Dairy & Bone Health

For frequent viewers and those new to my site, you will know or become familiar with the notion I do not advocate a diet rich in dairy, especially not pasteurized, grain-fed, non-organic dairy. Yet, with this, common questions arise regarding the avoidance of dairy and bone health.

Firstly, bone health is more than getting enough calcium. As far as nutrition, and not even addressing the importance of anaerobic exercise, bone health encompasses proper amounts of magnesium, calcium and fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, and K2.

Some nutrient-dense food sources abundant in calcium includes dark leafy greens (kale, broccoli), bone broth, sesame seeds, dried figs, sea vegetables, to name a few. Furthermore, eating a whole food (not whole grain) diet increases your absorption rate of these important minerals. To clarify, this also mean limiting or avoiding grains. Grains contains phytates and phytates bind to the minerals we consume, reducing the overall absorption rate. So what does this mean? The nutrients listed on a bread (grain) food label will not all be absorbed. The phytates will leach to the minerals and therefore, you will have some nutrient-dense urine. Too far? Sorry.

However, the bottom-line is a diet including whole, natural food, including quality protein will make us thrive. Some people can continue eating dairy, but I do not recommend for it to be the center of our plates.

Know this, not all dairy is one in the same. Raw and grass-fed dairy products are far superior to pasteurized, homogenized,  processed, low-fat dairy. It is important to get dairy from cows raised naturally, healthily and to eat full fat dairy – that is where the naturally occurring (not fortified) vitamins A, D and K2 are found along with healthy fatty acids (CLA).

If ranked, raw dairy is the winner as far as nutrition content and overall health benefits. Second, grassfed dairy and third would be organic dairy. If you can get raw, grassfed and organic dairy, rock on! But it’s not all that easy. A few brands I recommend for patients who can handle dairy (who do not have an auto-immune condition, who do not have type 1 diabetes in their family medical history age pending and who do not have a weak digestive track) include:

  1. Noosa Yoghurt
  2. Join a CSA and get raw dairy through a farmer
  3. Natural by Nature Grassfed, Dairy Products
  4. Eat Wild Grassfed Products
  5. Trader Joes has a Raw Cheddar cheese
  6. Whole Foods has raw cheese
  7. Kerrygold butter (can be found at more supermarkets, including Trader Joes)
  8. US Wellness Meats 

Indeed, we can live and thrive without milk, cheese, cream, okay maybe not butter (or ghee from grassfed cows), but health and healthy bones include consumption of a combination of natural nutrients. The best way to help your frame is to eat foods in its natural state. Furthermore, it is not supported to supplement with calcium for recent data indicates detrimental affects on our health when doing so. (1,2,3)

Ironic enough, our country (USA) has the highest occurrence of calcium supplementation and the highest occurrence of osteoporosis. The Nurses’ Health Study followed 72,337 women for over 18 years and found that dairy intake did not reduce the risk of osteoporosis-related hip fractures.(2)

This is some food for thought, don’t you agree?

Fueling our bodies and our health with whole, unmodified food is and will always be the answer.

1. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Willett WC. Comment on the IOM Vitamin D and Calcium Recommendations. Harvard School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source, 2010.
2. Zoler ML. High Vitamin D Intake Linked to Reduced Fractures. Family Practice News, 2010(November 16, 2010).
3. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Orav EJ, Willett, WC, et al., A Higher Dose of Vitamin D is Required for Hip and Non-vertebral Fracture Prevention: A Pooled Participant-based Meta-analysis of 11 Double-blind RCTs, in The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2010 Annual Meeting2010: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4. Tsukahara N, Ezawa I. [Calcium intake and osteoporosis in many countries]. Clin Calcium. 2001 Feb;11(2):173-7.
5. Feskanich D, Willett WC, Colditz GA. Calcium, vitamin D, milk consumption and hip fractures: a prospective study among postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;77(2): 504-11.

Similar articles on this topic:

Raw Milk Reality: Is Raw Milk Worth the Risk?

Raw Milk – Interview with Mary McGonigle-Martin

Drinking Raw Milk Is Worth The Risk, Advocates Say

Milk 101: Whole, Raw, Organic, Low-Fat, etc

Blood Type – Do I Eat Right?

