Is All Sugar Bad for Me?

IS ALL SUGAR BAD?

Sugar is tricky. When you look at only good clinical studies (Randomized Double Blind Trials), sugar is only a problem in caloric excess. A lot of people try to argue for more, but the science isn’t there.

However, I think you can easily say that processed sugar in general is a big problem, based on those studies.
[Read more…]

What Does it Mean to Eat Seasonally, and Why is it Important?

What Does it Mean to Eat Seasonally, and Why is it Important?

Our ancestors ate whatever grew around them. It was all they had.

I, on the other hand, love being able to go to the grocery store and get whatever produce I want, no matter what time of year it is. I do NOT eat seasonally. (More on me in a moment…)
[Read more…]

What to Say Next Time Someone Claims that Beef Increases Greenhouse Gases

how to answer beef causes greenhouse gases

For the past few years, it’s really perturbed me every time I hear someone say or see someone write that beef cattle are contributing to global warming.

The argument I hear is that beef cattle release a lot of methane (a greenhouse gas) and thereby contribute to global warming.

The problem is that this argument is ridiculous, and it has been for a very long time. Fortunately, I’m at least seeing a couple articles starting to refute it, such as this one:
[Read more…]

How To Make Cashew Flour At Home

How To Make Cashew Flour At Home

Cashew flour is a great gluten-free, grain-free flour that can be used in place of other nut flours when baking or cooking.

You can purchase cashew flour from Trader Joe’s (review of it here) or you can get it on Amazon here, but it’s also super easy (and often cheaper) to make your own at home, and this post will show you just how easy it is (plus there’s a list of Paleo recipes using cashew flour at the bottom of this post)!

[Read more…]

Why is dairy not allowed on a Paleo diet?

Why is dairy not allowed on a Paleo diet?

Dairy is a confusing topic within the Paleo diet and there’s a lot of debate still about it, so I hope this article will clear that up for you if you’re confused, or just skip down to the section listing the types of allowed dairy if that’s all you’re after.

Why Is Dairy Not Allowed On A Paleo Diet?

Let me start by stating that dairy is a highly nutritious (and delicious) food source, and humans have consumed animal milk for millennia. That doesn’t mean it’s good for you to eat though!

So how do you determine if dairy is right for you??

Like many people, the reason why you’re going Paleo is probably to lose weight or heal a health condition like digestive issues, autoimmune, inflammation, or controlling blood sugar, and unfortunately, eating dairy typically does not help you achieve any of those goals!

In particular, dairy has been closely linked to digestive and inflammatory issues for many people (e.g., sinus problems, joint pain, acne, IBS, bloating, gas).

So while dairy (especially in the full-fat, fermented, or raw forms) may be good for a very healthy individual, it’s generally not great for most people with existing health or weight loss issues.

What’s Wrong With Dairy Products?

There are 3 main reasons for avoiding dairy if you have health issues (please share the infographics below):

Why is dairy not allowed on a Paleo diet?

1. Lactose

As Jeremy has written before in this article, many people of Asian or African heritage (plus a lot of other people) are lactose-intolerant. This just means you’re missing an enzyme (lactase) to break down the lactose sugar. So the sugar continues down into your intestines where bacteria in your gut feed on it and cause digestive discomfort (e.g., gas, bloating, diarrhea).

Even if you don’t experience digestive discomfort (I did a lactose test and didn’t notice anything), it’s still best to eliminate dairy for 30-60 days and then reintroduce it to see how you feel. After I reintroduced dairy, I found that I definitely could not tolerate it!

According to Chris Kresser, it may be possible to cure lactose intolerance through probiotic treatment, but of course, lactose is not the only thing you need to worry about in dairy products.

Another issue with lactose is that it (along with other components of milk) tends to raise your blood sugar levels higher than you would think given that milk has a low glycemic index (GI), and this could be a problem for you if you have blood sugar issues.

2. Casein Protein

Casein is a type of protein found in dairy (different to whey protein that you might be familiar with). While casein allergies and intolerances are starting to be diagnosed, most people with mild intolerances typically don’t know!

And mild casein intolerances often show up in joint pain, digestive issues, and foggy brain. Given that casein intolerances are difficult to diagnose, even Mark Sisson who generally advocates for eating dairy products suggests doing a 30-day dairy elimination test.

3. Whey Protein

Whey is another type of protein found in dairy, and you’ve probably come across it in protein shakes. However, whey intolerances or allergies are very rare.

The main issue with whey protein that has been reported is the fact that it can raise your blood sugar higher than expected unless you take it with other foods, so if you have blood sugar issues, you might want to forgo the whey protein shake or else add some fats (like coconut milk) into the shake as well to help lower that blood sugar spike.

