If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, by this point, you’re probably a seasoned pro at eliminating dairy from your diet. However, if your plan is to eliminate dairy as a weight-loss method, to clear your skin, or even just simply eat cleaner, the journey to a milk-free life may seem like a bumpy road. It’s tough to pass up a cheesy piece of pizza or a heaping bowl of ice cream, but with a couple of easy substitutes, we promise it can be done.
Find Non-Dairy Calcium Sources
According to the Recommended Daily Allowances, the daily value (DV) for Calcium is 1000-2000mg for adults and children over 4 years old. With this in mind, most people believe that dairy is one of the few food sources rich in calcium; and for the sake of maintaining bone health, cutting out dairy seems frivolous. However, foods such as dark leafy greens, legumes, and nuts can contribute to a large percentage of your intake of calcium. Read here for non-dairy foods rich in calcium.
Find Good Substitutes
To be clear and with full admittance, cheese alternatives/substitutes will be just that, alternatives. It will be nearly impossible to completely replace a cheese that will fully embody it with texture and flavor with a dairy-free one. However, topping your pasta with a vegan “parmesan” or adding a slice of cashew-derived American “cheese” into your lunchtime turkey wrap will absolutely fill the void. Also, with a variety of dairy-free milk replacement such as almond, cashew, or even hemp milk, you are sure to find a tasty alternative to suit your liking. Luckily, this day in age, finding a replacement for salad dressings, ice cream, and even yogurt is simple and extremely accessible.
Finding Protein Elsewhere
As said by Dr. Goglia, (nutritionist to the Kardashians, Chris Pratt, and Ryan Gosling) “Dairy isn’t really a food source of protein. While many people consider dairy to be a protein, the body will utilize it first as lactose (milk sugar). Therefore, people who believe that they can get sufficient protein in their daily diet from eating dairy products are misinformed.” Taking this into consideration, it will be significantly more beneficial finding protein sources from salmon, chicken, lean meat, eggs, quinoa, or nuts.
Steering clear from dairy can cause more hesitation when we think of how tasty it is. However, when prioritizing your health, digestion, weight loss, and skin integrity, cutting out dairy should be an easy choice. Still weary? Dr. Goglia explains that nearly all adults have an inherent inability to utilize dairy products and are, therefore, lactose intolerant. In effort to improve your total health, omitting dairy from your daily food choices will be a great way to jumpstart a cleaner and more gut healthy way of life.