Dairy products are complete nutritional packages containing fat, protein and minerals including calcium, and vitamins including vitamin A and D. They are perfect for use in a low carbohydrate diet and are an excellent source of nutrition when in Ketosis. Dairy products should be avoided by those people who are lactose intolerant.
If you choose to consume dairy products, I cannot express how strongly I feel about consuming full fat dairy products in general and this is especially important on a low carbohydrate diet. The higher level of fat not only makes the product taste better but provides satiety or the ability to keep you feeling fuller for longer. If you compare full fat products to their low-fat counterparts you will find that many low-fat products contain higher levels of salt or sugars to compensate for the removal of the fat and to balance the flavour.
Cheese is a nutrient rich food containing high levels of fat, protein, vitamins such as calcium and minerals. It is produced by coagulating the casein protein found in milk by the addition of an enzyme called rennet or in some cases using acids such as lemon juice or vinegar. The solid curds are separated from liquid whey and formed into moulds to shape.
Cheeses can range in texture from hard cheeses such as parmesan to soft cheeses such as camembert or cream cheese. Depending on the type of cheese being manufactured, different bacteria and moulds can be added for flavour and to develop the rind. Some cheeses can also be made using vegetarian rennet alternatives which are sourced from fungus. Some can contain different flavours such as smoke or inclusions such as herbs and spices. Cheeses can be eaten fresh (for example ricotta), or they can be aged to develop their mild or sharp flavours, sometimes for up to 18 months depending on the depth of flavour and texture required.
Cheese is fantastic. I keep a range of soft and hard cheeses on hand as cheese makes a really easy portable snack, a quick sweet treat and a perfect topping when melted over baked dishes. The different textures cheese provides is great. You can use cheese as the base for sliders, dip vegetables into it, fry it, whip it, bake it, the uses for cheese are practically endless. Some of my favourites cheeses and their carbohydrate levels are below. Please check your favourite brands in your local supermarket –
Fresh liquid Cream which contains around 35-39.4g of fat per 100g. In Australia it is generally sold in 2 liquid forms, cream containing no additives known as Pure Cream which contains no additional ingredients, or as Whipping Cream. Whipping cream has additional ingredients added to it to aid in the formation of air bubbles during whipping and for the stability of air bubbles after whipping. Both types can be enjoyed on a low carbohydrate diet.
I use cream instead of milk in my coffee and tea as they both contain the same amount of carbohydrate. As cream is richer you use much less with only 1-2tbsp being enough for a rich coffee. I also find that coffee and tea made with cream keeps me fuller for much longer and I’m not looking for food as soon afterwards.
Cream can be used to thicken sauces, whipped for desserts, frozen for ice cream and made into homemade butter. Sour Cream is perfect for stroganoff, dolloping into soups, topping baked vegetables and for creating delicious dips.
Yoghurt is made by adding specific bacterial yoghurt cultures to milk and cream. These cultures can include Streptococcus Thermophilus, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. Other Probiotic bacteria’s can also be used. These bacteria’s consume the natural milk sugars (Lactose) found in the milk and produce lactic acid as a by-product. The lactic acid causes the milk proteins to curdle giving the Yoghurt its thick texture and tangy flavour. Once consumed the bacteria’s present help replenish healthy gut flora.
Yoghurt is highly nutritional providing protein, vitamins and calcium. The fat content of yoghurt depends on the type of milk used (Full fat vs Skim Milk, or no fat milk) and if cream is also added. Types of yoghurts that you can include in a low carbohydrate diet includes traditional Full Fat, Skim and No Fat and Greek yoghurt. Avoid Yoghurts with added fruit preparations or flavours, drinking yoghurt, organic and frozen yoghurts as they will most likely have high sugar and carbohydrate levels.
Yoghurt products are available in regular (stirred), pot set or drinking forms. Pot set is where the bacteria is placed into the pot with the yoghurt base. It’s incubated and the Yoghurt curd sets in the pot. You can see when you take this yoghurt from the pot that the curd breaks away and a small amount of whey or liquid may also be seen. Regular or stirred yoghurts go through the incubation process in a tank before it is stirred or mixed breaking the curd before packing giving a smoother texture than pot set.
Traditional Yoghurt is available in full fat, and variations of reduce fat or no fat. As the fat is pulled out though you may find that along with the fat level dropping, the protein level may increase slightly and the carbohydrate level increases. Be aware of this before you purchase by checking the nutritional panel. Greek Yoghurt is my favourite of all the plain yoghurts. Its thick and creamy texture is created by straining out as much of the whey as possible after the proteins have curdled giving its characteristic thick creamy texture. Compared to the sugar laden flavoured alternatives, Plain Greek Yoghurt is delicious, thick and creamy with a lovely tangy flavour. It’s perfect for use in desserts, to dollop on top of curries, to marinade chicken and used in beverages and added to desserts.
Labne is a thickened yoghurt which is absolutely delicious and is made by holding plain or greek yoghurt suspended in cheese cloth for 24 hours to drain the last amount of liquid whey. The Labne is thick and creamy and can be used to make dips, cheese balls and as a spread.
When I’m not on a low carbohydrate diet I do drink milk but I avoid milk when eating low carb as it has such a high carbohydrate content. It’s best to avoid milk-based coffee’s such as Cappuccino’s as this is a quick way to consume a large amount of carbohydrate in the form of milk sugars (Lactose), without realising it. Since the high amount of milk in a standard medium sized cappuccino in Australia is between 370 – 425ml, the carbohydrate level of one cup of coffee using full cream milk at around 4.7g/100ml of milk, makes that cup of coffee a whopping 17.4 – 20g of carbohydrate, all from Lactose (Milk sugar). Don’t forget we are trying to keep our daily intake to around 20-50g per day to be in Ketosis.
Thickened cream contains around 3.4g/100g of Carbohydrate. It is thicker and stronger and you need much less to make a delicious creamy coffee that will stick with you and provides satiety (something that makes you feel fuller for longer). Making your morning coffee by starting with a long black and adding say 3 tablespoons of cream or just 60ml will reduce the carbohydrate level of your coffee to only 2g and it will keep you going till lunch, no problems.
Copyright 2019 Food Facts for Healthy Eating