I had so many things planned to make/eat today. But after breakfast, I realized there was no way I’d fit it all in. The thing about eating no grains and fewer carbs than the average person is that I’m full most of the time without eating large quantities of food.
I decided I’d begin the discovery process of the elimination diet today–so I added in dairy. I had a sprinkle of italian cheeses on my eggs this morning. I put organic half and half in my coffee. I just ate three pieces of cheese. I intended to make pizza on a coconut flour crust, but darnit, I’m just not hungry!
My plan is to add dairy for three days, and see what happens. If there are no ill effects, I’ll add in something else for the next three days (if I think anything icky is going on, I will stick with just adding dairy until I learn what I need to, and then I’ll take it out for 3+ days before I add in something else). I think nuts will be after dairy.
In the long run, I don’t anticipate eating large amounts of dairy even if it doesn’t cause any issues. I like to use high quality cheeses and dairy products as an accessory in my diet because they taste great and have many good nutritional qualities, but I also know it is mucus forming in the body. So, as with most things, I generally practice moderation with dairy.
I only consume dairy in the form of: raw milk (not yet, actually, but this is on my list—I have to find a place to buy it around here), homemade and full fat greek yogurt, aged cheeses, organic whole milk or half and half, and some of the more expensive soft cheeses.
Aged cheese is my favorite!
Did you know that the cheap cheeses you buy in the store are either “cheese product” (which is not cheese), or they have been made with pasteurized milk and an accelerated heating lactic acid process so they don’t need to “age” for as long before they can be packaged and sold (and because they’re pasteurized, they are missing many of the benefits listed below).
I generally look for cheeses made with raw milk (it’s unpasteurized and unhomogenized) and has been aged for more than 60 days. Some of the raw cheddar cheeses I’ve seen have been aged for up to five years!
Why is Aged Cheese Good For You?
- High vitamin K2 content (important fat soluble vitamin, contributing to bone health)
- Pasteurization is not necessary because the lactic acid formed during aging destroys pathogenic bacteria but does not harm probiotics – so probiotic content is high. Aged Gouda, cheddar, emmental, and blue cheeses are especially high in probiotics (ricotta and mozzarella are not)*
- 8 beneficial enzymes in raw milk are kept intact during the aging process (for example, the enzymes increase iron absorption and assist fat breakdown)
- Cheddar, Swiss, blue, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, Brie, and Gouda have been shown to reduce the risk of dental cavities
- People who are lactose intolerant can often eat aged cheeses with no problems, as the lactose content is little to none
- Aged cheese contains a high concentration of essential nutrients: calcium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and high-quality protein
*”For example, Emmental Swiss cheese contains Propionibacterium freudenreichii, a member of the propionic acid-producing bacteria family. Propionic acid nourishes the cells of the colon and has shown metabolic activity, including lowering blood cholesterol levels, improving blood sugar control, preventing the overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans, and enhancing calcium absorption. Furthermore, it produces a growth factor that dramatically stimulates the growth of Lactobacillus and Bifid bacterium species, two important health-promoting bacteria.” – Dr. T. Michael Murray
I recommend buying all dairy products in organic form, from pasture-fed cows. This helps the nutrient content of the dairy be even higher—the nutrients from the grass translate to the end product. One compound in particular, CLA, is even known to help with weight loss!
Cheese has gotten somewhat of a bad reputation over the past 20 years—due to its saturated fat content. Now that we are more enlightened in our knowledge about saturated fat (and that it doesn’t actually contribute to heart disease outside of the presence of a high trans fat and/or processed sugar diet), many people can add good quality cheeses to their diet without feeling guilty!
Of course, I don’t recommend consuming crappy non-cheese like Velveeta or Kraft Singles, but I think for people who are not sensitive to cheese (lactose, casein, or otherwise), it can be a great addition to the diet when it is from the highest quality sources.
My friend, Jane, even makes it herself! I definitely want to learn how sometime soon and try it myself.
Are you a cheese eater? Once I realized my body needed more saturated fat to thrive and balance my hormones, I found aged and high quality cheeses were a great addition to my diet. I buy all kinds of fancy cheeses from other countries and from the US…most of the time, I look for raw cheese, but I make exceptions for the really yummy ones, like this one! The aging process helps to restore some of the beneficial compounds that were destroyed during pasteurization.
I’m glad to be adding dairy back in this week. I don’t consume a lot of it, but it is a nice addition to many things I eat!