Lactose is a sugar that’s found in milk and other dairy products. As a baby, almost everyone has the ability to digest this natural sugar found in mammal milk, but at an elder stage, adults lose lactose digestion ability. Lactose intolerance occurs when the ability of the body to digest lactose is impaired as a result of lactase enzyme deficiency. This can cause symptoms such as cramping, stomach pain, bloating gas, nausea and diarrhea after eating dairy products. If you experience these discomforts, then you can feel better and prevent them by eliminating lactose-containing foods from your diet.
Regular milk has the highest concentration lactose. It should therefore, be avoided at all cost- avoid drinking, adding it to your cereal or cooking with it in order to keep your lactose intake as low as possible and avoid symptoms. Goat milk and other mammals’ milk contain similar amounts of lactose in comparison to cow milk. Lactose free milk is however, the best alternative. This alternative is supplemented with lactase, the lacking enzyme in lactose intolerant people required to properly breakdown lactose. Other alternatives you may want to consider include soymilk, rice milk or almond milk, but note that only enriched varieties contain the same calcium content.
This still contains some lactose, but the amount is far less than regular milk. Considering the severity of your intolerance, it may be best to avoid commercial yogurts. You can however, prepare your at home and make it almost completely lactose free by fermenting 24 hours beyond the normal time. The longer the fermentation time allows bacteria to eat most lactose before eating the yogurt to prevent you from gastrointestinal problems.
Fresh cheese has a moderate amount of lactose content. Ricotta cheese, feta cheese and cottage cheese and other lactose prepared foods prepared should be avoided to avoid digestive problem embarrassment. You can however, still enjoy Brie cheese, Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese even if you are lactose intolerant. Aged cheese has a very low lactose content. Many people who are lactose intolerant can tolerate moderate amounts, but it is important to avoid too much at once.
Skim milk powder
There are several processed foods that contain lactose ingredients. It is important to read food labels to ensure that there is no skim milk powder, yogurt or cheese on the label.
Ice cream has less lactose compared to commercial yogurts and milk, but it can be enough to cause abnormal pain, bloating and diarrhea in people who are very sensitive. Make your own ice cream with lactose free milk or you can use coconut milk.