Dairy or Dairy-Free, What’s the Difference?

Growing up in Midwest America, dairy played a big part in every meal. Eggs, milk and cheese were the basics of a well stocked kitchen. So how can you possibly get around the use of the basics of your food knowledge. Well expand your knowledge, expand your world. When putting together a great meal the essentials of our past are no longer a necessity. But before you begin to plan a plant-based dairy-free meal, let’s look at what exactly is dairy-free.

Sounds simple right? But make a visit to your nearest grocer and you may be in for a surprise. For example visiting one of my local markets I decided to perform an experiment. I stopped one of the associates and asked were could I find dairy-free milk. After thinking for a minute he directed me to the refrigerated section that offered lactose-free milk. In other words I was directed to dairy milk that did not contain lactose, which some find difficult to digest. Some unfamiliar language can be confusing and misleading. So as you can see it’s important to check the label to be sure the product is in fact dairy-free. When it comes to milk, all are not created equal.
This meaning for dairy-free milk there is no connection to an animal source (dairy milk, eggs or cheese). Diary-free milk strictly originates from plant sources such as almonds, cashews, hemp, rice, coconut or soybeans. Lactose-free milk is dairy milk that does not contain lactose, to accommodate those who may be lactose intolerant. Only diary-free milk is used in the vegan diet.

It is noted that much of the worlds population is lactose intolerent. So there are many benefits to living dairy-free. Some experience allergies connected with the consumption of dairy products such as indigestion, skin problems and more. A dairy-free lifestyle can assist in alliviating allergies, bloating and weight gain.

If the product you are looking for is indeed dairy-free it usually will indicate dairy-free or vegan somewhere on the packaging. Here are some great alternative milk products worth checking out:

  • So Delicious makes a tasty line of Dairy-free products
  • Milkadamia
  • Whole Foods makes it’s 365 line of Dairy-free products

As with any product care must be taken concerning ingredients and additives. Some dairy-free milk and milk products contain carreegan, a natural substance made from irish seawood. Some researchers are concerned it may cause inflammation and intestinal issues. The good news is there are diary-free milks and products that don’t use this ingredient. If you’re shopping at Whole Foods you’ll find the associates are excellent at providing pertinent information so don’t hesitate to ask if you need clarity. Remember next time you go shopping please look for the dairy-free label, just to be sure to stay on track. Happy Shopping 🙂

#dairyfree #almondmilk #cashewmilk #plantbaseddiet


“People are the only animals that drink the milk of the mother of another species. All other animals stop drinking milk altogether after weaning. It is unnatural for a dog to nurse from a mother giraffe; it is just as unnatural for a human being to drink the milk of a cow.” -Michael Klaper

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