I'm 14 years old, and want to become "completely" Paleo. I'm having no problems with giving up grain products, however, dairy is much more difficult. I have to admit I'm kind of insecure about the idea, even though I know dairy isn't very beneficial. Also, I'm having conflicts with my parents on giving up all dairy products. They're mainly concerned about me getting enough calcium, and are still held back by the idea that dairy is the only source. Does anyone have any thoughts about how to get plenty of calcium without dairy? I know that you can get it from veggies, but what types, and how much would you have to eat? Thanks
Don't get caught up in paleo "purity" striving for "complete" paleo. Just do what works. Minimizing things like dairy, gluten, other neolithic foods, etc is 90% (SWAG) as effective as eliminating them all together.
I was a milk-addict when I was a kid, drinking nearly a gallon per day at times. But I've recently weaned myself off large amounts of fluid milk, while not cutting all dairy out (after all, occasional cheese, cream, sour cream, etc... are all very tasty!) I've found that I do better without the fluid milk, there might be some advantage to go totally dairy-free, but I'm not willing to forgo foods I enjoy without significant health advantages.
I can definitely relate to giving up dairy! I'm doing the Whole30 challenge this month, and talked about (whined about) my issues with giving up dairy on my blog.
The idea that we need dairy for adequate calcium is definitely a myth. You can get calcium from foods like broccoli, spinach, sardines, and most nuts... and you might not even need as much as you think, as Living Paleo suggests.
I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist, but I have a theory that the reason for why people eating a neolithic diet seem to believe they need large amount of calcium (and they probably do) is because of their highly acidic diet. Because they eat such large quantities of grains, they need the extra calcium to strengthen their bones from the acidic load. But of course, getting calcium from dairy can be problematic for a lot of people.
One question to ask is, do you actually have a problem with dairy? If you do, and it effects you negatively, I would opt to give it up all-together, and read this article at Whole9.
However, if you are able to tolerate some dairy, then you might consider staying away from conventional dairy, and get more higher quality full-fat dairy sources, and read this article at Paleo Diet Lifestyle.
You might even consider reading both articles -- the Whole9 article which is against dairy entirely, and the Paleo Diet Lifestyle article which promotes certain types of dairy -- and then come up with your own conclusion.
Good luck, and hope you find the balance that's right for you! :)
Broccoli would be a good choice for a vegetable. I would keep dairy(maybe have a little less). Perhaps keep butter.
I like Kurt Harris's view on dairy:
Paleo opposes dairy because of lactose and casein problems. I agree with this opposition, but there's a middle approach that actually works fine for me without adverse effects: goat/sheep lactose-free dairy. The goat/sheep casein is different than the problematic cow one, and the limited lactose helps on that too. Interestingly, I wrote an article on my blog about exactly this just a few hours ago: http://eugenia.queru.com/2012/01/04/paleo-and-dairy/
If you have no symptoms of dairy intolerance I don't think you need to give up dairy completely. I don't think I'd do Matt's gallon per day :-)) but I use a little cream in my coffee, I eat 1/2 cup of yogurt every day and I occasionally cook my eggs in butter.
On the other hand, if you notice symptoms of something not being quite right, your dairy would be the first thing to suspect.
You are 14. Get off nutrition websites before you develop an eating disorder. You know what's healthy: veggies, fruits, lean meats, dairy. Don't be afraid of fat, don't be afraid of carbs, use them in moderation as they work for you. And dairy is good for you if you tolerate it, especially as you are 14 years old.
I use to buy raw grass-fed whole cow's milk and make my own yogurt, drinking around 1 cup per day... low in lactose, lots of good healthy fats and full of vitamins/minerals... right?
Well, all that may be true, but I decided to cut dairy out for a month and it has made a significant difference. My digestion is more complete, and the acne I had on my face went away... Also, for a couple days after cutting out all dairy I had headaches, which I never get otherwise. It could be unrelated, but after doing a little reading it seems like I'm not the only one that has experienced these symptoms.
In my case, I think it has to do with the A1 type milk casein (the milk protein found in most US milk) and the possible issues associated with its consumption. Goats milk is mainly A2, and also low in lactose, so I might experiment with that in the future to see if it makes any difference.
Morale of the story; just try taking it out and see how you feel, then go from there!
Robb Wolf interviewed Loren Cordain about his new book: The Paleo Answer
Cordain mentions the RDA for calcium is likely based on unrealistic assessments due to the fact they were arrived at in milk drinking cultures. Seth Roberts takes on epidemiology and in the process points out: In spite of the conventional idea, the rate of hip fracture has been highest in places where people eat a lot of calcium, such as Sweden, and lowest in places where they eat little, such as Hong Kong.
Now, take a minute before you tell them about this stuff and ask yourself whether or not hitting them with logic and science will actually help or hinder your cause.
Thanks for all the great answers! Unfortunately I'm "not allowed" to give up dairy (seriously, my parents are so closed-minded it's insane), I was thinking of a compromise where I have the occasional kefir, cheese and butter. I also found the marrow bone broth idea to be interesting.