Like I’ve mentioned before… I have been reading about dairy and fertility quite a lot in the past few months and I found so many contradicting articles that I decided to start focusing on this for the next few weeks. In our Foodie goes Primal series, Heidi has also mentioned dairy before, especially in the different forms of diets we follow. So without any further ado, let’s start our focus on diary with a note from Heidi!
Dairy is a great source of good fat when following a low carb ‘diet’, HOWEVER, dairy consumption has different effects on different people and it also depends on your form and intensity of low carb living. Allow me to explain:
- If you’re mostly worried about your carb intake and following a very strict keto or LCHF diet, full fat dairy is a good source of fat and it really makes food choices and cooking a whole lot easier!
- If you’re leaning towards a more Paleo or clean eating approach, then dairy really isn’t a great option.
Remember, one of the main differences between Paleo and LCHF/Banting is the use of dairy. If you do have dairy, I would recommend the following:
- DO: If you have dairy, only have it on occasion
- DO: Definitely stick to high fat, mature cheeses
- DO: Remember to read your labels too – all dairy is not created equal!
- DON’T: Milk, even full cream, has a lot more sugar (lactose) than cream (which, like butter, is more of a fat than a dairy).
- DO: Rather opt for cream in coffee instead of milk.
- DON’T: Or at least try to avoid yoghurt, as that can also have quite a high lactose content.
- DO: Go for double cream Greek-style yoghurt.
In our home, I really enjoy my cheese, and tend to stick to full fat, mature cheese. I rarely use milk, only in tea sometimes, and hardly have any yoghurt. This works for me, but each person is different.
Let’s do an experiment: go without dairy for a week or two and see how you feel.
Is there a difference? I don’t believe we were really meant to consume dairy after all… If you dare to try the experiment, remember to give me your thoughts! As always, leave me a comment below!
I have been reading about dairy and fertility quite a lot in the past few months. I found so many contradicting articles that I decided to start focusing on this for the next few weeks. The following are causes for concern and wonderful opportunities for research:
- Dairy may cause a thickening of your cervical mucus, resulting in decreased sperm transportation, fertilization, and embryo implantation. This obviously makes me wonder: which dairy, how much dairy, frequency of dairy intake?
- Another article states that women who had one or more daily servings of full-fat dairy products, daily, were 27% less likely to be infertile than those who had less than one serving a week. This was a little more specific, seems like we need to focus on full fat and maybe just 1 serving of dairy?
- Many articles note the high hormone content in milk (prolactin, somatostatin, melatonin, oxytocin, growth hormone, lutenizing releasing hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, estrogens, progesterone, insulin, corticosteroids, etc). Again, this begs the following questions: Won’t these hormones be in all animal products, what about organic, how much of these hormones are present in one serving?
- This article notes the detrimental effect of IGF-1, an insulin like growth factor on women with fertility problems and the article clearly states that dairy should be avoided. Again I wonder, how much dairy influences our IGF-1 concentrations, will all types of dairy influence this?
- In fertility and sterility journals, the intake of dairy products was associated with only a modest increase in circulating IGF-I levels, for every 1% increase, the IGF-1 levels increase between 2.4% and 3.3% (Ma et al, 2001; Crowe et al, 2009). Another article distinguishes between total IGF levels and free IGF levels and found that there was only statistical significance for free, but not total, IGF-I (Beasley et al, 2014).
- More articles revealed that low IGF-1 levels are more likely to be a concern than high IGF-1 levels (Burgers et al, 2011), although a healthy balance remains of the upmost importance!
- There are also rumours about weight loss and dairy intake and so, so many articles available on this topic. Mostly research shows that people who are obese are more likely to have lower free IGF-1 (Gram et al, 2006).
Let’s start looking at dairy and the effect on diet and fertility! Please let me know what you think! If you have any experience with this, please leave a comment below!