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Short Answer:

No, milk is not Paleo!
is milk paleo

The Bad About Milk..

Milk has long been associated with good health and is one of the most consumed drinks in the world. Several studies have shown that milk consumption can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, lowered blood pressure and bone health.

But for strict followers of the Paleo diet, milk as with any other dairy products is not Paleo. Dairy was not something consumed by the Paleolithic era people. It was actually a Neolithic era food.  And milk was only consumed by infants until weaning. Milk and other dairy consumption do and can cause problems to most people.  Many scientific studies have shown the health effects of drinking milk. Some of them are as follows:

  • Drinking cow’s milk is an unhealthy practice according to Dr. Loren Cordain and it may increase the risk of many chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis and even cancer.
  • Consuming milk is not as nutrient dense as eating fruits, vegetables, seafood and meats.
  • For some babies, drinking cow’s milk has been shown to cause colic.
  • Milk is insulinogelic. It can cause a large spike in blood insulin levels which may contribute to the development of insulin resistance.
  • Casein, a primary protein in milk, promotes deterioration of the gut lining because it cannot be easily digested.
  • Milk has a positive potential renal acid load( PRAL) that triggers a protective biological reaction to neutralize all the damaging acidic protein before reaching the kidneys
  • Lactose is the main carbohydrate in milk. There are people who have genuine lactose intolerance. They could have digestive symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea and other indigestion problems upon consuming dairy products like milk.
  • Nowadays, the processes of milking cows include addition of antibiotics and growth hormones to increase milk production. rBGH or genetically engineered form of bovine growth hormone increases blood levels of insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1) which is linked to several cancers
  • Drinking milk does not promote healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis as we were taught. It actually increases the risk of bone fracture. The human body barely absorbs calcium in cow’s milk and even increases calcium loss.
  • Milk increases mucus production which can aggravate conditions like asthma. It also creates mucus in the gastrointestinal gut that can inhibit nutrient and mineral absorption.
  • The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found out that there is an association between dairy consumption and acne.

Milk Substitutes

Since milk is dairy and should be avoided in the Paleo diet, there are some recommended substitutes for it.

Whole Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is the first milk substitute in the Paleo community. It is extracted directly from whole coconuts. It has a thick, creamy texture and delicious taste. It normally comes in can and is solid at room temperature. Water can be added to it for easy drinking.

Coconut milk is high in medium chain fatty acids, a healthy saturated fat. It is rich in fiber, vitams, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Nut Milks

Nut milks can also be used as substitute for milk. The most common nut milks are almond,cashew, hazelnut or hemp milk. These milks can be found in the grocery stores but it would be better to create your own as some nut milks sold in the market contain additives and unnatural ingredients.

Almond milk is the most common nut milk. It is made from water and almonds. Unlike coconut milk, almond milk contains minimal carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Its flavor works best for home made lattes.

What Experts Say About Milk… Is It Paleo?

“Human mother’s milk is extremely healthy for the suckling new born infant and baby until weaning, which typically occurred in hunter gatherers at about 2-3 yrs of age.  Drinking of cow’s milk or other species’ milk by children and adults is an unhealthy practice that increases the risk of many chronic diseases and adds no micronutrients to the diet that cannot be obtained from fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, seafoods and nuts.  Human’s have no nutritional requirement for cow’s milk.” – Dr. Loren Cordain

All you ever wanted to know about Milk and Paleo

The Paleo Diet. Questions About Milk


Mark’s Daily Apple. Should You Be Eating High-Fat Dairy?

Chris Kresser. Dairy: food of the Gods or neolithic agent of disease?

Paleo Leap. The Place of Dairy on A Paleo Diet

Ultimate Paleo Guide.  Dairy: The Bad, The Ugly & The Slightly Better

Primal Organic. Is Milk Paleo? Is Milk Primal? Can I eat any dairy?

Eat, Drink Paleo. Paleo & Calcium | Friendly Calcium Rich Foods

Robb Wolf. Seven Shades of Paleo

The Paleo Mom. The Great Dairy Debate

Justin Miller Limitless 365.PALEO & WHY NO GRAINS, DAIRY, AND LEGUMES

Paleo Plan. Is Dairy Paleo?

Paleolista. Is Milk Really That Bad, Then?

Is Dairy Bad For You? Is It Paleo?

Did we miss anything?

Comment below and let us know what you think. Do you agree with our conclusion?

photo credit: Cookies and Milk