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There are a number of reasons why a person chooses to follow a dairy free diet. It could be for motives relating to the environment, health, or ethical concerns. Whatever the reason, more and more people are making the move to go dairy free and there are benefits of doing so. This article outlines the most important reasons to go dairy free.

There are a number of reasons why a person chooses to follow a dairy free diet. It could be for motives relating to the environment, health, or ethical concerns. Whatever the reason, more and more people are making the move to go dairy free and there are benefits of doing so. This article outlines the most important reasons to go dairy free.

Why Go Dairy Free?

Clear Skin and Allergies

Clear skin is one of the most popular reasons to go dairy free. Many people believe that the advantages of a solely plant-based diet on your skin is a myth, but the banishment of acne is one of the most widely cited benefits. Indeed, research has shown a high consumption of milk is correlated with the presence of acne.

Skin complaints may, in fact, be the best indication of lactose intolerance. Lactose (a sugar contained in all animal milk) is broken down by an enzyme in our bodies called lactase. A common cause of gastrointestinal problems among humans is the result of our bodies not producing enough lactase and, consequently, not being able to efficiently digest the sugar. The symptoms of lactose intolerance can be fairly milk, and one way that it can manifest itself is through acne and other skin complaints such as eczema. When people go dairy free, they go some way to resolving this issue.

In addition to the gastrointestinal complaints outlined above, dairy products can cause a number of different allergic and sensitivity reactions. Dairy is consistently ranked as one of the top allergens to affect people in North America, and the range of symptoms can range in severity.

Weight Loss

A great reason to go dairy free is simply for the weight loss benefits that doing so can provide. Many dairy products are high in fats that, when eaten in high amounts, can contribute to weight gain. Moreover, the high presence of lactose, a natural sugar, can make it difficult to lose stubborn belly fat – milk has been consistently linked with metabolic syndrome and obesity.

Antibiotics and Hormones

Despite the commercial marketing of dairy products being good for our health, conventional dairy products are typically mixed with antibiotics and hormones. It is true that we need some of the minerals and components found in dairy, but these can be acquired from other food sources. The antibiotics and hormones that are added to dairy products are not only not needed by humans, but they are also detrimental to our health.

A naturally occurring hormone in cattle is the bovine growth hormone (BGH); typical dairy operations use a synthetic version called rBGH to stimulate a greater production of milk. This, consequently leads to a higher levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a hormone that is detrimental to humans and has been linked to certain types of cancer.

The Environment

In an age littered with climate change catastrophes, an increasing number of people are showing concern for the environment. One of the best reasons to go dairy free is that it can greatly affect a person’s environmental footprint. It is widely known that meat consumption contributes vastly to greenhouse gas emissions, but little is known about the ecological concerns of dairy.

Livestock farming has a huge effect on biodiversity loss, deforestation, land use change, and water degradation. Moreover, around 20% of all man made greenhouse gas emissions comes from the livestock production industry. This has led to many people asking themselves why and how to go dairy free. 

How to Go Dairy Free

After deciding why to go dairy free, the next most common question is “how to go dairy free?”. Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as you may think. Here are some simple tips on how to go dairy free.

Eat Vegan

Even if you are not ready, or willing, to eat vegan foods on a full-time basis, choosing vegan options as much will guarantee that you are going dairy free. It’s likely that your diet will increase in variety, too, as you will discover some great vegan recipes while trying to incorporate a good balance of essential micronutrients into your food plans. Moreover, the allergens present in dairy often lead to people ordering plant-based products as part of a vegan or gluten free delivery plan.

Switch to Plant-Based Milks

Not only is plant-based milk delicious, but it is also lactose-free and contain a variety of different health benefits. The first step in learning how to go dairy free can simply be to switch to nut milk, such as almond or hazelnut. For those with nut allergies, there are also a number of seed milk (e.g. pumpkin seed, hemp seed) available. The choice in plant-based milk is so vast that, if you don’t like one, there are many others to try.

Check Food Labels

Checking food labels is crucial for someone trying to go dairy free. Dairy ingredients are often hidden in products by food manufactures as derivatives of lactose, casein, and whey. When learning how to go dairy free, it’s important to become accustomed to checking food labels – it can also help with other goals, too, such as ethical consumption and weight loss.

Dairy Classification

Many different food products fall under the classification of dairy, and it is a good idea to learn which products contain it before going dairy free. Foods to avoid that typically contain dairy include butter, cheese, cream, cow milk, yogurt, ice cream, and custard. Milk proteins are also included in a lot of baked goods, chocolate, coffee creamers, and cereals.  

Go Dairy Free FAQs

How to go dairy free?

Going dairy free is a simple process if you are able to show determination and have the goal at the forefront of your mind. First, get acquainted with what food products contain dairy. Next, learn about different alternatives. Finally, experiment with different recipes.

How to go gluten and dairy free?

Going gluten and dairy free requires knowledge of two different classifications of food. There are some foods, however, that fit into both categories, such as vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, and most legumes and grains. Always check food labels before consuming, too.

Why go dairy free?

There are a number of reasons to go dairy free. The most common reason is for the health benefits, but others may choose to go dairy free for the environmental advantages that it provides, such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions and land degradation.

How long do you have to go dairy free to notice a difference?

When you’ll see the results of going dairy free will depend on the person – some may have increased sensitivities and allergies than others. It typically takes 2-3 weeks for dairy to leave your system, so be patient when evaluating results.

Best go to snacks when pregnant dairy free?

It’s important to eat well when you’re pregnant as you’re feeding for two. A lot of moms elect for a dairy free diet during pregnancy, and there are a number of snack options available. Try snacking on vegetable chips, mixed nuts, fruit, raw carrots, or lightly salted popcorn.

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