How to Transition to a Dairy Free Diet
There are lots of reasons to give up dairy, including allergies, intolerance, veganism and health choices. Interestingly, more people than ever before are looking towards a dairy free future and the demand for better information and a greater range of products is growing.
In reality, transitioning to dairy free in the healthiest way can be confusing and many people fail when they are unable to get quality advice and tips when they need it the most. Take a look at our top tips to get your dairy free lifestyle off the ground.
Take Your Time
The first step to any dairy free lifestyle is to think about what you want to achieve and make a plan for it to happen. People that jump in and just stop eating dairy without a plan often fail at the first hurdle or become deficient in key nutrients.
There is nothing wrong with slowly working towards a dairy free existence, finding swaps one at a time. However, if you need to change to dairy free urgently then making a plan and sticking to it will help you transition with the fewest problems.
Rather than feeling like you are going it alone, look to other dairy free people for advice and tips on how to manage your transition. Using someone else’s experience will give you access to information on how they managed it and what things helped. If you don’t know anyone who has swapped to dairy free then don’t be disheartened!
The internet can provide you with a wealth of great information as well as highlight products that may help. Just make sure to look for a diverse range of information rather than trusting the first site you visit.
Think About Food Swaps
One of the biggest issues is working out what to swap your dairy choices for, especially when it comes to foods like sandwiches, dips and desserts. The good news is that there are plenty of options to try from vegan cheese and yoghurt to bean and vegetable options, all you need to do is be willing to try something new.
As more people turn to a dairy free lifestyle, there is greater demand for dairy-free products, making the options available better than ever before!
Switch Your Milk
Milk is a popular drink as well as a key ingredient in many recipes. The good news is that there are plenty of great dairy-free milk options for you to try! Oat milk, soya milk, nut milk and even pea milk are all readily available in the shops, or you even try to make your own.
The best way forward is to try a range of dairy free milk options before you settle for your favourite. Many people find that they like different milk alternatives for different jobs, so make sure you try each one in your drinks and recipes until you find a taste that works well for you.
Lots of us worry that when we make the move to a dairy free life we won’t be able to cope without cheese. It’s true that cheese is enjoyed in lots of meals as well as on its own and if you are a cheese lover then you may feel nervous about change.
However, research shows that when someone doesn’t eat cheese for three weeks then they are more receptive to cheese alternatives, meaning that you’ll soon be eating dairy free cheese without a second thought!
Think About Nutrients
Ditching dairy without a plan can result in you becoming deficient in key nutrients needed to keep you healthy. Vitamin D, calcium and protein are all found in dairy products and help us to have healthy bones and teeth as well as consume what we need for muscle growth.
There are plenty of dairy-free sources of these nutrients, but you will need to plan to include them to ensure you get your recommended daily allowance. It also won’t hurt to include a supplement to top you up when you first go dairy free.
Get Excited About Your Journey
Once you have decided on dairy-free, made a plan and found products and recipes that will help you achieve your goal then all that is left to do is get excited about it. It’s a well-proven fact that if someone is motivated and looking forward to a change then they are more likely to make it happen in the long run than someone who feels forced into switching up their diet.
Dairy free can offer a range of great health benefits, but don’t forget that it takes time to build a new habit and that slips along the way do not mean that you are a failure!