Take Dairy Out of Your Diet

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Taking dairy out of your diet is easier than removing gluten. It hides as “casein” or “whey” in some products but for the most part, it’s easy to find and avoid. Most food labels tell you whether the product contains milk, although it’s important to read labels thoroughly. (After years of reading labels, I still miss an ingredient my family can’t tolerate. Fortunately, my children usually catch my mistakes.) Avoid all foods containing milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, milkfat, butterfat, casein or whey.¬† That’s basically it. ¬†Read labels carefully.

When I started taking cow’s milk out of my child’s diet, the only substitute I could find was soy in the form of soy milk, soy cheese, soy yogurt, etc. Later, I found out that people who can’t tolerate dairy usually can’t tolerate soy either, so I began searching for other “milks.” We drank rice milk for a long time until we found my youngest child couldn’t tolerate rice, then we switched to coconut milk. Almond, cashew, hazelnut and other non-dairy beverages (they can’t be labeled as “milk” any more) are now in most supermarkets. You can easily make nut milks at home with a blender and nut milk bag. The only dairy product I have not found a good substitute for is cheese, but there are a few moderately acceptable dairy-free cheese products made from quinoa, tapioca or cashews that are suitable for use as pizza toppings or to melt on top of a burger.

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