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Paleo/NT, Is Eating Dairy Natural?

post #1 of 127
Thread Starter 
I've just finished reading this thread about the Paleo Diet & NT diet, I still go back & forth between which is right for my family.

Both diets recognize that grains & legumes are hard to digest, in the Paleolithic Era, they didn't eat them, so by following that diet, you'd forgo them altogether. NT also recognizes the grain/legume problem & recommends soaking them to lessen the phytic acid. Personally, for my family, I think I'll avoid grains & legumes as much as possible.

The one difference between the two diets that I'm having trouble with is dairy. We drink raw milk & love it, it would be SO hard to give up, but I also have a hard time accepting that man is meant to drink milk from a cow/goat. It just doesn't seem natural to me. According to the Paleo diet, when man began raising cattle for dairy & growing grains, diseases like cancer, heart disease & diabetes came about. Anyone have any links to debunk those studies?

Nuts too, I suppose the phytic acid would have leached out while laying on the ground & being soaked with rain & drying in the sun - do you think that's how they were safely consumed back in the Paleo Era? That's what I come up with when I think of what the NT diet is mimicking by soaking.

We are omnivores here, I firmly believe in eating grass-fed, organic meat & eggs, but the dairy thing, I'm just not sold on.

Does anyone else have these little battles going on in their mind?
post #2 of 127
Well, there is a verse in the bible in Ezekiel that states to take different grains and such and sprout them and to eat it. So, alot of NT ers take that advice I think. If not taking it specifically from the bible, they take the wisdom of it. I think if you were to say it wasn't natural, then you would be missing out on a lot of what is natural about sprouting and all of that. And of cultured foods, and the addition of some modern wisdom as well.
post #3 of 127
Thread Starter 
I'm not really a religious person, so I'd have a hard time basing my nutritional decisions on the bible.

Dairy is what I question as being natural, man is the only species that drinks milk from another species, just seems weird to me when I really think about it.
post #4 of 127
I am totally with you on this one. I go back and forth between paleo and NT ( have been paleo longer We hardly eat any grains, some brown rice, some oats thats really it. And when we do eat them I soak them.
And I agree on the milk issue. We love it, well, yoghurt and cheese and just started getting the raw milk and I like it but we still dont drink it as is really. But I agree, it is not natural for a mature human to drink what is meant for a baby cow. But we do consume some dairy as I said...I am not out of that inner debate

Even in NT itself it mentions that when agriculture came about stature, bone thickness and general health went downhill fast. That is when they started eating the fermented grains and milk. So, even according to Sally, although she never comes out and says this, but I read it between the line ( obviously only my interpretation)the best thing to do is eat paleo ( however close you can get, eating all wild foods...impossible in most of our lives I'd say)

What I think NT is doing is saying, look, it is unreasonable to expect people to just eat paleo foods in an agricultural world, so lets use the products of agriculture in the best possible way...

Anyone familiar with the book Ishmael? that deals somewhat with these questions...

Tanya
post #5 of 127
I think dairy is natural for humans--humans have cultivated herds for their own nutrition for hundreds of years. Humans are also the only species that cultivates crops, has a written language, etc etc...so there are lots of things that *only* humans do.
post #6 of 127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyNY View Post
I think dairy is natural for humans--humans have cultivated herds for their own nutrition for hundreds of years. Humans are also the only species that cultivates crops, has a written language, etc etc...so there are lots of things that *only* humans do.
Sure, humans are the only species that smoke crack, but that doesn't mean it's natural. You could say that about anything that we have invented or adapted, but it doesn't mean we are intended to eat/do it.

I think we could adapt (or go back to, really) the Paleo diet, mostly meat & eggs from grass-fed animals & certain fruits & veggies. I guess I'd soak the nuts, since I doubt they were eaten raw back then, like I said, I guess they were "soaked & dried" by the natural elements & then consumed.
post #7 of 127
Drinking milk=smoking crack. OK....
post #8 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyNY View Post
I think dairy is natural for humans--humans have cultivated herds for their own nutrition for hundreds of years. Humans are also the only species that cultivates crops, has a written language, etc etc...so there are lots of things that *only* humans do.
I agree with this. You really can't compare what humans do to what other species do. There just isn't a comparison. Even if you compare us with our closest biological relatives.

Here's another thread discussing this:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=540477
post #9 of 127
Thread Starter 
Funny comparison, huh?

In the Paleolithic era, nobody consumed dairy or grains & cancer & heart disease & other deadly diseases were unheard of.

I just think that milking an animal is weird when I really sit & think about it. Sure, raw, organic dairy from pastured animals is the best choice, but it's still from another species. It just doesn't seem natural.
post #10 of 127
Just to put "natural" in perspective. If we translate the time of human exsistance (about 2.5 million years) to a 24 hour day, we have been eating grains for the last 6 minutes, dairy for the last 3 minutes and soy for the last 45 seconds...

Looking at it that way I truely wonder how adapted we are to those foods.

