You went on a gluten-free diet, either because you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or because you have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, but your tummy still doesn’t behave.
If this sound like you, then you may need to try a gluten and dairy free diet, at least for a little while.
Celiac disease causes damage to the small intestine, which just happens to be the place where our bodies produce the lactase enzyme which is necessary to digest lactose. As a result, many people with celiac disease need to avoid lactose at least temporarily while their small intestine heals.
If lactose free dairy products still upset your stomach, your problem might be casein. Casein is the protein in milk and there is some evidence of “cross-reactivity” between the gluten and casein. If this is the case you will likely need to avoid all cows milk products. People with a casein intolerance can often handle goat or sheep milk and cheeses made from these milks.
You may be wondering, what can you eat if you are gluten and dairy free? Well, if you are already gluten-free you may be feeling a bit frustrated. You’ve already given up one big food group and now you have to give up another?
Once you learn and few tips and what products to substitute for dairy, you’ll get into a rhythm and you’ll find you can enjoy most of your favorite foods by tweaking the recipes just a bit.
If you've spent much time on this site, you know about my food philosophy.
I think this is a good philosophy in general, and you've seen me apply this to living gluten-free. It also applies to dairy-free. Many delicious and nutritious foods simply don't contain dairy. Things like fruit, vegetables, whole fresh cuts of meat, nuts, seeds, beans and so on. If these foods form the bulk of your diet, you'll find there is still a huge variety of foods to choose from and you may not feel deprived at all.
Just like gluten, dairy hides in unexpected places. Lactose is often used as a binder and a carrier for other flavors. As such you may be surprised to find dairy in flavored potato chips, deli meats or medications. So, just like for gluten, always read labels.
There are many products on the market that work nicely in recipes and are naturally dairy free. I keep several cans of coconut milk in my pantry because it substitutes nicely for cream in any recipe. Other plant based "milks" are made from soy, almonds, rice, or oats.
Though I'm not vegan myself, I'm happy that food producers have come up with products to serve the vegan market as they are dairy (and egg) free which suits me just fine. I suggest to keep these to a minimum though as they are highly processed and contain lots of ingredients that our grandmothers wouldn't recognize as food (to borrow from Michael Pollan).
Because I have a casein intolerance, I've had to completely and permanently eliminate (cows milk) dairy from my diet, so you'll find that nearly all of the recipes on Naturally Gluten-Free are dairy free or have dairy free options. Here are a few for you to try.