Too much kefir making me fat?

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    Please I am at my wit’s end.

    So my diet was going quite well. I was feeling energetic, lost weight and overall felt great. Then I got some kefir grains.

    Everything in my diet was from the allowed foods list. But instead of having two bowls of yogurt I replaced them with 2 cups of kefir. Sometimes I would still have a bit of kefir.

    I didn’t notice at first but I was gaining weight again. Is it the kefir? Do I need to have less of it? This is after nearly 3 months of kefir consumption. And the candida problem is raising its head again. The lethargy has returned and coconut oil doesn’t help either. I take about 4 tbsp of that now.


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    I have lost weight eating kefir but maybe it is helping you digest foods better and things are not just flowing through you undigested.

    Here is an article on it helping with weight loss.

    Besides its satiety-inducing protein, Men’s Health’s EIC Zincenko said he named kefir to his list of flat belly foods because its probiotics may speed weight loss. Research from the University of Tennessee has shown that consuming three to four servings of dairy products a day may help men and women shed more pounds than cutting out dairy (a common, but erroneous, weight loss tactic.) For the real 411 on kefir and weight loss, I weighed in with Jennifer Ventrelle MS, RD, a registered dietitian at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and owner of the private practice Weight No More:

    There’s been a lot in the media over the past few years about low-fat dairy and weight loss. Is it true? Can adding a few servings to your diet help with weight loss and if so, how?

    There have been some studies that have shown to reduce belly fat in people who consumed 3 servings of low-fat dairy products daily. The effect was not found to be as great for those individuals who got calcium from supplemental sources. The thought is that when there is more dietary calcium in the cells, fat is more likely to be burned instead of stored.

    Do you recommend products like kefir to your weight loss clients? What do you like about kefir in general or in particular?

    Yes — I do recommend this product. I tell them to get the low-fat versions and talk about the benefits of not only calcium from this product, but the probiotics as well. I do caution my clients, however, since this product is slightly high in sugar, to be sure to limit their intake to 1 cup in a sitting… especially for my diabetic clients. One benefit is that it is also high protein. I tell my clients that it can be a great snack on its own!

    Besides helping you into your skinny jeans, kefir can also be used medicinally to treat and soothe a variety of health care issues.

    Immune system-boosting: For individuals being treated with medications such as antibiotics, kefir can help by replenishing protective intestinal flora which can be destroyed during treatment. (Antibiotics go after “bad” bacteria in the body but may also kill the “good” bacteria in the large intestine in the process. The result: stomach discomfort and diarrhea.) According to a November 2008 study published in American Family Physician, up to one in five individuals on antibiotics stop taking their medicine before completing the full course of therapy due to diarrhea. But, researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University said, physicians could help patients avoid this problem by prescribing probiotics. A single-month supply of supplemental probiotics can cost between $8 and $22; a 32-oz. bottle of kefir costs about $3.00.

    Lactose intolerance: Probiotic cultures “predigest” some of the lactose in dairy products, making kefir a terrific milk product for people suffering from lactose intolerance. A recent study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association examined people struggling with lactose intolerance and found that kefir can actually improve lactose digestion. The reasoning? Kefir’s live, active bacteria cultures help break down the sugars in milk. The researchers asked 15 adults to try five test foods: 2% milk; plain kefir; raspberry-flavored kefir; plain yogurt; and raspberry-flavored yogurt, each following a 12-hour fast. Study participants reported having little or no symptoms associated with lactose intolerance after eating both types of yogurt and kefir. In fact, drinking kefir reduced flatulence frequency by more than half when compared with milk.

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome: IBS is not a disease, per se, but a grouping of symptoms including abdominal pain or discomfort, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation. Dietary changes are often suggested as a first-line defense against IBS. After all, why take medication if adding or subtracting certain foods could help? Many studies show that adding certain types of yogurt — specifically, those containing the bacteria lactobacilli and bifidobacteria — to your diet may alleviate the symptoms of IBS. These “good” bacteria are normally found in the large intestine, but adding them to your diet can help with gas, pain and bloating, while reducing the time it takes for food to move through the intestine, says Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist Michael Picco, MD. This, in turn, may be helpful in people with constipation; probiotics may also decrease the frequency of loose stools, improving IBS-related diarrhea. In one recent UK study, IBS sufferers who received a probiotic preparation made up of multiple strains of Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Lactis and Bifidobacterium Bifidum reported significantly greater improvement in the severity of their symptoms, fewer days of pain and improved quality of life compared with those who received a placebo.

    Probiotic-rich foods like kefir have also been shown to be beneficial in treating yeast infections, infant colic, bad breath, hangovers, and Traveler’s Diarrhea.

    Drink up!

    Design your ideal smoothie and find out your Kefir-ality here

    Live in Chicago? Visit Starfruit Café for frozen kefir.

    Here is a discussion on folks like yourself who has gained weight while eating kefir. And they think its from the milk itself. Maybe switch to water kefir which is easy to make.

    “Weight gain can simply be from the high calorie content of the milk. Keep in mind that animal milks are produced in large part to increase weight of baby animals quickly. It is not a “diet” food by any means.”

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