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Charlotte Kikel
Eat In Peace Wellness Consulting

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Why I Eat Butter When I Have a Dairy Allergy

February 4, 2016

Butter is the epitome of flavor. Just like bacon, butter makes everything better. While I say enjoy it if you can, my vote is to leave that lactose-free milk on the shelf!

 

This might seem like a paradox for some of you who are staunchly against dairy of any kind. And I’m glad so many people inquire about why I choose to eat butter in spite of my allergy to dairy because I’m always happy when I see people thinking critically and questioning conventional thought. It generates a conversation like this one.

 

Our Western minds want things to fit into boxes; make things black and white, but people and food aren’t like that.

 

It is all very dynamic and complex. We like to strictly adhere to any diet that has a name and lots of rules as if it is a dogmatic religion; Atkins, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, blah, blah, blah! No one cares.

 

The bottom line is this - when the body has an allergic reaction to a food, it has to do with the protein. Butter contains a lot of fat, a little water, and negligible amounts of protein. Since butter is a condiment, it is not consumed in large amounts and many people who suffer from a dairy allergy can enjoy butter for this reason. There just isn’t enough protein in butter to elicit an allergic response.

 

If I were to be a purist about it, then I would eat ghee or clarified butter, which has had all the water and proteins removed through a process of heating and straining. Under these conditions, butter becomes an oil.

 

One could also argue that when the body has a dairy allergy, it is saying please don’t give me any version of that food. This is why I am not an advocate for lactose-free milk. Your body has told you that it didn’t want the dairy, so why eat this? It is generally not a good idea. Just like my pecan milk, butter is a food that I could theoretically make in my home, which I have. Do you see the difference? And butter tastes so good.

 

A few years ago, I gave up butter for a month just to check in to see what was happening for me, and I couldn’t tell any difference. Food is such a personal journey. Everybody is different. Some people with a dairy allergy can’t eat butter, so you have to know your body.

 

Your body couldn’t give a hoot about your nutritional education or your opinions about food, but if you can learn to listen to your body, it will tell you exactly which foods help it perform best. It’s so smart!

 

While examining the potential role of food allergies in modern chronic diseases is an essential step to reclaiming your vitality, I take no pleasure in removing food from people’s lives. I prefer expanding options versus eliminating them. Food is a source of nutrition and energy but it’s also FUN and pleasurable. 

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