21 April 2013

Skim milk & all that low-fat dairy............


After my post on Facebook the other day mentioning "Anything skim has more sugar in it" or along those lines,  I decided to write up my opinion/rant about skim/low-fat/low-sugar dairy products.   

Right..... think about a calf drinking it's mothers milk... how natural is that, does a cow continue to drink milk after a certain age? No.  Makes me wonder why we do?  Just because we have always done so is not an answer.  Don't get started on the "but we neeeeeed calcium" bandwagon just yet.  Why are we the only mammals that do this, continue to drink dairy (not breast milk) when we start eating solids.  That is a whole other blog. 

My main reason is not to bag all dairy.  The reason for my little rant on Facebook is, we need to be more accountable for what food we shove in our mouths on a daily basis (if we can really call some of the products food?).  Am I the only one that has noticed the supermarkets are getting bigger and filling up with more processed foods?  The fresh food section of the supermarket has stayed relatively the same size, but from deli/dairy fridge section up to the household items has increased drastically.  When did we start needing all this crap? It is all marketing. To make money and to feed our habits, we think we need these items to make us satisfy cravings or to makes us lose weight, grow a third nipple.. whatever we have been conditioned into thinking we NEED all these items.  Newsflash, we don't.  I mean a whole aisle for soft drink and chips..... then chocolates, lollies.... no wonder our kids are obese, they see it and think it is normal (and because some, not ALL parents put these processed foods into the weekly trolley, and not always just as a treat)! Type II diabetes is a lifestyle disease!

Look at the food you eat daily, what process has it gone through to get onto your plate? Do you know or even care where it has come from?  Milk has gone through a huge process to get to your door,  mass produced for supply and demand with a longer use by date (hmm).... The process heats and strips the good content from majority of the milk, what is left behind? What is added to make it taste ok and last longer?  Unless you can get your hands on a cow/goat/sheep for raw milk and to make other dairy products, the stuff you are drinking is purely low quality version of the original.  Would be like having watered down wine, why bother? 

I believe there are better ways to get your protein and calcium than skim milk, low-fat, low-sugar dairy products.  If you can tolerate full cream dairy products, enjoy and mix up the variety of full fat foods into your healthy nutrition (hard cheeses, goats cheese, Greek yoghurt's etc). For those who cannot, you need to really ask the question "what am I eating/drinking' and do you NEED it?  

I have done the skim thing, skim yoghurt's, light cheese and low-fat, shape, skim milks thinking I was giving myself the necessary calcium and consuming less fat. Surely that is good for me right?  WRONG I was giving my body overly processed foods that has had all the goodness stripped out of it and sugar added (carbohydrates & sodium in fact).  Yes there is still a little calcium content in milk but in all honesty you can get calcium sources from other food products and you don't need as much as you are lead to believe.  Just because you ingest calcium doesn't mean your body is storing it ALL. 

Skim doesn't necessarily make you slim. Having a skim latte twice a day and a skim yoghurt for a snack is still having calories and lots of sugar. Add up how much milk you drink a week and work that out into sugar (then work out that every 5g is 1 teaspoon) then let me know how many teaspoons of sugar you have consumed this week and wonder why you are tired, feel lethargic, cannot loose weight etc, not to mention other low fat, low sugar products you consume.  We need to get out of that skim, low-fat mentality, it is all just marketing to make money, they do not care about your health, they care about their revenue! True.  

If we all ate healthy fresh foods, exercised and reduced/eliminated junk foods, over-eating and binge eating we wouldn't need the "eat/drink skim to be slim" mentality, because we would be healthier, your body would be functioning well and dropped the body fat you have been carrying around due to insulin promoting foods you digest (breathes in and out).   

Choose fat over sugar.  Our bodies know how to process fat as an energy source, eating healthy fats ensures the body's metabolism is firing and functioning on all cylinders. I don't have "cravings" or "high or low energy levels".  Sugar does the complete opposite.  Think about our primal ancestors, they ate fat and used as energy, think that same mentality. We do not need the amount of carbs (bread, pasta, rice) that is recommended, I say reduce your complex carbohydrates and include more fats into your daily nutrition and see how you feel.... see if you get those sugar cravings or energy slumps. Seriously try it. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF FAT.. GOOD FATS...   I am not NO carb... I love my sweet potato, brown rice and the odd rye bread from time to time.... 