Cutting Out Dairy Cured My [Fill In The Blank]

When I first heard about the possibility that I was lactose or casein intolerant, I was highly incredulous! I had drank milk my entire life without ill effects so I must clearly be ok.

If this is your reaction, then please please still give the elimination test a try. All you have to do is forgo all dairy products for 30-60 days and then reintroduce them to see if you experience any negative symptoms. You might discover that dairy was causing you an issue you never even realized you had!

There are tons of anecdotal stories about how giving up dairy can cause huge beneficial changes in your health. The most common stories I’ve heard include sinus problems disappearing (this one seems to be pretty common), acne clearing away, no more digestive issues, and decreased arthritis and joint pain. Just read through the comments on these two pages (here and here) if you want proof of these stories.

It All Comes Down To Gut Health

Why is dairy not allowed on a Paleo diet?


As Chris Kresser explains in this article, “[i]f someone has compromised intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut”, it’s more likely that their immune system will respond to potentially allergenic components in milk.”

So if you have any digestive problems or if you’re allergic to gluten, then you’re probably not going to tolerate dairy products all that well!

Why Does The Primal Diet Allow Dairy Then?

Mark Sisson’s Primal diet permits dairy, and this is often considered the main difference between the Paleo and Primal diets (see this article about Primal vs Paleo). So, why would Mark allow dairy if it’s so problematic?

Personally, I think Mark is very fair in his treatment of dairy – as Mark says, dairy is very nutritious and very delicious, and we should only avoid it if we need to. Unfortunately, many of us don’t tolerate dairy well due to existing health conditions, and Mark recommends testing to see how well each of us tolerates dairy.

What Types of Dairy Are Allowed On A Paleo Diet?

So, if you do tolerate dairy ok and want to eat it, then the following forms of dairy are best if you can get it!

Please note that we generally recommend everyone stop eating all forms of dairy for 30-60 days initially. Then you can re-introduce dairy in the allowed forms listed below to see if you react to it at all.

dairy products allowed on a Paleo diet


Raw or Fermented Dairy – e.g., raw milk (if you’re worried about the safety of raw milk, read about this new study), raw cheeses, yoghurt, kefir, and ghee (which may be ok for you without eliminating it first, but there are suggestions that many ghee brands still contain a fair amount of casein and lactose in them).

Note that you should pick the full-fat dairy option for all the above products and make sure they don’t have added sugars (many yoghurts and kefirs have added sugars in them)!

Why Is Raw Dairy Better Than Pasteurized?

For many people, the thought of consuming raw dairy products is terrifying (my mum is one of those people), so why should you overcome that fear if you’re looking to consume dairy? What’s so great about raw milk??

Most milk you buy in the stores is pasteurized, and pasteurization destroys all the beneficial bacteria and enzymes that could help you digest the milk. Quite a few people (including Chris Kresser) have found that they can tolerate raw milk just fine whereas they can’t drink pasteurized milk.

However, finding raw dairy products can be tough as it’s still illegal in many countries as well as US states. California is one of the few states in the US where you can get it in stores! And if you live in New York, you can often find co-ops to get raw milk from places like Amish farms in Pennsylvania.

So, Should You Eat Dairy?

As with everything, this is your life and your choice. We highly recommend giving up dairy for 30-60 days first to see how you tolerate it, but dairy is a super nutritious food source, and if you tolerate it well, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t continue to eat it.

Just don’t fool yourself into thinking you tolerate dairy without doing the elimination test first!

Images: Copyright © Dmytro Sukharevskyy from Fotolia

Is Alcohol OK to Drink on a Paleo Diet?

Is Alcohol OK to drink on a paleo diet

No.

I’ve said various things in the past about alcohol, and you’ll hear different answers from other people who talk about eating a Paleo diet.

But I don’t care anymore. Alcohol is not healthy, despite what many people say to the contrary.
[Read more…]

Gluten Leads to Leaky Gut. Surprise, Surprise!

Gluten Leads to Leaky Gut

Occasionally, I cheat on my Paleo diet (shocking, huh?).

However, even when I cheat, I never eat gluten, and I’m probably the least-sensitive person I know.

Even though I don’t experience any acute symptoms from eating gluten, I still avoid it at all costs.

Gluten Leads to Leaky Gut

[Read more…]

6 Tips for Buying More Delicious Fish

6 TIPS FOR BUYING MORE DELICIOUS FISH

Although fish is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, it’s something that many of us actually know very little about.

Here in the US, if you don’t grow up very close to an ocean, there’s a good chance that you don’t eat all that much seafood at all.  That was definitely the case for me.  It wasn’t until my 20s that I realized how much I was missing out on.

