Dr. Meaghan Datema, ND

How to go dairy free

In the last number of years there have been a large number of people who are going dairy free. For a variety of reasons. From bloating to skin conditions to joint pain. People are experimenting with their food to try to identify which foods are possibly contributing to their conditions. Often, when patients enter my office they have already identified or tried to identify foods that aggravate their health concerns. One of the food groups that tends to cause the most issues is dairy. This is backed by research, there is a growing subset of research surrounding the dairy free diet and improvement in a wide variety of health concerns. Researchers are investigating it with regards to autism, irritable bowel disorder, arthritis, etc.

The most common test that I run in my practise is a food sensitivity test. On the vast majority of the test reports, cow’s milk comes up as a highly reactive food along with sheep and goat milk. This test result often correlated with increased bloating, skin conditions (including acne and psoriasis), and diarrhea. Upon elimination of dairy and other food sensitivities symptoms improve.

What to consider when eliminating dairy

Dairy products are found in a wide variety of foods and forms. This includes obvious dairy products such as milk, milkshakes, yogurt, cheese, butter, and ice cream. Other foods that include hidden dairy products are gravies, sauces, bread, instant meals, and processed meats. It is important when buying foods and pre-packaged it is important to read the list of ingredients. Look out for the following ingredients on food labels as they are alternate names for dairy products.

  • Ghee
  • Casein
  • Whey, demineralized whey
  • Beta or alpha-lactalbumin
  • Milk powder
  • Milk solids, non-fat milk solids
Alternative dairy products

In recent years, there has been an explosion in milk alternative products and beverages available to consumers. Alternative forms of milk, cheese, coffee cream, butter, and yogurts have hit the shelves. These products are usually coconut, soy, rice, almond, pea, and oat based. When picking an alternative milk source, there is not one that is superior to the other.

Am I going to get enough Calcium without dairy?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions I am asked after a food sensitivity test. Due to the frequency of osteoporosis and broken bones it is a valid concern. While dairy is the most common source of calcium in our diets, it is not the only source. Other sources of calcium include:

  • Sardines (preferably with the bones in)
  • Salmon
  • Nuts
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Soy

Incorporating a variety of sources of these calcium-rich foods into your diet will ensure that you will have an adequate amount of calcium into your diet. 

Are you interested in exploring food sensitivities that may be contributing to your health? Book an appointment below with me and we can discuss options to identify your food sensitivities.

Yours in health,

grimsby naturopath

Ready to unlock your hidden potential?


Monday 11am – 7pm (Grimsby)
Tuesday 12pm – 8pm (Caledonia)
Wednesday 10am – 6pm (Caledonia)
Friday 11am – 6pm (Grimsby)
Saturday 8-12pm (Grimsby & Caledonia on alternating weeks)