Have you ever had a bowl of ice cream and about 30 minutes after your stomach starts to hurt? What about some delicious pizza that all of a sudden causes you to become excessively gassy? Are you constantly feeling bloated and not sure why?
Bloating is very common and it happens to a lot of us! It is typically caused by excess gas or the movements of the muscles of the digestive system.
Look, we have all been there. We have all had that uncomfortable, swollen belly one time or another. But what is actually causing the discomfort we are feeling? Could it be the dairy we are consuming? Having a sensitivity to dairy or being lactose intolerance is actually much more common than you would think!
So, what exactly is lactose intolerance? It's the inability to digest lactose which is a common sugar found in dairy products. The most common symptoms are abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea and nausea. Do any of these sound familiar to you?! None are pleasant!
These negative side-effects from eating or drinking dairy based foods typically start 30 to 90 minutes after ingesting. The intensity will typically depends on the amount you consume. Even though lactose intolerance doesn't cause direct damage to our bodies it does cause a lot of discomfort and sometimes embarrassment! No one wants to be out with friends, enjoying the fun & then all of a sudden find themselves in the bathroom all night!
Being lactose intolerant doesn't mean that you can never have dairy again. It may just be something you eat less often now or something you have to monitor depending on how it effects you. However with so many new dairy free options on the market, you can still eat cheese if you want too!
Check out the BTES App for healthy, dairy free recipes!
Now your thinking, I have eaten dairy my whole life, what do I eat instead!? No worries! I have got you covered. Take a look below to learn some of the most popular dairy alternatives that you can try!
Dairy Alternatives For Cheese
Everyone always thinks cheese will be the hardest to give up. After all we find it in our sandwiches, on our chips, in our sauces, we even make ENTIRE BOARDS of it! It's everywhere! But good news, with more and more people finding a sensitivity to dairy, some awesome non dairy cheeses have popped up on the market.
These dairy-free cheeses can be made from soy, almonds, cashews and even vegetable oils! Some are even aged to add some of the qualities you'd find in regular cheese. Shredded cheese, cheese slices, feta crumbles, spreads, you name it, you can find it.
Two healthy options for dairy free cheese is cashew cheese and nutritional yeast! Cashew cheese is a softer cheese and can be mixed with herbs, nuts or fried fruits to create a mild-flavored cheese.
Nutritional yeast is a harder cheese. It comes in little solid yellow flakes, comparable to parmesan cheese. Its flavor is commonly described as nutty and cheesy which makes it a popular substitute. Nutritional yeast is exactly that! It's nutritious! It adds extra protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to meals.
Dairy Alternatives For Milk
Cow's milk has been a staple in many peoples diets their whole life. Now days, there are many that choose other milk alternatives because of preference, dietary restrictions, allergies and even intolerance. Both cows milk and these dairy free alternatives contain nutrients like protein and calcium.
- Almond Milk - This one is my favorite! I add almond milk to my chai tea every morning. Almond milk It is made of either whole almonds or almond butter and water. It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor and is low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. Look for brands of almond milk that contain a high content of almonds, anywhere from 7–15%.
- Soy Milk - Made from either soybeans or soy protein isolate. Typically has a mild creamy flavor. Soy milk is known as a complete protein meaning it provides all the essential amino acids which must be obtained from our diets.
- Coconut Milk - Coconut milk is made from water and the inside white part of brown coconuts. This milk alternative has a creamy texture and a subtle coconut flavor. It has the lowest carb content of nondairy milks so this is a good option if you are looking to reduce your carb count.
- Oat Milk - Oat milk is naturally sweet and mild in flavor. It is high in protein and & fiber, but also in carbs and calories. It can be used in cooking the same way as cows milk.
- Rice Milk - Made from white rice or brown rice and water and is the least allergenic of the milk alternatives. This makes it a good option for those with allergies and intolerances to dairy, gluten, soy and nuts.
Does dairy affect your complexion? Click here to learn if the foods we eat really affect our skin.
Dairy Alternatives For Yogurt
If you love yogurt but need to find a dairy free alternative there are some really good options out there! While these alternatives provide less protein and calcium, they have less saturated fat, less sugar and more healthy fats.
Coconut yogurt is becoming increasingly popular as individuals realize they have some sort of dairy intolerance. It contains probiotics which is great support for your digestive system. Coconut yogurt is packed with antioxidants and has a low sugar content.
Cashew milk yogurt contains no cholesterol and is typically made with fewer ingredients and additives. Yogurt made from nuts gives you a good source of protein and fats because they contain plant based unsaturated fats.
Soy yogurt has the highest protein content out of these alternatives. Some unsweetened soy yogurts have zero sugar and also little calcium, but have a higher healthy fat content.
Dairy Alternatives For Butter
When it comes to dairy alternatives for butter you may notice that the calories and total fat content are very similar to that of regular butter. Not to worry! The fats that come from a plant based butter are much healthier for you.
Butter creates a creamy texture and is very common in the kitchen. With so many alternatives available, some recipes might require a little bit of trial and error with different substitutes to find out what works best.
- Coconut oil is a very popular replacement for butter. You can supplement with the exact amount of butter you would use with coconut oil.
- Vegan butter is made of vegetable based oils and sometimes soy and can commonly be found in grocery stores.
- Olive oil can be used in baking when butter is not an option. When you are using a liquid in place of a solid, be sure to slightly reduce the amount.
- Avocados have a soft texture and mild taste making them the perfect substitute for butter. When swapping out butter for avocados, a 1:1 ratio is perfect.
Many people experience discomfort after eating dairy. It is much more common than you think. If you are experiencing frequent bloating, try some of these dairy free alternatives and see what happens! It is important to listen to our bodies and find what works best for us.
If you are experiencing bloating and looking for instant relief, try to stretch it out. Sometimes moving your body and stretching your muscles helps to get things moving on the inside. Join our monthly challenge today to get your body going!
Let me know in the comments some of your go to dairy alternatives!