Dairy again, but different this time


heatherdarbs

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I thought I'd give dairy a shot, again, since I'm drawn to it - I added Greek yogurt, as opposed to goat yogurt from a trial re-intro before and have not only avoided issues, but my digestive system is even better, my stomach is flattening and my sleep cycle is perfect. This whole time I've been reading about goat milk being easier on the tummy and I seem to be the opposite...glad I tried it out, but now what about dairy being not-so-healthy?

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Very interesting! I would chalk this up to everyone's body being different. My only guess is that small amounts of fermented dairy is good for your body. I'm glad you tested it out to, I love reading how different things react in different bodies. Maybe some some knowledgeable mods can chime in on why the dairy seems to be so good for you, personally.

I would say if it's not broke, don't fix and keep on eating the dairy if it's going good for you.

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Dairy seems to be THE good-for-some-people, not-good-for-some-people food. Chris Kessler recommends re-introducing every dairy product on its own -- some people are good with yoghurt, but not with certain cheeses, for example. Some say the pasteurization in milk is the problem rather than the milk itself, some people say it's the kind of cow that causes problems. Some say dairy is an unhealthy food, some go on milk fasts and swear it's the best.

The topic of nutrition is a confusing one, and I think that the topic of dairy is the most confusing of that confusing topic! It sounds like your body is saying yoghurt is a good food for you. For the rest, research and experiment and listen to your body's responses. Good luck!

(in my case, I'm drawn to dairy and even after a few years of periodic times of dietary elimination and restriction, dairy is the one type of food I'm not certain about. Sometimes it seems fine, sometimes not.)

http://chriskresser.com/how-to-cure-lactose-intolerance

This article has a section on 'why dairy is worth eating.' It's not comprehensive, but it's a start.

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... what about dairy being not-so-healthy?

I reread Chapter 11 of It Starts With Food to find a good answer to your question about dairy making us less healthy. I can't think of a good one or two sentence summary, so I recommend you reread it yourself. It does an excellent job of explaining why eating dairy is not a good choice. What I can speak to is how difficult it is to make a good judgement about whether a food is truly good for you or not.

Like you, I can eat yogurt without consequences. In fact, I can eat anything without feeling bad. Doing an ordinary reintroduction test is meaningless for me. Nothing that I eat gives me an upset stomach, congestion, pain, fogginess, etc. At least not for days. So any time someone reintroduces something and then concludes that food is okay for them or even good for them, I am skeptical. And I am especially skeptical of the idea that "everyone is different," so what is bad for some may be good for others.

Some people are especially sensitive to some foods and have sharply negative responses that warn them to stop, but the absence of a negative response does not mean a food promotes health. All human bodies function basically the same way absent the effects of disease or damage. Where human bodies are different is in how sharply or quickly they display a response. Some are more overt and some more covert.

I started to sleep significantly better after about 2 weeks of eating the Whole30 way. I don't know if my improved sleep depends upon staying away from one or a variety of foods. I also started to lift significantly heavier weights in the gym after a few weeks. Maybe my improved strength was a result of sleeping better or maybe something in my diet supports improved muscle function. I don't really care because I am happy eating the Whole30 way as much as I can. I just don't think figuring out which particular food might be "the problem" is worth it. Given my history, I believe I would need to reintroduce each individual food group for a month to really test it and it is not worth it to me.

Maybe I am just being stubborn, but I thought I would offer my thoughts.

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Thank you for these responses - great things to consider across the board.

Dairy is something I've always been on the fence with, so when I did my initial Whole30, it was dairy that I had to eliminate. Everything else was either already gone or something I had already begun to taper off (lentils). One of the things that backs me into a corner scratching my head isn't caused by any one food, food group, craving or curiosity, but the lack of feeling satisfied. I was typically (luckily, some might say) someone that rarely thought about food unless I was hungry….until I started forcing too many rules. Whole food is one thing, but for me, insisting that I walk the straight line of perfection makes me wobble. When I stopped avoiding yogurt, everything went back to normal – the flat stomach and better sleep were an unexpected bonus, but most importantly I wasn't overly focused on food – and evidently that's all it took. So in comes the mind/body balance that assists with this effort as well.

