If you’re ready to kick dairy to the curb here’s the lowdown on how to do it right!
Milk and dairy products are not the health foods we’ve been convinced they are. Consuming large amounts of dairy can cause hormonal imbalance, contribute towards respiratory disorders and negatively effect skin health.
Embrace fake milk and cheese
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There are oodles of substitute milks on the shelves for those of us that choose to shun animal milk. Finding the right one for you is just a matter of finding the one you like the taste of.
Many people opt for soya milk, but if you have digestive issues, like bloating, or heartburn then you might want to give soya a miss.
Soy milk can be hard to digest and can cause bloating and excess gas.
Coconut milk is my favourite alternative milk. It’s has great levels of medium chained fatty acids and good nutrient levels. If coconut milk is not to your taste, then try nut-based milk.
Almond milk has good calcium levels and a very similar texture to dairy milk.
Rice milk has been criticised for containing too much arsenic. If you are going to drink bucket loads or are giving it to children then maybe rice milk is not for you.
Some clever people make their own coconut or nut based milks at home.
The nuts or coconut are soaked, ground and strained resulting in delicious tasting milk. If avoiding additives in store based ‘fake’ milks is important to you this is something you could try.
There has been a burst of new ‘fake’ cheese on the market too. These new cheeses come in different forms depending on your cheese need.
There are soft cheeses for spreading, mozzarella-like cheeses for pizza. Dairy-free cheeses have really improved over the last few years.
They are usually made from coconut oil and starch or nuts. Take a look at what is on offer in your local health food store.
Dairy sneaks in everywhere.
It should state clearly on a packet whether a product contains dairy. Don’t assume that because something shouldn’t contain dairy that it won’t – I have been surprised to find dairy included in the least obvious foods.
Get your calcium elsewhere
The argument against going dairy-free is ‘how will you get your calcium?’
Now, animal milk is not the only source of calcium in the world. Cow’s produce calcium rich milk and they actually don’t drink milk.
Where do they get calcium from?
Grass, that’s right. I’m not suggesting you eat grass, but, leafy green vegetables are great sources of calcium. Also, add in tahini paste, almond nut butters and sardines for additional calcium.
You will never get close to the RDA for calcium on leafy greens and tahini paste alone and guess what – that doesn’t actually matter.
Yes you heard right, not getting your RDA of calcium, is not a big deal. The UK RDA for calcium is set way higher than other minerals – which is antagonistic to other nutrients.
Yes we need calcium for strong bones, but do we need the RDA set by the UK, no.
We do need vitamin D, vitamin K and magnesium as well as calcium for strong bones. It is a lack of these which might explain why our love affair with high calcium and dairy has left us with one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world.
Say goodbye to bad skin, bloating and numerous other ailments forever more
When dairy isn’t your friend it can produce a whole host of niggling health issues.
Taking it out of the diet and being super strict about it can produce health benefits you wouldn’t have expected.
Dairy-free lifestyles can often rectify sinus issues, eczema, excess mucous, acne, constipation and digestive issues.
Connect with Expert Sarah Hanratty