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THE LACTOSE INTOLERANCE MYTH

By | February 4th, 2016 | LEAVE A COMMENT

 

What Is Lactose?

All kinds of food categories have sugars of some type which are unique to that particular food type. The other fact is that the body also converts all food into sugar to either use as energy or to store it as energy. To give an example, fruits have fructose in them, corn has corn starch and similarly, other foods have other types of sugars. Sucrose and glucose are other such sugars. Just like these foods, milk also has a type of sugar compound called, Lactose. This lactose needs to be broken down in the body to be absorbed and used. This task is done by an enzyme called Lactase. After Lactose is broken down, it is absorbed by the blood and transported where required.

What is Lactose Intolerance?

We have the ability to process lactose. This ability varies with age and metabolism. So most of us can actually process this and use it. However, a very tiny proportion of people have a condition known as lactose intolerance. This means that either there is a deficiency of the lactase enzyme or there is incorrect absorption of lactose even though there is enough lactase. The main symptoms which could be seen are bloating, gas and mild diarrhea. These are also symptoms of excess protein consumption or even some bacterial infection.

Myths About Lactose Intolerance

What has been found is that even if someone has an incorrect lactose absorption problem or a lactase deficiency, it does not mean that you necessarily get these symptoms. There are many other dependent factors due to which one can develop this intolerance:

  • The amount of milk or dairy products you have in a day. If you are having lots of it, then a problem could occur. However, if you go easy on the cream and cheese and just have small quantities of milk a couple of times a day, nothing may happen.
  • The form in which you have the milk or milk products matters a lot. It has been found that you can have buttermilk (chhaas) or fresh yogurt or skimmed milk and there is no problem.
  • One of the main culprits is soft processed cheese. The variety you find in sandwiches and pizzas. So processed cheese is avoidable. However home made cottage cheese in small quantities does not cause an issue.
  • All the milk and milk products these days contain contaminants. Contaminants are not just chemicals but also hormones given to livestock to increase production. Even if the fodder has pesticides or fertilizers, it finds its way in the milk and then our body, when we have it. These contaminants also trigger intolerance.
  • The age of the individual matters. With increasing age the lower should be the proportion of plain or raw milk. If you just add some water to the milk before having, then this problem disappears.
  • Another problem is excess protein. Having more protein than the body needs has similar symptoms as lactose intolerance. Just reduce or cut out non-vegetarian food rather than milk. This is because milk is significantly more healthy than meats. However, we tend to do the reverse. We do not reduce protein from food and then blame the milk. Also stop or reduce protein supplements if you are having excess protein.
  • There is also something known as a milk allergy. This is completely different from lactose intolerance.

Myths And Disinformation On Milk

There is suddenly a whole ‘anti-dairy’ lobby coming up which is pushing down the problem of lactose intolerance on the World. This is happening due to a few reasons:

  • There are various business interests and lobbies at work, especially the meat and processed meat industries. Milk is the only great vegetarian substitute for meats and all the essential nutrients. If you convince people to not have milk, consumption of meat goes up.
  • There is a genetic aspect to it as well. Members of the caucasian race are more prone to lactose intolerance and that too in small numbers. However, as discussed, this is also aggravated due to meat proteins.
  • Since most of the research has been done in the west, the same concepts are peddled to other races. To push down this concept on other races and countries, therefore, is strange. You will rarely find South Asians with lactose intolerance or milk allergies.
  • Further, the way dairy is primarily consumed in the West is also an issue. India or South Asia primarily has milk, buttermilk (chhaas) and home made yogurt or curds. The west is mainly focused on processed cheese, butter and cream. The latter does cause digestion problems.

There is another interesting aspect found. Milk given by indigenous Indian cows is lesser in quantity but is the most nutritious and healthy without any side effects. So do not worry at all. Go ahead and have some milk (watered down a bit if you will), buttermilk (chaas) and home made dahi or yogurt (curds).

Combine these with a healthy lifestyle and a great online yoga program or balanced diet plan from wellzee for good health

THE GLUTEN INTOLERANCE MYTH

By | February 2nd, 2016 | LEAVE A COMMENT

 

Digestive Disorders On The Increase

There are many health challenges we face these days. There are many reasons for this. Sedentary and irregular lifestyles are the main causes. These include minimal physical activity, impaired sleeping patterns and wrong eating and drinking habits. The digestive orders are of many types. These are minor digestive problems, enteritis, gastro enteritis, gas, bloating, acidity, constipation, gastric ulcers, loose motions and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Along with this we also face increased waist lines and other related lifestyle diseases.

