Lactose Intolerant? Read These Tips For Tolerance
Lactose intolerance is a condition that affects about 25% of adults in the US. However, the great news is that being lactose intolerant doesn’t mean that you have to give up delicious and nutritious dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt.
Lactose is the sugar found naturally in dairy products. To digest lactose, our bodies need lactase, an enzyme produced in the intestines. Those with lactose intolerance don’t produce enough lactase to properly digest the lactose in the food they eat, which can result in some uncomfortable symptoms such as cramping, bloating, gas and diarrhea.
These unpleasant symptoms are often enough to make lactose intolerance sufferers avoid milk and other dairy foods, however this may cause them to fall short on important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.
If you suffer from lactose intolerance and have been avoiding dairy foods, try these tips to help you comfortably enjoy milk, cheese and yogurt:
1) Give lactose free dairy products, such as Lactaid, a try. These products are made from real milk so they contain all the beneficial nutrients found in milk but none of the lactose.
2) Say Cheese- Aged cheeses such as parmesan, cheddar, Swiss and Colby, lose much of their lactose during the processing and aging process.
3) Enjoy yogurt- Yogurt contains friendly bacteria that help to digest lactose.
4) Drink milk with meals rather than on an empty stomach. This helps to ease the lactose digestion process.
5) Try smaller amounts more often- Rather than drinking a big glass of milk all at once, try eating small amounts of dairy foods throughout the day.
6) Try chocolate milk- Research indicates that chocolate milk may be better tolerated than unflavored milk among those with lactose intolerance.