Integrative health and nutrition coach
franh55555@gmail.com

Could you have a Dairy Intolerance?

Dairy Intolerance (Lactose, Casein, and Whey)

 

Having a food intolerance is not fun. It can cause abdominal pain, discomfort, and nausea. It also causes embarrassing symptoms like flatulence and diarrhea. Other symptoms linkedto food intolerances include muscle or joint pain, headaches, exhaustion, and even skin symptoms like rashes and eczema.

 

Dairy is just one of those foods that many people seem to be intolerant of. Let’s talk about the main components of milk that people react to: lactose, casein, and whey.

 

Milk sugar (lactose) intolerance

 

It’s estimated that up to 75% of adults are lactose intolerant. Lactose is the carbohydrate “milk sugar” naturally found in most dairy products. Lactose intolerance is so common you can buy lactose-free milk in your regular grocery store. Lactose-free products are treated with the enzyme “lactase” that breaks the lactose down before you ingest it. It’s this lactase enzyme that is lacking in most people who are lactose intolerant.

 

The lactase enzyme is naturally released from your intestine as one of your digestive enzymes. It breaks down the lactose sugar in the gut. When someone doesn't have enough lactase, the lactose doesn't get broken down the way it should.  Undigested lactose ends up being food for the resident gut microbes. As they ferment the lactose, they create gases that cause bloating, flatulence, pain, and sometimes diarrhea.

 

Lactose is in dairy but is in lower amounts in fermented dairy (e.g. cheese & yogurt) and butter. Steering clear of lactose isn't that easy as it is added to other foods like baked goods, soups, and sauces. And if you're taking any medications or supplements, check to see if it's in there too, as lactose is a common ingredient in them.

 

If you have symptoms of lactose intolerance, keep an eye on food, medication, and supplement labels.

 

Milk protein (casein & whey) allergy

 

Milk is a known, and common, food allergen. In Canada, it is considered a “priority allergen” and must be declared on food labels.

 

So, what are the allergens in milk? You've heard of "curds and whey?" Well, these are the two main proteins in milk. The solid bits are the curds (made of casein), and the liquid is the dissolved whey.

 

Unlike lactose intolerance, casein and whey can cause an actual immune response. It’s an allergy. And this immune response can cause inflammation. In fact, we don’t know how many people have these milk allergies, but most estimates put it far below that of lactose intolerance.

 

Like lactose, these allergenic milk proteins can be found in other products too. They're not just in dairy but are often in protein powders as well (Have you heard of "whey" protein powders?).

 

Some of the symptoms of milk protein allergy differ from that of lactose intolerance; things like nasal congestion and mucus (phlegm) are more common here. And casein seems to be linkedwith belly fat.

 

Interestingly, people who have gluten intolerance are often allergic to milk proteins like whey and casein as well. These can go hand-in-hand.

 

Like lactose intolerance, if you're allergic to casein and whey keep an eye on labels so you can avoid these.

 

Conclusion

 

If you get gassy, bloated, or diarrhea after eating dairy, you may have a lactose intolerance. If you often get a stuffy nose and mucus, then you may be allergic to casein and/or whey.

 

While dairy may be an entire food group, it is not an essential nutrient. All the nutrients in dairy are available in other foods. If you experience these symptoms, you can try removing dairy from your diet. You may find improved digestion and fewer gut issues. Or you may find improved nasal congestion, or even less belly fat.

 

If you decide to (or have already) removed dairy from your diet, let me know your experience in the comments below.

 

Recipe (Dairy-free): Chocolate Ice "Cream"

 

Serves 2

 

3 bananas, sliced and frozen
2 tsp cacao powder, unsweetened
1 tbsp almond butter

 

Instructions

 

Place frozen bananas in food processor and blend until smooth (a few minutes). You may have to stop a few times to scrape the sides.

 

Add cacao powder and almond butter and blend until mixed well.

 

Serve & enjoy!

 

Tip: You can make this in advance and freeze in an airtight container.

