Dairy Alternatives: What to Use Instead

Dairy-free products are in high demand. Luckily, there are a lot of alternatives available! If you’re avoiding eggs as well, there are ways to work around that, too. Netrition has many products that can help you enjoy your favorite foods without dairy or eggs, and still get the eating experience you love and nutrients you need. Here’s what you should know about dairy-free living and dairy alternatives.

Why People Avoid Dairy and Eggs

People can avoid dairy and eggs for many reasons. A common reason for avoiding milk and milk products is lactose intolerance. It affects about 2 in 3 people worldwide. It stems from a deficiency in the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest lactose. That’s the sugar found naturally in cow’s milk.

Many people naturally lose their ability to digest lactose as they grow up. People with malabsorptive disorders or weight loss surgery are also more likely to have lactose intolerance. Symptoms include bloating, cramps, diarrhea, gas, and gastrointestinal distress after eating milk and high-lactose milk products, such as some types of milk.

Another reason to avoid milk and eggs is if you have an allergy to one or the other. Milk and eggs are two of the most common allergens. Nutritional reasons, such as saturated fat and cholesterol, might be putting you off of milk and eggs, or you might be wary of sodium in cheese. Some people find that milk bothers them or they feel better when they don’t drink milk.

Or you may have concerns about antibiotics or hormones used in producing these products. There can also be environmental concerns, since plant-based foods tend to have a lower carbon footprint and take less energy to produce than animal-source foods. If you’re an animal lover, you may also dislike the idea of having cows and chickens in crowded living conditions.

Calcium Supplements

Milk and milk products, such as cheese and yogurt, are among the best sources of calcium. If you don’t consume these products regularly, it’s important to be sure you get enough calcium for strong bones. 

Netrition has plenty of calcium supplements in different forms. Many of them come with vitamin D, which helps your body absorb and use calcium, and is in fortified milk and products made from fortified milk. Ask your doctor how much calcium you should take and which forms are best for you.

Milk Alternatives

It’s important to have milk alternatives if you enjoy drinking milk, using it in cereal, or having it in smoothies or shakes. Milkadamia Unsweetened Macadamia Milk in Original and Vanilla flavors is one choice. It’s made with raw macadamia nuts, not roasted ones, and it’s free from dairy, soy, gluten, and GMOs. It’s also free from added sugar. 

Each cup has 50 calories, which is about one-third of the calories as in a cup of whole cow’s milk. It also has 35% of the daily value for calcium, which is actually more than the amount in cow’s milk. Each serving has 3.5 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, 240% of the daily value for vitamin B12, and 20% of the daily value for vitamin D. Vitamin B12 is especially important if you’re following a completely vegan or plant-based diet, since it’s not naturally found in plant-based foods.

If you’re looking for an alternative to cow’s milk that contains protein, you can try NOW Soy Milk Powder. It’s got 8 grams of protein per serving. Protein from soy is a complete protein which contains all of the essential amino acids. Each serving has 90 calories. To make it, just blend 4 teaspoons of powder with 8 ounces of water and mix it vigorously to dissolve the powder. You can use it just as you do regular milk. Another benefit of this is that it’s shelf-stable, and has a far longer shelf life than cow’s milk does.

Coconut Milk

Are you looking for an alternative that makes sense to add to your coffee or use in your favorite recipes? Coconut milk can be an answer. Classic Native Forest Unsweetened Coconut Milk has 140 calories in a serving size that’s ⅓ cup. It is rich and creamy, with 13 grams of saturated fat, or 64% daily value. That’s a lot, but it’s from a type of fatty acid that’s different from stearic acid, which is from animal products and is linked to heart disease risk.

There’s also a Light version of Native Forest Unsweetened Coconut Milk. It has 45 calories. Both versions are naturally cholesterol-free.

You can use them in all kinds of recipes, such as curries, creamy soups, and stews. You can also use it as a creamer for coffee and tea. In addition to cow’s milk, coconut milk can also be used as a replacement for sour cream or butter.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast can help you get a wealth of B vitamins as well as protein. It’s good as a substitute for parmesan cheese on whole-wheat or high-protein spaghetti. You can also use it to make a vegan cheese with cashews. 

Products at Netrition include NOW Nutritional Yeast Flakes and Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Yeast. It has 60 calories per quarter-cup serving and 8 grams of protein. 

Egg Replacements

If you’re completely vegan and don’t use any cow’s products, egg replacements can let you still have your favorite foods, such as scrambled eggs, breakfast muffins, or baked goods that need eggs. Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer has 30 calories per serving. It’s completely vegan. To use it in recipes, mix 1 tablespoon of the powder with 2 tablespoons of water for each egg you need to replace. Mix it well and let it sit for 1 minute to thicken before using it. It’s also gluten-free.

Mayo Alternatives

Mayonnaise normally has eggs in it, but Netrition has egg-free mayo alternatives. Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo, in Original, Garlic Aioli, and Chipotle Lime flavors, and Chosen Foods, in Original and MCT oil varieties, have heart-healthy fat from avocado and no eggs. If you want to cut calories, Walden Farms Calorie-Free Mayo has no animal products, calories, or fat. 

Enzyme Therapy for Lactose Digestion

Nature’s Way/Enzymatic Therapy Lactase Enzyme is a good choice if you are lactose intolerant but are in a situation where you can’t request or use a substitute. These capsules contain lactase to help you digest the lactose in the product you choose. Just take 1 to 3 capsules before dairy product consumption. They’re free from gluten, sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, soy, and dairy, and they have no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

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