Dairy-Free Products & Dairy-Free Diet
Allergy and Intolerance to milk is the most common food allergy.
Allergy to milk
An allergy to milk products includes all dairy products such as cheese, butter, yogurt, cream etc.
The symptoms of milk allergy are often mild and can affect any part of the body. These can include rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps and difficulty in breathing. In a very few cases, milk allergy can cause anaphylaxis. Cows’ milk allergy is caused by a reaction to a number of proteins in cows’ milk and people can react to whole milk, or to casein or whey. People can be allergic to either whey or casein, or both, and can react to very small amounts of these.
Milk intolerance also known as milk protein intolerance is common, especially with children. It is different to milk allergy and lactose intolerance.
Symptoms of milk intolerance can include eczema, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.
Lactose is the type of sugar that is found naturally in milk. Some people can’t digest lactose properly and having milk or other dairy products can make them feel sick, bloated and they often suffer from stomach pains and diarrhea.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance can include: hives, eczema, swollen lips, mouth, tongue, face or throat, allergic black eyes, itchy red rash, abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, gas/wind, cramps, runny nose, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
Lactose intolerance can appear later in life with symptoms including bloating, pain, gas and diarrhea. Lactose intolerance is not an allergy but intolerance, where individuals are unable to digest the sugar lactose in milk. But that inability does not result in potentially life threatening reactions.
The difference between lactose intolerance and milk allergy.
It’s important to remember that they are not the same thing. Lactose intolerance is when you can’t digest lactose, the sugar found in dairy products. You’ll often get symptoms like stomach pain, gas, and diarrhea. With a milk allergy, the symptoms affect more than just your digestive tract. A milk allergy is when your immune system thinks dairy is a foreign invader and attacks it by releasing chemicals called histamines. Symptoms can range from wheezing problems to vomiting and diarrhea.
Allergy to Casein
Some people are allergic to casein. Casein is a protein in milk, another milk protein associated with food allergies is whey. Some people are allergic to both casein and whey.
A casein allergy occurs when your body’s immune system mistakenly thinks the protein is harmful and inappropriately produces antibodies for protection. The interaction between these antibodies and the specific protein triggers the release of body chemicals such as histamine that cause symptoms which may include: swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue or face; skin reactions such as hives, a rash, or red, itchy skin or nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, or wheezing
If you have milk or casein allergy you must follow a casein-free diet, avoiding all foods that contain milk or milk products.
Avoiding milk products involves more than just leaving the cheese off your sandwich. It may also mean leaving off the deli meat if it was cut with the same equipment used to slice the cheese. Even miniscule amounts of casein may be enough to trigger a reaction. In people who are allergic, the level of sensitivity varies from person to person. Some individuals might be able to tolerate small amounts of milk, especially if the milk is baked or cooked in items. However, for most individuals, strict avoidance is best since the amount of milk many not be consistent between products from different manufacturers or even between batches from the same manufacturer.
Cow’s milk is high in nutrients such as calcium, vitamin B2, phosphorous, magnesium and vitamin B12. Calcium is an important mineral involved in the formation and maintenance of strong bones and teeth. Calcium also plays a regulatory role in muscle contraction and blood clotting functions. General recommendation is that we aim for 800 – 1000mg of calcium in our diets per day, however pregnant and post menopausal women may need more.
If you’re on a milk free diet you should consume more foods containing calcium such as fish, watercress, broccoli, fruit, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, pulses and whole grains. A registered dietician can help you develop a well-balanced eating plan.
Avoid milk outside the kitchen. Check labels on cosmetics, creams, and ointments to see if they contain cow’s milk in any form. Some medicines also contain whey, which is made from milk.
Try dairy substitutes; look for non-dairy ice cream, chocolate, cheese, and yogurt.
Using coconut products as dairy free alternatives to milk
Coconut milk and coconut cream are dairy-free alternatives to cow’s milk and cream. They do not contain lactose, casein or whey.
With coconut milk and coconut cream you can enjoy cereal for breakfast, milkshakes, sauces and desserts without suffering an allergic reaction. Coconut oil is a dairy-free excellent butter substitute.
TIANA Fair Trade Organic Coconut Products as dairy free alternatives to milk
TIANA Raw Organic Coconut Goodness is the pure white unsweetened coconut flesh, the whole food with a smooth and creamy spread-like consistency. This delicious creamy coconut goodness melts in your mouth, there are no additives or preservatives – only pure raw unadulterated coconut. It is gluten, cholesterol and trans-fat free.
Use as an alternative to dairy cream, cream cheese, butter or even straight from the jar! TIANA Raw Organic Coconut Goodness is ideal for making nutritional smoothies, fruit drinks, pina coladas, deserts, ice-cream, dressings, sauces, dips, coconut based spreads or just used in all your cooking and baking.
Coconut Milk: How to make delicious raw coconut milk
Simply warm the jar of TIANA Raw Coconut Goodness by standing it in hot water for up to 10 minutes until it is a thick semi liquid then stir thoroughly.
Use two parts TIANA Raw Coconut Goodness with three parts water
To make Coconut Cream, just use two parts TIANA Raw Coconut Goodness with one part water, the proportions can be varied to suit individual taste and requirements
Instead of butter or margarine which is made using cow’s milk try our TIANA Organic Exquisite Omega 3 Spreadable, which is spreadable at room temperature. For all cooking and baking needs why not try our TIANA Fair Trade Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. For those who prefer to use coconut oil without any coconut aroma or taste there are two fantastic varieties of coconut cooking butters: TIANA Pure Organic Coconut Butter and TIANA High Omega 3 Coconut Butter.