Living the non-dairy life is pretty hard, especially when you’re lactose intolerant like me but just can’t resist ice cream! But don’t worry, there are other options out there that have the same taste but won’t leave you running to the bathroom right after you drink a cup of milk.

Nathan Campos / Daily Nexus

Milk: A delicious drink that has many uses like being added to smoothies, poured on cereal or paired with some nice cookies. However, it has extremely negative side effects for those who can’t drink it. Even though milk is rich in its calcium and protein, its alternatives provide calcium as well as vitamin D. Drinks like soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk and cashew milk are great alternatives for those who can’t drink milk but can’t resist it either!

Yogurt: Yogurt can be a common breakfast or snack food and is sometimes even used as salad dressing. Yogurt helps those who can handle the dairy to promote a healthy gut, but for those who can’t, it will do the exact opposite to your stomach. Yogurt alternatives such as coconut, almond, soy and hemp yogurt can be the healthy and satisfying taste you’re looking for if you sometimes feel like you’re about to cave and look up directions to the nearest Yogurtland.

Ice Cream: For me, this is my greatest weakness of all, especially living at the dining commons where I have access to ice cream at lunch and dinner. However, I’ve learned that the happiness while eating may be amazing in the moment, but the consequences after triumph over. I found that looking at the ice cream ingredients can be very helpful because there are ice creams out there that are made with non-dairy milks such as coconut or soy milk. Another option is sorbet, which is never made with dairy. If anything, you can make your own by just blending up frozen bananas with frozen fruits of your choice. All these alternatives provide that creaminess and deliciousness of regular ice cream.

Cheese: Who would’ve thought that you could make cheese from nuts or soy, but it’s another plus for the lactose intolerant crowd. Alternatives can also be made by blending vegetable oil with pea starch or pea protein. Other things people have begun using to replicate cheese is tofu and yeast, both of which offer a good source of nutrients. It’s quite easy to replicate the cheese-like texture and taste with these alternatives as well, so next time you feel the need for cheese, don’t hesitate, just make sure it’s dairy free.

Butter: Butter is often an essential in cooking as well as baking or toast-making. But fear not, you can find so many butter alternatives now in grocery stores, most of which are made from vegetable oil blends or coconut. There are even nut and seed butters. Another option could be making your own with hundreds of recipes online that can cater to your every need, depending on how you need to use the butter.

All in all, being lactose intolerant doesn’t mean you’re put at a disadvantage in the dairy world but actually opens up your own world to endless possibilities of trying new and friendly alternatives! So next time you think of caving to a bowl of cereal or some cheese and crackers, go ahead. Just make sure to check the ingredients.