Diary free is the latest diet craze. Here's why it ISN'T good for you!
The new year means people are talking about diets to get themselves back on track from the gluttonous holiday season. Everyone wants to know what everyone is doing to get results. I hear it all the time in the banter and chatter at my gym: "What diet are you following?" friends will ask one another. I get asked all the time what I've done to "lose all my baby weight so fast." And then one of my fellow fitness buddies Andrea Reynolds posted this video to her Facebook page and asked what people thought. If you didn't click to the vid, it's a man we're told is a "doctor" (although MD, PhD, MS or just a dude who's "studied" the subject isn't made clear) who goes on and on about how humans shouldn't drink cow milk or consume any dairy product. I replied to her pose with some choice emojis. Because dairy free diets are the latest bogus diet craze.
That's right. A dairy free diet is a load of crap. It won't help you lose weight, it won't balance your hormones and it won't reduce excess mucus.
I know some of the dairy free folks are losing their minds right now. But let's look back at history to help me prove my point. In the late 1980s and 1990s, it was widely accepted that a low-fat diet is best. Fat has the most calories per gram, after all, so it made sense that reducing fat intake also would reduce overall calorie intake and therefore keep people in better shape and healthier. The FDA approved of this diet and taught it in the schools with the food pyramid. Major food companies marketed all their products as being low fat, reduced fat or even fat free. There was fat free mayo and fat free cream cheese and you better only eat those egg whites because the yolk is full of fat! And fat is bad, the 1990s told us.
What happened? People got fatter than ever! The 1990s saw one of the biggest rises in obesity to date. Food companies realized that taking all the fat out of things made it taste bad. So they replaced the fat with sugar. As it would turn out, SUGAR is what causes the creation of fat cells in the body, not fat. Sugar consumption soared in the 90's right along with people's waistlines. And heart attacks? Well those also increased.
Sometime in the early 2000s scientists and cardiologists realized that all fat isn't bad for the heart. In fact, some of it is really good for you! Plant-based fats like avocados and Omega-3's found in fatty fish like wild salmon are great for healthy hearts AND healthy waistlines. The FDA changed the food pyramid. Several times, actually. Low fat became a thing of the past, and the pendulum swung hard the other way: Now it was low-carb diets that would keep us all slim!
With fats back in favor, the new food demon was bread, rice, potatoes and anything with sugar. Dr. Atkins became a household name. Bread baskets at restaurants faded away. Mass chain restaurants signaled which of their items were low-carb. The Chipolte burrito bol launched so people wouldn't have to eat the flour-filled tortilla. I was in college for this stupid craze and so many of my sorority sisters talked excessively about carbs, and how many they did or didn't have that day. It was in the late 2000s that I saw a tank top that said, "I EAT CARBS" and I laughed so hard I bought it!
Around 2010, after people had suffered one too many meat sweats, it came to light that carbohydrates are, in fact, not the devil. Complex carbohydrates like brown rice, sweet potatoes and whole wheat bread came back into favor. Refined carbs still should be eaten rarely, but the low carb craze slipped off it's buttery, greasy cliff.
After carbs were cool again, the gluten free tribe emerged. Everyone blamed EVERYTHING on gluten! It was making them fat, it was throwing their hormones out of whack, it was giving them the runs. Gluten took the food demon baton! And while I still have many friends who *try* to eat gluten free, they don't do it 100%. Truly gluten free food is about three times as expensive as normal food. And if you think that sushi you had was GF, the sushi rice is loaded with it (due to the vinegar in it) and so was the soy sauce you dipped it in.
GF is still pretty big, but I think people have gotten sick of asking what's GF on menus. Because honestly, you get about two choices (at best) of truly GF food that isn't a salad. They're sick of paying $15 for a slice of GF pizza. Hell, maybe they just miss a good sandwich. I know I would! So here we are at the newest food demon: Dairy.
Dairy is giving people headaches, it's making them bloated and gassy, it's turning their children into monsters. It's the cause of their self-diagnosed hormone imbalance. They blame their stuffy noses on dairy because they think it contributes to mucus production (that "causation" has been scientifically proven to be untrue.) Ahhh dairy. You're the new "low fat" and "low carb" food craze, and I cannot wait for people to return to sanity again about you.
I don't understand why history can't seem to teach us a lesson. It's pretty clear to me. Food crazes that tell you NOT to eat something DON'T WORK. They don't work because it's not sustainable. Sure, maybe you lost a few pounds following one of these dumb diet fads. Have you stuck with it for years and years and have you kept the weight off? My guess is no. Because when you deprive yourself of something, especially of an entire food group like this stupid dairy free craze, your body starts to lack nutrients. Your mind starts to crave that one specific thing you're telling it it can't have. So you eat more of other food items to compensate for the deprivation.
Want to get healthy in 2017? Ditch the food demons! Don't make anything off limits. Incorporate everything into your diet. Eat responsibly. Let yourself have treats, but make sure you have more good days than bad. Fill your plate with as many veggies as you can. THAT is how you have a healthy lifestyle! Can we all get over the dairy free diet already?