More and more dairy is becoming a food product that people are buying less and less. For years we were told that dairy was an essential part of being healthy, and now we're told the opposite. While we don't exactly know if this is true or not, some people decide to not consume it at all for either health or ethical reasons. Personally, I am allergic to all dairy products and stay away from it completely. But that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy food!
It's definitely better to switch out dairy, especially if you find yourself breaking out, getting bloated or even having brain fog after you consume it. Years ago there were no options for dairy-free products, and I had to suffer through watching my friends eat ice cream while I was wondering if chewing ice would taste the same. It doesn't. But these days, everyone and their moms are going dairy-free and there are way more options than you think.
I know a ton of people who say "I could never give up dairy! I love cheese way too much" but then complain about their stomachs hurting or that they always seem to be breaking out. I guarantee if you're one of those people and you switch out all your beloved dairy products for dairy-free options, you'll notice not only that your symptoms will go away but that you will LOVE these new products!
If you're thinking about making the switch for any reason, these are the best options. From coffee creamer to mayonnaise to chocolate (yes, chocolate is filled with dairy), you'll never have to call yourself dairy-free because you won't feel like it!
For Cheese Options, Click "NEXT"
I know what you're thinking, "I can't give up cheese! Then I can't eat pizza and everything I love". I know, I totally get it. But if you're wanting to make the shift, you can't not do it just because you love a certain food. If you find yourself getting bloated, acid reflux, stomach cramps, stomach aches, or even breaking out, those are all signs of being intolerant to dairy. I personally get acid reflux, stomach aches and stomach cramps and look 9 months pregnant. There are so many options when you cut out cheese, but cashew cheese or nutritional yeast, which is filled with B vitamins, are the best choices.
Coming from a girl who doesn't even like cheese, cashew cheese is to die for. No matter what city you're in, you can find cashew cheese at any health foods store! It doesn't taste exactly like cheese, but it tastes super similar and in my opinion, way better. This pairs so well with crackers, but I wouldn't recommend using it to make a pizza.
For Milk Options, Click "NEXT"
A ton of people drink cow's milk for the calcium, but there are so many other things you can get calcium from such as: leafy greens, seafood and legumes. Cow's milk also has a ton of saturated fat in it, almost 20% of your daily intake in one glass. Growing up we were all forced to drink milk with dinner, and I myself would be up all night with the worst stomach aches ever. Turns out it was because I was super lactose intolerant, and I haven't had milk in over 10 years. There are SO many options that taste exactly like milk but even better.
Almond milk is a perfect alternative to cow's milk. It's creamy, satisfying and you can't taste the difference. You can also get options such as coconut milk, cashew milk, and soy milk but soy is only good in moderation. Make sure to get the unsweetened kind if you do get almond milk though since it can have sugar in it. But other than that, you can opt for the vanilla, chocolate or original kind!
For Coffee Creamer Options, Click "NEXT"
Regular Coffee Creamer:
If you're one of those people that can't drink their coffee black, then this will probably be hard for you to give up. However, you don't need to give it up! There are so many dairy-free coffee creamers on the market that taste the exact same. Maybe they don't have fun flavours like Reese's or cookie flavour, but they taste damn good. You can find almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk and soy milk creamers at any grocery store.
Dairy-Free Coffee Creamer
These creamers will change your world. Maybe you're just a milk and sugar kind of person, and in that case you can just use almond milk. However, for those who love the taste of cream in your coffee, coconut cream is absolutely delicious. It gives it the same flavour without giving you any side effects such as bloating and stomach pains! The brand Califia Farms has amazing flavours as well as cold brew coffee.
For Butter Options, Click "NEXT"
A lot of people have different views on butter. Whether you're doing the keto diet and butter is a huge part of your diet, or you steer clear because it's filled with fats, it's still dairy! If you're trying to cut out dairy, butter is something that is in a ton of products. A lot of the time, people just cut out actual milk, actual yogurt and actual cheese. But what they don't know is how many times those foods are hidden in things like chips, potatoes, etc. Butter is one of them!
Earth Balance Butter
This brand has the best butter/margarine in the game. Even if you aren't vegan or dairy-free, you'll fall in love with this. They have one with soy, one normal, and one with olive oil and they all taste amazing. My mom isn't dairy-free and she loves this butter and won't buy regular butter again. I guarantee you, if you enjoy putting butter onto bread or into recipes, you will not notice a difference with Earth Balance Butter.
For Yogurt Options, Click "NEXT"
Regular yogurt is a dairy product that is often labeled as healthy. Because Greek yogurt has a ton of protein in it, it must be healthy, right? Wrong. Yogurt would be good for you if it wasn't processed, which takes away the probiotics in the food. Kefir, which is similar to yogurt, is a dairy product but it's fermented so it's filled with probiotics. Greek yogurt as well as regular yogurt are often filled with sugars from the 'fruit' that's in them. It's best to stick to either Kefir if you are going to have yogurt, or a dairy free option.
Coconut yogurt is not only delicious, but it's also filled with probiotics! These yogurts are organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, etc. They have a ton of flavours, and most of the flavours don't have a lot of sugar. If you love having yogurt as a snack, then I would opt for this. So Delicious Coconut Yogurt will make you feel like you're eating yogurt and in my opinion it tastes even better!
For Mayonnaise Options, Click "NEXT"
If you're someone who loves to put mayonnaise on their sandwiches, you should also take a look at the ingredients. Not only does it have 10 grams of fat for just 1 tablespoon, but the ingredients are filled with awful things that you don't want to put into your body! If you can, this is one product I would absolutely switch to vegan. Mayo does NOT need sugar in it!
Vegenaise is loved throughout the vegan community, and some even say if they weren't vegan they would still choose this. The ingredients are way more clean and it even has apple cider vinegar in it which is great for your stomach. It tastes the exact same to me, but honestly I can't stand mayo so you'll have to try it out for yourself!
For Chocolate Options, Click "NEXT"
When my naturopath told me I had to give up everything dairy, including chocolate bars, I almost cried. I used to be a chocolate fanatic. And I haven't had real milk chocolate in months and honestly, I don't miss it. Chocolate bars are filled with milk, unless they're dark chocolate above 70% and realistically they're not good for you at all anyways. If you want to go vegan, there are some amazing dark chocolate brands but if you hate dark chocolate, you'll love me for the next suggestion!
Enjoy Life Chocolate Bars:
Enjoy Life Chocolate Bars make you feel like you're eating something you're not supposed to. They're seriously so good and taste so similar to regular chocolate, you won't know the difference. Of course they don't come with all the amazing filling that's usually in chocolate, but the bar itself is enough. They also have amazing chocolate chip cookies that are to die for!
For Ice Cream Options, Click "NEXT"
Regular Ice Cream:
Wait, am I really telling you to give up ice cream?! The one thing that makes us all happy in the world? Yes, but you technically don't have to give it up. Regular ice cream is so delicious, but you can definitely find any flavour you love in a non-dairy flavour! From mint chip to rocky road, any dairy-free ice cream has it. And best part? Every grocery store now carries dairy-free ice cream, as well as Ben & Jerry's!
Dairy Free Ice Cream:
I'll finish off this article by saying this ice cream option is the BEST! Dairy free ice cream is to die for, and they come in soy, cashew milk, coconut milk and almond milk options. So Delicious is definitely the brand I would try out first if you want to give it a try. It tastes exactly like normal ice cream, but the coconut milk one does have a hint of coconut in it which makes it so delicious!