Two years ago I was delighted to learn about kefir's health benefits. I started having plain kefir every morning for breakfast, congratulating myself that I was getting its probiotics on a daily basis.
Kefir is similar to yogurt, in a more liquid form. It has its own combination of lactobacillus bacteria and yeasts as well as polysaccharides known as kefiran. According to an article on Oprah.com, "kefir" means something like "good feeling" or "pleasure". That matched my experience completely.
Kefir was a quick and easy start to the morning, delicious and satisfying. I was wary at first, looking for any signs of dairy issues. I can't drink milk without running into issues with mucus and an upset stomach. But kefir didn't bring any of this on, so I was home-free. Or so I thought.
I have been living low carb for most of the last decade, losing fifty pounds of unhealthy weight in the first couple of years. For some reason I didn't make the connection between my morning kefir and the slow but steady weight gain I also started to experience two years ago, until recently.
I had been chalking this regrettable state of affairs to being at the upper end of my 50s, and having been stuck in a chair most of last year due to muscle pain of different kinds. I have had these kinds of setbacks before, and I handled it -- or tried to -- the way I have handled it in the past.
I watched my diet, drank lots of water, went for walks, stuck with my moderate exercise program -- the one that had helped me to lose unwanted weight in the past. Yet I continued to put on weight, and went up a dress size.
I had tried to make my peace with this apparent indicator of middle-age ... until I read something that suggested kefir and low carb may not mix.
I replaced my morning glass of "pleasure" with steak, chicken or bacon. And after a week of this change, the stubborn bathroom scales and tape measure slowly began to budge. Over the past month, those numbers have continued to shrink.
This doesn't mean nobody should drink kefir. It's great for some people. And kefir may work for some people on a low carb diet. But for me, it's a mistake.