What is casein free?
Casein is a variety of protein that is found in milk and milk products, it forms 80% of proteins found in milk. Casein has a lot of uses such as in an artist’s paint, as food additives, its binding ability allows it to be used as glue as well as an adhesive for sticking bottle labels.
Casein started becoming a cause of concern when, through research, it was found that what many people were experiencing as symptoms was an allergic reaction to this protein. Both children and adults are susceptible to this allergy but in most cases, as children grow older they outgrow it.
A diet that is void of casein is what will help in managing the allergy. Here is a list of the group of foods that are casein free.
List of casein free foods
Fresh fruits and fresh vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with vital mineral and vitamins that are essential for our body and its upkeep. Loaded with fiber that’s great for our gut these are all casein free foods that someone with allergy can safely eat without any worry. Ideally, you should look at including at least 2 servings of fruits a day. The choice of fruit can be yours – bananas, apples, custard apples, pineapples, strawberries, etc the list is a really long one! And by including a variety of vegetables in your daily meals you can not only make sure you keep casein related allergies at bay but also get enough nutrition that’s required by your body. Vegetables like mushrooms, cauliflower, cabbage, fresh green leafy vegetables such as spinach, fenugreek leaves, etc. are filled with all the nutrition we need. Keeping us fit from within and making us stronger.
Meat and Eggs
Fresh sea food, meat, and poultry are considered to be casein free as compared to the frozen or processed variety available. It is a great source of protein and Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is water soluble vitamin responsible for proper functioning of nervous system, production of red blood cells and DNA.
You should also know the type of food groups that contain casein, to exercise caution.
Foods to avoid on a casein free diet
This is the obvious one. One needs to stay away from all dairy products if they are allergic to casein. This means milk, curd, butter, cheese, ice creams, even puddings. Even slight amount of casein can induce a severe allergy therefore precaution needs to be taken. Dairy alternatives such as almond milk and soy milk can be consumed which do not contain casein.
Not so common sources
Casein can be hidden in some food groups which are otherwise not known to contain dairy. Chips that are flavored with cheese, cereal bars, semisweet chocolates, processed meat, and even dairy free cheese may contain traces of this protein.
The flour or the grains used in baking, most times, contain casein. In cases where casein free flour is used the final product may still contain casein via sources from other ingredients used such as chocolate chips in cookies or cakes, etc. Therefore it is very crucial to read the labels very carefully before consuming. Also, dairy free doesn’t necessarily mean casein free; you need to look for label casein free. Moreover, some artificial flavoring agents contain casein so anything on the label of a product that says artificial flavoring has been added should catch your attention.
When eating out it might become a challenge to keep a check on the food you are being served. We’ll share a few pointers which should help you make a decision. In general, fried foods from outside should be avoided. Most times the oil used for deep frying is reused and we can’t be sure if the products fried earlier were or were not free from casein. Milk is added to the batter used to make the crust of pies, etc. so such products could be avoided. Also, it is a good idea to share with your waiter about your dairy and casein allergy; they might suggest some good dishes that are free from casein.