Welcome to CHEESESLAVE Q & A! Every Sunday, I answer your questions. I’ll answer as many questions as I can each week. If I didn’t answer your question this week, please check back next week.
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1. Question: Fructose in Kombucha and Water Kefir?
I’ve just been reading that the leftover sugars in water kefir and kombucha are mainly in the form of fructose. I’ve been trying to cut down on fructose. It is easy to get too much fructose from fruit and of course from processed foods. I’ve also read that glucose is easier for the body to metabolize than fructose which must be metabolized in the liver. Converting the sugars from glucose to fructose does not sound like a good thing. A lot of people are fructose intolerant. How do I know if these beverages are really good for me?
I really don’t think you will have a problem if you are drinking kombucha and water kefir in moderation. I would have to look up the amount of fructose in kombucha but I don’t think they would rank among the foods highest in fructose: see this chart.
2. Question: E. Coli Threat in Raw Milk?
My boyfriend sent me this article today: The Other E. Coli Threat? Raw Milk
I told him that E. coli isn’t as much an issue with grass fed healthy cows. Was I right in saying this? I know campylobacteria is common. Also the statistics on raw milk about 2 people dying — how does anyone know what quality of milk they drank?
Ugh, yes I saw that article. It is illogical; not based in fact.
If he’s right that we need to ban the sale of raw milk and juice, does this actually solve the problem of people getting sick and even dying from pathogenic bacteria in our food?
No, it does not. We know that we can get sick from contaminated raw spinach, from peanut butter, from all kinds of things. So what are you going to do? Pasteurize everything? Do we need to cook all of our salads? No, of course not, that’s preposterous.
But if pasteurization is the answer, that is the only way — we would have to pasteurize and irradiate everything.
What this guy also does not take into account is that our bodies need beneficial bacteria. Without the beneficial bacteria in our gut, the pathogenic bacteria takes over. Many people today have low numbers of good bacteria (thanks to antibiotics and the birth control pill, among other things). The only way to get more good bacteria is to take probiotics or to eat fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, raw milk, cheese, sour cream, real sauerkraut, etc. — click here for my kefir recipe.
How are you going to get it if everything is pasteurized? You won’t.
OK let’s look at some of his arguments:
“Unpasteurized milk has a greater chance of being contaminated with disease-causing bacteria than pasteurized milk.”
Actually that is not true. Raw milk is actually safer than pasteurized milk. Read this article.
“However, this does not address the fundamental problem that raw milk could cause a massive E. coli outbreak within a single state.”
What he is not taking into account here is the factory farms where the animals are crowded and stand or lie in manure all day long. Compare this to small raw milk dairies where the cows and goats are allowed to roam on pasture. If you’ve ever visited a confinement dairy, and then gone to a grass-based dairy, there is no comparison.
If he’s worried about a massive E. coli outbreak, why point the finger at raw milk dairies? Why is he also not addressing the CAFOs?
“Proponents of raw food believe natural products are healthier. This is a myth.”
No source? It’s illogical to make a claim and not back it up with sources.
“In actuality, those who consume raw food, in particular unpasteurized milk and juice, are taking an unnecessary risk with their own health. Irresponsibly, they sometimes take risks with the health of their own children, whose bodies are often not strong enough to combat food-borne illnesses.”
Here is one point in which he’s actually correct. Many people today do not have bodies that are strong enough to combat food-borne illnesses. But why is that? I assert that it because they have a lack of good bacteria. Then answer then is to eat MORE fermented and probiotic foods. Like yogurt, sour cream, sauerkraut, and raw milk!
“Outbreaks from raw milk are relatively common. According to the FDA, 85 outbreaks of human infections occurred from 1998 to 2008. More than 1,600 people were infected during that time, and two people died. Outbreaks keep occurring to this day, with E. coli and campylobacter being the common culprits.”
In a 2003 USDA/FDA report:
Deli meats caused 515 times more illness from listeria than raw milk
Pasteurized milk caused 29 times more illness from listeria than raw milk
On a PER-SERVING BASIS, deli meats were TEN times more likely to cause illness than raw milk.
FDA: “Raw milk is inherently dangerous and should not be consumed”
Where are the FDA’s charges that deli meats are “inherently dangerous and should not be consumed? Where is the FDA’s exhortation to “everyone charged with protecting the publish health” to “prevent the sale of deli meats to consumers”?
