No Dairy? No Problem! Here’s What to Eat.
There are certain posts that I know just aren’t going to be popular with some people. I understand. Dairy products are something we can feel quite passionate about. As a patient myself, I distinctly remember the day when I was convinced that I was gluten intolerant. My response was: “Fine, but I’m not giving up dairy products!”
Fast forward about 15 years and as a Clinical Nutritionist not only do I personally avoid dairy completely, but I’m quite adamant about recommending that my patients do so as well.
A clinical nutrition patient recently brought up a good point and that is that I should write a post that encompasses dairy-free suggestions from milk to butter alternatives to desserts. So for those who have been diagnosed with dairy intolerant or for those who want to embark on a 30-day trial to see how they feel, here is a list of some of our favorite dairy alternatives.
There are other ‘nut milk’ alternatives as well. A caution about soy milk, many people do react negatively to soy, so it’s not on our suggested list.
Hemp milk is also popular but it’s a potential cross-reactive food with gluten, so ask your clinical nutritionist before trying it of making it a ‘regular’ part of your diet.
Daiya cheese – made from tapioca and arrowroot. There are mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and jalapeno variety.
Daiya needs to be melted, it can not be eaten otherwise. My family loves it but not everyone does. Melt it on a gluten-free pizza or put over gluten-free pasta. You can also make quesadillas with it. Rice tortillas are a delicious alternative if you’re avoiding corn.
Unfortunately, the other cheese substitutes typically contain casein (a milk protein) and therefore are not allowed.
Earth’s Balance is a company that makes ‘butter’ spreads from a variety of oils. I would recommend that you avoid the variety that contains soy, but there are a few options to choose from. This is a product to use sparingly when you’ve ‘got to have’ a butter-like substitute.
Here’s the reason why to not use abundantly: Seed oils such as soy, corn, canola, safflower, and sunflower should be avoided when possible- they are fragile and break down easily if they’re not highly processed. Unfortunately, when they are processed they often contain trans fats and have been stripped of their good nutrients. These oils are so delicate that they suffer from oxidative damage readily, something you want to avoid ingesting in your food.
If you tolerate nuts well, nut butter is a nice alternative. Peanut, almond, cashew are all delicious. The ingredients should simply list the nuts and salt unless you prefer unsalted. There should be no sugar nor other additives present.
Coconut oil – a light oil that can be cooked with high heat.
Olive oil – very healthful but don’t heat above a medium flame to avoid destroying the benefits of the oil.
Both are very tasty but tend to have sugar when they are flavored. Perhaps try the plain flavor and add your own fruit. If you miss the creamy taste of yogurt, this may be a nice treat for you.
When baking, coconut milk, rice milk, or almond milk are typically a valid replacement for cow’s milk in most recipes. Even pudding or custard recipes can be made with alternative milk with delicious results. You may need to add more ‘thickener’ but I find it comes out just fine.
Coconut or almond milk ice creams are also available. We don’t want you to consume a lot of sugar but if you have the ice cream ‘blues’ Coconut Bliss should improve your mood considerably! Dairy products made from any mammal are just not healthful.
We find that our patients in the clinical nutrition department feel much improved on a completely dairy-free diet. So let’s continue to put our heads together with more options and recipes. I hope you find this to be helpful. Please write to me with more questions or suggestions for other products that you have found.
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We have the tools to discover why you may be having trouble with a weakened immune system. It’s not difficult as long as you’re ready to make some dietary and lifestyle changes. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. We will hold your hand through the changes and make each step of change an easy one.
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC. CCN
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr Vikki Petersen is a public speaker, author of two books, several eBooks and creates cutting edge content for her YouTube community. Dr Vikki is committed to bringing Root Cause Medicine and its unique approach to restoring health naturally to the world.