Are you lactose intolerant? So you're probably always looking for dairy substitutes that are easy to implement into your daily routine.
For many it is a surprising fact, but about 75% of the world's population is lactose intolerant. This condition occurs when a body does not produce enough lactase (the enzyme required to digest milk sugar) to digest the lactose (the sugar found in milk) in dairy products.
If you are one of the 75% affected by lactose intolerance, you are likely looking for recipes that do not contain dairy. It is not always an easy task, but if you know a dairy substitute for certain ingredients, it will be much easier to plan and cook meals. This way, if you find a recipe that sounds good but contains dairy, you can substitute the dairy ingredients for something else.
If you are not sure you have lactose intolerance, but think it is a problem, it is best to talk to your doctor to make sure there is no other problem you are finding. Never diagnose as there could be a serious underlying problem that requires medical attention. In the meantime, however, avoiding dairy would be wise so you don't suffer from side effects that include:
- abdominal pain
12 MILK SUBSTITUTES FOR LACTOSE INTOLERANT PEOPLE
1. MILK SUBSTITUTE
Let's start with the most basic dairy source: milk. We use milk for drinking, cooking and baking so finding a suitable dairy substitute is crucial. However, there are quite a few options that everyone with lactose intolerance should try, and the final choice will be made based on your preferences.
Some of the non-dairy milk options include:
- almond milk
- rice milk
- oat milk
- coconut milk
- cashew milk
- hemp milk
- flaxseed milk
Each milk on the list contains different nutrients and vitamins, and some may contain other ingredients. Be sure to read all ingredient labels to watch out for things like added sugars or low nutritional value and adjust as necessary.
2. SUBSTITUTE FOR CHOCOLATE
You may be surprised to learn that chocolate generally contains dairy, so if you are lactose intolerant, you may not be able to safely consume the normal version. Often times, semisweet or bittersweet baking chocolate is dairy-free, but chocolate bars do contain dairy - it's always best to read ingredient labels to know for sure which is safe and which is not.
3. SUBSTITUTE FOR MILK WHEY
We often use this ingredient to dredge fried foods, make homemade dressings, homemade fluffy pancakes, and in many baked desserts. Since it contains dairy products and is such a useful ingredient, finding a replacement for it is essential. Fortunately, there are a couple of different options for a dairy substitute instead of regular buttermilk.
One option is to mix 1 cup of soy milk with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Then you will let the mixture sit for 5 minutes in the refrigerator to thicken, and then use the thickened mixture in place of the buttermilk.
Another option is to use plain soy yogurt instead of the buttermilk or use soy sour cream mixed with unsweetened soy milk in a 2 to 1 ratio.
4. YOGURT SUBSTITUTES
As with milk, there are a variety of options at the grocery store to replace regular dairy yogurt. Some of these options include:
- coconut milk yogurt
- almond milk yogurt
- soy milk yogurt
- hemp milk yogurt
The flavored versions of these yogurts can have a lot of added sugars, so be sure to read the nutrition facts.
5. SUBSTITUTE EVAPORATED MILK
Often found in desserts, sauces, and stews, evaporated milk is a popular ingredient in many everyday dishes. Substituting it for a non-dairy option is relatively easy, as plain soy yogurt or soy creamer can fill its place.
6. SUBSTITUTE SALSA ALFREDO
Store-bought Alfredo sauces are out of the question, as most of them contain milk. Your only other option is to make homemade Alfredo sauce. You can find a recipe that is dairy-free anymore, or you can use one that contains dairy and substitute dairy ingredients for non-dairy options.
7. FROZEN SUBSTITUTE
This dairy-filled treat is relatively easy to find for a delicious replacement. You can buy dairy-free ice cream at the grocery store that uses coconut or soy milk. Another option is to choose a sorbet, which never contains dairy and lives in the same aisle as ice cream.
You can also make your desserts at home that are similar to ice cream. One option is to mix frozen bananas and berries, to which you can also add other flavorings. This delicious substitute is also likely to be healthier and lower in calories.
8. SUBSTITUTE FOR SOUR CREAM (FERMENTED MILK)
Sour cream is a staple at the top of many dishes, and finding an alternative is probably vital for anyone who is lactose intolerant. Fortunately, there are a couple of options to replace it.
First, you can buy a soy-based sour cream at the grocery store, or you can buy a version that contains beans, oils, and gums. If none of those options work for you, you can use plain dairy-free yogurt, as it is very similar to sour cream.
9. CHEESE SUBSTITUTE
Cheese can be a difficult ingredient to substitute, but it is possible. The replacement depends on the type of cheese you want, as many are different in taste and texture.
You can make dairy-free cream cheese with cashews or almonds, but if you prefer a store-bought option, you should be able to find one near traditional cream cheese. If you need something similar to ricotta or cottage cheese, crumbled tofu is the best option.
For the Parmesan cheese, you can use nutritional yeast to mimic the flavor. Another advantage of this substitution is that nutritional yeast is a good source of vitamin B12.
Unfortunately, hard cheeses have been more difficult to replicate, and while many scientists are still trying to figure it out, a perfect option has not yet been created. However, many companies have tried this and you may be able to find some of the products at your local grocery store.
10. SUBSTITUTE CONDENSED MILK
Condensed milk is a popular ingredient in many dessert recipes and is also used in sweet and cold beverages. While you can't buy a non-dairy version, you can make one with just one can of whole coconut milk and 1/4 cup of real maple syrup or raw honey. This simple 2 ingredient recipe is the most delicious substitute you could ask for.
11. SUBSTITUTE THE BUTTER
There are a couple of dairy butter substitutes to consider, including nut and seed butter and butter made primarily from vegetable oil. Vegetable oil blends contain 50 to 100 calories, 6 to 11 grams of fat, and are protein and carbohydrate free. Nut and seed butter options include between 90 and 130 calories, 0-3 grams of protein, 0-8 grams of carbohydrates, 0-10 grams of fat, depending on the type of seed nut you use.
Nut and seed options include:
- coconut and cashew mixture
- nut butter
12. SUBSTITUTE TOOLACTE FOR CREAM
Many non-dairy versions of the cream include coconut milk, but other variants include soy, cashews, other nuts, and vegetable oil. One benefit of this replacement is that non-dairy cream has fewer calories and fat than dairy cream.
Be careful if you buy the non-dairy version at a grocery store, as many options contain ingredients that should be avoided, such as high fructose corn syrup and trans fats. It would be safer to make a homemade recipe at home.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A LACTOSE INTOLERANT PERSON CONSUMES MILK?
One or more of the side effects are likely to occur if someone with lactose intolerance consumes dairy products. However, the severity of the side effects varies, as it depends on the following:
- the amount of dairy consumed
- the severity of the person's intolerance
FINAL THOUGHTS IN TREATING DAIRY SUBSTITUTES FOR LACTOSE INTOLERANT PEOPLE
Being lactose intolerant can make meals and snacks difficult, but it doesn't have to be impossible. By learning a healthy dairy substitute for all standard dairy products, you are opening up many possibilities for a dairy-free diet.
It is essential for a lactose intolerant person to eliminate dairy from their diet to avoid serious and unpleasant side effects or discomfort. Remember to always check the nutritional values and ingredient lists to make sure you are not adding harmful ingredients to your diet and to make sure that all products are dairy free.