If you suffer from lactose intolerance, there are a number of symptoms you may experience after eating dairy products, such as wind, bloating, diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramps.
If these symptoms sound familiar, it won’t do you any good to ignore them.
It’s time to cut out dairy.
Thanks to an increasing awareness regarding food intolerance and what we put into our bodies, cutting out particular foods has become much easier than it was 20 years ago and there are some great alternatives for those seeking a free-from diet.
That said, it’s not always easy to change the habits of a lifetime. Choosing to give up your favourite foods such as cheese and pickle sandwiches or cheesecake can be tough – but the results are extremely worthwhile.
So which foods should you cut out?
Having just a little bit of knowledge about what it means to go dairy-free can make the transition a lot easier. There are a number of primary foods you should avoid, including milk, butter and margarine, yoghurt, cheese (in all forms), ice cream and fromage frais.
Make sure to keep an eye out for places where these foods might sneak in, such as cheese-flavoured crisps or biscuits and many types of bread.
It’s also advised to cut out cakes, chocolate, sweeteners and milk-based desserts. Many ready meals also include dairy products.
Product packaging will often include ‘free from’ labels, however it’s important to be aware that the ‘dairy-free’ label usually indicates the product is only free from cow’s milk and not that of other animals. Remember, you only need to read the label once to know which products are OK to eat.
It can even be worth making a list of ‘safe’ products to make food shopping a breeze and encourage you to maintain your dairy-free diet.
Things can only get better
Now it’s time to work out what you can replace these foods with. Cow’s milk can be substituted by rice, oat, almond or soya milk. Soya milk products are very popular, with soya milk, yoghurts and cream cheese readily available in supermarkets. There are also an increasing number of options with hemp milk, cashew nut milk, and coconut milk.
Some people might find they are intolerant to cow’s milk but not to other that of other animals. This means you can try foods made from buffalo or goats’ milk – such as cream, cheese, yoghurt and butter. Goats’ cheese and buffalo mozzarella are some of the best examples of delicious cow-free options.
The sweetest thing
When it comes to the sweet stuff, there are dedicated companies like Pudology who make Dairy-free Desserts. Pudology create top-quality free-from desserts using ingredients such as coconut milk and dark chocolate to retain the best flavour.
Many plain and dark chocolates are dairy-free, and there are also an increasing number of soya-based desserts, which can be found in most supermarkets.
Bit by bit
Our final piece of advice, and one that is extremely important, is that you should allow yourself a gradual introduction to the dairy-free diet. If you ease yourself in gently, this will allow your body and mind to adapt and to appreciate the positive effect of these changes.
One of the best ways to make for a smooth and easy transition is to choose dairy-free recipes that contain some of your other favourite ingredients. Cooking with coconut milk to create tasty dishes such as red and green Thai curries made with salmon, chicken or vegetables will make you wonder why you ever needed dairy in the first place.
Any meat or fish dish can be accompanied by a range of great, dairy-free sauces such as honey and orange, lime and chilli or lemon and capers. Mexican-style dishes such as spicy chicken and avocado wraps or beef tacos are also delicious choices. Make the most of the lack of dairy by being adventurous with your side dishes, adding a bit of crispy kale, asparagus or lentils to any main dish.
Don’t forget that our Yogs can be used to cook with as well as eat as a snack.
The sweetest thing
When it comes to dessert, there’s really only one option… and that’s Pudology!
Our range, which includes Millionaires’ Pud and Chocolate Pud, is stocked in many branches of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Holland & Barrett, as well as a number of local health food shops and online at Ocado and Goodness Direct.