This cultural phenomenon maybe thousands of years old but recent scientific studies have shown various health effects directly linked to milk consumption. Instead of contributing to bone health, cow milk actually depletes the calcium from your bones! On top of it, a lot of people are lactose-intolerant and hence may have no choice but to go dairy-free. Dairy products contain casein, whey, and lactose. Anyone of those three may cause problems within the digestive system. But nowadays days, with the rise of veganism, people are making the right choice to go dairy-free (and meat-free) due to health and animal rights concerns. There are several dairy alternatives you could try. Almond milk, for example, offers the same amount of calcium as cow milk but without the saturated fat, sugar and cholesterol that cow milk has. (Something most consumers tend to overlook.)
How Do I Ditch the Dairy?
Here are some products to avoid if you are looking to cut out the dairy:
- Any cow-based dairy products including whole milk, low-fat milk, 1% milk, skim milk, all cheese varieties, sour cream, puddings, ice creams, frozen yogurt, and yogurt
- Goat-based, sheep-based and camel-based dairy products including milk, cheese, ice creams, and yogurts
- Here is a list of alternatives that do not naturally contain casein, whey, or lactose.
Dairy Milk Alternatives:
- Soy Milk
- Rice Milk
- Hemp Milk
- Almond Milk
- Coconut Milk (So Delicious for cereal/cooking and canned for recipes requiring a fatter version)
- Flax Milk (Good Karma)
- Cashew Milk (Silk)
- Dairy Yogurt Alternatives:
- Soy Yogurt
- Coconut Yogurt
- Almond Yogurt
- Dairy Butter Alternatives:
- Vegan Spread
- Olive Oil (like Solon or Irini!)
- Avocado Oil
- Coconut Butter
Dairy Cheese Alternatives:
NOTE: Always check the ingredients’ list for casein and sodium caseinate since these are common additives even in non-dairy alternatives.
- Coconut oil-based cheese alternatives… like my brand, Nafsika’s Garden!!
- Rice milk-based
- Almond milk-based
Dairy Ice Cream Alternatives:
- Almond Ice Cream (Almond Dream)
- Coconut Ice Cream (So Delicious brand)
- Rice Ice Cream (Rice Dream)
- Soy Ice Cream
- Frozen bananas, berries, mangos, pineapples, etc., also make great alternatives if you have a high-powered blender or food processor.
Other Dairy Alternatives:
- Puddings – there are dairy free options on the market now such as ZenSoy or you can make your own at home using canned coconut milk.
- Creamers – soy and coconut-based creamers are widely available at most grocery stores
- Sour cream – soy-based versions are the most commonly available.