Dairy is a difficult topic. The dairy products we buy in a grocery store are highly pasteurized. I read an article several years ago about the process to pasteurize dairy; the article stated that the particles in pasteurized dairy products become very small and because of that many of us cannot tolerate dairy products. I can’t say for sure if this is true or not.

We do know that many people have problems eating dairy products; they are one of the allergens, and some experts recommend avoiding dairy because they are inflammatory, except butter/Ghee. I´m glad to see that even the U.S. has woken up from the fat phobia as U.S. butter consumption reaches the highest level in 40 years!

The differences between Sweden and the U.S., when it comes to dairy, is that it is illegal to give cows artificial growth hormones (rBGH or rBST) in Europe, but it´s not illegal in the U.S. Artificial growth hormones are added all the time, and your dairy products will most likely contain it unless the carton is labeled “No hormones rBGH.” Growth hormones are linked to increased risk for diseases like cancer. But even without hormones added, dairy contains a lot of natural hormones so that the calf will grow rapidly. Some experts even say that it is too much natural hormones for human consumption, especially for children.

Another difference is the access to full fat dairy products. Even if we have been “fat-frightened” in Sweden too, it has always been easy to find full fat dairy products. When my daughter became gluten sensitive she also stayed away from dairy for three months and then slowly introduced full fat dairy again. We were told that full fat dairy is easier for the body to digest. The fat in dairy products makes you feel full, and full fat dairy products are not stuffed with sugar and chemicals. If you have taken away sugar and grains from your diet and still have issues, try to avoid dairy for a while and see what happens.

What about getting calcium from dairy? Do you remember what I wrote in my welcome letter:

Did you know that some of the most “milk-consuming-countries,” USA, Sweden and Finland, are also the countries with the most osteoporosis per capita? Calcium is not easily absorbed into your bones on its own. Calcium needs an even level of magnesium and vitamin D to be absorbed properly.

If you get too much calcium and not enough magnesium (Magnesium Taurate is my favorite) it can increase your risk for heart disease.

So, what does Mark Sisson, The author of the Primal Blueprint, say about full fat dairy products. Here are two great articles for further reading.

Should You Be Eating High-Fat Dairy?
Dear Mark: Full-Fat Dairy Roundup.

And here is an article that makes a great case for eating organic dairy.

Why organic milk?

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