When I started the Ketogenic Diet, I had all sorts of questions. It seemed like the Keto way of eating went against “the grain” of everything I knew about healthy eating. Is Dairy Bad? Do I have to drink whole milk? I’m supposed to put cheese on everything? Will all this dairy inflame my body and clog my arteries? On and on and on… Today, we will go over some commonly asked questions about Dairy and why some options are good for you and some may be bad options.
Is Dairy Bad on Keto?
You can Google “Dairy is good for you” or you could enter “Dairy is bad for you.” The response will be pages and pages of articles supporting each opinion. The confusion is mind boggling.. Who do you believe? Is the article written by an uninformed blogger? Is the dairy industry paying this writer for a biased opinion?
First of all, it depends on your own body chemistry. Dairy has never bothered me personally, but for many others it is very inflammatory, and others are completely lactose intolerant.
Milk Has Lactose, Which is a Milk Sugar
Are you doing Keto to lose weight? Are you a type 2 diabetic and which to reverse your condition? Sugar can inhibit your success for both of these questions.
When you drink any type of milk, you will raise your glucose and your insulin levels. This can ultimately cause you to gain weight, or to slow down the great success that you may have experienced on the Keto diet.
When you were a baby, you want to gain weight as quickly as you can. At this time your body and brain are developing quickly and milk is very important. Milk’s purpose is to help you gain weight. If your on the Keto diet, then that’s probably not what you are hoping for right? Personally, I enjoy milk and I do drink milk while on Keto and I still lost weight. However, I am mindful of keeping my carbs under 30 and limiting my milk consumption to once per day and only having half a glass (about 1 cup serving size).
Drinking Milk from Another Mammal Has Never Been Studied Scientifically to See If It Causes any Long Term Problems
While there are studies about consuming milk, they don’t have any studies to determine if there is any long term harm from drinking milk. With that being said, if you want to consume dairy milk then there are good choices and also bad.
Don’t Drink Skim Milk – Period
In skim milk, all the fat has been removed and all that is left is the milk protein and SUGARS. For most people the protein in milk is very inflammatory and this would be the type of dairy that is considered bad for you. So, if you decide against removing dairy from your diet, then we recommend at least not drinking skim milk.
I grew up thinking that fat was bad, low fat was good. I always opted for skim milk, only to realize years later I was making the wrong choice. I’m a type 2 “Pre” Diabetic that was on a fast track to being full blown diabetic where reversing the condition would have been very difficult. Cutting out sugars is critical for type 2 diabetics.. So, ya… Ditch the skim milk.
Over Half The World Can’t Digest Milk
Here is an article that shows that 60% of the world can’t even drink milk. A lot of this my have to do with nothing more than your ancestry. If your roots come from a Norther European country there is a very good chance that milk gives you no trouble at all.. 90% of Northern Europeans tolerate milk rather well. However only 5% of Asians, 25% of Africans, and 50% of Mediterranean people (for example) can retain the ability to drink milk after childhood.
This is why, there is no direct answer that applies to everybody. So many of us have ancestry from many countries throughout the world. So, our chemistry is all different on how foods may affect our body. This is another reason why dairy is bad for one person, and not the other. It’s in our genes man!
Even if you are one of the “lucky” (or unlucky) ones who carry the enzyme to digest milk, does that mean that milk is good for you? Probably not.. While your body may well be partially adapted to cows milk, it’s likely not there all the way.
So, you can go up the spectrum from skim milk, to 1%, to 2% milk to whole milk (which is 4% fat). Then you go to half and half and then heavy / whipping cream. So, you might guess which milk would be the best choice if your are not lactose intolerant. Yes, heavy cream would be the choice!
If You are Lactose Intolerant Choose Heavy Whipping Cream
Heavy cream is simply milk where almost all of the sugar and protein has been removed. So, even people who ARE lactose intolerant can enjoy heavy cream and whipping cream without many side effects.
So, ultimately is Dairy Bad for You?
This depends on your body, but in milk there is lactose.. This varies as you go up the spectrum. Skim Milk has the most lactose, where heavy cream has very little. Lactose is sugar, plain and simple. Your body knows that it’s sugar and treats it as sugar.
So, if your drinking a lot of skim milk, your raising your blood sugar, and your liver tries to store the excess glucose as fat in your liver. Fatty liver isn’t cause from just drinking too much alcohol.. It’s also caused by consuming too much sugar! Get rid of the sugar, and eventually your fatty liver will heal!
For most of you, yes Dairy Milk is bad for you. However, the vast majority of you can use heavy cream while on Keto without any problems at all. Even if your lactose intolerant!
Is Cheese Bad for You?
Ok, lets talk about cheese. If cheese is dairy, then it should also be bad for you.. Is this correct? Well, no.. and that’s good news.
When cheese is being made, it is exposed to microbes. During the cheese making process the microbes / bacteria eat up nearly all of the sugar! Ya, microbes, right?
So, that takes away problem #1 with dairy. Problem #2 is milk proteins. The microbes also act on the protein and change it’s molecular structure and it’s much less inflammatory on the body. Mostly all that is left is fat, which is perfectly OKAY! This process is what makes cheese a solid, rather than a liquid.
Always choose the hard cheeses while on Keto. You can eat the real cheddars, parmasan, swiss, etc.. There are too many cheeses to list, but the hard cheeses are generally the best for you and will give you the least troubles if you choose to eat cheese while on Keto.
Choose REAL Cheese
If it says “American Cheese Food Product” or anything like that, steer clear… That’s not the real deal. Choose the real, fatty cheese!
Conclusion : Some dairy is bad for you while on Keto, and some options are “less bad” and may be even good for you. Stay clear from skim, 1%, and 2% milk at the least. If your lactose intolerant stay away from all milk except for heavy or whipping cream. As far as cheeses go, they are ok as long as they are a REAL (and hard) cheese.
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