I Stopped Eating an Entire Food Group, and It Transformed My Health

As a health writer, I know that super-restrictive diets aren’t usually considered sustainable or even beneficial in the long-term by doctors and nutritionists alike. For that reason, I’ve always been hesitant to go completely dairy-free, despite the fact that dairy products don’t make me feel great. But after a DNA test confirmed what I already suspected—that I am definitely, 100% lactose intolerant—I had to face the writing on the wall.

According to the National Institute of Health’s Genetic Home Reference, roughly 65% of people worldwide have a reduced tolerance to lactose. Symptoms vary but usually include bloating and abdominal cramps as soon as 30 minutes after consuming food that contains lactose. When my intolerance was confirmed, I was faced with a huge lifestyle shift. As a vegetarian, could I live without eating cheese, milk, and yogurt, and would this diet change put an end to those uncomfortable symptoms?

Here’s how I removed an entire food group from my diet, and why it was the best thing I did. 

Have you removed dairy from your diet? Tell us if you noticed similar changes.