ith the rise of lactose intolerance, it is important to know what you're eating. This blog post will talk about what a lactose intolerant diet entails and how you can still eat healthily!
What is lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is when one's body does not produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest lactose. It can cause uncomfortable stomach upset and gas if too much dairy products are consumed.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance
Common symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
When you are lactose intolerant, it is important to avoid lactose because of the uncomfortable symptoms.
Gassiness or flatulence (farting)
Another common symptom of lactose intolerance is feeling gassy or having flatulence. This can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, such as cramps and stomach aches.
Another discomforting side effect of being lactose intolerant includes nausea. If you are experiencing these types of symptoms after consuming milk products, it could mean that you need to watch your dairy intake more closely in the future.
Suppose one experiences any of these symptoms after drinking milk. In that case, they should try cutting out all forms of cow's milk from their diet immediately because it will help improve their condition over time if there isn't too much damage already done by long-term exposure to lactose.
Types of dairy products to avoid
Here are some of the types of dairy products that are better avoided by those who are lactose intolerant.
Milk is probably the most widely-consumed type of dairy product worldwide, but it should be completely off the menu for anyone suffering from lactose intolerance. It contains a good amount of lactose, to begin with, and it's made even more difficult to digest when pasteurized or cooked.
Milk substitutes such as soy milk contain only small amounts of naturally occurring sugars so they can often be digested easier than regular cow's milk without causing gas problems. If you're not overly sensitive, then almond milk could also offer some relief since it has no lactose traces!
Creams are another common ingredient in many dishes, especially desserts, but should be avoided by lactose-intolerant people.
They are made with milk, and the fat content makes them even harder to digest than other dairy products like milk or cheese, which contain less lactose.
All types of cheese have varying amounts of sugar, so they can range from being easy-to-digest for some sufferers to very difficult depending on how much lactase your body is producing at any given time.
The worst cheeses would probably be soft ones such as feta since it's naturally easier to break down hard cheeses due to their low pH levels (the softer the cheese, the more acidic). Cottage cheese could also cause problems because it contains a lot of casein protein that doesn't get broken down easily.
This is another dairy product that can vary in terms of how well it's tolerated depending on the person, but there are several factors to consider. Firstly, yogurt made from cow's milk contains lactose so it may not be suitable for anyone who doesn't produce enough enzymes naturally.
Some people with "mild" cases claim they can eat Greek-style yogurts because their lack of fat makes them easier to digest due to a higher pH level (how basic/alkaline something is) which means less lactase is required since most bacteria are alkaline too.
Soy or almond yogurts are better options if you're concerned about your sugar intake as they contain very small traces of sugars and no lactose.
Another issue with yogurt is that it's often eaten in combination with many other types of dairy products like milk and cheese.
This can make digestion even harder due to the huge burden on your body, especially if you're consuming them at once or very close together (within 30 minutes). It might be better for lactose-intolerant people to eat their own type of yogurt instead, so they know exactly how much lactase they need to digest everything properly.
Can you still eat treats when you are lactose intolerant?
Yes, but it's best to avoid high-sugar and high-lactose products (see above). You can still enjoy many types of treats and desserts as long as you make sure they don't contain any milk, cream or cheese. Here are some of the best treats for people who are lactose intolerant.
Chocolate is a great source of antioxidants, and dark chocolate contains fewer sugars than milk or white varieties, so it's better for you in general. Just make sure the percentage cocoa content is at least 70% if you want to avoid added sugar!
Baked goods like cakes, muffins, and cookies contain quite high sugar levels, which makes them bad choices, but they can still be eaten as long as they don't include any dairy ingredients (milk/cream/cheese).
This means that butter substitutes may need to be used instead of real types though some brands do offer options made from soy, rice, or almond oil that should cause fewer problems. If there aren't any alternatives, try baking your own treats at home to control the ingredients.
Many people may think that ice cream is off-limits but this often isn't true since lactose intolerant diets are all about being able to eat what you want most of the time if it's in moderation.
Just make sure any store-bought options don't contain casein protein or added sugars which could cause digestive problems even though they come from dairy products. Home-made versions with fresh fruit and/or sweeteners like honey are a good choice too!
Fruit sorbets are better choices if your intolerance means you have trouble eating anything creamy made from milk while frozen yogurts should be fine as long as they're sugar-free (sweetened with artificial sweeteners instead).
Pastries and pies
Some pastries like croissants may contain milk or cream, which means they're not suitable, but other types can be enjoyed.
Try to choose fruit-based desserts that are filled with fresh fruits, sweetened naturally (not with high-fructose corn syrup), and topped off with whipped cream, so you get all the flavor without any dairy products! People who need to avoid lactose should always check labels for warning signs even if it's something seemingly harmless, since many manufacturers use different ingredients depending on where they're located.
This sweet can be spread on your bread or toast and tastes great with fruit too! It's made from peanuts, cocoa powder, and lactose-free milk powder.
How to cope with the symptoms of lactose intolerance
Here are some steps you can take to lower the risk of experiencing lactose intolerance symptoms:
- Try different types of dairy products, such as aged cheeses and yogurts. These are easier to digest than fresh milk
- Develop a tolerance by slowly introducing more dairy products into your diet over time
- Use dairy products that have been treated with enzymes or cultured - these will be less likely to cause problems
- Limit your intake of lactose to about 25 grams per serving. Lactase enzymes are available that can help digest the dairy products you eat