Can’t eat dairy? You’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, around 30 to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant. So it’s no wonder many retailers, restaurants, and food manufacturing companies now offer several options for people living dairy free. From non-dairy milks (like coconut, soy, almond, and hemp milk) to non-dairy yogurt, sour cream, and ice cream, there’s a whole new world of possibilities for the lactose intolerant! Here are a few nutritious non-dairy options you should know about if you want to stay healthy while living dairy free.
Check out the basics on eating right when you can’t eat dairy by reading: How to Fix the Food Plate for the Lactose Intolerant
Beware of Hidden Sources of Dairy
First, it’s important to remember that just because you assume a product is dairy free doesn’t always mean it is. That’s why you should always read the list of ingredients on any supposedly dairy-free products you buy. The more severe your symptoms are when you consume lactose, the more important it is to read labels carefully when you’re buying groceries. Living dairy free isn’t always easy!
There are some products that you would never assume contain dairy, but they do. For example, some brands of canned tuna put casein—a dairy protein—in it. Some dairy substitutes, such as alternative cheese products, may also contain casein. You might even find lactose and other forms of dairy in processed foods like potato chips, pancakes, waffles, bacon, and lunchmeat—items that most people would never guess contain dairy! Living dairy free can be a little tricky in this regard, but it doesn’t take long to learn.
So do your research as you shop for foods that are safe for lactose intolerant people. You already know to avoid products that say they contain milk or lactose, but it’s not always that clear. You should also look out for the following terms on food labels, since they indicate that the product probably contains lactose:
- Dry milk solids
- Malted Milk
- Sour cream
- Whey protein concentrate
- Sweet cream
- Non-fat dry milk powder
- Milk byproducts
You can learn more about shopping for dairy-free products when you read: 17 Products with Hidden Dairy Ingredients
What You Can Have When You’re Living Dairy Free
So what can you eat to get the nutrients—especially calcium—you need as someone who is lactose intolerant? Well, there are lots of delicious options! If you’re looking for something to drink besides water, go for calcium-fortified almond, soy, or rice milk. You can also grab some calcium-fortified orange juice. And for an even easier option, just add a packet of FitFormula’s Calcium+Vitamin D to your favorite drink to get 1,000 mg of calcium.
If you’re looking for dairy-free, calcium-rich foods to enjoy, start with this list:
- Sesame seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- Bok choy
- Collard greens
- Canned fish with bones
And of course, you can add a packet of FitFormula’s Calcium+Vitamin D to any non-dairy food to pack it with calcium! Order your first packet today so you can ensure you’re getting enough calcium in your dairy-free diet as soon as possible. Adding FitFormula’s Calcium+Vitamin D to your regime helps take the stress out of living dairy free.
You can get more ideas on dairy-free, calcium-rich foods when you read: How to Get Enough Calcium on a Dairy-Free or Plant-Based Diet