Weight loss! A word on dairy and soy
I have recently been asked to explain why I support the reduction or elimination of both dairy and soy from the diet when following a weight management program, so I thought a short blog on the topic was in hand.
Let’s start with dairy..
Dairy is one of those foods which most of us have been brought up on. It takes the shape of many of our favourite foods and is advertised everywhere as being an essential component of a healthy diet. So it most likely comes as quite a surprise to be told to cut right down, but there are logical reasons for this.
Firstly, cow’s milk is very different to human milk in its nutritional composition. It is designed to get a calf to the whopping weight of 400kg within a year…that’s lots of calories for lots of weight gain.
Secondly, as adults the majority of us no longer produce the enzyme required to digest milk. So when we eat or drink milk based products we suffer painful digestive complaints, headaches, sinus conditions, low energy, and systemic inflammation that can lead to chronic health conditions, poor health, fluid retention, and weight gain. You do not need to suffer an allergy to dairy to be sensitive to it. Thirdly, dairy proteins are also poorly tolerated by many people and can enter the bloodstream via the digestive system undigested. This can cause digestive issues and untold problems with the immune system and hormone regulation, and lead to chronic inflammatory responses and weight gain. Lastly, not only does pasteurisation destroy much of the goodness in dairy, many common dairy foods are highly processed and loaded with sugar!!! If you do want to stick with milk go for the untreated raw milk that is now offered again in many stores.
I won’t even begin to mention the environmental or animal cruelty issues involved. And if you are worried about osteoporosis, studies actually support reduced dairy for stronger bone health throughout the life cycle.
And now soy…
Unfortunately today the majority of the soy we consume has undergone genetic modification. Genetic modification has repeatedly shown to have adverse health effects in scientific testing. As we do not fully understand the long term effects of eating genetically modified foods I strongly advise avoiding them whenever possible. Unfermented soy (the majority of the soy we consume in Australia) is detrimental to health as it contains numerous compounds known as ‘antinutrients’. When consumed antinutrients can interfere with mineral assimilation and absorption, protein digestion, iodine metabolism and thyroid action, and endocrine function (hormones). Some soy also contains high levels of the toxin aluminium which interferes with the nervous system and metabolic system…all of which are detrimental not only to weight management goals but health in general.
Whilst I think cows are superb and believe in the health benefits of non genetically modified fermented soy such as tamari, miso, natto, and tempeh in moderation, I do advocate a diet low in both dairy and soy for weight management and general health.
For an interesting read on dairy http://www.whitewashthebook.com/
or try http://www.mercola.com/ for both soy and dairy articles