 

References:

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-ways-to-reduce-bloating/

 

https://www.dietvsdisease.org/how-to-get-rid-of-bloating/

 

https://www.dietvsdisease.org/11-warning-signs-you-have-a-food-intolerance/

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/dairy-foods-low-in-lactose/

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/lactose-intolerance-101/

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/whey-protein-allergies-intolerances-bloating

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-food-sensitivities

 

https://www.thepaleomom.com/the-great-dairy-debate/

 

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-milk-and-mucus-a-myth/

 

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/milk-protein-vs-soy-protein/

 

https://examine.com/supplements/casein-protein/

 

https://examine.com/supplements/whey-protein/

 

http://foodallergycanada.ca/about-allergies/food-allergens/milk/

 

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blood-pressure/milk-protein-may-lower-blood-pressure


Tags:
franh55555@gmail.com

Could you have a Dairy Intolerance?

Dairy Intolerance (Lactose, Casein, and Whey)

 

Having a food intolerance is not fun. It can cause abdominal pain, discomfort, and nausea. It also causes embarrassing symptoms like flatulence and diarrhea. Other symptoms linkedto food intolerances include muscle or joint pain, headaches, exhaustion, and even skin symptoms like rashes and eczema.

 

Dairy is just one of those foods that many people seem to be intolerant of. Let’s talk about the main components of milk that people react to: lactose, casein, and whey.

 

Milk sugar (lactose) intolerance

 

It’s estimated that up to 75% of adults are lactose intolerant. Lactose is the carbohydrate “milk sugar” naturally found in most dairy products. Lactose intolerance is so common you can buy lactose-free milk in your regular grocery store. Lactose-free products are treated with the enzyme “lactase” that breaks the lactose down before you ingest it. It’s this lactase enzyme that is lacking in most people who are lactose intolerant.

 

The lactase enzyme is naturally released from your intestine as one of your digestive enzymes. It breaks down the lactose sugar in the gut. When someone doesn't have enough lactase, the lactose doesn't get broken down the way it should.  Undigested lactose ends up being food for the resident gut microbes. As they ferment the lactose, they create gases that cause bloating, flatulence, pain, and sometimes diarrhea.

 

Lactose is in dairy but is in lower amounts in fermented dairy (e.g. cheese & yogurt) and butter. Steering clear of lactose isn't that easy as it is added to other foods like baked goods, soups, and sauces. And if you're taking any medications or supplements, check to see if it's in there too, as lactose is a common ingredient in them.

 

If you have symptoms of lactose intolerance, keep an eye on food, medication, and supplement labels.

 

Milk protein (casein & whey) allergy

 

Milk is a known, and common, food allergen. In Canada, it is considered a “priority allergen” and must be declared on food labels.

 

So, what are the allergens in milk? You've heard of "curds and whey?" Well, these are the two main proteins in milk. The solid bits are the curds (made of casein), and the liquid is the dissolved whey.

 

Unlike lactose intolerance, casein and whey can cause an actual immune response. It’s an allergy. And this immune response can cause inflammation. In fact, we don’t know how many people have these milk allergies, but most estimates put it far below that of lactose intolerance.

 

Like lactose, these allergenic milk proteins can be found in other products too. They're not just in dairy but are often in protein powders as well (Have you heard of "whey" protein powders?).

 

Some of the symptoms of milk protein allergy differ from that of lactose intolerance; things like nasal congestion and mucus (phlegm) are more common here. And casein seems to be linkedwith belly fat.

 

Interestingly, people who have gluten intolerance are often allergic to milk proteins like whey and casein as well. These can go hand-in-hand.

 

Like lactose intolerance, if you're allergic to casein and whey keep an eye on labels so you can avoid these.

 

Conclusion

 

If you get gassy, bloated, or diarrhea after eating dairy, you may have a lactose intolerance. If you often get a stuffy nose and mucus, then you may be allergic to casein and/or whey.

 

While dairy may be an entire food group, it is not an essential nutrient. All the nutrients in dairy are available in other foods. If you experience these symptoms, you can try removing dairy from your diet. You may find improved digestion and fewer gut issues. Or you may find improved nasal congestion, or even less belly fat.

 

If you decide to (or have already) removed dairy from your diet, let me know your experience in the comments below.

 

Recipe (Dairy-free): Chocolate Ice "Cream"

 

Serves 2

 

3 bananas, sliced and frozen
2 tsp cacao powder, unsweetened
1 tbsp almond butter

 

Instructions

 

Place frozen bananas in food processor and blend until smooth (a few minutes). You may have to stop a few times to scrape the sides.

 

Add cacao powder and almond butter and blend until mixed well.

 

Serve & enjoy!

