It’s hard to ignore the plant-based craze that has taken over the isles of every grocery store across the nation. From yogurt to coffee creamer, it seems like there’s a suitable swap for every source of dairy in your fridge. And there is!
You can still enjoy the foods you love, but with healthier alternatives that taste just as great.
Reducing or eliminating your intake of dairy products is one way to improve your mental and physical wellbeing, without much effort at all.
The health benefits
According to a study done by Cornell, about 60% of the population is lactose intolerant. Some of us just aren’t able to drink milk and eat cheese without facing side effects such as severe bloating and gas.
So instead of skipping the cheese and ice cream when you’re in the mood to treat yourself, finding dairy-free alternatives you love is the way to go.
Diet plays a huge role in our health and our outward appearance. After all, glowing skin starts from within.
However, due to its high count in hormones and sugar, dairy has been linked to aggravating skin conditions like acne and rosacea—causing inflammation within the body.
So if topical creams and medications aren’t cutting it for your complexion, it may be time to examine your diet.
Many women dealing with acne, have been able to improve their skin by just cutting out milk, cheese, whey, and yogurt from their diet.
Dairy farming alone releases a significant amount of methane—a greenhouse gas—into the air.
Animal agriculture also attributes to other environmental issues such as deforestation and water pollution. So, if you wish to reduce your carbon footprint and help make strides towards a more sustainable lifestyle and society, reducing dairy is a way you can do your part.
The planet and your state of mind will definitely thank you.
Suitable swaps for foods you love
Even if you aren’t buying gallons of milk at your grocery store, there are still ways to incorporate plant-based alternatives into your diet. Cow’s milk is in a lot of grocery store staples, like coffee creamer and salad dressing. So here’s what you need to know about maximizing flavor when ditching dairy.
Oat milk in smoothies
For a long time, soy milk was the only dairy-free milk you could find at the grocery store, and it was usually hidden by the gallons of cow’s milk in the dairy section. Also, because of the health stigma against soy, it was never flying off the shelves.
Fast forward to now, we have more options than we have fingers on one hand.
Admittedly, this can feel overwhelming when you’re trying to narrow it down to just one contender.
If you like to start your day off with a fruity, and refreshing smoothie, adding in a cup of oat milk can completely upgrade your breakfast. Oat milk is creamier than most nut and coconut milk. It’s also produced more sustainably and uses less water during its production when compared to a beverage like almond milk.
Its neutral taste provides a perfect addition to a post workout or early morning smoothie. Start your day off right. Just add ice, fruit and oat milk, blend, and enjoy.
Coconut milk coffee creamer
Not everyone is a fan of drinking their coffee black. For those of us who need a little bit of extra flavor to chug down that morning dose of caffeine, coffee creamer is a grocery cart staple.
Coconut creamers come in flavors like hazelnut and vanilla and serve as the perfect sweet addition to your cup of joe. Check the label to make sure, since the non-dairy coffee creamer is always right next to the non-plant based version.
Dairy free dressings and spreads
Most creamy salad dressings contain traces of milk and cheese. Massage your greens in a light vinegarette, or use a mashed avocado to match the consistency of your usual dressing or sandwich spread. Avocados are a rich source of vitamin K, potassium, and fiber. They also contain essential levels of fat your brain needs to function properly.
Ice cream alternatives
Although an excessive amount of sugar isn’t healthy whatsoever, a sweet treat every now and then isn’t the worst thing you can do. Avoiding foods you love is never a sustainable way to diet. So swap out your usual pint for some sorbet, or a vegan alternative if you’re in the mood for a rich and chocolatey dessert.
Ben and Jerry’s even has their own line of dairy-free pints, so you’ll never feel like you’re missing out on the good stuff.
Switching over to more plant-based foods usually raises the question: well, how do I get my protein?
Although plants are already an excellent source of protein, supplementing with protein powders is ideal for weightlifters, athletes, or anyone looking to build some muscle in the gym.
While most protein powders contain whey, a protein found in milk, plant-based proteins utilize nuts, seeds, and peas to deliver just as much protein as the animal-based powders.
Dairy-free has a different meaning now than it did ten years ago. It used to mean completely abolishing delicious foods like ice cream, yogurt, and cereal.
But now, it just means swapping out those certain foods for delicious, plant-based, and healthy alternatives. Give these a try, if you want to feel lighter and see a drastic improvement in your complexion—all while never having to say goodbye to a creamy cup of coffee or a delectable scoop of ice cream.