Getting Help When Giving Up Dairy Products - dummies

Getting Help When Giving Up Dairy Products

By Suzanne Havala Hobbs

If you find yourself stuck at some point along the way in your transition to going dairy-free, seek out some support. You have several options, including the following:

  • Get individualized diet counseling from a registered nutritionist. A nutritionist can help you troubleshoot challenges and tailor advice for your specific concerns and lifestyle needs.

  • Talk to others going through the transition to a dairy-free diet. You can ask them for advice on how they worked through challenges and stuck to their plans.

  • Check other resources, including organizations and societies, books, and cookbooks. All these resources can help you come up with additional dairy-free alternatives and meals, and can answer questions you may have.

Check with your health insurance company to determine whether the cost of nutrition counseling may be covered in your case. If you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, or kidney problems, nutrition counseling services may be reimbursable if your physician refers you.

Over time, you can go dairy-free with ease. Some people find it helpful to document lifestyle changes in a journal, making daily entries that chronicle their challenges and discoveries along the way. If journaling appeals to you, you also may enjoy starting a blog on the Internet. Blogs are interactive, and other people can join in on the discussion by posting their own comments and questions.

If you’re already living dairy-free and uncertain that you’re meeting your nutritional needs, get some individualized advice before starting supplements. The most appropriate resource for nutrition counseling is a registered dietitian (RD). An RD is someone who has expertise in food and nutrition and has met specific educational and experience criteria set forth by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Registered dietitians have passed a national registration exam and complete continuing education requirements.

You can ask your physician or other healthcare provider to refer you to a registered dietitian for a consultation. Dietitians often are associated with hospitals, but your physician may refer you to one who will see you on an outpatient basis. Some dietitians also are in private practice. You can find a registered dietitian on your own as well. Find one near you by contacting the American Dietetic Association.