Whether it be stomach aches, blocked nose, skin problems, avoiding dairy foods can be a blessing for some who simply feel better without these milk products. Vegans are also adding to the demand for dairy food alternatives.
Some people have a diagnosis such as lactose intolerance, milk protein sensitivity or allergy.
Lactose intolerance means having an inability to process the lactose (the sugar found in milk) due to not producing enough of the lactase enzyme in the body. It affects around 5% of the Australian population and is commonly linked to digestive problems like cramps, bloating, gas, nausea and irritable bowel. If you have lactose intolerance, you may still be able to have dairy foods but the type and amount tolerated will be individual. Yoghurt and fermented dairy may be better tolerated as lactose is consumed in the fermentation process. The amount left depends on how long it was fermented for.
Milk Protein Allergy affects around 1 in 50 infants, milk protein allergy is a common cause of food allergy in babies and infants. Common symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting and also skin issues like eczema or hives. Children often outgrow this allergy by age 4.
Gut and skin issues can occur in some people more slowly – days after eating dairy foods – rather than minutes to hours as in the case of milk allergy – and this is often referred to a milk protein sensitivity or intolerance, not an allergy.
So how do you begin to reduce or eliminate dairy products?
Stocking up on dairy-free options is the easiest way to not get caught out while you’re hungry!
What do I use instead of milk?
For a curry and in a lot of cooking, coconut milk is the non-dairy go-to for creaminess.
On cereal and in drinks, a popular option is Coco Quench blend of organic coconut milk and brown rice milk is popular and a bit lighter than having coconut milk straight. It is great to have variety and the choice in nut milk types and brands abounds.
Soy milks like Bonsoy are hard to top in a latte.
If it’s just lactose that you’re avoiding, Barambah have a lactose-free milks and yoghurts in their range that you can find at Aunt Maggies.
What Do I Use Instead of Butter?
Hummus, mayonnaise, tahini and avocado are great substitutes for butter on bread.
For cooking sweets things like Anzac biscuits, coconut oil can be used instead of butter and the results are still delicious.
What about chocolate and cheese?
Cheese is probably one of the hardest things to replace. For those times when you need some cheesy goodness – like making a pizza – there are a range of vegan cheeses in store.
A lot of dark chocolate is dairy free. Plus Vegan chocolate lovers have been celebrating the delicious chocolate hazelnut Vego bar. The choices keep growing!