The Lacto-Paleo Diet

14 May 2015
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Sign up for the new diet that adds a dash of dairy to keep you in tip-top shape, says Y

Could you say goodbye to refined sugar, grains, legumes and dairy? A growing number of people today are going Paleo – following a lifestyle that’s based on the concept of eating like our Paleolithic ancestors. They believe if a caveman didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either.

Which is all well and good, but while many nutritionists praise the idea of eating less sugar and processed foods, many are concerned the diet plan is too restrictive and lacks essential nutrients – especially calcium and vitamin D. It’s one reason why the Paleo diet didn’t rank as highly as other diets evaluated by the US News and World Report, which considered many factors such as easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against diabetes and heart disease.

That’s why many are choosing to join the Lacto-Paleo movement, which incorporates dairy products. This variation of the original plan adds essential nutrients and offers increased flexibility for dieters who want dairy back in their diet.

“I’m happy to see this trend because the addition of dairy helps make the Paleo plan significantly more nutritious,” says registered dietitian and culinary nutrition expert Holley Grainger. “Milk is the primary source of calcium and vitamin D in many country’s diets, and when you completely eliminate milk it’s hard to make up for the nutrients you miss out on.”

If you’re considering a Paleo lifestyle, or are already following one and miss the milk, Grainger offers this advice:

Find the milk that’s right for you: There are a wide range of milk products available, so check out the varieties that appeal to you – including organic or lactose-free.

Swap out your plant-based milk: Use real dairy milk in place of almond, coconut or rice milk. You’ll get eight grams of protein compared to just one, along with calcium, vitamin D and other essential nutrients. Almonds and other nuts may get the Paleo stamp of approval, but almond milk typically contains added sugar, salts and thickeners.

Try plain Greek yoghurt: You may be skipping the flavoured yoghurts with added sugar, but it’s easy to add your own fruit or other ingredients to plain varieties. Alternatively, try making your own yoghurt with milk.

Make a Paleo pudding with milk: Create a Paleo-approved dessert, such as a chia pudding or other puddings made with real milk without added sugar.

Fortify your breakfast smoothie: If you’re making a fruit smoothie in the morning, add real dairy milk to boost the protein levels.

Recipe: Protein-Packed Berry Burst Smoothie


Makes:  1 serving


  • 1 packet plain instant oatmeal
  • ½ cup fat-free or low-fat milk
  • ½ cup strawberries, hulled, chopped
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp walnuts, chopped


  1. Combine first five ingredients in a blender. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning, blend mixture until smooth. Top with chopped walnuts.

Nutritional information*:

280 calories; 7g fat; 0g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 10g protein; 50g carbohydrates; 5g fibre; 80mg sodium; 250mg calcium (25 per cent of daily value). *Figures based on using fat-free milk.

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