It was even longer until I learned how to properly buy and cook seafood and fish.

Here are 6 big tips for buying better fish

[Read more…]

Is Bison Paleo?

is bison paleo?

Super delicious and chock full of muscle-building amino acids.

A great alternative if grass-fed beef is getting boring.

Yup, I’m talking about Bison.

See, I grew up in Georgia, home of Ted Turner. And nobody owns more bison than Ted. (Well, somebody might, but he owns a lot.)

And he even has a restaurant called Ted’s that I used to go to all the time for their bison. (I also loved their milkshakes, but that’s a story for another day.)

Because bison meat is packed with a good dose of protein and has a rich flavor, it is becoming a more popular addition to people’s plates.

So, is bison Paleo?  Definitely – it’s delicious and nutritious!

Why and How to Incorporate Bison into Your Diet

[Read more…]

Chronic Illness and Paleo: Eating Your Way Out of It

chronic illness and paleo

C.A. Newberry is fascinated by varied topics and believes in the power of continued learning. Her varied background includes event coordination followed closely by years of “whatever additional duties the job requires.” After retirement she had the desire to share her collected wisdom. When not at her computer, you can find her at the ballpark with her family. Connect with her on Twitter.

Chronic conditions are very high and are rising. Over nineteen million American adults are currently living with diabetes and over 580,000 deaths were attributed to cancer in 2013.

Altogether, over 130 million Americans are living with some type of a chronic condition.

Food Matters

For countless individuals, one simple answer lies with food.

Thousands of people are making the switch to Paleo every day, and chronic health conditions like autoimmune disorders, IBS, and diabetes are some of the biggest reasons.

And a significant number of people have reported experiencing an overall positive effect on their well-being and how they function every day.

The food you choose to eat affects both your health and your risk for disease, and if you’re currently dealing with some type of chronic disease, then your food choices can potentially help manage symptoms.
[Read more…]

The Wild Diet – Book Review

The Wild Diet

Book Title:

The Wild Diet
Click here to purchase this book.

Book Author(s):

Abel James

Overview of Book:

Written by Fat-Burning Man weight loss personality Abel James, this book is an overview of his program for losing fat rapidly, naturally and permanently. The book is broken up into very comprehensive sections beginning with general education and information. It then transitions into specific what to dos and what not to dos and lists broken down by specific food type. Finally, it wraps up with a comprehensive plan to get you started.
[Read more…]

4 Paleo Cooking Essentials

4 paleo cooking essentials image

I wasn’t into cooking at all before I started a Paleo diet. In fact, my knowledge of cooking was practically non-existent.

But that all changed when I got into a Paleo diet – in fact, I started to really enjoy cooking. And I started accumulating cookware and equipment.

These 4 pieces of cooking equipment have made my life and Paleo diet so much easier, and I hope you find them helpful too.
[Read more…]

How To Make Ghee In Slow Cooker

how to make ghee in slow cooker

What Is Ghee?

Ghee is clarified butter (i.e., the oil that’s left after removing the milk solids from butter). Ghee is very commonly used in Indian cooking, but you’ll also find many French chefs using clarified butter.

And if you want to know more about the benefits of ghee, then check out our article here.

If making your own ghee is too much hassle, then I highly recommend this delicious brand made with grass-fed butter and cultured so that pretty much all the lactose and casein is removed.

Link

How To Make Ghee In Slow Cooker

It’s pretty simple and quick, and you can make ghee yourself in the slow cooker (or crockpot) in a couple of hours. If you don’t have a slow cooker or crockpot, then you can use a regular pot on a stove (I recommend one with high sides to minimize the splattering).
[Read more…]

Why You Need A Foam Roller (Including 4 Foam Roller Exercises)

Why You Need A Foam Roller

I picked up a foam roller several years ago after my chiropractor recommended it.

I used it initially to help get rid of my chronic knee pain (it definitely helped), but over time I’ve also found that it’s amazing for rolling out a lot of kinks in my muscles – from my back (from slouching too much) to my lats (from rock climbing).

It’s like a whole body massager!

Foam rollers have gotten popular in many gyms as a way to roll out your muscles after exercising to prevent muscle soreness the next day (my CrossFit recommended it for that reason), but it can be a super cheap and great way to stretch and massage your muscles even if you don’t exercise!

Even though there are foam rollers at my gym, I find them so helpful that I keep one in my study and roll on it when I’m taking a break.

This is the foam roller I bought from Amazon for $13.99 (the 6×18 round). And read the rest of this article for 4 exercises to start getting rid of the kinks in your body.

foam roller

[Read more…]