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Milk Allergy Tips

Having a cow's milk allergy, which includes an immune system reaction to proteins in milk, casein, and whey, is different than being lactose intolerant (an inability to digest milk sugar or lactose). The milk allergy reaction can take place a few minutes or hours after eating or drinking a milk product. Keep in mind that between 13% and 20% of children who are allergic to milk are also allergic to beef.

Check the ingredients before you use a product, especially in processed or prepared foods, because manufacturers occasionally change the ingredients.

Foods/products to avoid:

  • Milk of any type such as condensed, evaporated, dry or powdered milk, or cream. This also includes Lactaid and acidophilus milk.
  • Goat's milk and milk from other animals. (Goat's milk protein is similar to cow's milk protein and may cause a reaction.)
  • Buttermilk
  • All types of cream and half-and-half
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream and ice milk
  • Sherbet or frozen milk made with milk or milk-based ingredients
  • Puddings and custards
  • Cream-based sauces and soups, white sauces
  • Butter, butter flavor, or non-vegan margarine, ghee, and everything made with them
  • Cheese (all types), including cottage cheese and soy cheese
  • Au gratin or creamed or scalloped recipe items
  • All baked goods made with milk, including breads
  • Mashed potatoes or other vegetable dishes made with milk, cheese, butter, margarine, or cream
  • Casseroles or other meat entrees or side dishes made with milk, cheese, butter, margarine, or cream
  • Instant cocoa, breakfast drink mixes, and cereals containing dried milk or any milk derivative

Ingredients on label to watch for:

  • Milk or milk solids
  • Whey
  • Casein, like casein hydrolysate (some brands of canned tuna contain casein)
  • Lactalbumin, lactulose, and lactoferrin
  • Caseinates (all forms) such as sodium caseinate, potassium caseinate, or calcium caseinate
  • Butter (some restaurants add butter to their steaks after grilling, and there may be butter residue on the grill or cooking surface from foods prepared previously.)
  • Butter "flavor"
  • Margarine
  • Cheese
  • Curds
  • Lactic acid
  • Natural or artificial flavoring
  • Nondairy products (some products claim to be "nondairy" but actually contain milk derivatives that can cause problems)

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