Dairy products have become a huge component of the western diet which can make things a bit tricky. Fortunately there are a few good substitutes out there.
Lactose is the sugar found in dairy products and we as a species do not metabolize this sugar very well.
The primary enzyme used to digest lactose is conveniently referred to as lactase and there are varying degrees to which each one of us produces this enzyme.
Some individuals have technically evolved to the point where they can fully and completely digest lactose. Their body produces adequate amounts of lactase. However this is not the case for the majority of the population.
Most people are either allergic, dangerously react to dairy products, or they are intolerant. An intolerance be can anything from causing internal inflammation which you will not notice to bloating, gas, and discomfort after consuming a dairy product.
Now I am not saying that everyone should throw dairy out the window. You need to find where you fall on the "dairy spectrum". Can you comfortably eat dairy products or do you have some sort of "reaction" every time you do?
That being said I do believe that there is zero harm from eliminating dairy from our diets and we may even become healthier from doing so.
Here are 5 alternatives to some of your dairy favourites...
1. Milk - Almond, Coconut, Cashew, Rice, or Soy Milk.
These are awesome bases for smoothies!
2. Yogurt - Coconut, Almond, or Chia Seed Pudding.
However yogurt may still leave your stomach churning and if that is the case you can try turning to coconut milk yogurt, almond milk yogurt, or chia seed pudding.
3. Ice Cream - Coconut Milk Ice cream.
Now there are other options out there you can substitute for your typical dairy ice cream like soy and rice, but hands down the most delicious substitute is coconut milk ice cream.
Coconut milk ice cream still has a creamy smooth texture that we have come to expect from this frozen treat. If you have never tried it I recommend giving it a go next time your in the mood (for ice cream that is...).
4. Butter - Coconut Oil or Ghee
You may not heard of ghee before. Ghee is clarified butter in which the original cream and milk is heated and the fat separates from the milk solids. The fat is removed and this fat is referred to as ghee.
Ghee has zero lactose making it a suitable choice for us intolerant folk. Disclaimer...it's expensive!
5. Cheese - Nut Cheeses
Nut cheeses are made from nuts, surprise surprise, and they typically come in softer varieties. Varieties that are good for spreading. They taste surprising similar to cheese so don't necessarily turn your check at the thought of a nut cheese.
Now trying to finding a nut cheese is a store is nearly impossible so you will most likely have to make this one at home. Here are a few recipes for you!
Live Your Best Life!