LACTOSE INTOLERANCE.JPG

LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

FOODS THAT HARM

  • Milk
  • Soft cheeses

    FOODS THAT HEAL

  • Lactose-free dairy products
  • Broccoli
  • Fortified and enriched breads
  • Fortified and enriched juices
  • Canned salmon
  • Pinto beans
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach

    FOODS TO LIMIT

  • Yogurt
  • Hard cheeses

    WHO’S AFFECTED

  • More than 37 million North Americans
    Lactose intolerance, the inability to digest milk sugar, is very common
    Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk and milk products
    If you don’t have enough enzymes to break down the lactose in the food you eat, you will experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and cramps
    Lactose intolerance should not be confused with milk allergy, which is hypersensitivity to the proteins in dairy products
    If you are allergic to milk, consuming a lactose-reduced product will not prevent a reaction

    Nutrition Connection

    You can control symptoms of lactose intolerance by choosing a diet that limits dairy products
    Here are general guidelines: Read labels carefully
    Lactose is found in dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cheese
    Such dairy products can be an ingredient or component of various food products such as cookies, breads, processed meats, hot dogs, some artificial sweeteners, and even some medications
    When reading labels, look for milk, milk solids, cream, whey, cheese flavors, curds, and nonfat milk powder
    Eat lactose-reduced products
    For people with more severe intolerance who still want dairy products, grocery stores sell lactose-free dairy products
    70% of people of African and Asian descent are partly or entirely lactose intolerant after 4 years of age
    Stick to low-lactose foods
    Most lactose-intolerant people can consume cultured dairy products such as yogurt because the bacteria used in fermentation use up most of the lactose for fuel
    Others include hard cheeses, such as cheddar, edam, and gouda
    Try slowly adding milk to your diet
    Most lactose-intolerant people can consume some milk without much discomfort
    Try ¼ cup of milk and gradually increase the amount
    You’ll find, in time, your tolerance will increase
    Additionally, drink milk with meals, never on an empty stomach
    Get calcium from other sources
    If you are very intolerant, other calcium-rich foods include broccoli, fortified and enriched breads and juices, canned salmon, pinto beans, rhubarb, and spinach
    Eat foods rich in vitamin D
    Since D is also needed for strong bones, eat eggs, salmon, and yogurt if you can’t consume foods rich in calcium, since both nutrients are needed for strong bones
    Talk to your doctor about adding a supplement

    Beyond the Diet

    Although there is no cure for lactose intolerance, there are ways you can still enjoy dairy products without suffering the symptoms
    Here are some recommendations: Take enzymes
    Pharmacies carry enzyme drops that can be added to milk and enzyme tablets that can be taken before eating dishes containing dairy products, to help your body break down lactose
    Consider probiotics
    Probiotics are living organisms found in foods such as yogurt and kefir
    You can also look for probiotics in supplement form
    Avoid lactose filler
    If you’re severely lactose intolerant, avoid medications containing a lactose filler
    Ask your doctor if substitute drugs are available