Dairy Free Diet

Cows milk is a staple food for many people, especially children, but it can be the cause of many health problems including digestive disorders, mucous and allergies. This is surprising to many people who believe that milk is natural and health giving. However, when you consider that cows milk is designed for calves who grow at a much faster rate than babies, and who need to build up particular fermentative bacteria to digest grass, then it becomes easier to see why milk so often causes digestive and other problems in humans.

The enzyme needed to digest milk sugar (lactose) is called lactase and is absent from the adult digestive system of most races except Northern Europeans and their direct descendants. Thus, for most of the world’s population, milk is difficult to digest and tends to ferment in the stomach leading to gas and bloating.

Many people are also allergic to the protein found in cows milk. Children are especially at risk here because in the first year or so of life the lining of the gut is quite leaky and protein particles can enter the blood to set the stage for an allergy reaction either then or later in life. Asthma, eczema and digestive problems are the commonest allergic reactions to cows milk. Goats milk is often better tolerated by these people.

Cows milk is very high in saturated fats and this may cause a problem for those who are concerned about cholesterol levels and cardio-vascular disease. On the other hand, the fatty acid profile of butter is quite good and there may be some health benefits to eating it occasionally.

With or without an allergic reaction, it is commonly found that cows milk causes build up of mucous leading to sinus congestion, ‘glue ear’ in children and susceptibility to head colds and chest infections.

Foods to Avoid

  • Milk: fresh, evaporated, condensed or dried.
  • Cheese: hard, cottage, cream etc.
  • Cream and creamed foods (custards, cream soups, ice cream).
  • Butter, buttermilk and margarine.
  • Cakes, muffins, cookies, pancakes, chocolate and candies.
  • Hamburgers and sausages.
  • Milk-based sauces.
  • Baking mixes.
  • Any food or medical product that contains any milk derivative (casein, sodium or calcium caseinate, whey, milk solids or lactose).

Food Substitutes

Instead of milk use:

Soya milk or tofu milk powder, goats milk (if allergy is only to cows milk), rice milk or nut milk.

Instead of ice cream use:

Fresh fruit sorbets, frozen or fresh fruit smoothies, juice or juice and soya milk popsicles, frozen tofu or rice desserts.

Instead of mayonnaise use:

Tofu dressings, soya yoghurt.

Instead of cheese use:

Soya cheese, nutritional yeast (Red Star is the best brand), ground sunflower seeds.

Instead of butter / margarine use:

Flax oil or a blend of flax and other high quality, organic, cold pressed oils. A little organic butter may be taken if desired because the butterfats are not allergenic. Do not use margarine, even if it is polyunsaturated because it is full of trans fatty acids that are carcinogenic and promote free radicals.

Yoghurt, kefir and quark are partially fermented and pre-digested and are generally acceptable in small quantities and only from organic sources.

Nut Milk

Use 1 handful of nuts per cup of water. Soak overnight then run through the blender in the morning. Will not keep well so drink within 2 hours.

Tofu Dip or Dressing

Place a 1 block (250 grams) of soft tofu in the blender of food processor. Add 1 ½ tablespoons of tahini (sesame butter), a splash of tamari, the juice of half a lemon, some crushed garlic, chopped chives or any other flavorings you fancy. Try adding peanut sauce, garlic sauce, chilli sauce etc. Process till smooth and eat within 24 hours.

Tofu Cheesecake

Blend 1 ½ blocks (350 grams) of soft tofu with the juice of 2 lemons, 2 mashed bananas and a little honey. Simmer 2 tsp. Agar powder in 1/4 cup fruit juice for 4 minutes. Blend into tofu. Pour into a graham crust and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 3500 for 20 mins. Allow to cool before decorating with sliced fruit.

Sources of Dietary Calcium

Milk products mg./100 g.
Cheddar cheese 800
Cows milk 120
Camembert cheese 380
Yoghurt 180
Cottage cheese 60
Nuts, seeds & beens
Almonds 250
Soya flour 250
Brazils 180
Haricot beans 180
Red kidney beans 140
Tofu 128
Sunflower seeds 120
Buckwheat 114
Sesame seeds 110
Walnuts 61
Peanuts 61
Soya milk 21
Whitebait 860
Sardines 550
Shrimps 320
Prawns 150
Haddock 110
Oysters 110
Salmon (tinned) 93
Vegetables & fruit
Parsley 330
Dried figs 280
Turnip greens 250
Kale 225
Watercress 220
Broccoli 100
Apricots (dried) 92
Kelp 1093
Blackstrap molasses 579
Carob powder 352
Brewer’s yeast 210
Egg yolk 130
Cocoa powder 130

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