7 Healthy Substitutes for Your Favorite Dairy Products

Dairy seems like it’s always up for debate. We all know it’s a great source of calcium and protein, but it’s also been blamed for different health issues, including bloating and acne. The bad news is it doesn’t end there because dairy’s also been linked to an increased risk of life-threatening conditions, such as type-1 diabetes, prostate cancer, and heart disease. Understandably, this makes some people reduce how much they consume. If you’re looking to cut back, try any (or all) of these seven substitutes for your favorite dairy products. They’re full of quality nutrition and are completely dairy-free.

1. Ripple Foods milk

glass of milk next to a glass jug

A glass of plant-based milk is a good substitute. | iStock.com

If you can’t have your coffee without milk or if you favor a bowl of cereal for breakfast in the morning, you’ll want to check out Ripple Foods‘ 100% plant-based milk as a healthy alternative. The brand makes four flavors: chocolate, vanilla, original, and original unsweetened. A 1-cup serving of each offers 8 grams of protein, 32 milligrams of omega-3s, and 50% more calcium and less sugar than regular 2% milk. Not only are they dairy-free, but they’re also free of soy and gluten, making them great options for those with multiple food restrictions.

2. Daiya Foods cheese

Dairy-free cheddar shreds

Dairy-free cheddar shreds are just as tasty. | iStock.com

Let’s be real: Life without cheese just wouldn’t be the same. Luckily, Daiya makes a variety of dairy-free products, including cheese blocks, slices, and shreds. A ¼-cup serving of Daiya’s Cheddar Style Shreds is just 90 calories and has 6 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbohydrates, and no cholesterol or sugar. While it offers little protein or fiber, this cheese substitute is a completely plant-based product without any antibiotics, hormones, or artificial ingredients. It also passes the test for those avoiding peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, and soy.

3. Earth Balance butter spreads

Butter on a wooden board

Earth Balance makes some great spreads. | iStock.com

Earth Balance makes six different varieties of dairy-free butter that are some of the best choices you can find at the store. From the original to the soy-free to the organic whipped option, the five butter spreads are free of GMOs and MSG. They’re also a great source of omega-3s, and each serving is low in saturated fat. Top your toast with it, substitute it for butter when baking, or use it when cooking meals as a nutritious replacement without having to sacrifice the rich taste of butter.

4. NadaMoo ice cream

scoop of vanilla ice cream

A scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream can be really tasty. | iStock.com

NadaMoo makes it possible for you to enjoy frozen desserts without derailing your dairy-free diet. The secret is coconut milk, which is every bit as creamy as regular milk. All of their flavors are also cholesterol- and gluten-free. One serving of their vanilla ice cream is just 120 calories with 7 grams of fat and 8 grams of sugar. The brand also sells classic flavors like fudge brownie, salted caramel, maple pecan, and more. Even if you’re a firm believer there’s no way a healthy alternative can taste as good as real ice cream, NadaMoo is worth a try. You may even like these tasty treats better.

5. Silk yogurt

blue ramekin filled with Greek yogurt

Try Silk’s dairy-free vanilla yogurt. | iStock.com

Silk’s dairy-free yogurt alternatives deliver a texture and flavor similar to regular yogurt, except they’re made with soy milk and contain plant-based protein. A serving of the brand’s vanilla flavor is 140 calories and has 3.5 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of protein. These yogurts are also a great source of calcium and vitamin C, plus they contain no artificial flavors or preservatives. Have one for breakfast or for an afternoon snack without having to sacrifice taste, nutrients, or protein — just dairy.

6. Hilary’s salad dressing

Healthy, dairy-free salad dressings

Healthy, dairy-free salad dressings are super popular right now. | iStock.com

For all of you in need of a more nutritious version of ranch to use as dressing or a dip, Hilary’s Dairy-Free Ranch Chia Dressing is made with healthy ingredients and offers great nutritional value. It’s made with coconut milk and contains apple cider vinegar and chia seeds. A 2-tablespoon serving is 50 calories with 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of protein. You’ll even get some omega-3s. Not only is it a good option for those with a dairy or gluten intolerance, but it’s also certified paleo-friendly.

7. Simple Mills baking mixes

Nutritious brownies that are free of dairy, gluten, grains, and soy

Try out these nutritious brownies that are free of dairy, gluten, grains, and soy. | iStock.com

Simple Mills makes baking a whole lot healthier and easier with its Chocolate Muffin & Cake Mix. It’s made with just seven ingredients: almond flour, organic coconut sugar, fair-trade cocoa, arrowroot, organic coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt. You can make muffins, cake, or brownies, which makes it super convenient. All you have to do is mix it with water, eggs, vanilla, and oil, then you’re ready to bake. One package makes 12 servings, each with 110 calories, 5 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of sugar. You can’t go wrong with this one.