Cutting meat is not so difficult for many of us, but cutting out dairy has proven to be a challenge for most. Cheese is usually the item most of us struggle removing from our diets since replacing it is often not quite the same as the original. However, replacing dairy milk with plant milk is probably one of the easiest things to do nowadays as there is an overwhelming amount of alternatives out there.
It depends on where in the world you are located, but most big to medium cities have stores that offer plant-based options to all kinds of dairy alternatives.
Why would I stop consuming dairy?
There are many reasons to stop consuming dairy products but for most people who do it by choice, the biggest reason is the effect that consuming dairy has on animals out there. Many dairy farms (especially the big ones), have the cattle live under horrible conditions. Cows are often forced to live indoors and never even see the sunlight. Further, most cows are killed before the age of five because after five they don’t produce the same amount of milk and are no longer as “useful” (in normal conditions, cows can live up to the age of 20 years). Apart from that, many cows are artificially impregnated in order to produce milk.
Many of us have this idea that cows just always make milk, but that is not true – they make milk just like us humans do – when they have babies to feed. The babies are then quickly separated from their mothers and the males are usually killed for veal since they can’t produce milk.
Quitting dairy is easy AND HEALTHY
If you don’t want to be a part of that world, you can easily quit dairy and with the overwhelming options nowadays, it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Many people worry that quitting dairy will impact their health in a negative way when the truth is that most of the time, quitting dairy will make you feel healthier and happier. Many people who quit dairy report that issues such as nasal congestion, digestive problems, acne, or chronic ear infections could disappear within a few weeks.
If you are not sure about whether quitting dairy is healthy for you, you can check out some of the studies here.
What about calcium?
Like most nutrients out there, calcium can be found in many other foods than just dairy. When it comes to making sure you are getting enough nutrients, always check yourself and don’t trust what people say. Safest option could be to go to a doctor and get tested to see which nutrients your body is lacking. In any case, stopping dairy will not lead to you lacking calcium if you have a proper diet. For some people whether they consume dairy or not, calcium supplements may be a good idea – consult with your doctor to find out what you need.
If you are worried about whether or not you are consuming enough calcium or any other nutrient, you can try using a chronometer like this. For checking about whether or not you are receiving enough protein in a day, you can use an app like Lifesum, which is my personal favorite.
Calcium can be found in:
- Leafy greens
- Fortified vegan foods (which usually often have B12 as well)
Get more info about calcium here.
What about protein?
There is no need to worry about protein or amino-acids when you are on a vegan diet. You can see the in the number 2 study here that plant foods have every amino acid that your body may need!
Lucky for you, there are plenty of ways to get protein without consuming dairy. You can find plenty of dairy-free plant-based protein sources and if you lead a proper diet, rich in diverse foods, there is nothing to worry about. Some of the best plant-based protein sources are:
Explore more plant-based protein sources here.