image of different types of cheeses on a wooden table with the words is dairy bad for people with autoimmune disease

I’m all about unpacking myths, so let’s break down what’s what in the science of dairy🐄⁠

This is a big, BIG question, and for good reason. There are a lot of charged emotions around whether dairy is good for anyone (yes, I’m speaking to the #toocoolforschool vegans and paleo fans), or at what age it’s no longer healthy, or what kinds are healthy. Here’s the thing, I’m not here to debate emotions or beliefs, but I’ll happily share the science and anecdotal evidence.⁠

Q: Is dairy bad for people with autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis? ⁠
A: Maybe.

Let’s break it down:⁠
– Yes, it’s bad if the person is allergic or sensitive, which testing can help reveal, as can just paying attention to symptoms. If there is no allergy, sensitivity or leaky gut, it’s likely not an issue, and can sometimes be beneficial.⁠

– Yes, it’s bad if it’s skim/non-fat. The more fat, the lower the glycemic index. Lower fat per volume dairy = higher sugar (especially in many commercial products already laden with sugar), which means higher blood sugars and greater insulin response.⁠

– Yes, it’s bad if it’s not organic, ideally grass-fed.⁠

– Possibly bad if it’s conventional milk, as opposed to raw milk. A new study of milk-allergic people shows reduced allergic symptoms when consuming raw vs conventionally processed milk. Non-allergic people were not studied.⁠

– Likely beneficial if it’s no sugar added, full-fat, fermented dairy in a non-allergic/sensitive individual. What’s good for the gut is good for the immune system.⁠

Ultimately, you do you. If you feel worse while eating dairy, and you’ve tried only including the above mentioned, higher quality kinds, stop eating it. Even if the labs say you’re not allergic/sensitive, we all know lab testing can be inaccurate.⁠ Bottom line: listen to your body’s cues!

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