Do you believe in the idea that we should all eat for our blood type? I think there is some truth to it, but should not be the only thing considered when designing someone’s or your own diet. Most recently I confirmed that I have type O positive blood. According to the literature for a type O positive blood type, I should be doing the following:

  • Avoid gluten containing grains (Check! I avoid gluten like the plague.)
  • Eat dark, leafy greens rich in vitamin K (Check!)
  • Eat lots of animal protein (Check! Bring on the meat.)
  • Restrict legumes and beans (Check! Beans are not the magical fruit.)
  • Restrict cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mustard green (Ughhh – I love my cauliflower. Perhaps I conduct an n=1 experiment on myself and see how I feel restricting then introducing this vegetable.)
  • Avoid nightshades (I could make a stronger effort here.)
  • Avoid dairy (I go easy on dairy, but again, could make a stronger effort.)
  • Avoid eggs (Oops – I nearly eat these daily. Perhaps I can do another n=1 experiment. I recently did this with nuts, and wow, I am feeling different in a good way.)
  • Restrict heavy consumption of nuts (Check! See above.)
  • Avoid corn (Check! Every so often I will have some corn chips, but avoid corn the best I can; it’s everywhere.)

If my current food intake was graded against these guidelines, I would get, I say, a B. I have a diet clean of gluten and legumes and rich in vegetables but have a few other tweaks to make, if I choose to take this information literally. Overall, it’s something fun to consider. I mean, it is ironic I don’t handle gluten well and apparently this is the norm for someone with type O.

Overall, I am adding nutrigenomics to my lab wish list. Yes, I have a lab wish list. Once I get some true DNA indications, I will take the eat for your blood type to heart (no pun intended). Have you dabbled with nutrigenomics? I predict it is the next big thing for the diet and health industry.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

Legumes, Why Should I Stop Eating You?

Legumes, also known as hummus, refried beans, chick peas, black beans, peanuts, soy beans etc, all contain lectins (specialized proteins). Indeed, all plant foods contain lectins but the lectins in grains (such as wheat), dairy and legumes cause an inflammatory response in your body and are resistant to cooking and digestive enzymes.

Overall, research on legume lectin is young and there is a lot more to be explored. However, for this post I have pulled some data for those of you trying to eat paleo day in and day out while ‘digesting’ the biochemistry of Neolithic food.

Lectins are inflammatory, toxic or could be both.  Mark Sisson writes in his new book, “Lectins are natural plant toxins that suppress immune function, interfere with normal protective gut barriers, and promote inflammation (skin, joint, reproductive, allergies and more health related issues) by allowing undigested protein molecules to infiltrate your digestive tract and trigger an autoimmune response – a situation characterized by the familiar term, leaky gut syndrome.”

But what if I have just a small portion of beans or a spoonful of peanut butter, would there be much harm? Yes.

In the Lancet, Dr. Wang and colleagues revealed that lectins can get into the bloodstream in as little 1-4 hours after subjects ate a handful of roasted, salted peanuts, and these lectins can cause damage beyond the gut – commonly in joints, brain, and skin of affected individuals.

But I already have type 1 diabetes and I am grain intolerant; the damage is done. Can I not possibly have a little bit of peanut butter? No.

Research supports the strong possibility that mild stimulation (inflammation) can further worsen gut injury and autoimmune disease. Avoidance of certain food lectins can help achieve optimal health and heal a damaged gut. This serves as a basis for ongoing research and probable success of the paleo diet.

There you have it, “Goodbye peanut butter. I will miss you but challenging my health just is not worth it.”

Regardless if you have an autoimmune disease or a food intolerance, dairy, legumes and grains contain toxic ingredients (lectins) and intolerance can be asymptomatic (silent). If eating paleo is not suiting you at this time, just try your best to eat your best. More great research on the paleo diet in relation to inflammation, disease and performance can be reviewed here.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kelly

Additional articles on this topic:

Dear Food Log – 12/12/11

Today, Monday, I ate:

Gym: 6AM, stairclimber, abs, push-ups

Breakfast: 7:20AM
2 poached eggs
Mushrooms and herbs
1 large strawberry, sliced
Water
Fish oil
Probiotics

Lunch: 2PM
Leftover fish taco meat and vegetables
Water

At work today we had a guest speaker discussing how to make the most of our lives. It was an interesting talk and motivational. I have been brewing up some NYE resolutions but have not necessarily thought of my goals for 2012. Have you? I know I have traveling in mind, health as a focus, maybe write a book, continue on blogging and more. I would love to hear what you all are pondering. Have any suggestions or ideas? Please share.

Walk: 5PM, walk home from work – 4.5 miles

Dinner: 7:30PM
Saganaki
Raw beef with truffle oil, rocket, parmesan cheese and potato
Water
Sauv Blanc

 

Dear Food Diary – 2/12/11

Today, Friday, I ate:

Breakfast: 8AM
Protein smoothie
Water
Probiotics
Fish oil

Chaotic morning, no appetite around noon. Drank water, ran errands, session in the gym (rowing and lifting).

