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What is a casein-free diet?

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Quick Answer

A casein-free diet entails the avoidance of all food containing milk or milk products. Casein is a protein found in milk. Casein is also found as an additive in certain processed foods.

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Full Answer

The key to following a casein-free diet is the elimination of all foods containing casein or any form of casein. Casein is found in dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese, yogurt and pudding. Small amounts of milk or other milk products may also be found in baked goods and cooked items. Smaller amounts of milk ingredients may be present in substitute dairy products such as vegetarian cheese and whipped cream topping, which use casein to provide texture. Packaged foods, such as luncheon meat and candy, may also contain milk ingredients.

The label of food containing casein may also say "contains milk ingredients," "made with milk ingredients" or "processed in a facility that also processes milk products."

In addition to casein, ingredients and foods to watch for and potentially avoid include calcium casein, casein hydrolysate, magnesium casein, potassium casein, rennet casein, sodium casein, lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate, lactose, margarine, butter flavoring, butterfat, nondairy creamers, whey and whey hydrolysate. With a little effort, a casein-free diet can be achieved when one learns which foods to avoid.

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