Dairy Alternatives & Substitutes For ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia Sufferers

The Importance Of A Low-Dairy ME/CFS Diet & Dairy Alternatives

Information on dairy alternatives / non- dairy substitutes for ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia...

If you suffer from ME/CFS or FMS, you've probably been recommended to go on a low-dairy diet. But what dairy alternatives can you have?

This page tells you about some of the non-dairy substitutes you can enjoy...


If you suffer from ME/CFS then it is quite possible that you have developed some digestive problems as a result of your illness. You may have even developed a milk intolerance.

There are theories that ME/CFS sufferers have a persisting infection in their bowel which prevents them from digesting their food properly. Dairy food adds to this problem because it forms mucus in your body which makes it more difficult for your body to break down its toxins and other debris.

So it is for this reason that ME/CFS sufferers are generally recommended a low-dairy diet. Some sufferers find that even cutting out dairy altogether has improved their symptoms.

Many ME/CFS sufferers also suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (which can be a ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptom). And according to Dr Shepherd, in his book Living With M.E., dairy foods (particularly milk) seem to provoke the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) the most [ref 30].

In her book The Chronic Fatigue Healing Diet, Christine Craggs-Hinton suggests that if you do choose to eat dairy, to make sure that it's organic:


"(...) As animals are generally reared with the use of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, any meat and dairy products you do eat should be organic. Alternatives include soya, rice and goats' milk and cheese, beans, pulses and soya products".

-- Christine Craggs-Hinton, The Chronic Fatigue Healing Diet, p55--


Okay so we know that cutting out dairy foods is a good idea when you have ME/CFS. But you still need to make sure you get your daily intake of calcium, right? Well in the same book, Christine Craggs-Hinton recommends that you supplement your diet with a multimineral supplement to make up for any calcium deficiency you might have.

dairy, dairy alternatives, dairy substitutes, soya milk, nut milk When it comes to taking individual calcium supplements don't forget that you also need to take enough amounts of magnesium too (in conjuction with calcium).

So what are the dairy alternatives? Are there any particular non-dairy substitutes that are recommended?

Well, qualified Nutritionist and Kinesiologist and former ME sufferer, Lesley Martin, has kindly written an article for you about the different dairy alternatives you can substitute in your ME/CFS diet ...


Alternatives To Dairy Foods

By Lesley Martin

Dairy foods have been associated with a variety of health problems including allergic reactions, digestive problems, heart disease, asthma, eczema, sinus problems and rhinitis.

Foods That Contain Dairy

Dairy foods include all types of milk, including skimmed, cream, sour cream, ice cream, custard, yoghurts, cheese, cheese products, cottage cheese, milk chocolate, milk shakes and butter. When shopping check ingredients labels for milk solids, milk protein, lactose, lactic acid, curds, whey, casein, caseinates and lactalbumin.

Non-Dairy Substitutes / Dairy Alternatives

The following dairy alternatives / non-dairy substitutes are increasingly available from health shops and some supermarkets :

  • Soya milk, Rice Dream, and oat milk drink. Soya milk drinks are also available flavoured with strawberry or chocolate and rice milk drinks are available in some flavours. Rice milk, although sweet, contains no added sugar.
  • Soya cheese, both in hard and soft forms is available and also tofu cheese. Soya soft cheese and Veeze cheese spread can be used like Dairylea. Toffutti is a good cream cheese alternative, and cheese slices are now available.
  • Soya yoghurts make an excellent snack. They come in many flavours and are sweetened with fruit juice. Many soya yoghurts and desserts have a long shelf life and do not need refrigerating, making them ideal to keep in the drawer at work. Live soya yoghurts containing beneficial cultures are now available from some supermarkets. These are fresh, and so kept in the chilled cabinets with other fresh yoghurts.
  • For desserts, use soya cream, soyasun desserts, soya ice cream and soya vanilla dessert (great substitute for custard) and other Provomel deserts.
  • Yeast flakes can be delicious sprinkled onto dishes or on toast, giving quite a cheesy taste and lots of B vitamins. Not suitable for a yeast free diet though.
  • For sandwich fillers and toppings, use avocado, humus, tahini (mix 1 tablespoon of tahini in water and lemon juice until creamy), salads, guacamole, unhydrogenated vegetable margerines such as Pure, Vitquel, Vitaseig, and Suma.
  • You can make your own nut milk by blending almonds in a food processor with water until smooth. Adjust the consistency as required.

If you are avoiding dairy foods, it is wise to avoid goats and sheeps milk products, unless you have been otherwise advised during your consultation with a qualified Nutritionist.

Written by Lesley Martin, Copyright 2005. All Rights Reserved.

About the author: Lesley suffered from ME for 5 years. She recovered gradually using complementary medicine and self-help and now works as a qualified Nutritionist and Kinesiologist in the Buckinghamshire area (UK). She has treated many ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia sufferers over the years. You can visit Lesley's web site here!


Where Can You Get More Information?

Sleepydust recommends Christine Craggs-Hinton's book The Chronic Fatigue Healing Diet.

Read a personal review of The Chronic Fatigue Healing Diet by Christine Craggs-Hinton, here...


Category: ME/CFS , chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, dairy alternatives, dairy substitutes, soya milk, nut milk, cheese, cream, yoghurt

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