If you love the creamy texture of milk, cheese, or ice cream but experience digestive distress when you eat these foods, you’re not alone. Some 65 percent of people have trouble digesting lactose, a sugar in dairy products, after infancy. If you’re among them, be sure you’re getting sufficient calcium (think leafy greens, broccoli, and fortified nut milks) and protein (from lentils and beans, fish, lean meat, and nuts). And when making substitutions for dairy products, look for options that are nutritious and minimally processed.
• Instead of milk: Choose plain, unsweetened almond, cashew, or soy milk.
• Instead of cheese: Try creamy avocado on sandwiches and nuts in salads.
• Instead of butter: Olive oil is a nutritious oil to choose — just don’t use too high of a heat when cooking.
• Instead of ice cream: Vegan ice creams are usually high in added sugar and often high in saturated fat. Instead, blend frozen fruit with a non-dairy yogurt, tofu, or non-dairy milk.
• Instead of yogurt: Choose plain non-dairy yogurts and add your own toppings.