Does eating dairy make you feel bloated and tired? This could be a sign of lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivity.
One of the most obvious signs of dairy allergy is adult acne. However, dairy can do more than trigger pimples. Research shows that a high intake of dairy products during childhood increases the risk of colorectal cancer during adulthood.
Does this mean everyone should eliminate dairy from their diet? Unless you’re eliminating dairy for ethical reasons, only those who are allergic to dairy need to avoid it. Just like gluten, dairy is mostly harmful to those who are allergic to it.
However, everyone who eats dairy should consume it in moderation. So below I’ll share tips on how to reduce your dairy intake or even cut it out completely from your diet.
1. GET CALCIUM FROM VEGAN SOURCES.
Are you concerned that cutting out dairy will make you calcium deficient? Well, there’s no need to worry. You can get your calcium from plant sources.
In fact, you will get many other nutrients from plant-based calcium including magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C and K.
I’d like to remind you that simply consuming calcium is not enough. Your body needs enough vitamin D in order to absorb calcium.
2. AVOID HIDDEN DAIRY.
Don’t assume that your diet is dairy-free just because you don’t eat cheese or milk. You may be surprised to find out that energy bars, soups, salad dressings, crackers, and flavored potato chips can contain dairy.
Reading labels will help you avoid these hidden dairy sources. Keep in mind that ingredients such as casein or whey protein are dairy products. A good way to spot hidden dairy is to look at the allergy warning under the ingredients. Companies in the U.S. are required by law to disclose milk ingredients.
3. COMPENSATE FOR REDUCED PROTEIN INTAKE.
The protein supplements industry is based around dairy products, which goes to show that dairy is a great source of protein, but you don’t need dairy to get adequate protein.
You do need to increase your protein intake after you cut out dairy. Get your protein from legumes, dairy-free yogurt, nuts and whole grains.
4. USE PLANT-BASED MILK.
There are many cow milk alternatives nowadays, including: coconut milk, rice milk, almond milk and soy milk.
And the best part is most plant-based milk is fortified with all the nutrients found in cow milk including calcium, riboflavin, and potassium. Experts say that soy milk is the healthiest plant-based milk.
5. GO EASY ON PROCESSED DAIRY-FREE ALTERNATIVES.
Don’t assume that dairy-free foods are healthier. Many of them can be highly processed and loaded with calories.
Eat dairy-free junk foods, like ice cream and cheese, in moderation. Even better, try these healthy vegan ice cream recipes.
6. TRY NEW SANDWICH TOPPINGS.
Your sandwich can still taste great without topping it off with cheese. Use ripe avocado to make your sandwich tasty and get lots of nutrients at the same time.
Which tricks have you used to cut out dairy?