Tanya
post #11 of 127
I guess i just have a hard time understanding why one would need to resolve the question about what we are "intended" or "meant to" do? Intended by what?

Dairy has been a part of the human diet in many parts of the world for thousands of years. There is no such thing as a universally perfect food, and evolution didn't produce an end-product. There is a ton of variation among all of us. Some people will not tolerate certain foods that are just fine for others. Maybe a Paleodiet would say that we are "intended" to eat nuts. My ds is not - he's allergic to them. Some people thrive on dairy; others may not. As omnivores (and relatively successful ones from a population viewpoint), we are "intended" to experiment with our food sources. If we find a source of nutrition that works, why not go with it?

If you believe that dairy causes cancer, heart disease and diabetes, then certainly avoid it. But I seem to recall that herding and agriculture were concomitant developments, along with a lot of other lifestyle changes, and no single factor causes any of those diseases. You can find many examples of folks who consume dairy in great quantities and never develop those diseases. Furthermore, my understanding is that these are relatively modern diseases that are rampant predominantly in the Western world, and according to old medical literature, they were not common even in the West until the 20th century.
post #12 of 127
Quote:
Dairy is what I question as being natural, man is the only species that drinks milk from another species, just seems weird to me when I really think about it.
But maybe animals don't eat other species milk just because it's not accessible - could you imagine a cow letting a dog drink milk from her ??? But seriously I say this because my cats LOVE to lick my bowl after eating yogurt mixed with anything - so now I feed them a little yogurt now and then.

Quote:
In the Paleolithic era, nobody consumed dairy or grains & cancer & heart disease & other deadly diseases were unheard of.
In the Paleolithic era they just didn't have the technology we do today to determine the exact cause of death... there certainly could have been many diseases that we don't know about, because when we study those people, only bones are left so how can we tell what was going on in their soft tissue ?
post #13 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by *Di View Post
I say this because my cats LOVE to lick my bowl after eating yogurt mixed with anything - so now I feed them a little yogurt now and then.
Ahhh...I didn't think of this. But I do know dogs and cats that go crazy over cream and butter!
post #14 of 127
Yea... and cats are very smart too - maybe we should "listen" to their intuition ???
post #15 of 127
OK, so I'm not following the Paleo diet. I'm following the Neolithic diet.

Humans are omnivores. It is a testament to our adaptive digestive systems that we survive in so many environments, something almost unheard of with any other creature (save rats who seem to have the same ability to eat almost anything.)

If people feel healthier eating Paleo, go for it. But understand that Paleo people also ate bugs quite a bit. They also ate all parts of the animal, particularly parts that we don't pay much attention to. As for the historical evidence of healthy teeth in skulls, etc., seeing as the life expectancy was in the 30s, I'd expect most skulls to still have most of their teeth.

As for me, I'm eating a variety of whole foods and I go by how I feel. Is it natural to milk a cow? No less natural than it is to butcher it, harvest eggs from chickens or cultivate plants. As far as being the only creature to do this...we're pretty much the only creature that *can*.
post #16 of 127
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post #18 of 127
Cool thread. After a week off all grains (I lost 8 pounds and feet great) my nutritionist said that is a red flag for being intolerant to a food. (I already knew I was gluten intolerant. I may have celicac but don't want to take the biopsy test) She thinks my strong N.Euro roots influenced my genetics.

This has me looking more into the Paleo way of eating. Meats, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs. I pretty much eat like that now-plus beans.

I think that properly prepared grains and real milk products can be a part of a healthy diet if one tolerates them well. I do feel like humans can adapt to many different things and dairy is an easy (and yummy) way to get nutrients.

: I am eating nuts--not popcorn
post #19 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharondio View Post
\. As for the historical evidence of healthy teeth in skulls, etc., seeing as the life expectancy was in the 30s, I'd expect most skulls to still have most of their teeth.
Good point. It is still amazing to me that they would have all their teeth with no dentist, toothbrushes ect around. I have seen some modern day children's teeth rotting even with dental care.
post #20 of 127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by *Di View Post
In the Paleolithic era they just didn't have the technology we do today to determine the exact cause of death... there certainly could have been many diseases that we don't know about, because when we study those people, only bones are left so how can we tell what was going on in their soft tissue ?
Quote:
Departure from the paleolithic diet and the adoption of agriculture with the inclusion of cereals, legumes, dairy products and processed foods is out of sync with our genetic blueprint and has created a plethora of modern diseases as our bodies try to cope with these foreign foods[10,`11] . The fossil record shows a massive decrease in average height, health and rapid increase in disease, obesity and population for cultures that survived the transition from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to an agriculturally dependent one[10-14]. A myriad of auto-immune diseases (coeliac, MS), food allergies, obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Depression and Schizophrenia has been shown to be linked to the adoption of these unnatural human foods [14-36]. Interestingly, after the age of five years humans do not produce the lactase enzyme and 87% of the world’s population are lactose intolerant. Furthermore, gluten intolerance usually occurs with a lactose intolerance. Children with ADHD are seven times more likely to be intolerant to these universally accepted staples[36].
Source
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