 

Tip: You can make this in advance and freeze in an airtight container.

 

References:

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-ways-to-reduce-bloating/

 

https://www.dietvsdisease.org/how-to-get-rid-of-bloating/

 

https://www.dietvsdisease.org/11-warning-signs-you-have-a-food-intolerance/

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/dairy-foods-low-in-lactose/

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/lactose-intolerance-101/

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/whey-protein-allergies-intolerances-bloating

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-food-sensitivities

 

https://www.thepaleomom.com/the-great-dairy-debate/

 

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-milk-and-mucus-a-myth/

 

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/milk-protein-vs-soy-protein/

 

https://examine.com/supplements/casein-protein/

 

https://examine.com/supplements/whey-protein/

 

http://foodallergycanada.ca/about-allergies/food-allergens/milk/

 

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blood-pressure/milk-protein-may-lower-blood-pressure


Tags:
franh55555@gmail.com

How to Improve Gut Health

How to Improve Gut Health

 

Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”

 

And while this may not be 100% true for every disease in every person, more and more research shows that our gut (digestive system) has a bigger role in many diseases than we used to think. And we're not just talking about heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, IBD, etc. We're talking about all kinds of issues like allergies, pain, mood disorders, and nutrient deficiencies.

 

There are a lot of reasons for this. Our gut is the portal to the outside world. It's here where we take in disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. We also take in nutrients (and toxins) through our gut. The nutrients we ingest and absorb are the building blocks of every single part of our body. We're just learning the connections between our gut and other areas of our body, like our brain (have you heard of "the gut-brain axis"). Not just our gut per se; but, its friendly resident microbes too. These guys also have newly discovered roles in our gut health and overall health.

 

So, let's talk about the roles that our gut and our gut microbes play in our overall health. Then I'll give you tips to improve your gut health naturally.

 

Our gut’s role in our overall health

 

Our gut’s main role is as a barrier. To let things in that should get in, and to keep things out that should stay out. Think of “absorption” of nutrients as things we want to let in; and “elimination” of waste as things we want to pass right through and out.

 

This seemingly simple role is super-complex! And it can break down in so many places.

 

For one thing, our guts can "leak." Yes, like a long tube with holes in it, it can allow things to get into our bloodstream/bodies that can wreak havoc (bacteria, undigested food, and toxins). You name it, whatever you put into your mouth can be absorbedby your gut and get into your bloodstream, even if it's not supposed to. And when your gut wall gets irritated, it can "leak." When this happens, you get inflammation, which is a starting point for many diseases that don't seem linked to the gut but have a sneaky connection there.

 

FUN FACT: About 70% of our immune system lives in and around our gut.

 

A healthy gut is not a leaky gut. It maintains its barrier and shuttles things through to be eliminated. Maintaining a healthy gut barrier is the first pillar of gut health.

 

The second main part of your gut are the billions of friendly health-promoting microbes. Gut microbes help us digest and absorb nutrients. They fight off disease-causing microbes, make some vitamins for us, and have all kinds of other health benefits, like mental health benefits, reducing inflammation, and stabilizing blood sugar.

 

So, keeping your gut microbes happy is the second pillar of gut health!

 

How to improve gut health

 

There are a lot of natural ways to improve gut health. Let’s start with what to stop. It’s always best to eliminate the cause, so let’s stop giving our guts junk to deal with. How about eliminating added sugars, processed foods, and alcohol? Try that for a few weeks, and you may be amazed at how much better your body (and gut) feels.

 

You may also want to eliminate other gut irritants. Dairy and grains contain common compounds known to irritate some people’s guts. Sometimes you only need to eliminate them for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference for your health.

 

By eating nutrient-dense foods, we allow ample macro- and micro-nutrients into our gut to maximize the chance for absorption. These nutrients help our bodies build and repair our gut, and every other body part as well. Some of the most nutrient-dense foods include dark leafy greens, colourful fruits and veggies, liver, and fish.

 

The second pillar of gut health is our microbes. By ingesting probiotic-rich foods and drinks, we can help to replenish our gut microbes. These are found in fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Make these a part of your daily diet.

 

Whole foods are full of gut-friendly fiber. Not eating enough fiber increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Fiber plays lots of roles in our gut, including whisking away some of those pesky bad bacteria and toxins so they can be eliminated. Fiber also helps to feed our friendly resident microbes that help us absorb and digest our food better. What foods have a lot of fiber? Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even cacao.

