Wellness

Going dairy free: the steps beforehand

posted by Chris Valentine

You only have to look at the demand for dairy-free products over the last five years to see how many people are opting for this dietary route. Over this period of time the demand has doubled and it has become an absolutely huge market for the food industry.

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The reasons for going dairy-free can be aplenty. It might be for an intolerance, while some people just feel that avoiding dairy is beneficial to their overall health. In relation to the latter, some people have suggested that it can help your skin or even just ease general pain symptoms.

The topic was emphasized again after we saw that Ines Cano Uribe had shared an article about going dairy free. As the benefits are now so widely documented, we thought we would take a look at some of the steps that people are taking to make the transitional process easier.

You have to have backup calcium sources

Sure, going dairy-free is said to carry countless health benefits. However, in opting for this approach, you are also going to be taking away essential components of your diet.

One of these components is calcium. As we all know, dairy products provide our body with fantastic sources of this mineral and it’s crucial as it’s able to reduce the risk of osteoporosis as well as other conditions.

Fortunately, there are still plenty of non-dairy foods that contain calcium – but you’ve got to adapt your diet accordingly. To put a few examples out there, the likes of tofu, sesame seeds, dried figs and even almond milk have decent supplies of calcium – so make sure you have your ‘backup’ plan when you do make the permanent switch.

The same goes with protein

One of the big benefits about cow’s milk is the amount of amino acids it has, which helps to repair our cells. Ultimately, it means you now need to find a replacement food that is able to replace these amino acids and provide your body with a steady supply of protein.

Again, there are plenty of options if you look hard enough. Soya milk is probably the best direct replacement, but just turning to things like nuts is going to help and give your body a solid platform to build on.

Prepare for experimentation

Perhaps the biggest shock to your system will come in the way that you suddenly have much more freedom to experiment.

Something that many dairy-consumers are ‘guilty’ of is masking flavors. Adding dairy products, such as cheese and cream, to meals has become pretty common but both of these start to mask the true, natural flavors.

Now you are turning away from dairy, you suddenly have the chance to try all these flavors and dare we say it, add a degree of flair to your cooking.

Of course, there will still be occasions where you need to add a milk-like substance to a dish, and this is where something like almond milk or another substitute will work just fine. However, you should be grasping this opportunity with both hands – your dishes will feel much more flavorsome, although some people may take time to get used to this!

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