HOW DO I AVOID DAIRY? Ingredients to look out for

This is a more complicated question than it sounds! Don't think you can get away with merely refusing glasses of milk. The cow creeps in under the door, I tell you. The cows . . . (low paranoid voice) . . . are everywhere.

Here is a list of ingredients to avoid:
Obvious -- milk, anything with "milk" in the name or that says "milk derivative", cheese, anything with "cheese" in the name, cream, cream curds, curds, whey, anything with "whey" in the name -- demineralized, delactosed, whatever; butter, buttermilk, anything with "butter" in the name INCLUDING artificial butter flavor; half-and-half, sour cream, yogurt.

Less obvious but equally important --
casein, anything with "caseinate" in the name, lactalbumin, anything with "lactalbumin" in the name, caramel color, caramel flavoring, ghee, custard, hydrolysates, hydrolyzed milk protein, high protein flour, lactoferrin, lactoglobulin, lactose, lactulose, margarine, rennet, protein, Simplesse, nougat.

You'll only find this on some bakery and foreign products, but avoid anything that says "margarine", unless you have the margarine tub in front of you and can read the ingredients right then and there. 90% of margarines have whey or casein added to give it that yummy milk protein flavor -- and frustrate allergic consumers.

Avoiding "natural flavors" or "flavoring" is almost pointlessly difficult unless you happen to get life-endangering reactions. My sweetie can be set off by a teaspoon of margarine with whey protein in it, but he's never fallen victim to "natural flavors".

We've also not been cautious about "caramel color". This one is a lactose derivative, and we suspect he's only sensitive to the proteins. Nor have we been careful about things that don't have any dairy ingredients, but have the dairy kosher symbol or say "may contain", which usually means that they're prepared with the same equipment -- something which is significant to people with severe immediate allergies, but not as much to long-term sensitivities. Your mileage may vary.

The idea that lactic acid should be on this list is silly. It doesn't even necessarily come from milk (it's also found in various veggies) and even if it does, it's presumably extracted in a laboratory to be identical to all other lactic acid. It's even meat-kosher. The same is true for "potassium lactate" (an ingredient which, when I spied it on a label of a food product the sweetie was eating, nearly gave me a heart attack -- then I read up on it) or anything lactate or lactylate; these are all lactic acid compounds.

How do I know if dairy is the problem?

How fast will I get better? A caution to the impatient

Ingredients to look out for

More hints on hidden dairy

Replacing the cow