In a response to a Freedom of Information request, the Centers for Disease Control provided data on raw milk outbreaks 1993-2005—a 23-year period.
In this report, CDC listed NO cases of foodborne illness from raw milk caused by listeria during the period. Source
I could go on but I won’t. This article is fundamentally illogical as the author makes statements he does not back up with facts. It’s a fear-mongering piece of garbage.
Please have your husband read The Untold Story of Milk, Revised and Updated: The History, Politics and Science of Nature’s Perfect Food: Raw Milk from Pasture-Fed Cows
by Dr. Ron Schmid. Also take a look at this powerpoint. These two things convinced me that raw milk is completely safe.
3. Question: Raw Milk from Non-Grass Fed Cows?
Hello Ann Marie,
Is raw milk from non-grass fed cows better than pasteurized milk if that is all that I am able to buy?
I live in Arizona and was raised on raw milk from a local man who had a family cow and I really miss the fresh, raw milk and cream!
There is only one dairy I have been able to locate within 100 miles of my home that sells raw cow’s milk. From what I can see on their website their cows are kept in pens being fed cut and/or processed feed each day, with no time on pasture.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and opinions each week,
I would not buy raw milk from cows that are not on pasture. If I couldn’t find raw grass-fed milk, I personally would buy pasteurized grass-fed milk and only drink it as kefir or yogurt — and/or I would buy pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) grass-fed cream and water it down.
4. Question: What to do About Tooth Sensitivity?
Hi Ann Marie,
Another question – I went to the dentist this week and while I don’t have any decay, I have some extreme tooth sensitivity. My dentist is sending me to an endodontist for diagnosis and to see if a need “root canal therapy”. First off, a root canal sounds like something that would *cause* a need for therapy, and second off, my Dad told me to never ask my barber if I need a haircut, but whatever. My dentist took an x-ray and said that it looks like the parts that hold the root of my tooth in are inflamed. I know you have shared information before about curing dental infections, but what should I do with this?
Interestingly, when the sensitivity showed up about a year ago, I decided to start doing oil pulling with coconut oil, in the hopes of helping my gums from receding. It didn’t help at all with the sensitivity, but it cut WAY down on the frequent throat and ear infections I usually get. I got strep for the first time in a year and a half whereas normally I am sick a few times a year. That is off subject, but I thought you’d be interested.
Also, I really appreciate your supportive words last week.
I’m not a dentist so I can’t give you advice as to what to do. I can tell you though that I used to have tooth sensitivity. When I changed my diet to a traditional foods diet (lots of raw milk, grass-fed butter and cheese, bone broth, organ meats, seafood, and only sprouted or fermented grains in moderation, only soaked/dried nuts, beans and seeds, plus cod liver oil) my sensitivity went away in a matter of months. Perhaps you can try increasing the fat soluble activators in your diet and do your best to avoid phytic acid and other antinutrients. If you are eating a very nutrient-dense diet and still experiencing tooth sensitivity, you may want to look at your digestion and absorption.
5. Question: Diet Causing Me to Eat More Butter?
I was just doing a random search on the internet about butter and happened to find your site. I have started eating paleo/primal. I have had no sugar or carb foods in two weeks.
However, lately I have been eating a TON of butter. I had not had butter in at least 5 years. I am normally dairy free. However, this past week, I have been eating at least 4 TBS of butter. Today I was eating it almost uncontrollably. I am not sure what is going on.
I fear that I am rapidly going to gain weight because of all of the butter. Overall, my diet has contained a lot of fat over these past two weeks. I am so frustrated. I feel I would have lost a lot of weight if it has not been for all of the butter. I also have extreme swelling and water retention so it is hard to gauge my weight loss progress.
Thanks so much!
Honestly, 4 TBS of butter per day doesn’t sound like very much at all. Sally Fallon-Morell eats 4 tablespoons of butter just on her oatmeal for breakfast. According to this article, toddlers need 6 tablespoons of fat per day.
It sounds like you have been made to fear butter, like so many people have. Butter is one of the healthiest foods we can eat. It’s rich in fat soluble vitamins A, D & K2, particularly if it is made from cream from cows eating grass.
