Casein-Free Diet


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Casein is everywhere! It is one of the most widely used proteins in modern food manufacture and so finds its way into many unexpected foods. Below is a list of a few foods you should avoid:

  • Milk - this includes goat’s milk. Goat’s milk is sometimes used as a substitute for cow’s milk but in a few cases can cause the same adverse reaction as cow’s milk. If you are unsure how you will react to goat’s milk avoid it.
  • Cheeses
  • Ice-cream
  • Butter
  • Yoghurt
  • Creams
  • By-products of milk

Hidden sources of casein include:

  • Meats – casein is commonly used as a binder in meat products
  • Canned tuna – casein is sometimes used in canned tuna
  • Cross contamination – in the supermarket meat slicers are often used for meat and cheese products
  • Non-dairy products – casein if frequently used as a milk supplement

When starting a casein-free diet it is important to have already researched and found foods that can replace the foods you won’t be able to eat while following a casein-free diet.  Useful supplements include:

  • Oil can be used instead of butter.
  • Casein-free milks include: almond, soy, rice or coconut milk. All of these are long lasting and so can be bought in advance.
  • Coconut milk is a good alternative for cream
  • Substitute butter and margarine for oil

Milk protein intolerance in infants

There is no single diagnostic test that can be used to identify milk protein intolerance. An elimination and challenge diet is the most reliable method to identify a food intolerance. In the case of milk protein intolerance, the mother would need to participate fully, as much of the foods eaten in her diet are passed to her baby through the breast milk. The mother should avoid all milk protein containing foods, following a casein-free diet plan. If symptoms of the infant improve, this may indicate casein intolerance.


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