There’s a huge number of people who suffer from lactose intolerance.
If they eat dairy products which contain lactose, they suffer from consistent and uncomfortable symptoms. Bloating and gas is very common. Diarrhea is common. It’s tough to be lactose intolerant in a dairy filled world. It’s sometimes just as tough to be around them.
However, choosing to eat a lactose free diet is very possible. There are many foods which don’t contain lactose. There’s also many dairy foods which are now considered “lactose free”. This means that people can get some of the things that they love without the painful consequences. Lactose intolerance doesn’t need to have the severe consequences that so many have. It’s possible to find great treats like lactose free ice cream products to treat yourself to.
What Lactose Does
Lactose is a form of sugar that is found in dairy foods. In a normal person, they will digest the lactose in the small intestine. It will be broken up into two forms of sugar, which can then be taken by the body and used as energy.
Most people break down lactose in the digestive tract. An enzyme is released into the digestive tract to manage it. However, people who are lactose intolerant don’t create the enzyme in sufficient amounts. This makes them completely vulnerable to the symptoms, gas, bloating and pain that are so common for lactose intolerance.
Lactose Free Foods
The good news is that eating a lactose free diet is possible. There’s a lot of things that people may miss out on, but no dairy isn’t the end of the world. There are plenty of foods that can be enjoyed. Foods that can be enjoyed include:
- Fruits and Vegetables - On their own, all of these are available. The only time they can contain lactose is when covered in batter, put into a smoothie or creamed vegetables.
- Fats - While butter is full of lactose, there are plenty of fats that aren’t. Oil, shortening, margarine (check the label to make sure) and non-dairy creamers can all adequately provide the food that people want.
- Starches - Bread, cereal, pasta, potatoes, rice and crackers are all easy options that don’t contain lactose. Lactose can be added through the cooking process or by adding milk to cereal or many other ways.
- Meats - Essentially, meat has no lactose. Avoid meat that has been battered or breaded. Cream sauces can be a problem as well. Processed meats can sometimes include milk or lactose.
Lactose Free Dairy
One of the most impressive aspects of current food offerings is lactose free dairy. Lactose free ice cream means that you can get the perfect ice cream cone on a hot summer day that anyone else would. Lactose free dairy is a bit of a misnomer. It still contains just as much lactose as other dairy products. However, in addition to, it has the enzyme needed to process lactose included into the products. This is one of the reasons that lactose free items are more expensive than regular dairy products. This additional process involves extra expense.
There are a lot of products which are now showing up as lactose free options. Yogurt and sour cream are common. Butter is less common and tends to not be available in lactose free form as often. Lactose free cheeses are also becoming created more often.