To the 3 million Americans diagnosed annually with lactose intolerance, we got you! Our scrumptious dairy-free recipes are just what you are looking for! Irresistible, filling, and easy-to-create, these recipes are awesome without any milk, cheese, or butter. (Scroll below the recipes for more information on living dairy free!)
Living Dairy Free
You may have found that you could devour mac N cheese on the regular as a child, but now even a spoonful of yogurt upsets your stomach. Unfortunately, even if you have tolerated dairy before, lactose intolerance can build up over time, or start suddenly, even in adulthood. While the amount of dairy tolerated from person to person can vary, many who suffer from the not-so-fun symptoms of lactose intolerance choose to stay away from dairy products altogether. The #1 “treatment” of lactose intolerance is the avoidance of dairy containing products.
Dairy-Free while following a Mediterranean Diet
As mentioned previously, dairy products, particularly cheese and yogurt, are recommended while following a Mediterranean Diet, in low-moderate amounts. Dairy products provide our bodies with calcium, vitamin D, and protein for optimal bone health which can help prevent osteoporosis later on in life. You do have options if you want to reap these benefits without the milk.
Instead of traditional milk-based yogurt, you may switch it up with:
- Coconut yogurt
- Almond milk yogurt
- Plant-based (Ripple) yogurt
Though our dairy-free recipes above do not incorporate cheese, you may find that you are able to tolerate low-lactose cheeses in small amounts. 1 ounce of cheese typically contains 1-2 grams of lactose, compared to 13 grams of lactose in 1 cup of milk. Hard, aged cheeses including parmesan, swiss, and cheddar are lower in lactose compared to soft cheeses such as brie or camembert. Above all, listen to your body!
Staying healthy while eating dairy-free
When we remove an entire food group, such as dairy, from our diet, we lose out on essential nutrients that those foods provide. Dairy products in particular are a good source of calcium, vitamin D, and protein, so when we remove these from our diet, it is important to ensure you get these vitamins and minerals from other food sources. Check out some great ways to get these vitamins from other foods!
Dairy Free Sources of Calcium:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Leafy greens including bok choy, kale, and spinach
- Canned salmon
- White beans
Dairy Free Sources of Vitamin D:
- Fortified soy or almond milk
Dairy Free Sources of Protein:
- Beans, Nuts, Legumes
- Fish and seafood
- Lean poultry and unprocessed meats
Dairy Free Meal Plans
Looking for more guidance on following a Mediterranean Diet while eating dairy-free? Be sure to check out our 21 day dairy-free meal plan complete with recipes and grocery lists to make meal planning for you and your family hassle free!
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