 

And don’t forget the uber-important lifestyle factors like getting enough sleep, stressing less, and getting the right amount (and intensity) of exercise for you. It’s easy to forget some of the simple, but key links there are between what we do with our bodies and how well they function.

 

Conclusion

 

The function of your gut is key to your overall health. There are two pillars of gut health: maintaining a good barrier and maintaining healthy gut microbes.

 

The main ways to improve both of these naturally is by eating nutrient-dense whole foods. Foods filled with nutrition, probiotics, and fiber. And eliminating common gut irritants like added sugar, processed foods, and alcohol.

 

Recipe (Probiotic-rich): Fermented Carrots

 

Serves 12

 

1 L warm water
4 tsp salt
4 carrots, medium, peeled, sliced

1 clove garlic, smashed (optional)

 

Instructions

 

 

Make a brine by dissolving the salt in water.

 

Place carrots into a clean canning jar, packing them in tight.Make sure to leave about 1 inch of head space at the top.

Fill the jar with brine, making sure to cover the carrots completely. Weigh the carrots down to make sure they don't float (you can use a "fermenting weight").

 

Close the jar and let it sit at room temperature for 1-4 days. The longer it sits, the more the flavor will develop. Feel free to openand taste.

 

Serve & enjoy!

 

Tip: Use this as a side dish, or even a snack.

 

References:

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/does-all-disease-begin-in-the-gut/

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-nutrition-gut-health

 

http://neurotrition.ca/blog/your-gut-bugs-what-they-eat-and-7-ways-feed-them

 


Tags:
franh55555@gmail.com

Three Must Eat Breakfast Foods

 

 

Three Must Eat Breakfast Foods

 

Do you love your breakfast?  Do you have a short list of “go-to” recipes?  Do you need a bit of inspiration to start eating breakfast again?

 

Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss.  This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and uses up a bunch of calories to absorb and metabolize it.  So I'm going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats for your soon-to-be favourite new “go-to” breakfasts.

 

Breakfast Food #1: Eggs

 

Yes, eggs are the “quintessential” breakfast food.  And for good reason!

 

No, I'm not talking about processed egg whites in a carton.  I mean actual whole “eggs”.  

 

Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses.  Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.

 

Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin.

 

Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a “grab and go” breakfast when you're running short on time.

 

And...nope the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of arterial or heart diseases.  

 

One thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high of a temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become oxidized.  It's the oxidized cholesterol that's heart unhealthy.

 

 

Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds

 

Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Nuts and/or seeds would make a great contribution to breakfast.

 

You won't be fooled by “candied” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butters, or chia “cereals” with added sugars – you know I'm talking about the real, whole, unsweetened food here.

 

Nuts and seeds are also the ultimate fast food if you're running late in the mornings.  Grab a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds as you're running out the door; you can nosh on them while you're commuting.

 

Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of nut/seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie.

 

Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter.  Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter into your blender & blend until frothy.  

 

Breakfast Food #3: Veggies

 

Yes, you already know you really should get protein at every meal including breakfast; but this also applies to veggies.  You know I would be remiss to not recommend veggies at every meal, right?  

 

Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and water.  You can't go wrong adding them into every single meal of the day so if you don't already you should definitely try them for breakfast!  

 

And no, you don't need to have a salad or roasted veggies for breakfast if you don't want to but you totally can!  You wouldn't be breaking any “official” breakfast rules or anything like that.

 

Adding some protein to leftover veggies is a great combination for any meal.  Including breakfast.

 

I've included a delicious recipe below for you to try (and customize) for your next breakfast.

 

Recipe (Eggs & Veggies): Veggie Omelet

 

Serves 1

 

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 or 2 eggs (how hungry are you?)

¼ cup veggies (grated zucchini and/or sliced mushrooms and/or diced peppers)

dash salt, pepper and/or turmeric

 

Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans are preferred).

 

In the meantime grab a bowl and beat the egg(s) with your vegetables of choice and the spices.

 

Tilt pan to ensure the bottom is covered with the melted oil.  Pour egg mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.

 

When the bottom is lightly done flip over in one side and cook until white is no longer runny.

 

Serve & Enjoy!

 

Tip:  Substitute grated, sliced, or diced portion of your favourite vegetable.  Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli or diced tomato.

