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How to Give Up Dairy Products


People are increasingly giving up dairy for environmental, animal rights, and dietary reasons. No matter why you want to give up dairy, it can be very difficult to leave cheese, ice cream and other delights behind. It can be especially hard if you eat out often. However, you can steer clear of dairy and still enjoy foods. By gradually removing dairy from your diet and cooking dairy-free meals, you can give up dairy.


Removing Dairy Gradually

  1. Make a list of foods that are dairy-based. Figure out which foods you like are dairy-based or have dairy. You can do this by reading the ingredients on product labeling, which often says, “Contains milk.” This can familiarize you with exactly what is in your food. It can also help you gradually remove it from your diet and give it up entirely. Common foods that are dairy-based or contain dairy include:[1]
    • Frozen desserts
    • Frozen meals
    • Cow’s milk
    • Mayonnaise
    • Dressings and dips
    • Whipped and ice creams
    • Fresh and frozen yogurt and kefir
    • Pudding
    • Cheese
    • Quark and sour cream
    • Butter
  2. Go shopping for alternatives. There are dairy-free options that can replace most foods. Foods marked “vegan” are dairy-free. Reading product ingredient labels for “contains dairy” can alert you to foods containing milk to milk-based products. Many non-dairy versions of products, such as shredded cheese, yogurt, and coffee creamers, are made from the following types of non-dairy milk:[2]
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    • Soy
    • Rice
    • Hemp
    • Flax
    • Coconut
    • Almond
  3. Give up dairy products by group. Giving up dairy cold turkey may cause cravings and take you off track. Start with the groups of dairy you like least, such as milk or coffee creamer. Work up to the dairy group you love most, such as yogurt or cheese. Getting rid of certain dairy products a bit at a time can help you give it up while minimizing cravings and helping you stick to your goal.[3]
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    • Add a new group of swaps after a couple of weeks or when you feel comfortable using the alternative. Keep going until you’re dairy free.
  4. Cook for yourself. Plan and make your own meals each week. This can minimize the risk of eating or drinking any dairy products. It can also help you figure out what to eat if you’re having dinner at a restaurant or another person’s home.[4] Examples of dairy-free meals include:
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    • Pasta with marinara sauce and steamed vegetables
    • Salmon sautéed in olive oil with a baked potato and nutritional yeast for flavor
  5. Dine out wisely. Dairy can pop up in a lot of sneaky places. This is especially true in restaurants. Check online menus for dairy-free options if you are going out. You can also ask your server or a manager if certain dishes contain any dairy or if they have been cooked with butter. Some restaurant foods that often contain or are cooked in dairy include:[5]
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    • Creamy soups such as chowders and bisques
    • Oatmeal
    • Thick dressings including ranch and thousand island
    • Omelets
    • Sautéed vegetables
    • Smoothies, including those with whey powder
    • Sherbet
  6. Reward yourself occasionally. Eating dairy-free doesn’t mean you have to give up delicious and decadent foods. Making yourself dairy-free treats once or twice each week can keep you excited about your diet and satisfy your taste buds. They can also keep you on track. Some easy, dairy-free ways to indulge include:[6]
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    • Vegan ice cream
    • Vegan fudge
    • Vegan pizza
    • Vegan cake
  7. Ask for support. Let your friends and family know you’re going dairy-free. Ask them to enjoy dairy-meals with you or share in your journey. Having support from loved ones can help you stay on your dairy-free diet.[7]
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Making Dairy-Free Meals

  1. Grab a hearty breakfast. It’s easy to have a non-dairy breakfast that satisfies you and helps get your day off to a good start. The following are some delicious, non-dairy breakfast options:[8]
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    • Cereal with coconut milk and a cup of coffee with soy creamer
    • Almond milk yogurt with berries
    • Toast with cashew butter and a cup of coffee with almond milk
    • Smoothie made with hemp protein powder and coconut milk[9]
    • Almond milk pancakes or muffins
  2. Fuel up with a delicious lunch. Your midday meal can give you fuel to get through a big part of your day. Some examples of satisfying, non-dairy dishes for lunch include:[10]
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    • Baked potato with avocado or tahini
    • Tomato soup thickened with ground cashews
    • Sandwich with hummus or nut butter
  3. Enjoy a savory dinner. Wind down your day with a rich and savory dinner. Some easy non-dairy evening meals include:[11]
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    • Pizza with homemade crust, veggies, and shredded soy cheese
    • Burritos or tacos with guacamole and salsa
    • Burger with a slice of avocado
  4. Delight in a dairy-free dessert. Many people associate dessert with creamy dishes including ice cream and pies with whipped topping. You can easily get the same delight from a dessert even without dairy. The following may satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt of dairy:[12]
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    • Nut milk ice cream
    • Frozen banana “ice cream”
    • Baked goods with coconut oil instead of butter
    • Sorbet

Watching Your Health and Nutrition

  1. Observe symptoms of lactose intolerance. Some people are not able to fully digest the lactose, or sugar, in milk. This can lead to uncomfortable symptoms and even malabsorption of calcium.[13] Most symptoms of lactose intolerance occur 30 minutes to two hours after consuming dairy-based foods and beverages. These may include:[14]
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    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal cramps
    • Bloating
    • Gas
  2. See your doctor. Make an appointment with your doctor if suspect that you are lactose intolerant or worry about not getting enough calcium in your diet. Your doctor can run tests to diagnose lactose intolerance or a calcium deficiency. They can also form a treatment plan for you if you have either condition and want to get enough calcium without dairy.[15]
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    • Let your doctor know what your symptoms are, when they started, or when you gave up dairy products.
  3. Get enough calcium through non-dairy foods. Lactose intolerance and not consuming dairy can lead to a calcium deficiency. Incorporating alternative foods and beverages high in calcium can prevent a calcium deficiency. Non-dairy foods and beverages high in calcium include:[16]
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    • Collard greens
    • Broccoli
    • Kale
    • Bok choy
    • Edamame
    • Figs
    • Oranges
    • Sardines
    • White beans
    • Tofu
    • Canned salmon
    • Okra
    • Almonds



Source: Wiki How