So – it IS a confusing topic buried within a confusing topic; I couldn't agree more. And feeling healthy and being healthy aren't necessarily synonymous. I've been searching for an answer for dairy for so long where no answers have been definitive. In all honesty, I think it's a processed food – but for some reason I allow myself to consume it without much guilt. I suppose that's primarily why I question it and I was very curious to hear the thoughts of others (you) who have most likely pondered it as well. So, I guess I'll see what happens – I know the book mentions adverse reactions to certain foods occurring days after consumption – and maybe even a month, like Tom.

I do appreciate the time taken for the responses – thanks :)

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Heather, my simplistic answer to this goes back to two things. Humans are not designed to consume any milk other than human milk. The food I consume either makes me more healthy or less. I read the Chris Kessler article about dairy. It's very interesting and it does make me wonder if I can benefit from full fat Greek yogurt and raw cheese from grass fed cows. Sigh. :)

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Heather, my simplistic answer to this goes back to two things. Humans are not designed to consume any milk other than human milk. The food I consume either makes me more healthy or less. I read the Chris Kessler article about dairy. It's very interesting and it does make me wonder if I can benefit from full fat Greek yogurt and raw cheese from grass fed cows. Sigh. :)

Yes - sigh - I know!

I'm most likely sticking with it, unless I feel otherwise down the line. One of the most chronic pitfalls I've allowed myself to wallow in is attempting to force what works best for others on me. I'm discovering that I'm somewhat of an outlier, which makes this phase of discovery extremely long and tedious. Although, I suspect the rest of the world that falls within this category might simply not blog or journal about it…which might make me standard, after all!

For now – I love yogurt :)

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I'm on day 26 of the whole30 and today's email is about self-experimentation. Whatever you do has to feel right, which is so much more complex than following any particular school of nutritional thought.

I don't know why humans "weren't designed to consume any other milk than human milk." Some say humans weren't designed to eat meat, or to eat cooked food, or eat cultivated grains. I do know that humans have adapted to many kinds of foods and if you look at traditional diets, there's a lot of variety in terms of adapting to what was available in the location. Perhaps part of our problem is the sheer amount of options available to us.

I've found that everyone agrees on not eating foods with ingredients you can't pronounce, and eating more plants than animals. After that....

I personally see the citizenry of America as one big experiment in regards to diet. I think Michael Pollan put it well when he wrote that despite human ability to adapt to many kinds of diets, we've managed to create "the one diet that reliably makes people sick." We can see the unfortunate results all around us, and now some of us are explorers. We can look at maps others have drawn up, but ultimately it's our experience of walking the terrain that matters. The matter is further complicated by the politics and quality of what we eat, as well as our personal health history.

(I was planning to re-introduce dairy when this 30 days was over, but I always thought dairy gave me a stuffy nose. Now I'm on day 26 and I've had a stuffy nose for at least two weeks. I haven't eaten any non-compliant foods.Posted about this in my sinus congestion thread but no responses. is it too old a thread? Should I start a new thread if I want some response to that?)

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When you say you have a stuffy nose, do you mean you have sinus congestion? Lack of proper humidity can cause that. I found that my nose dripped in reaction to piping hot food. It was odd and somewhat inconvenient. Post again to the sinus thread--that will bring it back up on "new content" which is the only way I navigate the boards, now.

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I was typically (luckily, some might say) someone that rarely thought about food unless I was hungry….until I started forcing too many rules. Whole food is one thing, but for me, insisting that I walk the straight line of perfection makes me wobble. When I stopped avoiding yogurt, everything went back to normal – the flat stomach and better sleep were an unexpected bonus, but most importantly I wasn't overly focused on food – and evidently that's all it took. So in comes the mind/body balance that assists with this effort as well.

