Home Lactose intolerance: Symptoms and nutrition tips
Lactose intolerance: Symptoms and nutrition tips
Lactose intolerance: Symptoms and nutrition tips

Lactose intolerance is the body’s inability to break down lactose, which is a type of natural sugar mostly found in dairy products like milk and yogurt. An enzyme called lactase is responsible for the digestion of this sugar, and when the small intestine fails to produce it, the undigested lactose moves to the big intestine. This causes issues such as bloating, diarrhea, or gas. This article looks at certain symptoms of the condition, what foods to eat and avoid, and milk products that are lactose-free.

Prominent symptoms are usually visible between 30 to 120 minutes after consumption of any milk products. They include gas, bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and nausea. These symptoms can be varied depending on the quantity of lactose consumed and also the quantity of lactase lacking/present in the body. The condition is common among adults who have Asian, Hispanic, or African ancestry.

Foods to avoid
Any and all milk products are sure to have lactose in it, so when you go grocery shopping, make sure to read the ingredient list when buying a product. It is not just milk or yogurt that can cause the symptoms, ingredients such as butter, cheese, and dry milk solids can also trigger them. Also, look out for whey or whey protein-concentrate, margarine, casein, or nougat, which can have lactose in it.

Apart from these milk products, there could be some foods and recipes that use milk, so it is important to know and identify these items. Some salad dressings use milk products, frozen waffles also have milk solids in it. Additionally, non-kosher lunch meats could contain some lactose. Other foods like sauces, baking mixes, instant soups, dry breakfast cereals all potentially have lactose in it.

Managing lactose intolerance
The only way to manage this condition is to reduce or fully stop consuming products that have lactose. If you are a fan of milk, you can consider alternatives like plant-based milk: almond, oats, soy, or even rice milk is a good option. However, thanks to research and food technology, there are lactose-free milk food products that can be consumed by everyone. Here are some products you can try:

  • Green Valley Creamery
    They make their products with added lactase, which helps in the digestion of lactose, making it risk-free for lactose intolerant individuals. You can try their cottage cheese, yogurt, butter, sour cream, and cream cheese.
  • GoodBelly
    Their yogurt contains lots of probiotics and protein, and is completely lactose-free, making it a good choice for individuals.
    This brand makes lactose-free 2% milk that can easily be consumed by those who cannot digest the sugar. They also have other products like ice cream, cottage cheese, and eggnog to choose from.
  • fairlife®
    The brand uses a special technique to filter out the natural sugar from the milk, making it lactose-free. They apply the same process when they want to make their dairy creamers or ice creams.


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