Going Dairy Free

Going Dairy Free?


People choose to remove dairy foods from their diet for different reasons. Some people have a milk allergy, some people just feel better when they don't consume dairy products, and still others do it for personal or religious reasons. Whatever the reason, learning how to find great alternatives to dairy will help make it easier to follow a dairy free diet. It’s also important to make sure your diet isn't missing any essential nutrients by avoiding dairy products.


What products contain dairy?

All milk and milk-containing foods, including yogurt, cheese, ice cream, and any foods containing milk solids such as cream, butter, and margarine containing whey must be avoided. Also, all foods and beverages containing components of milk such as casein, whey, lactoglobulin, and hydrolyzates must not be consumed.


What are some dairy free options I can use?



  • Coconut Milk Beverage: So Delicious
  • Almond Milk: Pacific Foods, Almond Breeze
  • Rice Milk: Rice Dream, Good Karma
  • Sunflower Seed Milk: Sunrich Naturals
  • Hazelnut Milk: Pacific Village Foods
  • Hemp Milk: Living Harvest, Tempt


  • Dark Chocolate (look for 70% cocoa content or higher)
  • Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss Ice Cream
  • Tempt: Hemp Ice Cream
  • Almond Ice Cream


  • Daiya Cheese Style Shreds
  • Lisanatti Rice Cheese
  • Kate Hill Ricotta (almond milk)
  • Vegan Gourmet Shreds



  • So Delicious Coconut Yogurt and Kefir
  • Rice Milk Yogurt or Soy Milk Yogurt
  • Almond Milk Yogurt: Almond Dream, Kate Hill



How much calcium do I need each day?

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for calcium is:

1,300 mg for children ages 9-18

1,000 mg for adults ages 19-50

1,200 mg for women over 50 and men over 70


What should I replace in my diet?

Dairy products are only one source of calcium and vitamin D. There are plenty of other calcium rich foods and beverages. Many products including non-dairy milks and orange juice are fortified to include these important nutrients but make sure your diet also contains them in whole natural form by including the following foods:


Tofu (raw, firm)

½ cup

250-800 mg

Kidney beans

1 cup

87 mg

White beans

1 cup

191 mg


1 cup

76 mg

Almonds (raw)

1 oz

70 mg

Sesame seeds

¼ cup

351 mg



25 mg

Broccoli (cooked)

1 cup

180 mg

Spinach (cooked)

1 cup

240 mg

Dried figs

1 cup

300 mg

Blackstrap molasses

1 Tablespoon

135 mg

Sardines (canned in oil)

3 oz

324 mg

Calcium fortified orange juice

1 cup

300-350 mg

Calcium fortified milk alternative

1 cup

200-250 mg

Romaine lettuce

2 cups

40 mg



52 mg







USDA Database