Choosing a Dairy Free Diet
Studies show that eliminating dairy based foods from your diet may have various health benefits. Some of the advantages may include improving sinus and allergy issues, clearing up acne, resolving digestive problems and helping with weight loss.
Countless people avoid dairy because they are lactose intolerant. This is a condition in which the body is deficient in lactose, the enzyme necessary to digest lactose milk sugar. When lactose isn’t broken down, it passes into the large intestine causing gas, diarrhea and other uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms.
Lactose intolerance develops when the small intestine does not produce enough lactase. The body needs the enzyme lactase to digest lactose. However, numerous people who undergo health difficulties when they consume dairy have an immune reaction to dairy and are not enzyme deficient.
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Yes, there is a huge difference between dairy allergies and lactose intolerance. For people who have an allergy to cow’s milk, even consuming lactose free products or using digestive enzymes will not eradicate the health issues. Moreover, the health problems are not always correlative to the digestive system such as earaches or nasal congestion. Just keep I mind ; if you have allergies to dairy then the only way to relieve symptoms is to keep away from cow’s milk products altogether.
Note: Many people with dairy allergies can consume sheep or goats milk because it is easily absorbed.
For Milk and Cream: By and large, products with the least amount of ingredients are usually the best. Keep in mind that the many commercially made milk substitutes may have additives like sugar and other not so healthy ingredients.
Coconut milk works well as a milk or cream substitute in many recipes.
It’s a great substitute for coffee or tea creamer, amazing on hot or cold cereal and fabulous in smoothies.
Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and selenium, plus vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6.
Almond milk has a unique flavor that pairs well with smoothies, oatmeal, cereal and coffee. Although it offers minimal protein, almond milk does not contain good cholesterol, fats and lactose.
Rice milk is the most allergy-friendly of the dairy free milks. On the other hand, it has very little nutritional value except that it is low in fat and calories. In fact, it contains only three grams of fat and around 140 calories per serving. Please note; if rice milk is your only dairy substitute then make sure to eat other foods that will supply enough nutrition in your diet. Try Organic Rice Milk
Soy milk offers a similar nutritional summary to cow’s milk, with a good amount of proteins, calcium, potassium and vitamins A and D.
However, soy is one of the most common genetically modified crops around. If you want to avoid GMO soy, buy only organic soy milk.
For more information about GMO’s see: October is Non-GMO Month
For Butter: Use olive oil, coconut butter or macadamia nut oil. Choose alternatives to butter that are appropriate for the dish. Organic extra virgin olive oil subs nicely in Italian sauces and rice pasta dishes. Organic expeller-pressed macadamia nut oil is a flavorful gourmet style choice on fish or vegetables or stir fries. And coconut butter is a great alternative for butter when baking.
For a fabulous light meal or entrée, try Creamy Dairy Free Carrot Soup
Tip of the Day: Eat more calcium rich foods such as broccoli, fresh carrot juice, blackstrap molasses, prunes, oranges, almonds and onions.
For Cheese: Nowadays you can find a wide variety of dairy free cheese that is actually palatable. I have to tell you, I tried dairy free cheese when it first came out on the market. It was horrific.
The so called cheese tasted like flavored rubber and did not melt well at all. Today, you can find dairy free cheese that’s yummy, cheesy and melt in your mouth as well as on your meal. Please note that while lactose intolerant individuals can eat nondairy cheese substitutes, people with milk allergies cannot eat lactose free cheese products.
Cup of rice milk with spices: elana’s pantry via photopin cc
Rice milk in glass with star anise, cinnamon and other spices: kern.justin via photopin cc
Ice cream: prideandvegudice via photopin cc
Close up of soy milk: Chapendra via photopin cc
Bread and butter: elana’s pantry via photopin cc
Dairy free butter: nc_hiker (new photos now on SmugMug) via photopin cc