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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Jane Clarke's Dodgy Lactose Advice


Jane Clarke is blurbed as one of the foremost nutritionists in the U.K. This worries me. (I can't find any record of her formal qualifications in a Google search. If anybody knows please write in.)

Anyway, she appears to have a column in the Daily Mail newspaper, a paper that's been so heavily pushing her Vitality Diet that I wonder if they have a financial interest.

Her January 17, 2007 column had this startling exchange:

Question:

I am severely lactose intolerant and can never find a suitable diet that contains no milk, butter, cheese, or yoghurt. Any ideas please, as I need to lose 2 stone. I also take low dose antidepressant to help with IBS – and this has piled on my weight!

Jane says:

First, discuss your weight gain with your doctor, as there may be another drug that would give you the support you need, one that doesn’t have such a dramatic weight-gaining effect – it's worth asking. Remember that weight gain can only come from eating more than your body is able to burn up during exercise, etc – some antidepressants can enhance your hunger, in which case you have to pull back from the eating-until-you’re-full scenario, as you will over-eat if you’re not careful.

Some drugs can make you crave sweet foods more, in which case you could try either sniffing vanilla essence or sprinkling some cinnamon on a cappuccino or cereal – both are traditional remedies for helping us get over sweet cravings.

You could substitute soya, rice or oat milk (and use dairy-free margarine instead of butter, etc.) in many of my suggestions, along with soya yoghurt – although some of the soya yoghurts can be very high in sugar, which doesn’t go hand-in-hand with weight loss.

I would suggest that first you keep a food diary (see answer 8 above as to how to do this), as it can be a good first step to seeing exactly how much you’re eating and when. You'll see that many of my good healthy eating tips in the Vitality Plan can be incorporated into your life – such as drinking plenty of water and eating slowly.

Aromatherapy? No understanding that soy, rice, and oat milks vary as much in fat content as dairy foods? Nothing about lactose-free fat-free milk? Has she ever studied the subject at all?

I think you deserve better. Try to find a nutritionist who's heard of lactose intolerance and developed some eating plans accordingly instead pulling one out of her ... assorted bag of cheap tricks.

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