Dairy appears on the “GREEN LIST” which as most of you know by now is the list of allowed foods on a low carb diet.
In some circles this is also unfortunately known as the ” eat-all-you-can” list and many have seen this as an invitation to literally pig out ! ( but I digress , we will leave the pig out issue for future discussion)
The idea with the green list is that food on it contains less than 5g of carbohydrate per 100g of food and therefore is difficult to exceed the recommended daily carb allowance of 25 – 50g per day.
What does dairy include ?
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- Full-cream Greek yoghurt
- Full-cream milk
- Hard cheeses
- Soft cheeses
Generally dairy products do contain 5g of carb or less but yoghurt is the exception and you would do well to check yoghurt labels as some of them have as much as 10g of carb per 100g. I checked on a few of the local brands of full cream yoghurt
- Lancewood double cream yoghurt 6g /100g
- Pick n Pay no name brand 6g/100g
- Honeydew double cream 7.6g/100g
- Dairybelle double cream 8g/100g
So what does 100g of yoghurt look like ? Not much actually, it’s the equivalent to 3 tablespoons .
It is easy to see then that a cereal bowl of yoghurt would be close to your entire carb allowance for one day if you were aiming at 20 – 25g of carb.
Milk seems to be particularly problematic for many people trying to lose weight. Word is that ladies battle with this more so than men however in practice this is not the case and many men find milk as big a problem. Milk contains lactose. Lactose is a disaccharide sugar. Because it contains no fibre it is also known as a simple sugar and these are the sugars that cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels resulting in the pancreas dumping a nice dose of insulin into the body. If you don’t know by now, insulin is the fat making / fat storing hormone and we are trying to keep levels of it LOW. A tiny dash of milk in some tea or coffee once or twice a day may be fine but using milk liberally is asking for trouble.
Many people think that because milk is on the green list they can have unlimited amounts of coffee or tea during the day with unlimited quantities of milk. This is a big misconception.
Cream is a better option than milk because it does not contain much lactose but do beware here because cream is fat dense. 100mls of whipping cream packs a whopping 39g of fat and it’s easy to consume way more energy than we need when we are popping cream into our coffee and cooking our food in it. We know from this post that we should not be over indulging in fat.
Most of us love cheese. Let’s not kid anybody, it’s delicious on just about anything.Snacking little blocks of it, sliced on seed crackers, melted over eggs or stirred into a white sauce to pour over steak and veg. The energy count in cheese adds up fast and who wants to be limited to 30g of cheese right? Cheese after-all is comfort food and how many people are going to put the breaks on after one nibble?
So if you are indulging in dairy products do keep these things in mind. Just because a food appears on the green list does not mean it’s a free for all. One of the theories about eating fat is that it’s self limiting – in other words we will feel full or sick before we eat too much. Sadly for many people who have yoyo dieted for years or are metabolically deranged there does not appear to be an OFF switch. The eat-all-you-can comment is relevant only to those whose brains and bodies tell them to stop in time.