Dairy is quite the contentious topic. Prohibited in paleo but lauded in keto… what do you do?
Well, like most things, it’s highly nuanced and depends on YOU.
Some think grass-fed butter is the drink of gods. Even more keto people are loading up on buttered coffee, cheese-laden meals, and heavy whipping cream… but does that help you reach your goals?
What does all this dairy do to your hormones and IGF? Listen to learn!
Check out this short video to hear my thoughts on dairy:
Want to go keto even though dairy is problematic for you? Check out my post on How to Keto If you don’t do dairy.
Nicki: Okay, Robb. We have a question about dairy, in particular, cream. Beyond the full fat, grass-fed, organic, non-GMO, non-homogenized beautifulness, but more specifically about the hormonal properties and health implications.
Robb: Oh, man. Cream is awesome, tastes great. It’s very calorically dense. We’ve seen a lot of people get themselves in the deep end of the pool by just overconsuming cream.
The goal is a low carb or ketogenic diet for fat loss and body composition. The person is struggling, we get in, poke around, look at their meal plan, and they’re doing a quarter cup of cream four or five times throughout the day, putting some coffee in it.
There are some cool elements to grass-fed butter and cream. There is some Vitamin K in it, a little bit of carotenoids. But at the end of the day, it’s just a really dense calorie source, and you don’t really get anything else. There’s not many vitamins, not much in the way of minerals.
Nicki: Are there any problems, hormonally with IGF and stuff like that?
Robb: Not really because the bulk of the driver from IGF response around dairy, is from the protein. That’s a whole interesting story.
Pedro Bastos is an absolute expert in that scene. If folks don’t follow him, they should definitely check him out.
But traditional cultures typically cultured their dairy. By doing that, it modifies the proteins in such a way that you don’t get as potent of an IGF response. Even then, it’s all kind of context driven. People freak out about that and they freak out about mTOR.
If you are overlaying elevated IGF levels, plus an overfed environment, plus poor sleep, plus a hyperinflammatory response, then you’ve got problems.
I guess one of the common bugaboos around whole cream and butter in particular with regard to dairy is, that there are people who happen to be … One of these people …
I have a FOXO mutation that the saturated fat, in general, will drive up my lipoproteins. There is all kinds of pissing matches and contention around whether or not the elevated lipoproteins in cholesterol matters in the context of a low carb diet. It’s not entirely clear what the story is with that.
There’s a reality that if I shift out butter and cream, and I do more nuts and mono and saturated fats from an olive oil, my lipoproteins and cholesterol just plummet. It could be the difference between 1,100 on the mono base deal or 2,800 with regard to LDL-P count on the higher saturated fat levels.
The hormonal responses, I’m not really concerned about that on any level. Good pick up on the IGF. But I am concerned about butter and cream from the caloric load, from the lack of nutrient density, and then also there are some people that definitely get an elevation in lipoproteins.
I suspect again that cholesterol lipoprotein story is going to be somewhat individual, as to whether or not it increases cardiovascular disease risk. But it’s one of those things to at least be aware of, and you can make an informed decision then about what you’re doing.
Nicki: And so, if you’re not one of these people that responds like you to saturated fat, and if you’re not doing a quarter cup three times a day, having a little splash in your coffee in the morning is not the end of the world.
Robb: Yeah, yeah. I mean, again a little bit of portion control, no big deal. Yeah.