What is lactose?
Lactose is the main sugar found in milk and dairy products. If someone is lactose intolerant, it means that their intestines aren’t able to digest and transform the substances it contains: glucose and galactose. This causes a lack of lactase, which is produced by the small intestine.
Types of intolerance
Overall, there are three different types of lactose intolerance:
Primary: In this type, the activity of lactase reduces physiologically during puberty or adolescence.
Secondary: This is caused by any damage to the intestinal mucosa or a reduction to the absorption surface. This time of illness is transient and depends on other illness like parasites or gastroenteritis.
Congenital defect: In this case, the small intestine doesn’t produce lactase and this is evident within the first week after birth.
It’s important to know the signs that can appear after ingesting milk, such as:
- Abdominal pain,
- Abdominal distension.
Lactose intolerance affects a large percentage of people worldwide. However, it’s not considered a serious condition. There are people who have to eliminate dairy products from their diet. Meanwhile, others simple have to consume less of them.
Which dairy products are low in lactose?
Since probiotic yogurt goes through a fermentation process, the amount of lactose is much lower than in other dairy products. Its ingredients include lacto-bacillus and electrococcus, which make it a probiotic product.
One yogurt contains approximately 25% less lactose. Naturally, this makes it ideal of people who are lactose intolerant. Furthermore, the acid bacteria help to breakdown this enzyme. Even better, it provides vitamins, minerals, and essential fats.
This cheese does not include pasteurized milk, and the fermentation process is responsible for breaking down the lactose in other elements. However, by removing the curds, the lactose is removed even more. Below is a list of cheese that you can eat:
- Cured cheeses: Cheeses that go through this process lose lactose. However, people who can tolerate casein can eat them with no problem. For example, these include parmesan or gruyere.
- Semi-cured cheeses: Yes, they contain lactose, but in low amounts. If you eat small quantities they can be tolerated. For example, you can try manchego or camembert.
- Fresh cheeses: These cheeses contain around 3% lactose. For example, these include cottage cheese and mozzarella.
You can’t just consume any old butter. In order for it to be low in lactose, it needs to be derived from milk fat. This type contains around 0.01 grams of lactose per tablespoon.
This is because during the preparation process, the butter is separated into aqueous and fatty components. Lactose is a hydrosoluble molecule, which means that it’s easy to remove. Therefore, there is no problem for you if you’re intolerant, unless you eat a lot of it.
Single cream is made up of globules of fatty material that’s found in raw milk. Overall, 40% of its composition is fat and it contains little lactose. Even better yet, it’s low in sugar.
Plus, it also passes through a centrifugation process where a lot of the lactose is removed.
- Don’t avoid dairy products, unless you can provide a substitute for vitamin D and calcium so that you don’t develop osteoporosis.
- Increase your fibre intake to improve digestion.
- Check the label of products and choose ones that are lactose free.
- Pay attention to medication,s since some contain lactose to give consistency.
- Include legumes, nuts, and soy in your diet because they’re rich in calcium.
- The body an tolerate lactose more when you eat it with other foods.
- Avoid dairy-based desserts. Better yet, make them yourself and substitute milk for rice milk or oat milk.
- You can consume oat milk, rich milk, almond milk, or soya milk.
In summary, remember that if you notice any allergic reaction after ingesting milk, you should see a specialist. It’s the only way to know how serious the problem is.
Don’t medicate yourself!