Lactose Intolerance and Non Dairy Alternatives
Milk, a product found everywhere and loved by most, but not everyone can tolerate the lactose found in it and other dairy products.
Lactose is a type of sugar (Disaccharide) present in milk and dairy products. Our digestive system uses an enzyme produced in the small intestine called Lactase to break down the lactose in two types of sugars, glucose and galactose. Then it’s absorbed into the circulatory system. When lactose is not broken down, it stays in the digestive system where the gut bacteria ferments it producing gases and aches. Other symptoms include stomach bloating, cramps, flatulence, nausea, gas, diarrhea often after 30 minutes to 2 hours of lactose consumption.
Do you have these symptoms? Let’s check if you really are intolerant. An easy way to notice this intolerance is avoiding dairy products for a week and observing if you develop any of the symptoms mentioned above. If you think you are lactose intolerant ask your nutritionist to perform an intolerance test and to guide you with alternatives on how to handle it.
Did you know?
Lactose is found in many other foods that we normally don’t associate with milk when we eat them. This is often found in breads, cereals, baking goods, salad dressings, chocolate, soups and often added to processed foods. Please read the ingredients list to find out if a food product has any lactose on it.
I encourage you to try some alternative products that might be easier to digest because of its natural fermentation process such as kefir, yogurt, buttermilk and some cheeses, alternative non dairy milks like almond, coconut and cashew.
The bacterial cultures found in yogurt with active cultures produce some of the lactase enzyme required for digestion!
When having lactose alternatives, remember that vitamin D3 is essential to absorb calcium! Look for a non dairy product enriched with D3 and expose your skin to 15-20 min under the sunlight. You could buy a small carton to try it first and then choose the one you really like in a bigger container.