How To Start Eating Dairy Free: Making Beyond Milk Life Guide
Switching lifestyles no matter how minimal your choice can be extremely difficult, often terrifying, and mostly just overwhelming. When changing your diet, whether it may be for health benefits, weight loss, allergies, or just a test there are so many elements that we need to consider. Our diet, our health, and our bodies are directly linked and one will always affect the other. Therefore when making any changes no matter how drastic a lot of knowledge and research should be done beforehand.
Many people choose to omit dairy from their diet due to lactose intolerance and ethics and choose a dairy-free lifestyle for its many health benefits too. If this is something you are considering then here is the perfect dairy-free for beginners guide you will definitely need along the journey.
What Is A Dairy-Free Diet?
Before we decide to switch up our diets entirely it’s best to first understand what eating dairy-free actually means. Dairy is essentially a product that comes from animals, which is also often used to make other products or developed into an entirely different ingredient altogether. Some dairy products you would be familiar with include milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter but are also present in things such as cakes, biscuits, chocolate, pastries, bread, creamy beverages, ready meals, pasta bakes, and ice cream.
A dairy-free diet would mean that one would omit this product entirely from their day-to-day life and rather replace it with one of the many plant-based alternatives that are now freely available to us.
The Dairy-Free Diet List Of Foods To Avoid
The first step in ensuring that your transition is as easy and efficient as possible is to create lists, to establish what is dairy and what is not, and ultimately what you can eat. Ensuring that these foods have been removed from your fridge and pantry and replaced with their alternatives is the best way to learn about being dairy-free and also ensure there are no slip-ups. So going dairy-free what to avoid includes:
- Milk including evaporated milk, condensed milk, and buttermilk;
- Cheeses – including cottage cheese and cheese-based sauces;
- Ice cream;
- Baked goods;
- Most puddings;
- Granola bars;
- Coffee creamers;
- Instant meals;
- Creamed foods;
- Salad dressings;
- Mashed potatoes;
- Certain candies;
- Fried foods;
- Chewing gum;
- Condiments such as mayonnaise and 100 islands.
How To Start A Dairy-Free Diet
Now that you have a well-equipped list of dairy-based foods you should avoid when switching to a dairy-free lifestyle, the following steps will be a lot easier and more manageable. Starting a dairy-free diet is not as hard as it seems and one of the reasons is because there are so many direct alternatives to the products we all know and love. This all came about due to the high demand for vegan foods and the overwhelming support for a plant-based lifestyle. Once you have educated yourself on the foods that you should be abiding with, the next step of the diet swap is to focus on the “dairy-free” substitutes you should be including.
What To Eat On A Dairy-Free Diet
At first, you may feel like you can’t eat anything or that your options become very limited, and finding options for lunch, breakfast dinner and snacks is an overwhelming task. However, once you understand the foods you can eat this becomes a lot easier. A typical dairy-free diet food list includes :
- Soya yogurt;
- Coconut/soy and cashew cheese;
- Plant-based kinds of milk – including almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk, and cashew nut milk;
- Dairy-free ice cream;
- Soy-based cream cheese;
- Vegan desserts;
- Plant-based butter;
- Coconut coffee creamer;
- Vegan mayo.
Other Foods That Are Naturally Dairy Free Include:
- Plant-based meats;
- Beans and legumes.
So now that you know what foods are dairy-free it is easy to create meal ideas to add to your diet. I would recommend directly replacing your dairy-based products with their plant-based alternative, for example, instead of regular milk try using plant-based milk of your choice instead. A common question that is often asked when it comes to being dairy-free is “ can you eat eggs on a dairy-free diet.”
The answer to this is yes, although eggs are still an animal product they do not contain any milk or dairy products and are a great source of protein on a dairy-free diet.
Dairy-Free Diet Menu
To make your transition even easier, here is an example of a healthy and well-balanced dairy-free diet meal plan that will ensure you are getting all the nutrients and vitamins you need to maintain a strong and healthy body.
Coconut yogurt with vegan granola and summer berries.
Whole Wheat wrap with avocado, chickpeas, tomatoes, cumbers, and dairy-free cheese.
Tomato and basil pasta with roasted broccoli and nutritional yeast.
- Carrots and hummus;
- Nuts and seeds;
- Dates and peanut butter;
- Veggie crisps;
- Vegan energy bars.
The Bottom Line
As you can see moving towards a dairy-free diet and lifestyle is not as difficult as it may appear in your head. With all the alternatives we have available to us today, you won’t even notice the difference in taste and you may feel a lot better for it too.
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