for grass-fed butter and ghee for three weeks. That means eliminating milk, cheese, yogurt, products with casein, and ice cream, and noticing if you feel any better. Improvements you may notice may be in your sinus’, post-nasal drip, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, energy, and weight. Then you can start to re-introduce dairy again and see if you feel different.  If you feel worse, listen to

If you feel worse, listen to the message of your body, and be assured that your life can progress quite nicely without dairy in it.

If you continue to eat dairy, grass-fed is the best choice.  Grass fed cows produce the best omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 1:1, which is optimal. Conventionally raised cows eat grains and other crops which are not their natural foods, so make their fatty acid profiles more inflammatory.

Personally, I gave up milk years ago. I don’t eat ice cream, either.  I am a work in progress, however, and still like a little cheese on some of the many salads I enjoy.  I suspect that the chronic post-nasal drip that I have developed in recent years would go away if I would lose the cheese. Stay tuned for some possible future growth on my part in this business of becoming more human, and eating more foods that were actually created for human consumption.

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