This popped out to me, so here's what I think. I think the elimination of dairy was stressful, uncomfortable and difficult on some level. Stress can affect digestion in a way nothing else can. In fact, it essentially affects all of your body's functions. When you reintroed yogurt, and everything went "back to normal", things settled down for you. Take it or leave it, but I think that might be a key in this conversation.

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This popped out to me, so here's what I think. I think the elimination of dairy was stressful, uncomfortable and difficult on some level. Stress can affect digestion in a way nothing else can. In fact, it essentially affects all of your body's functions. When you reintroed yogurt, and everything went "back to normal", things settled down for you. Take it or leave it, but I think that might be a key in this conversation.

That's a great angle - I'll take that into consideration and pay closer attention to that variable; thanks!

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Soooooooo - for those who may be interested - after about a week of yogurt the condition of my stomach was TERRIBLE. Bummer. Big bummer. I couldn't deny it; that's how bad it was. And I can't deny the zit that keeps popping up every time I consume it. I also noticed that I reverted back to yogurt to remove coconut milk from my diet, because the calorie content is vastly different and for me, I use them with similar foods. So, once again, my body has fought back when I tried to cut calories. I guess I have to get used to this body, because not one thing has changed in 4 months in terms of shape and size.....not when I eat less, not when I eat more. However, I think I need to reinstate Whole30 for a much longer duration. If I'd stop fiddling with dairy, I'd be complaint constantly. Sheesh.

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  • 1 month later...

Heather, I know this is an old thread, but I just finished my Whole 30, and I have been wondering about how/whether to reintroduce dairy. Your experience is helpful, thanks for sharing.

The only time I haven't had some form of sinus congestion is during the Whole 30. After it was over I tried eating grass-fed raw milk cheese (Havarti with apple slices, mmmmmm...) but the congestion came back. I've successfully integrated butter back in, and next I guess I'll try cream, but my experience (and yours) doesn't give me hope for yogurt. Serious bummer.

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Heather, I know this is an old thread, but I just finished my Whole 30, and I have been wondering about how/whether to reintroduce dairy. Your experience is helpful, thanks for sharing.

The only time I haven't had some form of sinus congestion is during the Whole 30. After it was over I tried eating grass-fed raw milk cheese (Havarti with apple slices, mmmmmm...) but the congestion came back. I've successfully integrated butter back in, and next I guess I'll try cream, but my experience (and yours) doesn't give me hope for yogurt. Serious bummer.

It is a bummer - I love yogurt and I was in some sort of denial each time I tried to add it back. I've tried 4 times since Whole30 and at this point its undeniable - I get two instant and distinct reactions: pimples and congestion. My husband doesn't like that I delve so deeply into experimenting with my diet, because I tend to overanalyze, but he couldn't even deny the effects of dairy for me - it was as plain as day! I even tried goat and sheep's milk. The biggest bummer is, my denial kept these reintros too close together and now it's taken me well into a month to purge it from my system and the healing of my skin has been painfully slow. My skin was glowing during Whole30. It was fine before, but dairy made it look acne prone - I'll never do that again; it made me feel horrible. Also, around Christmas, I also decided to let loose and have some cookies. The next day I had the flu~ I hadn't been sick in 5 years!

I've seen recipes for coconut yogurt, but I personally don't feel like going through the process. I feel like I spend half my day shopping, washing as chopping as it is. Maybe you can check it out! I do use some ghee with no issues, however. Let me know what you decide to do :)

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Did my dairy reintro on Saturday, and it was interesting. For the last two years I have had a dairy intolerance, and I was told that if I took gluten out of my diet that my intestines would repair. Well lo and behold, it's true! I had some yummy sharp cheddar from the co-op with my breakfast, and felt pretty good. Lunch however, was a different story. I had a couple spoon fulls of yogurt and about an hour later I was completely lethargic. I forgot that yogurt had that effect on me. Well now I know that I am not completely cured of my intolerance, but at least I know I can have dairy without it making me want to curl up in a ball and die. I think I will just keep it as an "every-so-often" item.

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