A milk allergy or lactose intolerance may make it necessary for you to avoid milk in your diet. You have a variety of foods to choose from to plan a nutritious, flavorful, milk-free diet. Cooking with fresh, whole foods rather than processed foods helps ensure your diet is free of milk. As you grocery shop, read the ingredients in processed foods to ensure the products are milk-free.
Fresh, frozen and canned fruit contains no milk proteins or sugars. Similarly, fruit juices and fruit drinks are also milk-free. Including a variety of tree, citrus and tropical fruit in your diet helps ensure adequate intake of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and natural sugars. The USDA recommends 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit daily for men and women age 19 and older.
Vegetables are a milk-free source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Vegetable juices are usually milk-free. Choosing different types of vegetables helps diversify the nutrients in your diet. The USDA recommends 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily for adult men and women.
Eggs are a nondairy, protein-rich food. If you are eating at a restaurant, be sure to ask if milk is used in preparing certain egg dishes, such as scrambled eggs, omelets and quiche. You can usually request that your eggs be prepared without milk. Be aware, however, that cross-contamination with milk proteins may occur if the eggs are cooked on the same surface with milk-containing foods.
Chicken, turkey, beef, pork and other animal meats contain no milk. Luncheon meats, sausage and hot dogs; however, may contain milk proteins, warns Brigham and Women's Hospital. The word "nondairy" on a food label does not ensure that a product contains no milk proteins or sugars. Read the ingredients and look for lactose, whey, casein, caseinate, lactoglobulin and lactalbumin; a product that contains one or more of these ingredients contains milk sugars or proteins. Also be aware that the coating on breaded meats, such as fried chicken, frequently contains milk.
Fish and Seafood
Fish and seafood contain no milk and are generally safe for people with a milk allergy or lactose intolerance. Be cautious about how fish is prepared when eating out. Breaded entrees commonly contain milk and many restaurants use butter when preparing seafood dishes.
Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber and contain no milk. Processed bean foods, such as baked beans and chili, may contain milk. Read the label on the product to check for milk-derived ingredients.
Pasta and Rice
Pasta and rice contain no milk. If you buy seasoned rice mixes, or frozen pasta or rice entrees, be sure to read the ingredients to look for milk-derived ingredients.
Vegan cheese is made from soybeans and contains no milk. If you are on a milk-free diet, try substituting vegan cheese for dairy cheese in your recipes.