Veganism seems to be on the rise lately, but what most people do not understand is that it constitutes more than just ceasing to eat meat. One practice that encompasses veganism is going Dairy-Free.
What is a Dairy-Free diet?
People go on a dairy-free diet for various of reasons. But allergies and intolerance are commonly the most common causes. A dairy-free diet, as the names suggests, consists of consuming food without dairy. Such examples of food are milk, cheese, ice cream, and yoghurt.
What’s the difference between an allergy and an intolerance?
A dairy allergy is different to a lactose intolerance – a cow’s milk allergy is a response in the immune system when cow’s milk is consumed your body identifies the dairy as dangerous. If you suffer from an allergy, you may experience bloating, vomiting, skin reactions or respiratory problems.
A lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is somewhat less severe than an allergy. Lactose is a sugar found in all animal’s milk, and can cause reactions to the skin and digestive system as some people do not produce as much lactase (the enzyme responsible for digesting lactose) and so are unable to digest the sugar. But often those with a lactose intolerance are able to consume small amounts with no ill-effects. (Source: http://www.freefromheaven.com/2015/02/what-is-a-dairy-free-diet/)
What constitutes of a Dairy-Free diet? Here’s a quick breakdown by Free From Heaven.
Foods to avoid if you are eating dairy-free:
- Ice Cream
- Cheese and Cream Cheese
Dairy can be found in a large number of foods, so it is important to check the labels before consuming.
Dairy is likely to be found in the following products:
- Breads and cakes
- Low-fat spreads
- Ready meals
- Cheese-flavoured products
Milk is high in Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and the vitamins B2 and B12. Calcium is important in the growth of bones and teeth, and in the regulation of muscle contraction and blood clotting. You can get your calcium intake from sources other than milk though, see the list below.
Calcium can be found from other dairy-free sources, such as:
- Canned fish
- Green leafy vegetables (watercress, broccoli, kale)
- Seeds, nuts and dried fruits (apricots, currants, figs, almonds)
- Pulses, beans and whole grains (kidney beans, chick peas)
- Orange Juice with added calcium
Benefits of a Dairy-Free diet
- Weight loss
- Decreased bloating
- Reduced sinus infections and congestions
- Smoother and softer skin
- More nutrient-packed diet
- Boost in energy
Read more about the benefits of a dairy-free diet HERE!