I'm very excited to have a guest blogger for you today. Sarah is one of the most optimistic people I know. I first met her at a movie night - potluck I hosted in the spring. We watched the Forks Over Knives Extended Interviews and she arrived with a friend of hers that had taken our Plant Based Immersion Program. She was eager to learn all she could about nutrition and diet, as she and her three young daughters were all dealing with colitis.
My first thought was "Wow, she deals with all this on a daily basis and yet, she still has a smile on her face!" Since then I have gotten to know her more, and I am continually inspired by her love for life and her family and her generous spirit.
One of the foods that Sarah has found to affect her own issues with colitis is dairy. So she tries to avoid it. At one of our first meetings she spoke to me of dairy and I suggested she write a guest blog..... which she has done. I am thrilled to share it with you.
Dairy – a product which is heavily marketed today; in schools, media, on billboards, television commercials, and in Canada’s Food Guide for healthy eating. We are bombarded, several times a day, with the idea that dairy provides calcium, builds strong bones and teeth, and we can’t be healthy without it. It has even been suggested that cow’s milk helps you to lose weight! These well marketed myths are slowly being exposed, and every day there are more people and their families eliminating dairy from their diets. This can be an extremely daunting task, especially at first, since dairy and its by-products seem to be in everything! The most commonly known names of dairy are products like; milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc.. However; there are many other names that the general public would never even dream of! Just some of dairy’s hidden names include; casein, galactose, ghee, hydrolysates, lactalbumin, nisin preparation, quark, recaldent, rennet, simplesse, and whey.
Whey, in particular, is one that is found in the most surprising of products. Whey is a naturally addictive substance, as it contains glutamate – the main ingredient in Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). The most common reactions to MSG are; triggered insulin and adrenalin response, promotion of fat storage, and food cravings. Those responses are what cause you to feel hungry again not long after eating at a fast food restaurant or a Chinese buffet. It’s also why some of us crave potato chips and other MSG containing foods, even though we're not hungry. Knowing this, food production companies add whey to their products in order to addict the consumer. Addicted consumers become repeat customers, which leads to higher sales volumes, lower production costs, and therefore higher profit margins for the company. Some products containing whey that may surprise you are; peanuts, no-butter popcorn, flavored potato chips, chewing gum, cereal, granola bars, bread, crackers, ‘non-Dairy’ products such as cheeses, and vegetarian ‘meats.’ Many fast food restaurants even add whey to their French fries, onion rings, and other products. Whey is also added to most non-fat and low fat foods.
To avoid dairy and its by-products, be diligent in reading the ingredients list of all packaged foods, do your research on restaurants, and prepare most of your own food at home. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but with practice you will no longer need to read most food labels to know what does, and doesn’t, contain dairy products.
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