Alongside gluten, alcohol and sugar, dairy is one of the most inflammatory foods in our diet. It causes so much inflammation resulting in digestive issues such as bloating, gas, problematic bowels, and can lead to other symptoms such as acne, allergies, and behavioral reactions.
The main problem with dairy is the sugar and protein found in the milk (mainly cow milk). Those lactose intolerant have a difficult time digesting the sugar in milk due to an enzyme they lack for digestion. For those that are not lactose intolerant but still have a reaction to milk, react poorly to the protein (casein or whey).
Another problem with dairy is that many times people are consuming more than just the milk but also growth hormones, antibiotics and all other genetically engineered chemicals farmers are injecting their cows with. The combination of the above offsets a slew of major digestive concerns and issues.
But what if you love cheese (like I do!) and can’t imagine your life without it?
Some of the most amazing dishes have cheese in it. Nothing pairs better with wine than cheese. And most foods seem empty without the richness of cheese. Luckily, we live in the nutrition era where options are available and living a dairy-free life is very common and accessible.
Here are some great cheese alternatives to consider:
Although still dairy, the smaller fat globules in both goat and sheep milk makes it easier on our bodies to digest. Both milks also contain less lactose than cow milk making it a great alternative for those with mild lactose sensitivities. Growth hormone injections are rare in goat and sheep so you get more milk than anything else with a sweeter and rich taste.
Doesn’t sound appetizing huh?
But it’s a pretty darn good substitute for cheese. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast used as a fermenting agent to make beer. Packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, these crispy and golden flakes provide a nutty and tasty flavor and adds a little excitement to dishes.
Providing the same rich, creamy texture cheese does, most of these plant-based alternatives are also allergen free. Ingredients range from veggies to nuts to tofu. Depending on your preference, you can choose from some of these great plant based cheeses which all provide a perfect substitute to cheese without the belly aches and bloat. Here are some of my fave: Daiya, Peace Cheese, Heidi Ho, Kite Hill, Treeline Cheese.
With these amazing alternatives, is there really a need for cheese with growth hormones and antibiotics and that make your belly bloat and hurt? I think not. But that choice is up to you. For those that are simply looking to eat healthier and feel better, try these alternatives and experience the difference.
Certified as a Personal Trainer through NASM since 2003 and a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) recognized through Yoga Alliance more than seven years, Julia’s unique training and coaching techniques focus primarily on functionality, alignment, with a holistic approach so that the body remains safe, strong, and more importantly, efficient and pain free. Julia combines her years of education and training to create programs tailored to her students using various schools of fitness and wellness (plyometrics, kettle bell, TRX, pre and post natal, barefoot training, boxing, yoga, stretches, nutrition tips and coaching) making each session with her one of a kind. Her ultimate ambition is to see her clients achieve their goals AND embrace a healthy and fit lifestyle of their own.