4 Questions to Ask Before Cutting Out Diary
More people than ever are deciding to go dairy free or limiting dairy in their diet.
Proponents of a dairy-free diet claim that cutting out dairy gives you more energy, clears skin issues, and improves digestion. Others say that it is better for the environment and for the animals. Before you cut dairy from your diet, or if you’re planning a dairy free challenge, here are some questions to start with:
- Why am I considering going dairy free? If you experience digestive trouble or other issues after eating dairy, check to see if you’re lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerant people have low levels of lactose, the enzyme that digests milk sugar. If you are lactose intolerant, you can still enjoy dairy by choosing lactose-free options, taking lactose supplements, and only eating dairy in moderation.
- Where will I get calcium? Dairy is a top source of calcium, but there are other ways to get calcium from food. Leafy greens, broccoli, figs, sardines and salmon are all great sources of calcium. Several processed foods are also fortified with calcium such as soy milk, orange juice and cereal. You may also want to take calcium supplements.
- Where will I get protein? Cow’s milk is a great protein source that contains amino acids essential for cell repair and renewal. Without it, you’ll need to find an equally rich source of protein. Nuts and nut milks can be good alternatives.
- What other nutrients might I be missing? Since dairy contains many essential nutrients, make sure to up your intake of vitamin D, vitamin B and zinc if you eliminate it. Taking a daily multi-vitamin and other supplements is an easy way to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need.