Dietary Treatments for Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is a disease in which the lactase enzyme in your body either doesn’t function properly or is not produced in adequate amount to digest the lactose sugar abundant in dairy products. There is no proper cure for the lactose intolerance at the present time but it can be controlled by limiting the lactose consumption and by some other methods e.g supplementation of the specific enzyme. But when you are limiting the dairy products or lactose consumption in your diet you have to take a diet that is more balanced one and nutritious with the all nutrients you are escaping through this limitation. In this article, the discussion will be about all these things that how can you overcome the symptoms of lactose intolerance and can reduce them through your diet.
Avoid the foods rich in lactose:
- Avoiding the lactose is the best method to deal with lactose intolerance.
- Researches have been shown that the people with lactose intolerance can still consume the 12g amount of lactose safely with no symptoms and complications.
- The best remedy to control this disorder is to keep the lactose-free diet in your meal plan or by consuming the lactose amount less than 12 gram.
- Some foods other than milk also have lactose in them and you must know them to avoid. These are:
- Milk protein; whey
- Processed foods may have lactose:
Beside these milk-based products, many processed foods also have lactose in them, for example;
- Lunch meats
- Soups and potatoes (instantly available foods)
- Powdered meal alternatives
- Bakery goods
- Dressings and creamy sources
- Frozen dinners
- Snack foods etc
- Look into the label/ingredients:
Many commercially available foods contain lactose in small amounts but they have, lactose is added to them in different forms and under different names, you must know these names to avoid such foods by reviewing into the label on a product;
- Milk solids
- Milk powder
- Whey protein
- Milk casein
- Butter milk
- Milk sugar
- Malted milk
- Dry milk solids
- Sour creams
- Concentrated Whey protein
- Milk by-products
- Many medicines also contain lactose e.g many birth control pills and medications used to treat gas and stomach acid. For that, you have to consult your doctor to get your prescription.
- Lactose intolerant people can take some dairy:
People with lactose intolerance can bear or tolerate some amount of lactose in their diet.
- Try having the lactose with your meal e.g with solid foods, it will let the lactose to stay more in your stomach giving more time for the lactase enzyme to breakdown the lactose sugar. In this way the lactose intolerance can be tolerated in a better way.
- First try lactose-free diet for first two weeks. After two weeks, add the lactose containing foods again into your diet and check the results.
- When you will keep on having lactose in your diet but in limited amounts it will make your body adapt to it and then you can better tolerate it.
- You can also take some other types of dairy that are naturally low in lactose e.g butter contain only 0.1g of lactose per 20 gram portion.
- Certain types of cheese also contain less than 1g of lactose e.g chedder, swiss and mozerella etc.
Take your calcium and other nutrients from sources other than milk:
As we know that, milk is a great combination of many healthy nutrients e.g calcium, vitamin-D, A and B12 along with a high quality protein. So, when you are omitting all the dairy from your diet you are just escaping all these minerals that will let you to face many health problems in later life. For that you have to add calcium and other nutrients in your diet from non-dairy sources; these include:
- Calcium fortified foods e.g juices, breads and non-dairy milks such as almond and coconut milk.
- Boned-fish e.g canned fish such as sardines or whitebait
- High calcium plant foods e.g green leafy vegetables that include broccoli, kale, soybean etc.
- Dried figs
- Cooked collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Almond butter
It has been thought that the enzyme supplementation of lactase can be effective in the digestion of lactose sugar. But the effectiveness of this method varies from person to person. The supplementations may be in the form of tablets or drops added to the milk or milk products and the tablets taken after or before having the meal. These supplements include the Lactaid named product. These supplements are affected to only 20g of lactose but not far than 50g.
So, if you are lactose intolerant it doesn’t mean that you can’t get the nutrients in dairy products from other sources. Obviously you can still enjoy a healthy life with having a balanced one diet.