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Friday, November 27, 2009

Include Yogurt on your Low-Carb Diet


Happily, the Go-Diet authors, Jack Goldberg and karen O'Mara changed my outlook with regard to yogurt, buttermilk and kefir). The live cultures such as lactobacillus are hugely beneficial to your health in many ways, not the least of which is helping combat yeast overgrowth (this makes weight loss difficult or near impossible), promoting colon health and boosting the immune system. According to laboratory studies, 1 cup plain yogurt contains four (4) grams of carbohydrate, since these live bacteria have changed the lactose into lactic acid, and this is not taken into account in the nutritional analysis.

Michael Zemel, chairman of the Nutrition Department at the University of Tennesse in Knoxville, found that dairy products (milk included) turn down the tendency of our fat cells to store the day's calories, and increases the amount lost as heat. Hard cheese, such as cheddar, and yogurt will do the same thing. This man spent more than 10 years investigating the possibility that dairy products increase the metabolism. It would appear that higher calcium intake is responsible for the phenomenon of increased weight loss while using dairy products, or at the very least the subjects were able to maintain their weight. In the mid-1990's America's Purdue University did a study tracking women between the ages of 18 and 31. That study was to look at the effect of exercise on bone health, but during that study it became clear that those women who ate a diet rich in milk, cheese or yogurt lost weight or stayed stable, while others shunning dairy products put on kilos.

Obviously, low-carbers cannot have too much milk, since a cup of milk has a fair number of carbs (around 12 grams), however, I use whole milk in my tea, and I eat plain whole milk yogurt every day, until I run out and need to get more. I sweeten my yogurt with and sometimes add frozen strawberries (slightly thawed) and top with sliced almonds - or I'll add a teaspoon or two of flax seed meal to my plain yogurt.

I have some fantastic, easy frozen yogurt recipes in my cookbooks. I've always made milk shakes for our sons with frozen fruit, yogurt, milk and sweetener. They loved those! They have so little body fat, but maybe it also has to do with the fact that they didn't have too much sugar growing up, that they're young and that they love physical exercise (such as tennis, swimming and hiking).

The moral of the story - eat your yogurt at the very least. Don't be afraid of it. It can only help. There are some people who do yogurt fasts for 2 to 3 days and report super weight losses. At the very least, it would give one's system a rest and combat Candida, which impairs weight loss.