Dairy is good for you, or is it?

dairy is goodOf all the addictive things I have cut out of my diet, dairy products were one I had left in for the longest time, despite reading other’s bad experiences of it.

Even though the Paleo and Vegan peeps both shun dairy, I was convinced that I had the Northern European gene that had adapted to dairy and so basically was immune to all the supposed negative effects that plague others.

I would have cheese in my vege soup, make vege nachos, eat feta and haloumi cheese, make cheesecake with cream cheese, enjoy my cheesy crisps and Greek yoghurt – good for probiotics right? Fair to say, I would have some portion of dairy every day. I didn’t drink milk as I didn’t feel good after it, but had coconut cream instead and all was well for the longest time.

Then I did the skinny maninny detox – read about that here.

One of their recommendations after you finish the detox is not to have dairy for at least a few days afterwards, giving your body a chance to get back into solid food. I did most of the things they recommended and wasn’t sure why dairy in particular was singled out, however given that I am generally ok with dairy, I didn’t think breaking that rule would be a biggie.

Boy was I in for a big surprise!

We had lunch with friends and I had a very sensible salmon and vege dish and my hubby suggested we share an apple pie with ice-cream. Sure it was sugar laden too but I had about two spoons full and thought nothing more of it.

dairy, dairy intolerance,Within half an hour my nose start to drip.

This is one of the classic symptoms of dairy intolerance. At the time I didn’t link it at all but thought I might have been catching a cold or something. (Rare occurrence, as I never get sick.)

That night I had vege soup with about 3 cubes of cheese in it and all seemed well.

Next morning I awoke with the worst headache and tell tale sinus pain right across my face. Another huge classic symptom of dairy intolerance.

It totally spun me out! What was happening? I was supposed to be immune to this stuff?!

And even though on a daily basis I may not feel like it is affecting me, obviously it does. This is one of the ways they test for food allergies, to go without it, then reintroduce it and see what happens. So all this pain and mucus happened!

Bad effects

So of course that lead me to read more about it and through articles, comments and message boards, these are the symptoms/diseases that everyone reported:-

Dripping nose
Sinus pain
Congestion of sinus
Sinus inflammation
Headaches caused by sinus
Ear infections
Ovarian & Prostate cancer
Mucus formation
Affects energy levels
Stiffness in joints
Circulatory disorder
Food allergies
Increased cravings
Neck/Shoulder pain
Increased weight
Digestion problems
Skin problems
Casein milk protein causes cancer
Stomach pain
Skin itching
Causes osteoporosis
Softening of bones
Sleep issues
Affects hormones & contributes to excess estrogen

Hormone issues

Crazy right? Hardly a healthy food for many people and look at the last one – hormones again! If you have read my stuff before you know I am sensitive to that stuff because of a family history of breast cancer caused by estrogen dominance.

So I just can’t go there.

Stands to reason that milk would be full of the cow’s natural hormones as they produce the milk for their offspring after being pregnant. A totally hormone charged time.

dairy, dairy intolerance,Many reported a decrease to disappearance of all period pain and breast tenderness/soreness when they reduced or removed dairy from their diet. And I totally experienced the same thing. (So you mean I’ve suffered every month for all these years for nothing???)


One story on the net described that the body holds approximately 3 quarts of mucus at any one time around organs and blocking the respiratory system. So that’s about 2.8 litres. I wondered how much that was in kilograms for those interested to know how many extra kilos that means they are carrying, and I kept coming up with explanations that you can’t convert a volumetric measure to weight. And I thought to myself, sure you can, I’m not building a rocket here, just approximate weight would do.

I whacked a 2-litre carton of milk on the kitchen scales. So allowing for the fact that we are talking about nearly 3 litres here, that worked out to be nearly 4 kgs (8lbs) that you are carrying around unnecessarily.

If this true and the fact that milk is designed for babies to grow in the fastest possible time, stands to reason that dairy is super bad for weight loss.

So in any case, obviously I was ready to absorb all this information and apply it to my life now – even though I have read it quite a few times before to no avail.

Moving forward

Now dairy will move from daily for me into the sometimes pile of maybe cheese once a week, if that. And butter, which is 80% fat anyway and full of great fat-soluble vitamins. The problematic milk solids only make up a small portion of both of these. Also I try and get organic or grass fed where possible to maximise any nutrient content.

So another huge awakening for me. What has been your experience with dairy?

Kristy xxx

PS: since writing this I have explored Dr Ray Peat’s work more and he and others advocate that dairy is anti–inflammatory and one of the best protein and all round great foods you can have! Say what?

How can it be both? Will report back in a future post!

Update 2020 – I have embraced dairy again but definitely found I have a tolerance limit. I have of a total of two cups a day of any type of dairy. After that point I can feel negative effects but the calcium and other benefits are too good to give it away altogether. Read more in the Zen Beach Diet and this article.

Zen Beach Diet

2 thoughts on “Dairy is good for you, or is it?

  1. Gemma

    I used to suffer from really bad period pain and cramps and it completely disappeared after giving up dairy. Back when I was eating dairy I would crave chocolate during my period so I would literally eat chocolate while drinking chocolate milk at the same time – little did I know this was the cause of the problem. I ditched the dairy and I have no cravings, no period pain, no PMS and my skin cleared up too – bonus!

  2. slimbirdy Post author

    Hi Gemma! What a great story. Thanks for sharing and so awesome that you discovered it. While they say dairy has a balance of all hormones, from my experience, yours and so many others, I don’t think that can be true. It does something wacky. Anyway, thanks for dropping by and where are you travelling to next?

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