 

References:

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/eggs-worse-than-fast-food

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/encyclopedia/food/eggs/

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/eating-healthy-eggs/

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/12-best-foods-to-eat-in-morning/

 


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franh55555@gmail.com

Five Cholesterol Myths and What to Eat Instead.

 

 

 

You knew there was a bit of an over-emphasis (borderlining obsession) about cholesterol, right?

 

Before we jump into some myths let's make sure we're on the same page when it comes to what exactly cholesterol is.

 

Myth #1: “Cholesterol” is cholesterol

 

While cholesterol is an actual molecule what it is bound to while it's floating through your blood is what's more important than just how much of it there is overall.  In fact depending on what it's combined with can have opposite effects on your arteries and heart.  Yes, opposite!

 

So cholesterol is just one component of a compound that floats around your blood.  These compounds contain cholesterol as well as fats and special proteins called “lipoproteins”.  

 

They're grouped into two main categories:

● HDL: High Density Lipoprotein (AKA “good” cholesterol) that “cleans up” some of those infamous “arterial plaques” and transports cholesterol back to the liver.
● LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein (AKA “bad” cholesterol) that transports cholesterol from the liver (and is the kind found to accumulate in arteries and become easily oxidized hence their “badness”).
 

And yes, it's even more complicated than this.  Each of these categories is further broken down into subcategories which can also be measured in a blood test.

 

So “cholesterol” isn't simply cholesterol because it has very different effects on your body depending on which other molecules it's bound to in your blood and what it is actually doing there.

 

Myth #2: Cholesterol is bad

 

Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for your body to produce critical things like vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun, your sex hormones (e.g. estrogen and testosterone), as well as bile to help you absorb dietary fats.  Not to mention that it's incorporated into the membranes of your cells.

 

Talk about an important molecule!

 

The overall amount of cholesterol in your blood (AKA “total cholesterol”) isn't nearly as important as how much of each kind you have in your blood.

 

While way too much LDL cholesterol as compared with HDL (the LDL:HDL ratio) may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease it is absolutely not the only thing to consider for heart health.

 

Myth #3: Eating cholesterol increases your bad cholesterol

 

Most of the cholesterol in your blood is made by your liver.  It's actually not from the cholesterol you eat.  Why do you think cholesterol medications block an enzyme in your liver (HMG Co-A reductase, to be exact)?  'Cause that's where it's made!

 

What you eat still can affect how much cholesterol your liver produces.  After a cholesterol-rich mealyour liver doesn't need to make as much.

 

Myth #4: Your cholesterol should be as low as possible

 

As with almost everything in health and wellness there's a balance that needs to be maintained.  There are very few extremes that are going to serve you well.

 

People with too-low levels of cholesterol have increased risk of death from other non-heart-related issues like certain types of cancers, as well as suicide.

 

Myth #5: Drugs are the only way to get a good cholesterol balance

 

Don't start or stop any medications without talking with your doctor.

 

And while drugs can certainly lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol they don't seem to be able to raise the “good” HDL cholesterol all that well.

 

Guess what does?

 

Nutrition and exercise, baby!

 

One of the most impactful ways to lower your cholesterol with diet is to eat lots of fruits and veggies.  I mean lots, say up to 10 servings a day.  Every day.

 

Don't worry the recipe below should help you add at least another salad to your day.

 

You can (should?) also exercise, lose weight, stop smoking, and eat better quality fats.  That means fatty fish, avocados and olive oil.  Ditch those over-processed hydrogenated “trans” fats.

 

Summary:

 

The science of cholesterol and heart health is complicated and we're learning more every day.  You may not need to be as afraid of it as you are.  And there is a lot you can do from a nutrition and lifestyle perspective to improve your cholesterol level.

 

Recipe (Dressing to go with your salad): Orange Hemp Seed Dressing

 

Makes about ¾ cup

 

½ cup hemp seeds

½ cup orange juice

1 clove of garlic, peeled

dash salt and/or pepper

 

Blend all ingredients together until creamy.

 

Serve on top of your favourite salad and Enjoy!

 

Tip: Store extra in airtight container in the fridge.  Will keep for about a week.

 

References:

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-cholesterol

 

http://summertomato.com/how-to-raise-your-hdl-cholesterol

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/top-9-biggest-lies-about-dietary-fat-and-cholesterol/

 


 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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