Non-Dairy And Dairy-Free
Food labels can be confusing, especially when you are new to shopping for items with allergies or else a restricted diet. In the dairy-free community, the positions “dairy-free” and “non-dairy” remain often used interchangeably. Still, the words represent very different things on food labels that can be life-threatening for someone with allergies or sensitivity to dairy.
While there is no regulatory explanation from the FDA Food and Drug Administration of what dai-free means on food labels, most of the time, a product with this label does not contain dairy. Products labeled vegan must also be dairy-free since vegan products do not have dairies such as milk, eggs, or cheese.
Although you can feel relatively confident that when a label or recipe states that a product is dairy-free, it is not, people on a dairy-free or vegan diet remain advised always to read the label. Unfortunately, items are sometimes incorrectly labeled and include dairy-derived ingredients found in food.
Examples Of Dairy-Free Products Include:
- Alternate milk such as soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk
- Desserts like sorbet, frozen fruit bars, and angel food cake
- peanut butter, nuts, and seeds
- proteins like beans, meat, and peas
- Tofu and soy cheese products
- Vegetable and meat soups without milk
There is an FDA regulatory explanation for non-dairy, but the regulation allows for milk proteins such as casein, whey, and other derivatives. Casein is the leading protein found now in milk, cheese, and other processed foods. Whey remains the liquid part of milk that remains after curdling and straining. You’ve likely found non-dairy coffee creamers and non-dairy cheeses that contain casein, caseinates, whey, and other derivatives that are not milk-free.
The phrase “non-dairy” entered FDA regulations as a result of the dairy industry. Dairy manufacturing did not want products that were substituted for dairy to be confused with authentic dairy products, such as cream and milk.
Following A Vegan Or Dairy-Free Diet
It may seem impossible to follow a vegan or dairy-free diet, but more and more grocery stores and restaurants offer products to make it easier. Try following this three-step action plan:
Read labels. It is essential for anyone with an allergy or intolerance. Please familiarize yourself with dairy-derived ingredients and learn to identify them on nutrition labels. Many brands list the allergens contained in the product, but some do not. Allergies or intolerances should avoid products that lack nutritional information. Since this can be easier at the grocery store, you must tell the waiter about your allergy when placing an order at a restaurant. You can smooth check most menus ahead of time, online, for an idea of what to buy. Look specifically for nutritional and allergen menus to see the ingredient breakdown.
Buy whole foods. Eating whole foods somewhat than prepared foods will cut out the middlemen when it comes to cooking. It will also ensure that your food does not originate into contact with dairy ingredients during dispensation. One trick is to devote more time to the section where vegetables and fruits abound.
Investigate. With a bit of homework, you can figure out who to trust. Over time, you will better understand which brands offer true vegan and dairy-free products and which restaurants cater to vegan and dairy-free needs or references.
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