There are various reasons why milk should be avoided. It might be due to the protein component of milk that could not be tolerated or the milk sugar is not well tolerated. In case the individual is uncertain which component of milk he/she could not tolerate, it is advisable to avoid both and to stick with a milk-free diet. This includes cow’s milk as well as milk from goat, sheep and buffalo.
Remember that it is not just the milk that should be avoided but also dairy products and foods made with milk-derived ingredients.
Checking the labels
In the previous years, it was difficult to identify if a particular product contains milk-derived ingredients. With the improvements in food labelling, food manufactures clearly lists down if milk or a milk-derived ingredient is present. The following are milk-derived ingredients to watch out for.
- All types of cheese/cheese powder
- Milk powder/skimmed milk powder
- Milk beverages/malted milk beverages
- Cream/sour cream
- Non-fat milk
- Milk solids
- Milk sugar solids
- Whey syrup sweetener
Always bear in mind that any food can contain milk, thus is it vital to check the ingredients. It is not enough just to read the allergy advice box. The non-packaged products must be avoided since their ingredients are unknown and might contain milk or milk-derived ingredients.
When following a milk-free diet for the first time, it is easy to make mistakes and try on shortcuts, but since many foods contain milk-derived ingredients, it is vital to carefully read the food labels every time a new food is used.
Processed foods that may contain milk
Oftentimes, individuals new to the diet are surprised to find out that many of the following foods can contain milk-derived ingredients. Nevertheless, some brands might not contain them, thus it is best to check the food labels carefully.
- Breakfast cereals
- Baby foods
- Processed meats (meat pies, sausages)
- Sauces and gravies
- Ready meals
- Baked goods (rolls, bread, brioche, buns)
- Cakes, crackers, biscuits
- Puddings and custards
- Chocolate and confectionary
- Flavored nuts and tortillas
- Manufactured food, butcher’s products, bakery or deli items
Difference between soya milk and soy formula milk
It is important to note that soya milk is not suitable for babies below 12 months old since they lack the required nutrients particularly fat, protein and iron. Infants below 12 months old require either formula milk or breast milk. The formula milk are specifically designed to meet the nutritional requirements of growing infants and formulated to be as close to breast milk as possible.
Always bear in mind that the laws on proper food labelling should be strictly followed by manufacturers. An individual with dairy intolerance should carefully read the food labels every time he/she shops to ensure that the ingredients have not changed in order to stay safe and avoid any reactions such as hives. Any foods that do not have any labels should be avoided.