A dairy free diet contains absolutely no dairy products; no milk, butter, cheese, cream or yogurt.
Milk protein allergies (including casein) and lactose intolerance have been linked to a wide array of physical symptoms. For some, it is as simple as lethargy, congestion, frequent ear infections (referred to as “Glue Ear”), Sinus infections or weight gain, for others crippling migraines and “autoimmune” type symptoms are a lifestyle complication. There is a great deal of research linking dairy to prostate cancer, breast cancer, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease.
While many studies suggest that consuming dairy may have health benefits including: providing calcium, protein, B vitamins, minerals, vitamin D, vitamin A and probiotics (beneficial bacteria), there have been a growing number of studies that show possible negative effects of dairy including: joint pain, acne and increased risk for certain types of cancer. Additionally, conditions like autism, obesity and prostrate cancer have shown symptom complications that have been linked to dairy consumption.
Dairy substitutes may include: almond milk, apple, pear or prune puree, cheese alternatives (soy, rice), multi-grain milk, non-diary frozen desserts, oat milk, rice milk or soy milk. When baking, milk may be substituted, in equal amounts, with almond milk, water or fruit juice.
Some hidden sources of milk may include: deli meat where casein is a binder in the deli product as well as the deli slicers that are frequently used for both meat and cheese products; some brands of canned tuna fish that may contain casein, a milk protein; many non-dairy products that contain casein (a milk derivative), listed on the ingredient labels; and many restaurants that may put butter on steaks after they have been grilled to add extra flavor.