I also think, if you haven’t eaten any carbs in two weeks, it’s no wonder you are craving fat. We need a certain amount of carbohydrates in our diet. If you eat a lower carb diet, you will need to eat more fat. I personally think that eating a zero-carb diet is unhealthy. Even Dr. Atkins does not recommend that.
Lastly, butter does not make you gain weight if you are eating normal portions of food. If you’re overeating, that could be the problem. You can also actually stall weight loss by undereating. If you are restricting your calories too much, your metabolism slows down and you can’t lose weight.
I lost 15 pounds over the past few months by following The Four Hour Body. It’s a low-carb diet but one day a week, you eat whatever you want. Tim Ferris, the author, actually says that the binge day is necessary, particularly for women. He explains in the book that if you skip it, you won’t lose as much weight.
6. Question: Most Important Things to Focus on When Trying to Stay Healthy?
I have a question for you. My daughter and I are moving to the Philippines this summer. I am looking at this as a great opportunity to revamp our diet. I know I can access organic produce there and the country doesn’t allow GMOs. I have inflammation issues and my daughter has an issue of never feeling satiated. I try to feed her as many real foods as possible but she is a sugar and carb-loving girl and her daycare/care givers are not supportive of my efforts.
I am fortunate to have a cook when I arrive which will be very helpful in my quest for better health. My question for you is where would you start? What do you consider the most important things to focus on (food-wise) when trying to stay healthy? I am thinking no processed foods would be number one but what else would you consider important?
Thanks so much!
How lucky are you, getting a cook! I think it would be awesome to live in the Philippines. They have lots of coconut oil, coconut milk, and great seafood. You should be able to eat really well there.
I would concentrate getting the following 4 food groups into your diet:
1. Lots of seafood, especially shellfish and fish eggs
2. Coconut milk and coconut oil, and other healthy fats (depends on what they have there that is good)
3. Fermented foods like fermented fish sauce (similar to soy sauce and very common in Asia), fermented coconut milk and fe rmented coconut water, and fermented vegetables — click here for my recipe
4. Bone broth – in the form of chicken stock, beef stock or fish stock — click here for my chicken stock recipe; click here for my beef stock recipe; click here for my fish stock recipe
If you have good sources of pastured meats, organ meats and eggs over there by all means, include those too.
I would also supplement with fermented cod liver oil. If you can, buy some before you go and take it with you.
If you like to eat rice, see if you can get brown rice and soak it for several hours prior to eating if possible. I use the same water to soak my rice over and over again — see this article for how to soak rice.
7. Question: Resolving Swollen Tonsils with GAPS diet?
My 4 year old daughter has swollen tonsils and has had them for years. The doctors suggest having them removed….of course. We are doing the GAPS diet,and it has helped some but it has not resolved the issue completely. Do you have any other suggestions or anything else to do with the diet that might help.
Also, do you know what exactly causes swollen tonsils?
It sounds like you are on the right track with the GAPS diet.
According to Dr. Raymond Silkman, DDS ( he is my dentist here in L.A.):
The soft tissues of the body grow to their genetic size, even when the bony structures do not. The skin, the tongue, the tonsils and the nasal tissues grow to their genetic size but when the nutrition is missing, the bony structures are compromised. So the face will have an excess of skin and musculature, the tongue and tonsils will be too large for the mouth.
Other structures that can affect the airways further back in the throat area or the pharyngeal airway space are the tonsils and adenoids. About 85 percent of the children I see in my practice have extremely large tonsils and do you think they can breathe very well? It is not possible to breathe very well when tonsils, which are typically supposed to be almost unnoticeable, are so inflamed that they are almost touching and practically closing off the airway in the back of the throat, right where air is supposed to pass on its journey towards the lungs.
These structures also become swollen due to food allergies, especially allergies to pasteurized dairy. Every time I’ve had a kid and a mom convinced that they should stop everything pasteurized and processed and then eventually go to raw dairy products I have seen some reduction in tonsillar size, although this doesn’t happen overnight.
(Interestingly, I have had two cases of children who stopped having epileptic seizures as soon as they had their extremely massive tonsils taken out. Please note that I usually do not recommend removal of organs and body parts.) Source
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I don’t claim to have all the answers. And I love hearing from you guys! If you have feedback on any of the above questions and answers, please share your thoughts n the comments below.
Got a Question?
Please submit your questions to questions AT cheeseslave DOT com. I’ll answer your questions every Sunday in the order I receive them.