How to Go Dairy-Free For Beginners

Women wearing a hat and eating with a spoon

What is a dairy-free diet? 

A dairy-free diet is a diet that contains no dairy or dairy products. This means any foods that contain milk or milk products. Nowadays, it is easier than ever for those wondering how to go dairy free due to the amount of information available, as well as the abundance of dairy-free options found in many grocery stores and restaurants. 

No matter your reasons for wanting to go dairy free, whether it’s for health reasons, allergies, or you just want to experiment with a dairy-free diet, we’re here to help you understand how to go dairy free.

What’s the difference between dairy-free and lactose-free?

“Dairy-free” means that a product does not contain any ingredients derived from cows or other mammals, such as milk, cream, cheese, and butter. “Lactose-free” means that a product contains no lactose, which is a type of sugar found in milk. A lactose-free product may still contain dairy ingredients but have the lactase enzyme added to break down lactose. So, a product can be lactose-free but not dairy-free, and vice versa.

What foods are dairy-free?

Meat, fish, and poultry

These types of animal products do not contain any dairy on their own, although they may sometimes be cooked with dairy products. There are ample cooking substitutions available and it is effortless to swap out dairy ingredients for non-dairy alternatives. 

Fruit & vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of any diet, and they can all be eaten on a dairy-free diet. Just be sure not to cook your veggies with butter or use fruit as an ice cream topper (unless it’s dairy-free of course!)

Plant-based alternatives

There are plenty of plant-based alternatives for common dairy foods, such as almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, and rice milk, as well as plant-based cheeses, yogurt, and ice cream.

What to avoid on dairy free diet:

When first learning how to go dairy free, it is important to avoid foods that contain any dairy ingredients, including:

  • Milk and cream
  • Cheese, including cottage cheese
  • Butter and ghee
  • Yogurt, ice cream, and frozen yogurt
  • Whey and casein (proteins found in milk)

It’s also important to be aware of dairy derivatives and cross-contamination in processed foods. Some processed foods may contain hidden dairy ingredients, such as:

  • Baked goods and sweets
  • Instant soups and sauces
  • Processed breakfast cereals
  • Candy and snacks
  • Energy and protein bars,

Tips for going dairy-free

Nervous about all of the information on how to go dairy free? These tips are a great place to start!

Check packaged food labels

Many packaged foods will use dairy products as flavor additives, but every food label will tell you if there is dairy in the ingredients or not. Reading food labels is the only way to make sure there is no dairy in the packaged foods you buy. Check out our guide to reading nutrition labels!

Transition gradually

If you consume a lot of dairy products, try reducing your consumption gradually to give your body time to adjust. This can mean cutting out certain types of dairy at first and then beginning to remove other dairies from your diet. 

Plan your meals

Incorporate a variety of dairy-free foods into your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds to ensure you are getting adequate nutrition. Planning ahead also helps to avoid situations when the only food available contains dairy. Meal prepping is a great method for making sure you always have dairy-free meals on hand or consider signing up for a meal delivery service that matches your needs.

Sign up for a meal delivery service

Meal delivery services are perfect for beginners wondering how to go dairy free. Meal delivery services can send you pre-portioned meals with the dietary specifications of your choice. Whether you want to try to eat lean & clean or simply eliminate dairy from your diet, meal delivery services take the hassle out of shopping for dairy-free foods. 

Transition to a dairy-free diet with ease

In conclusion, Gobble makes it easy to go dairy-free with its convenient meal delivery service. With its commitment to using fresh, high-quality ingredients and offering a variety of dairy-free options, Gobble offers a delicious and stress-free way to follow a dairy-free diet. Whether you are a seasoned dairy-free veteran or just starting out, Gobble is a great resource for nourishing and satisfying meals that meet your dietary needs. So, go ahead and check out how it works, and enjoy the many benefits of a dairy-free diet without sacrificing flavor or convenience.

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