Congratulations – you have almost made it halfway through the challenge! Starting Monday, we will take on another weekly challenge… one that YHC and many others find to be quite difficult. Thought we’d let the info out early so that you can shop for your groceries accordingly. Don’t forget the bread and….. never mind.
This week’s challenge is dairy. That’s Milk, Butter and Cheese. As you ponder giving up these items for 7 days, here’s what we want you to think about.
Approximately 25% of the average American’s daily calories is from dairy.
Butter and cheese are the foods with the highest saturated fat content. For example, 80% of calories in cream cheese comes from fat—60% from saturated fat.
There is a strong association of saturated fat intake and heart disease and a potential association between dairy lactose.
Despite the Dairy Council slick ad campaign, you don’t need milk for calcium. Natural foods are calcium rich. Broccoli has just about the same amount of calcium per calorie as milk. Romaine lettuce, kale, collards, turnip greens and bok choy have 2 to 5 times more calcium than milk (per calorie).
How to replace milk? Lots of choices here – Almond, Soy or Rice milk are great on whole grain cereal. Try almond milk over your steel cut oatmeal. Butter is harder to replace, however, because margarine has just as much fat/calories. There’s no easy answer on cheese other than to limit or eliminate it from your diet. After the challenge or as a cheat, when you go for pizza, try a veggie pizza with lots of toppings – sauce and toppings but no cheese – it’s actually really good – tons of flavor. Of course you wouldn’t dream of having pizza for the next few weeks outside of a cheat meal as pizza is forbidden and the crust would be considered bread. This is definitely something to look forward to; however, so stay strong!
Fat is one of the items we are trying to bring to light during the cleanse. In addition to fat being an appetite stimulant, only about 3% of fat is metabolized. The rest goes right to the hips or gut—literally. If your spare tire was biopsied, the results would show how much fat came from pork, red meat, chicken, dairy, etc.
We also have to be careful of the low-fat labeling/myth. The USDA allows fat content in food to be measured in terms of weight. A tablespoon of butter has 100 calories—99 calories is from fat. If I put that butter in a cup of water it’s still 99% calories from fat, but its fat content per weight is greatly reduced. This is how low-fat milk and cheese is measured. Two percent milk is 2% fat content by weight but 35% of the calories are from fat. For whole milk 49% of the calories are from fat. Just as you want to boost nutrients per calorie, you want to limit fat content per calorie (not weight).
Bottom line: dairy, in particular cheese, and butter are high in saturated fat and should be used sparingly (less than 10% of daily calories). A nutrition plan rich in natural foods, in particular leafy greens, will give you all the nutrients and protein normally associated with dairy but without the fat and associated health issues.
If you would like to be added to the fuel challenge email loop as well, please send an email request to [email protected]
Hang in there. You’ve come too far to turn back now….