Dairy occupies an uncertain position on the Paleo menu. On the one hand, most of our ancestors didn’t start consuming it until after, or shortly before, the Agricultural Revolution, which puts it in the category of grains and legumes.
Eat Real Food
On the other hand, dairy is a nutritious whole food. It comes packed with the full range of macronutrients (fat, protein, and sugar) and a variety of micronutrients. As is normally the case with Paleo, full fat is best, but even whole milk doesn’t have much fat. In fact, it has the most sugar of all the dairy products. As a result, even most people who include dairy in their Paleo lifestyle avoid milk.
What Is Buttermilk?
The term buttermilk originally referred to the liquid that was left behind after churning cream into butter. Now it’s used to refer to a range of fermented milk drinks that can be found all over the world.
The Benefits of Probiotics
Fermented food might not sound very Paleo, since our cavemen ancestors didn’t bother to ferment anything, but it’s actually a really good idea to include fermented foods in your diet. The Agricultural Revolution came with a lot of benefits, but it also had its costs, including reduced access to probiotics.
Bacteria have been major players in our health since the dawn of time. When we started growing our own food and living in close proximity to each other, we had to find ways to avoid dirt and bacteria to avoid spreading communicable diseases. Unfortunately, that meant avoiding the beneficial bacteria that help keep us healthy.
The answer to that problem is fermented foods. Whether you ferment vegetables, tea, or dairy, they’re all an excellent way to incorporate probiotics into our diet.
A Lower-Carb Option
Another benefit is that the process of fermenting milk involves allowing the bacteria to chow down on the sugar in milk, which means buttermilk has less sugar than your average glass of milk.