So, you recently found out that you can no longer eat dairy foods or products. For most adults, the sudden diagnosis that they are either lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy can come as a big shock — who knew that eating all that ice cream and pizza while they were young was having a negative, long-term effect on their health? For others, especially younger people, it’s a quickly escalating discovery process that only confirms what their body has been telling them since they drank their very first bottle of cow’s milk at the age of one.
Being lactose intolerant is a lot more common than you might think. Despite the fact that dairy consumption has been a part of human civilization for 10,000 years, many of us just can’t ingest it without experiencing problems. That’s because our early ancestors did not have the correct enzymes embedded in their stomachs to properly digest dairy from other animals — humans had to “teach” their own bodies to tolerate animal dairy, and it took a long time for this kind of tolerance to pass onto their descendants. Due to various factors – such as regional differences in dietary habits – not everyone has inherited the lactase enzyme, and as a result, not all of us get to enjoy a milkshake or a piece of buttered bread.
One study produced in 2017 estimates that as much as 65% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. That’s a pretty significant number of people, especially considering how established dairy consumption is around the globe.
The signs of lactose intolerance
If you already know that you are lactose intolerant, you’ll be very familiar with the symptoms of a dairy reaction. They can include:
- Stomach ache and bloating
- Muscle and joint pain
- Mouth sores (ulcers)
- Loss of concentration
- Throat swelling
- Increased gas
Even worse, some people are dairy allergic, which means their bodies are actually reacting to proteins in dairy, not the lactose itself. Not only do they suffer from the above symptoms after eating dairy, but they also may experience:
- Severe acne
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Anaphylactic shock
Making the change to a better diet
Once you discover you may be dairy intolerant, your first step is to visit your doctor. They will be able to perform a variety of tests to determine whether you actually are intolerant or are possibly suffering from something else, such as Crohn’s Disease. If a lactose-related diagnosis is made, your doctor will suggest a change in your diet; depending on the severity of your intolerance, he may suggest cutting out dairy altogether. If that’s the case, don’t panic! You can still enjoy eating, but it might take a while before you stop missing your old diet and become acclimated to life without dairy in it.
If you’re not already inclined to check the labels on the food you normally buy, you’ll soon find it a necessity in order to avoid products that use dairy, whey, or lactose as ingredients. Milk is often used as a bonding agent in foods you normally would not associate it with — bread products, processed meats, and prepackaged vegetable dishes, for example. Fortunately, it’s becoming much easier to find companies that fully comply with labeling regulations implemented by organizations like the FDA, which only makes it easier for people like you to quickly identify which products contain milk or lactose-based derivatives.
You’ll also have to change the way you eat out. You’ll soon find that fast food restaurants may no longer be a viable option when it comes to grabbing a quick meal. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that offers a wide array of restaurants, you may find a satisfactory selection of vegan and dairy-free locales that will cater to your needs. Regardless, chances are you will be spending less time going out to eat and spending more time at home cooking your own food.
What if you can’t find the time to cook for yourself? There’s another option — meal delivery services.
Dairy-Free Meal Delivery
Prepared food delivery is becoming a big industry in the United States. There is an increasing number of companies that specialize in offering a diverse choice of meals, preparing all of the contents for you, and delivering them right to your door. Most of them won’t have the kind of options you are looking for, however — not only are the ingredients used sometimes of low quality, but you can’t be 100% sure what else they’re putting in your food. This is where ReBuilt Meals comes in to save the day!
ReBuilt Meals has an entire vegan menu with four of its six meals being dairy-free, all hand-picked by experts you can trust to choose the right ingredients. From quinoa to chili to buffalo cauliflower, you’ll have a fantastic selection of quality meal kits to choose from. If you’re not into vegan meals, you can always choose from ReBuilt’s other delicious plans — the Performance menu is entirely free of dairy ingredients, while the Keto menu has four out of six entrees with no dairy at all.
It’s easy enough to get started; just pick out a plan here, and ReBuilt Meals will start preparing your meals and delivering them to you on Mondays and Thursdays, every week of the month.
You can trust ReBuilt Meals with your dietary needs! Visit their website to find out more.