Dairy has become one of the most debated topics in the Paleo Diet community. Simply put, there are three culprits in dairy that can often cause problems with individuals that they should be mindful of.

The first is Lactose. As discussed earlier, many people are lactose-intolerant, likely tied to the fact that their ancestors did not come from a dairy-farming region and, therefore, are unlikely to possess the enzyme necessary to break down lactose sugar. Lactose intolerance is fairly common and easy to diagnose based on your reaction to dairy.

The second is Casein, which is a type of protein found in diary. Intolerances to casein tend to be harder to spot and can show up as joint pain, sinus issues, or digestive distress. A simple test for casein intolerance is to try a casein-based protein powder.

The third is whey, though whey intolerances are rare. A simple way to test again, is trying a whey-based protein powder which are the most common protein powders found (Paleo Magazine).

Quite often in the paleo community, people will cite raw or fermented dairy as “paleo-friendly” dairy options. The reason being that raw or unpasteurized dairy contains many of the beneficial enzymes and bacteria that can help an individual digest dairy. Same with fermented dairy. As you’ll see in a later lesson, the “paleo” stance on dairy continues to evolve and is very specific to the individual!