Does the perfect diet exist?
27 April 2017
23 February 2017
Oh cheese. So rich, creamy and delicious. I love it much. Who doesn’t!? But sadly there is a but, and because of this I rarely eat it.
Is it because its high in fat and so it makes you put on weight? Oh come on, I think we all know by now that fat does not make you fat and that sugar and processed foods are the real weight and health enemies.
I meet many people who eat cheese (and other dairy) and yet have no idea how it may be impacting their health. I also know some people who eat a low carb high fat/ketogenic type diet and yet don’t feel great. There can be a few possible reasons for this. One is dairy.
So, I want to share some dairy truths with you so that you are empowered to make an informed health choice regarding whether to continue eating it (and if so what to eat).
What happens in your body when you eat cheese?
Casein is a milk protein in cheese. When the casein degrades in the gut it changes into casea morphine, which is related to glutiamorphine and has an opiate effect on the brain (the same as hard drugs like heroin). This makes cheese highly addictive and you crave it more and more. Cheese is even more addictive than other dairy as the casein is so concentrated. Ah ha, so this is why (when I knew no better) I would crave (and then eat) a whole baked camembert for my dinner! Yes I actually did that.
What makes the cheese?
In short, the milk spoils and bacteria breed and then there is a kind of funky battle between all the different toxins (mold/fungus and bacteria) and the cheese is whats left at the end of the battle.
When you eat the cheese all of these toxins must get processed by your liver.
Nice! This goes to explain why it has been found to have inflammatory effects on the body.
Many people are not tolerant to casein and/or lactose (the sugar in milk) and as such consuming cheese and other dairy products can make them cranky, tired, less focused, inflamed and have brain fog. Plus it can cause skin and digestive problems, and forms mucus – creating or making existing nose and throat issues worse.
If you aren’t sure how it effects you, try cutting out dairy from your diet for 30 days and note any difference to how you look and feel. Like me you may find that you notice a significant improvement even though you didn’t notice issues/symptoms while you were eating it. I have yet to meet anyone who hasn’t seen an improvement in how they look and feel when they have a break from dairy. The most common improvements I’ve seen are in digestive function, skin condition, energy levels and sinus/ear/throat issues.
After 30 days you you can try reintroducing it into your diet. Start by reintroducing butter made from grass fed cows. Kerry Gold is my go to brand. Most people can tolerate this as the casein levels are very low and it contains Butyrate which is positive for health. Why? It provides energy to the cells lining the colon and has strong anti-inflammatory effects, inhibiting inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Then you could try reintroducing other dairy. But be aware……
Not all cheese/dairy is created equal.
Processed cheese/dairy and moldy cheese are the most toxic and inflammatory so you may want to give these a great big swerve. Goodbye stilton.
First try full fat, dairy from grass fed sheep e.g. goats cheese and feta. Then see if there is an impact. If not then you could also try full fat, raw, whole dairy from grass fed cows and see how you go.
Why Grass Fed?
Products from non grass fed animals have typically been raised on a grain centric diet (or worse) and pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, and all that toxicity goes into your system.
Organically reared, pastured animals have a healthy and happy life. They roam freely eating evolutionary pre-determined natural food without chemicals and industrial grains.
Why Full Fat?
Some compounds in high-fat dairy products such as the previously mentioned butyrate, plus phytanic acid, trans palmitoleic acid, and conjugated linoleum acid have been shown to have beneficial health effects. You can read more about this here
If you choose not to return to dairy, coconut products are a great substitute – coconut milk/cream, coconut yoghurt and coconut ice cream. All are delicious alternatives!