Why Go Dairy-Free?
Dairy products have been associated with health problems like acne, digestive problems, chronic congestion, ear infections among others. According to research, any person who has quit dairy products has reported to have had improvement in their health. Try going dairy-free for a month and watch the quality of life greatly improve for the better.
The nutritional concern with dairy products is that almost all carbohydrates are derived from lactose which is difficult for the body to digest. Today an overwhelming number of people have become lactose intolerant; 80 percent of Asians and 70 percent of Africans. Dairy products are to blame for most if not all chronic digestive problems.
Dairy products have no fiber nor iron and the fat comprises a lot of calories. In whole milk, for instance, close to half of its calories comes from fat which is not good for the body. There is also concern that milk might contain pus, a question FDA refuses to answer.
Just like animals that are reared for meat, dairy animals go through abuse and unethical treatment. Many dairy cows are confined to small stalls in farms and are never allowed to graze outside. Also, did you know most of the dairy cows live to a maximum of age five years despite cows being able to live for twenty years? This is because dairy cows are slaughtered for beef after growing older when the amount of milk they produce reduces.
How to Go Dairy-Free
Going dairy is never easy to do. It is therefore advised to gradually ease into it. Take a look at all the dairy products you consume from cheese pizza, ice cream, yogurt, butter, whole milk, cheese slices or milkshakes. You will find out that you are obsessed with one or two of these products while you only consume the rest occasionally. Now go ahead and cut those products out and you will be so close to being completely dairy-free. Unlike from cutting them out abruptly consider substituting these products with non-dairy ones. The varieties available are limitless;
- Milk: There is vegan milk available in most supermarkets and natural food stores. Go for milk alternatives like coconut, almond, hemp seed milk and soy which are also very readily available. Consider buying soy milk that is refrigerated because it is cheaper and environmental friendly.
- Yogurt: Vegan yogurt is readily available from brands such as Nancy’s, Trader Joe’s and So Delicious. Try Peach & Mango soy yogurt by Silk. It is probably the best vegan yogurt you will ever take.
- Cheese: Are you a fan of cheese and but considering to go vegan? Check our vegan cheese page for brands and options available. When buying, check for ingredients to ensure it is vegan cheese in case it doesn’t say in the label. Check out for milk-based ingredients like casein or sodium caseinate.
- Butter: Vegan butter options are now more available than before. There are brands that produce vegan butter like Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter which is organic and is as tasty as cow butter. Also, Earth Balance is a mass-market product that is available in many supermarkets and contains no fats or any artificial ingredients.
- Ice Cream: Vegan ice creams are produced by a good number of excellent brands. Häagen-Dazs, So Delicious and Tofutti make a good variety of vegan ice cream with different delicious flavors. Also, Ice cream bigwigs Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs both offer a variety of vegan chocolate ice creams.
- Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, and Mayo: Tofuti, Follow Your Heart and Daiya make amazing vegan cream cheese. You can get these brands from natural food stores, Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s. Just Mayo by Hampton Creek makes various brands of mayonnaise which are available at Costco and Walmart and natural food stores in the country.
- Coffee Creamer: So Delicious and Silk produce vegan creamers that go very well with coffee.
Everyone either vegan or not should be aware of the nutrition content in their diets to ensure their bodies are well nourished.
When going dairy-free you will need to take note of calcium and vitamin D. There are vegan foods that are rich in calcium and are also very healthy. They include:
- calcium-fortified soy milk
- some leafy greens
- calcium-set tofu
- some beans
Vitamin D is found in most of the dairy products like milk therefore when going vegan make sure to get a vitamin D supplement if you decide to cut off all dairy from your diet.
If you are looking for a dairy-free cookbook find the one that has the word vegan in the title. This will help you filter from thousands of cookbooks in the market. Vegan cookbooks are available and in all the varieties you could imagine. Since vegan cookbooks contain animal-free recipes they are automatically dairy-free.
If you are new to being vegan go for a cookbook that contains simple recipes you can prepare in a few minutes. Mary Mattern’s Nom Yourself and/or Robin Robertson’s Quick-Fix Vegan are great choices. Once you feel ready to advance go for Happy Healthy Vegan Kitchen or Eaternity.
If you are a lover of baking there are many cookbooks for you. Two books that have a wide variety are The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes and Whole Grain Vegan Baking. There are also cookbooks for those who prefer sweeter thing. Check out Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Chloe’s Vegan Desserts, and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.
Cutting off dairy products from your diet is easier than you might think. So, as we said, in the beginning, go dairy-free for a month and see what happens. You might be so happy and not go back.