Reasons For Digestive Disorders

There are so many causes for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and all other digestive disorders. Many of these are listed below:

  • If we are stressed, our digestion goes for a toss. If we keep getting stressed for longer periods of time then our digestion capacity is impacted over the long term, causing related problems.
  • These days we out frequently. We pick up bugs and bacterial infections which impact our digestion. If we eat out too often then it can cause long term problems.
  • We eat a lot of processed, packaged and pre-packaged foods. Even though a lot of them claim to be healthy, there are always some additives or processing by-products which impact digestion.
  • A modern day life also prevents us from eating freshly made food. As a result, we land up eating stale food on a daily basis. Leftovers are kept in the refrigerator and re-heated and eaten. TV dinners are becoming more of the norm and one has time to cook fresh food for every meal. All this stale food is not good for the body.
  • Most of our food and drinks these days (including milk and drinking water) contains preservatives, hormones, pesticides and additives. All of these cause digestion problems.
  • We all tend to have little or no physical activity. In fact more and more people these days do no physical work. Most of us do not even exercise. However, we keep eating in the same way. This lack of physical activity or regular exercise is one of the main causes of digestion problems.
  • The trend these days is to eat a lot of heavy foods which require the digestive system to work harder. These include non-vegetarian food like read meat and sauce laden foods and curries, baked breads, pastries, sweets, processed cheese, fried foods, refined flour, junk food, burgers, pizzas, lot of sugar and so on.
  • We tend to have a lot of beverages like tea, coffee, alcohol, soft drinks and energy drinks. All of these are unhealthy and upset the digestive system completely.
  • One of the lesser known reasons for digestive problems is irregular or less sleep. We seem to be not only sleeping late but sleeping for lesser number of hours. Sleeping correctly, is therefore becoming core to proper digestion.

The Gluten Intolerance Myth

Now we have seen so many reasons for digestive problems and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Then how does gluten enter in the picture at all? Everyone talks about Gluten intolerance. When we talk about gluten intolerance researches are incomplete and biased. More often than not, they show only one side of the story.

We say one side of the story because gluten free products, gluten free wheat and other related products cost at least two hundred to three hundred percent more than regular wheat and other products.

The other fact is that gluten intolerance is a very minor problem. It only affects a miniscule amount of the population and that too, mainly in Caucasians. So what we have done is to generalize a non-existent problem for the whole population. This has been done through some smart marketing by the American processed food industry.

This has been spread so smartly and without any scientific research or basis; that the whole world is now running around to go ‘gluten free’. This is another myth like the ‘fat is bad’ marketing and the cholesterol myth. There is no basis to this. How people actually get affected by wheat or gluten is as random as tossing a coin and the outcome is less than one percent. More than ninety nine percent of people are not impacted at all. So the question we must ask is, why should we stop something if it does not harm us?

Even in people whom some such problems are seen, are not caused by gluten or wheat. The main reasons as we have already seen are incorrect and excess eating, processed foods; chemicals and hormones present in the grains, milk, water and other products. It has been found that if you just reduce grains and increase vegetables and fruits, the problem gets resolved on its own. It is probably only a very tiny percentage of the population which has a genuine gluten problem.

Gluten Researches

There are so many ‘credible’ researches done on Gluten intolerance. However, these do not take into account all factors like lifestyle, stress, food habits, exercise, differing metabolism, genetic and racial factors and so many other variables.

There are also other recent surveys and researches done by credible organizations and individuals which clearly state that there is no so such thing as gluten intolerance IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) caused by gluten in a majority of cases. Rather, it is a combination of all the other factors as already stated above.

What Is The Problem With Wheat?

Wheat causes a problem when have it in large quantities or products made of wheat which are ‘dense’ in nature. Refined and processed versions of the wheat also cause a similar problem as have gotten rid of the healthy fiber.

To give an example, baked breads will cause a problem, but the Indian ‘phulka’ or fresh chapati is very healthy. Both are made of wheat. This is because phulka is light and cooked through properly. Similarly, if you have pasta made of wheat, it may cause digestion problems because it is processed and very dense. But upma or ‘daliya’ (always freshly made and normally had as breakfast in India), made of cracked and broken wheat, called Suji, is healthy. Therefore, this does not cause a problem. This logic holds true for all grains and pulses. If we eat a lot of baked or ‘dense’ food or large grain based quantities, it will cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other digestive problems.

So the problem is not the wheat or the gluten in the wheat. It is the way we eat it and how much of it we consume.

The Main Solution

The solution to these problems is actually very simple. Improve your lifestyle and exercise or walk regularly. Reduce the consumption of all grains a little bit, and not just wheat. Eat more freshly prepared food and vegetables and avoid re-heated or outside food. Additionally, learn to sleep well with our sleep program or you can take our online balanced diet plan and learn how to eat more healthy