The Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse Has Moved.

My old website can be found at I am no longer updating the site, so there will be dead links. The static information provided by me is still sound.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or or or a whole lot of other places that Smashwords is suppose to distribute the book to. Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

I suffer the universal malady of spam and adbots, so I moderate comments here. That may mean you'll see a long lag before I remember to check the site and approve them. Despite the gap, you'll always get your say. I read every single one, and every legitimate one gets posted.

Monday, October 11, 2010

History of the Food Pyramid

I started my website, Steve Carper's Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse, back in 1997. (And don't say that it looks it. It doesn't. It looks like the 1998 version. So there.)

That was several generations ago in internet terms. I was on Compuserve even earlier. Compared to the hordes that crowd the net now, I'm an oldbie.

Yet there are still many things that I never understand. Like why a history of the U.S. Food Pyramid would appear on an Australian blog site. (Which means it's dated tomorrow as I write this. How's that for breaking news!)

It's a pretty good history, though. Worth the read. Lots of pictures to help it go down.

And some relevance to those who are lactose intolerant.

In theory, we digest and process food in the same ways, but a lot of us have allergies and dietary restrictions. Whether your restrictions are voluntary or not, you probably have to substitute a normal item you find on the food group pyramid for something else. It's important to remember that substitutes can have a major difference in nutritional value and to know what those differences are. Let's take lactose intolerance and milk as an example. If you're replacing milk, your most obvious choices are soy milk and rice milk. Rice milk has significantly higher levels of carbohydrates than regular milk, and soy milk often has a lot of sugar added (not always the case, but it's always worth checking first). If you don't eat meat and are looking at substitutes, many of them have a very high sodium content that you wouldn't find in actual meat. This isn't necessarily worse; it's just different. It's important to be aware of the differences in substitutions and not assume you're getting the exact same nutrients you'll find in the item it was designed to replace.

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