If you eat nutrient dense foods that include: complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins, you will eat less, you won't get food cravings, or be hungry.  Your body will function better, you will reduce body fat and have more energy.  Why would we fight that. Just think if we ate this way 90% of the time ...... that still allows you your red wine or your dessert when eating out... your body will thank you for it. 

Quick comparison of two different nutrition plans:

Eater One
Breakfast - two boiled eggs, avocado & blueberries, long black coffee
Lunch - chicken breast marinated in garlic/herbs, mixed green salad with tomato, cucumber, capsicum, olive oil/lemon juice & sweet potato
Dinner - Kangaroo steak with broccoli, snow peas on sweet potato mash
Snacks - greek yoghurt, 10-20 almonds, apple/berries, protein shake before bed
Total Sugar 30g
Total Fat 49g
Total Carbs 78g
Protein 118g


Eater Two
Breakfast - cereal with skim milk, banana
Lunch - ham and salad sandwich, with butter
Dinner - chicken pesto pasta
Snacks - apple, skim latte x 2, cadbury chocolate bar
Total Sugar 67g
Total Fat 34g
Total Carbs 219g
Protein 80g

Eater One - Good fats, keeps the body fuller longer (fat and the protein count) still has relative good carbs for energy but not too high in processed breads and pastas - the main carbohydrate content came from sweet potato, broccoli.  Normally like to get sugar under 25g. Sometimes fruit makes it go higher or the protein powder, but generally 20-25g and under is ideal.  What will this eater experience?  No insulin levels rising and falling, no cravings due to this rise and fall, no stress hormone and little fat storage. Metabolism will be firing once the body is used to using fat as fuel.

Eater Two - The first thing I notice is the sugar and carbohydrate content is higher.  There isn't many grams of fruit and veg carbs in the eater two - most of it is processed carbs (pasta, bread)  this is what drops the insulin levels up and down causing havoc with your metabolism, increasing stress hormones, more cravings with a tendency to binge eat or over-eat,  storing more fat.  Long term lethargic, overall not feeling well and lower immune system.  

Eater One used to be be me about 8 years ago (add lots of beer to that mix also).  Eater Two is how I like to eat now. When I went dairy and wheat free for 28 days, it was hard, trying to work out what to "replace" my meals with. Trying to eat out was hard, plus my body went through a kind of detox phase where it was switching fuel tanks from the usual high carb intake to a higher fat intake.  When that switch happens, amazing things happen, you feel more energised, do not have cravings, sleep better, find that you eat better, have more energy to train and aren't moody or lethargic.  I highly recommend everyone to TRY it. Then see how you feel about skim dairy and also processed foods in general. 

Relying on skim dairy products to get calcium shouldn't be done.  There are many other sources of calcium in many other foods, variety is key.  I am not saying give up dairy, research what you are putting in your body, choose full fat versions over skim/low-fat if you can tolerate it and do not be afraid of fat (olive oil, avocado, coconut oils, nuts, meats (kangaroo is my fav) - NO polyunsaturated fat or vegetable oils)!

Check out this list.  Research yourself what other foods you like are high in calcium.

I love full cream dairy products from time to time, cannot tolerate too much milk in any form, love hard cheese (Parmesan) and have so many different ways to use Greek yoghurt and include them in my nutrition regularly. My rant is purely about understanding WHY skim products are not the best for you and how we need to get out of the MENTALITY we have about these foods, think about how many of our population are obese, how many children are obese.... Work out how much sugar you have in a week - include ALL processed foods as they have sugar in them (cereals, breads, pasta, sauces), not to mention take-away meals, soft drinks, sports drinks...

Our bodies need healthy high quality fuel to function, if we give it top grade fuel we will also help reduce diseases (type II diabetes, heart disease, obesity etc). Learn about other products, find out how much you are ingesting, if you are lactose intolerant (probably for a very good reason) do not drink SOY! The nut milks are probably a good vice for you if you NEED that milk substitute... find raw milk and high quality products and see how your body goes.  

Your BODY requires different nutrition than your MIND does. Remember this. You are conditioned and eating is a habit. You are what you eat. Change your mind, change your body & how it functions (oh and how it looks of course).

Have a little squizz....... 
http://paleo.com.au/2013/01/can-you-get-enough-calcium-o-paleo-diet/
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/what-are-the-functions-of-calcium-in-the-body.html
http://eatdrinkpaleo.com.au/paleo-diet-calcium-non-dairy-calcium-rich-foods/

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