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I recently was given the opportunity to attend a webinar with Melissa d'Arabian and Michelle Harrington, RD (registered dietician) to learn more about lactose intolerance and Lactaid. I found the session to be very informative and am excited to share some of what I learned with you.
What is lactose?Lactose is the sugar and main carbohydrate found in milk and dairy products. In order for the body to absorb lactose, it must be broken down into the two simple sugars that it is composed of, glucose and galactose. Lactase is the enzyme produced by the body to break down lactose.
What is lactose intolerance?The amount of lactase that your body produces, determines how much lactose you can tolerate. The more lactase your body makes, the less dairy products will upset your system. There are varying degrees of lactose intolerance and it can be progressive, meaning it can get worse as you age. It is also important to note that lactose intolerance is very different from a lactose allergy, which could cause life-threatening symptoms.
Diet tips for those who are lactose intolerantHere are some basic tips for those who are, or care for someone who is, lactose intolerant.
- Do not consume products that contain lactose on an empty stomach. Lactose will be easier to digest if it is eaten with other foods.
- Yogurt is less likely to bother someone who is lactose intolerant. The live and active enzymes in yogurt help to digest the lactose, making it easier on the body. Greek yogurt has twice as much protein and fewer carbs, meaning less lactose, making it even easier to digest than regular yogurt. If you can tolerate yogurt, it is a great way to get calcium and nutrients in your diet.
- Butter, although a dairy product, is low in lactose, so it can usually be consumed without a problem.
- Harder cheeses, particularly those that are aged, have less lactose. The less moisture in the cheese, the lower the lactose content. Some good cheeses to start with would be Aged Cheddar, Gruyere, Pecorino and Swiss cheeses. If you have cut cheese from your diet completely, you can try adding these cheeses back in a little at a time, depending on how much you can tolerate.
- You can also try the wonderful products made by Lactaid
About LactaidLactaid products can help people that have a lactose sensitivity to enjoy dairy products once again, without the stomach discomfort that traditional dairy items may give them. Lactaid products include milks, cottage cheese, ice creams, egg nog. They are made from 100% real dairy, but contain lactase, the enzyme your body needs to break down the lactose. The lactase does help break down the milk sugar, resulting in a slightly sweeter taste than traditional milk products, but the creaminess is the same.
Lactaid milk is available in fat-free, 1%, 2%, whole and chocolate. The chocolate milk is made with 1% milk and does not contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). That part is important to me because it is difficult to find pre-made chocolate milk that is free of HFCS. Lactaid ice cream is available in five flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, Strawberries and Cream, and Butter Pecan. All of the flavors, except Cookies and Cream are gluten-free. They are all also free of HFCS. The nutrition facts for Lactaid products can be found on their website.
Cooking with LactaidDue to Lactaid's slightly sweeter taste, you may be able to slightly reduce the sugar you add when using it in a recipe. Otherwise, you would simply substitute Lactaid milk in place of the regular milk in a recipe, cup for cup. If you are substituting it in place of cream, you would want to add a teaspoon of corn starch to make up for the thinner consistency, as you would do if you were subbing regular milk for cream.
Lactaid GiveawayOne of my readers will be chosen to receive a coupon for a free Lactaid product, so you can check it out for yourself.
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