Should We Eat Dairy on a Healthy Diet

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Hey there, wonderful mamas! Welcome to the “Grassfed Mama” blog, where we dive into the world of healthy living with a touch of nutrition and a sprinkle of heart. Today, we’re exploring a topic close to the dairy-filled heart of many – “Should we eat dairy on a healthy diet?” If you’re a busy mom on the quest for healthy choices, grab your favorite drink and let’s embark on this journey together.

If you have been reading this blog since it started in 2010, I actually had a post that was all about how I didn’t eat dairy… Well, after going down a few different diet trails I started eating dairy again. I can’t say that I felt a huge impact in my health when I added it back. But knowing what I know about dairy, I think we should talk about it is right for you…

The Dairy Dilemma:

Many people are familiar with the Paleo eating lifestyle. Paleo, with its focus on whole foods and ancestral eating, often leaves dairy in a grey area. Traditionally, strict Paleo excludes dairy due to potential digestive issues and its modern processing. But hold on, busy moms – there’s room for nuance here, and that’s where the wisdom of balancing comes into play.

I am currently embarking on my own healthy journey as I become a certified health coach. One thing that I really love about this curriculum is their focus on bio-individuality. Understanding that YOU know yourself and what helps you or hurts you better than anyone else.

Knowing that, before you completely cut out something from your diet, take a nutritional log and write down what you ate and how you felt after. When I did this, I found that I reacted more to wheat than dairy. Although I do know that dairy can cause discomfort for some, it may be able to be enjoyed by others following some basic principles.

So let’s dive deeper into the question: Should we eat dairy on a healthy diet?

Choosing what Dairy You Eat

When you are wondering if you should eat dairy on a healthy diet, there are a few questions to guide us to an individual conclusion:

1. **Quality Matters:**

   Not all dairy is created equal. Opt for high-quality, grassfed, and organic dairy whenever possible. Grassfed milk and butter are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), providing a nutrient boost that conventional dairy might miss.

2. **Embrace Fermented Goodness:**

   Fermented dairy, such as yogurt and kefir, can be a game-changer for your gut health. Packed with probiotics, these goodies support gut health and aid in digestion. Choose plain, full-fat varieties without added sugars for the most nutritional benefit. You can flavor them yourself so you know what ingredients are in your foods.

3. **Individual Tolerance:**

   Mama, you’re a unique being, and so is your digestive system. Some may find dairy causes discomfort, while others handle it like champs. Listen to your body – it often gives the best guidance. Experiment with small amounts and observe how you feel.

4. **Go Beyond the Cow:**

   Dairy isn’t limited to cow’s milk. Explore options like goat or sheep’s milk, which can be easier on digestion for some. Goat cheese, feta, or sheep’s yogurt might just be the dairy delights your body craves.

5. **Homemade Goodness:**

   Taking control of your dairy intake often means going DIY. Make your own yogurt, kefir, or even cheese at home. This way, you control the ingredients and the quality of your dairy delights. I used to make homemade yogurt in my crockpot – and now you can use an instant pot too.

Mindful Dairy Integration:

1. **Incorporate Moderation:**

   While we’re diving into the grey area of eating dairy, moderation remains key. Too much of anything, even the good stuff, can throw off the balance. Enjoy dairy as part of a well-rounded diet, and your body will thank you.

2. **Pair It Right:**

   Complement your dairy intake with nutrient-dense foods. Balance dairy with veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats to create a harmonious plate that supports your overall well-being.

3. **Listen to Your Cravings:**

   Craving dairy? Your body might be signaling a need for certain nutrients. Pay attention and find ways to incorporate those nutrients through high-quality dairy sources.

The Dairy-Free Journey:

For those who find peace in a dairy-free path, don’t worry – there’s an abundance of dairy alternatives to explore. Almond milk, coconut milk, and nut-based cheeses open up a world of dairy-free possibilities that align with your health goals.

My son needs to be dairy free right now, so more than ever I have learned about the dairy free world and alternatives that are out there. If you track your foods and realize that you do react to dairy (whether it be gas, constipation, skin changes) just know that you don’t have to feel deprived. You can even make a deliciously creamy alfredo sauce with cashews that is completely dairy free!

Health is a Journey

The journey of health and nutrition is never ending and balancing dairy in your personal nutrition is as unique as you are. Embrace the wisdom of quality, the goodness of fermentation, and the art of moderation. Whether you dance in the grey area or gracefully choose the dairy-free route, the key is to nourish your body with choices that make you feel whole and nourished. So, sip your coffee with grassfed butter if you choose, sprinkle some wisdom into your kitchen, and let the journey unfold with grace and goodness. Cheers to healthy, happy choices!

Read More about Eating Dairy Free

Can you eat gluten free dairy-free keto?

Easy Dairy Free Alternatives for a Dairy Free Diet

How to Start Your Gluten Free Dairy Free Diet

Should you eat diary on a healthy diet?

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Angela Parker
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