Monday, June 17, 2013
So far I haven't received near as much flack as I thought I would for my Food Snubbing blogs, but I have a feeling that is about to change today as I blog about my refusal to snub dairy.
I'm going to start this blog out stating that I am not a dairy expert. Far from it. The biggest reason I still eat and drink dairy is because I've never seen ANY conclusive evidence that any of the evil/scary things I've heard proclaimed about it are true. I make it policy to not blindly believe what I am told- I want to see facts to back it up.
The biggest argument against dairy that I have seen is that adults don't have the enzymes necessary to digest it. If you've been a long time without eating dairy you are right- You DON'T have the enzymes necessary to digest it. Our bodies are pretty amazing things and if we don't eat something, anything, long enough we will have trouble digesting it when it is reintroduced into our diets. If we continue to eat that food, though, our body will again start to produce the enzymes necessary to digest it and we will be able to eat it again without discomfort. But this principle is not isolated to dairy- It's goes pretty much across the board with any food you stop eating and then reintroduce. (Ever heard a vegetarian say "I don't eat meat because it hurts?" If they ate it a few times, it probably wouldn't hurt anymore.)
Now, there are some people who are lactose intolerant, and these folks should not eat or drink dairy. It's another one of those "duh" moments. But get diagnosed by a doctor for this. There's no point in cutting out a food you would otherwise enjoy eating if it's not necessary.
The main reason I am eat dairy is that I like it. I enjoy a glass of milk with my protein pancakes on the weekends. Milk is a nice treat to mix with my protein powder on my higher calorie days, and a really good balance of carbs and protein for post-workout, as well. I enjoy Greek yogurt mixed with whey protein powder for an afternoon snack, and I like to make my protein pudding with milk for dessert. I love low-fat cheese sticks with an apple when I get the munchies. If I take dairy out of my diet, I start going for really crummy snack and dessert choices. In short, dairy helps keep me sane while I continue to strive to eliminate most processed foods from my diet.
Side note: I do buy organic for as much of my dairy as I can particularly milk. I won't go into the details, but after I did some reading up on how milk is processed and what happens to the poor cows to get it into the carton, I couldn't stand to buy anything but organic. AND it has a better nutritional profile, particularly if the cows are grass-fed. Plus, it has a longer expiration date due to it being ultra-pasteurized, unlike regular milk. If you are someone who would like the occasional glass of milk but don't buy it because it goes bad before you can drink it up, look into organic. It's more expensive, but there is less waste.
Many coaches will remove dairy from their clients diets when said client gets close to a competition or needs to lose weight quickly. The thought is that the elimination of the natural sugar in dairy can expedite weight loss. Personally I usually lose weight faster when I have some dairy in my diet. However, I will concede that this might not be the case for everyone.
Look, I'm not pushing you to eat dairy. It might not be a necessary food for humans. I really don't know. But I hate to see people eliminating or feeling guilty about eating an entire food group that simply has not been conclusively proven to be bad for the population in general.