I understand some paleo people say dairy is OK, and some say it is not. Also it seems there is a difference between butter/cream only and all dairy.
I understand the grass fed/ grainfed debate, but all ours is grass fed. I can even easily get raw. But why is it bad for you? Or good for you? Why the debate?
Early humans only drank human milk, and only when they were small.
Some adults can't digest the specific kind of sugar that's in milk.
Some adults can't digest the specific kind of protein that's in cow's milk.
Butter and cream are almost entirely fat. The sugar and protein have been taken out, so most people can digest them. Some people still can't.
Milk has a lot of sugar in it. This can mess up your metabolism the same way any sugar does.
Grass-fed is better because it contains more omega-3s, which are good for you, and fewer omega-6s, which are bad for you.
Omega-3s and -6s are found in the fat, so this applies to butter and cream as well.
Pasteurized milk has been heated, and heat can damage some of the good things in milk, turning them into bad things.
Pasteurizing is also used to make sure there are no diseases in the milk, which means dairy farmers don't have to care if a cow gets sick. They can just give it a bunch of antibiotics and milk it anyway. So pasteurized milk often has antibiotics that can be bad for humans.
Hope this helps.
Others here will give far more detailed answers than I, but is my 2 cents:
1) It can cause an insulin response which is, to put it mildly, not good for us;
2) It really stalls out my weight loss. I don't think this is so much the dairy's fault as the fact that I like it too much. If I eat cheese, I don't want an ounce; I want half a pound! I can't drink just 1/4 cup of heavy cream for breakfast; I want half a pint or more! Even though full fat dairy has little to no carbs, it is still packed with calories.
I just started yeserday taking 30 days off dairy to see if it makes me feel any different. Doing that might help you sort out for yourself how you want to approach dairy.
I posted this as a response to a different question, but some of what I said may be relevant here...
Domestication of ruminants is actually not necessary to procure dairy, it simply allows dairy to be predictably available. The Comanche tribe regularly slaughtered lactating buffalo cows, cutting out the milk bag and drinking it warm, mixed with blood. They also would kill suckling calves and cut out the curdled milk from their stomachs (rennet, used in modern cheese making, is still sourced from calves stomachs) as it was a sort of cheese. (Read more in "Primal Living on the American Plains")
While they are not hunter-gatherers in the "paleolithic" mold, the semi-nomadic Maasai did quite well living off of a milk, meat, and blood based diet. From what I've seen, however, they did include certain roots/herbs that may have offset the cholesterol-raising effects of such foods. (read more about milk in traditional diets here)
I definitely agree that most diary farms are "not Paleo". While some farmers treat their cows humanely, give them regular access to pasture, etc. many others are content to simply stamp a picture of such bucolic images on their milk carton.
The regulations governing labels such as "organic", "Free range", and now even "pastured" or "pasture-raised" are constantly under attack by Big Food. The main industry players are only interested in "shareholder value" and as such, shortcuts, deceptions, and half-truths are inevitable. The letter of the law may be followed, but the spirit is not.
Full disclosure: When given the choice of neolithic foodstuffs, I personally lean towards partial inclusion of dairy products, sourced as best as I can, and of the fermented and high-fat ilk.
anything that causes constant insulin spiking is not good. Insulinogenic foods lead to inflammation and inflammation leads to damage to the guardian of the genome, p53. Once p53 goes haywire cancer is the next step. Insulin effects the cellular machinery in a bad fashion when it is chronically exposed to it. Insulin has its place but once you pass a certain stage insulin spikes generally destroy your cellular metabolic machinery.