Lunch: 4PM
1/2 kangaroo burger

Company Christmas Party: 6:30PM
1 1/2 glasses of Pinot Noir (not sure what kind, but it was awesome)

Dinner: 8:30PM

Steer, South Yarra, VIC, Australia

Sauv Blanc, New Zealand, Marlborough (If you ever crave a ncie crisp white wine, always look for one from New Zealand. You will never go wrong.)
Appetizer – 1 scallop with pork belly
1 cheese poof (not sure what it was made of but was ensured it was gluten free)
Lamb (delish)
Dessert – brie & cheddar cheese, grapes, raisins on the vine and more cheese poof bread balls

You may be wondering, “Hey Kelly,  what is up with the dairy when you have trialed this experiment with bad results?” And I am thinking yes, I did cave and I need to take one day at a time on making it goal to eat clean and to consume foods that are best for my metabolism, diabetes, and grain intolerances. Let’s see how I do moving forward, yeah?

Cheers to you and good health!

Dear Food Diary – 1/12/11

Today, Thursday, I ate:

Breakfast: 8:30PM
Coconut eggs – 2 eggs, 3 ounces of coconut cream, tablespoon of coconut oil, tablespoon of coconut flour, fresh minced ginger, cinnamon, sea salt.
Large spoonful of sunbutter on top of sweet eggs (Crazy, yes! But so yum!)
Water
Fish oil
Probiotic
Selenium
CoQ10

Exercise: Clean house & gardening

Snack: 11:45AM
Glutamine fortified jelly (Jell-O)
1 large strawberry, sliced

Lunch: 1PM
Kangaroo burger, no bun
Cheese
Again, cheese is not considered paleo but I wanted to test the affects it had on m blood sugar. Indeed testing m blood suagr before and after lunch I found the dairy elevated my blood sugars and in my opinion desensitized my insulin. It took more insulin to coorect my blood sugar. Note to self, say good-bye to cheese and the Robb Wolfe’s out there are correct – anyone with an autoimmune disease need to avoid this part of the cow (dairy).

Exercise: 3 mile walk

Snack: 4 PM
1/2 small banana
Sunbutter

Catch-up with lovely girlfriends (@stekko & @leannemci): 6-8PM
Wine from South of Spain, Picante
(It was not my favorite. We are too spoiled in Melbourne with good wine from the region)
Shared order (between 3) of slow cooked chicken nachos – corn chips, cheese, peppers, jalapenos, chicken, avocado
Water

Good-bye dairy – see you never and please do not tempt me in the future. Sincerely, Happy Blood Sugar

My Diabetic Motive

It is almost my birthday and looking back on my 27th year of age – a heck of a lot has happened. Good and bad.

The Good: Moved twice. First from Chicago to Ohio, starting a new role at Abbott Nutrition as a sales rep, and then again in January, relocating to Australia with my now husband. If not obvious enough with the last statement, I got married! I have flown around the world twice. I have started a new job in a new industry and have acquired more friends than I could have ever dreamed. I finally tried duck, snorkeled through the Great Barrier Reef and became an Aunt.

The Bad: With big life events, there is stress and with stress, there are ups and down in blood sugar control. Along with last year’s event there were many time zone changes. Flying also has a tole on my blood sugar control, especially when I am changing to such drastic time changes. And lastly and most recently, I was in an accident and on the mend of a broken jaw. Broken jaw means eating softer and different food, which again means a challenge on my glucose control.

Bottom line: I would not trade this last year for anything. I have AMAZING memories, I have grown and changed for the better, and married my best friend. But I have one of the worse A1C% I have ever had. I must and am doing something about it and I want to make my goals public. Why? As a type 1 diabetic, sensitive to dairy, caffeine, birth control and legumes, potentially nuts too, I have a tough case. But I will succeed. I am determined. Can any of you relate?

For the next 3 months I am going to eat strictly paleo and re-do some of my labs. This is my main goal because when I avoid grains, legumes, dairy, white potato, corn and sugar, I have a much smaller margin of error in controlling my blood sugar.

I have chosen 3 months because this will allow for enough time to see change in my A1C%. Red blood cells turnover ~ every 3-4 months and closer to the 4 months when eating a low carbohydrate diet.

Wish me luck and I intend to blog many days of what I eat. I will admit I get to have a gluten free peanut butter banana sandwich on my birthday and for Christmas. Food is medicine but it is also one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Cheers to you and good health!

Your Bones

May is National Osteoporosis Awareness & Prevention Month and whether you are male, female, five years old or fifty, your bones matter. Eat your spinach, drink your milk and learn 31 tips to improve your bone health this month with this printable calendar. Click here and enjoy!

Have a healthy and fit day!