Dairy alternatives for lactose intolerant people

Being lactose intolerant means that you'll have to find alternative sources of, for instance, butter, cheese, milk and ice cream. So what can you eat instead? We checked out the best dairy alternatives for you.

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Lactose intolerance affects nearly 65% of people in the world today.

Research indicates that all humans were lactose intolerant after weaning but over time our genetics evolved and adapted as formerly nomadic people turned to agriculture and began to live off the land in a new way. As milk was drunk regularly, over time the intolerance diminished, while those who were still nomadic can be seen today to continue to have issues with the digestion of milk.

Due to this fact, dairy products should mostly be avoided as the sugar lactose is active in them. And it may not necessarily be a lactose intolerance. You will find that when you do your DNAFit test, you may be lactose tolerant but still have trouble digesting milk. This offers a new complex perspective whereby you may have developed secondary lactose intolerance, which has no genetic component, or a milk or dairy allergy to something else that makes up the products you’re consuming, be it butter, cheese, ice cream or milk itself.

And yet, many of us would still like to consume milk in some shape or form. Not only do dairy products add a lot to our daily meals, but they are also high in calcium and contain vitamin D, both of which are crucial for staying healthy. Therefore, what are the dairy alternatives when you are lactose intolerant? 

Below you’ll find a few alternatives:


Almond Milk

Almond milk has the look and feel of milk, although it has a nuttier taste, of course. It may contain less protein than regular milk, but it is still high in the nutrients calcium, fiber and vitamin D.

Great for breakfast cereal or a milkshake with a nutty taste


Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is also popular and is more similar to full cream milk as it is denser than regular milk and full bodied.

It may not be high in protein, but it contains a high amount of saturated fat, which should be avoided or limited depending on your genetic sensitivity and if you are looking to lose weight


Hemp Milk

This milk comes from hemp seeds, which may explain people who drink it describe it as being thicker and grittier than the real thing.

The good thing though is that the seeds are high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids, so the nutritional content of this milk is to be desired.


Soy Milk

Probably the most commonly known one, it is very high in protein and a vegan option that contains many other nutrients such as potassium


Ice cream alternative

You can go for a lactose free variant, but it is also possible to make ice cream by blending bananas and berries as well as substituting sherbet.


Butter alternative

When cooking, choose to use olive oil and spread peanut butter or avocado on your toast in the morning. You can use coconut oil in baked goods.


Cheese alternative

Cheese already has a significantly reduced amount of lactose that some people who are lactose intolerant can still digest.

However, if you still find that eating fermented cheese with a lower lactose profile doesn’t work for you then you can purchase lactose-free cheeses. The fact is that nothing truly replaces cheese when you think of pizza and toasted sandwiches, but at least there is an alternative for everyone to enjoy.

These cheeses are made from what the milk alternatives are made from as well.

Thus, if you still crave milk but your body can’t handle it there are a number of alternatives that are relatively available that are both nutritious and imitate milk so that you aren’t left craving it.

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