I have never been a picky eater. When it comes to food, I love trying new things and finding fun ways to mix up my diet and keep a fresh palate. I always felt bad for people who had food allergies…until I found out I was one of them. My diet can no longer include dairy. And I realized once I could no longer have it, just how often I had it from day to day.
Before I completely jumped in to life without dairy, I did some research about what it means to be lactose intolerant.
Lactose is a sugar found in milk and subsequently other dairy products that include milk like yogurt, ice cream, and cheese. Sometimes the digestive system cannot easily breakdown the sugar and can cause uncomfortable and complicated digestion. While symptoms of lactose intolerance are not necessarily painful, they can be uncomfortable. Bloating, gas, and stomach pains are included as the most common symptoms caused when consuming dairy as a lactose intolerant.
Thankfully, there are some awesome alternatives out there to help me and other people figure out the lactose intolerant lifestyle. The best part is, you may not even have to give up your sweet tooth!
Milk by itself is a great asset to someone’s daily diet because it provides necessary calcium for bones. In order to make sure the body is receiving necessary nutrients, Lactaid is a great alternative to milk. This dairy free brand replaces the lactose enzyme with lactase, allowing for easy digestion and still providing calcium for the body.
An interest in tree nut milks is also growing, and personally I enjoy the Silk brand almond milk. I use the vanilla flavor to add some sweetness to a bowl of cereal or just to enjoy in my coffee in the morning. It still provides the nutrients I need, and it tastes great as an interesting alternative to milk.
I never realized how much cheese I consumed until I had to completely cut it out of my diet. It’s on sandwiches, in salads, topping pizza, and covering nachos. All of those delicious foods we enjoy day to day include dairy. Daiya is a dairy free brand that produces lactose free cheese. This alternative can be used on tacos, in a salad, or even to top your pizzas. I went to Mellow Mushroom the other night for dinner and they served dairy free pizza using Daiya. It was so good I had to go buy some from the grocery store afterwards. This dairy free option is a great way to satisfy the cheese craving without discomfort.
Let’s be honest, ice cream is a great dessert and I had some trouble finding a way to maintain my sweet tooth and not feel uncomfortable doing so. The Lactaid brand also provides great options for lactose free ice cream. My personal favorite is the Salted Caramel Chip! They also had basic products like vanilla and chocolate. The alternatives taste just like ice cream, but are way easier to digest. I never feel bloated and don’t feel like I am missing out on a sweet dessert every now and then.
So do not fret- life without dairy is not all that scary! With these great alternatives, you can make sure you maintain calcium in your day to day diet without missing out on sweet treats or savory flavors.
Outside sources include: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/lactose-intolerance-topic-overview