The question remains: to milk or not to milk?
There has been a great deal of debate over whether dairy is worth keeping around. Some believe that consuming dairy is “unnatural”, as milk in their minds is meant for infants only (or calves in our case), and that cross-species lactation has no place in a human’s shopping cart – ever!
Humans have, however, been consuming dairy for many thousands of years. It has been documented that for the lucky few, human genes have changed to accommodate dairy products. It is interesting to note that though this genetic change has occurred three quarters of the world population is lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is particularly prevalent in Africa, South America and parts of Asia. Ok, moo-ving on…
While Banting, you may find that dairy does not agree with you. Here are three main reasons:
Lactose intolerance is a condition that keeps your body from easily digesting lactose, a milk sugar found in milk and dairy products. This is not the same as a food allergy. In the case of lactose intolerance, the small intestine does not produce enough lactase. Lactase is the enzyme that breaks down these milk sugars. Sometimes, even if your small intestine does produce enough lactase, you may not be able to digest casein. The symptoms for casein intolerance and lactose intolerance will be the same.
Imbalance of gut flora may also be the culprit. SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial overgrowth), celiac disease (where you cannot take gluten) or IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) may manifest in similar ways.
But how do you know if you have an issue with dairy? You may encounter:
If you find yourself ticking all or most of the boxes, consider avoiding milk and dairy altogether. However, the high store of calcium is greatly needed for healthy, strong bones. Leaving dairy for a month or so may do the trick! See how you feel. You will notice that on occasion you may have a little dairy without feeling any side effects.
As a lactose intolerant “Banter” you will find that having stopped dairy and milk products, your overall health may improve a great deal. The best thing to do is to listen to your body and see what works and what does not work. Weight loss often accelerates. Consider dairy a treat in your case and consider taking a probiotic to keep that gut flora in check.
The best alternative for cow’s milk and related dairy is goat’s milk, camel’s milk, if you happen to see one walk by that is. Goat’s milk is much kinder to the body, and most people find that their symptoms disappear like magic!
Kefir is fine if you are not extremely sensitive to dairy. This is a living, breathing, food where the lactose is digested by the good bacteria present. This is something you can make at home with nothing more than the kefir grains, a jar and a dishtowel and your milk of course. Leave it overnight and you have a rich tasty drinking yogurt where the lactose has been digested for you! Home-made yogurt from raw milk is another tasty option.
At the end of the day there are many tasty and very healthy alternatives to dairy derived from cow’s milk. If you are experiencing any symptoms related to lactose intolerance, be sure to try staving off the cow’s milk and trying something new. You will find that after listening to your body, the symptoms will disappear like magic, leaving you feeling healthier (and lighter) than ever before!
Taking into consideration the struggles with dairy, our lists have evolved - some dairy is now on Orange A. To find out more about the new lists and our phased approach to Banting, Banting 2.0, go here, or sign up to the Online Program.