Oftentimes this happens, that you eat healthy, avoid junk and consume what everyone else does. But, you feel stomach pain and bloating whenever you consume dairy while others don’t. Well in that case, you need to keep a hard check on your food consumption. There are high chances of you being Lactose Intolerant.
What is that now you may ask?
People with Lactose intolerance find it hard to digest dairy products. This is because of the presence of a sugar called Lactose in them. So, the lactose sugar is broken down by Lactase (an enzyme in the small intestine). However, some people are unable to produce lactase. As a result, the body fails in breaking down lactose, which ultimately disturbs the stomach.
A lot of people are familiar with it, but do you know there are certain hidden sources of food that contain Lactose?
All the experts working at Amna Medical Center say that a good number of patients suffer from this disorder but are unaware. Consuming lactose can trigger adverse side effects on your body like bloating, diarrhea and stomach pain. Fortunately, shifting towards a lactose-free diet can save you from this misery.
Go for calcium-rich and dairy-free foods
To best manage the symptoms of lactose intolerance, you need to cut off dairy. Planning a reduced-dairy diet is highly appreciated The more dairy protein you eliminate, the more you need to incorporate dairy-free options rich in calcium. For that, here’s some of the foods to go for;
- Vegetables: Raw Broccoli, spinach, onions, garlic, carrots.
- Fruits: Oranges, apples, peaches, grapes, pineapples, mangoes.
- Meat: Beef, lamb, pork.
- Sea-food: Tuna, lobster, salmon.
- Soy foods: Tofu, tempeh, natto.
- Eggs: Egg yolks and whites.
- Legumes: Kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, lentils.
- Seeds: Chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds.
- Nuts: Walnuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios.
- Milk Alternatives: Rice milk, oat milk, coconut milk, cashew milk.
- Healthy Fats: Olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, avocados.
Do keep this in mind that lactose-free products made from dairy must be avoided by people with dairy allergies. These contain whey and casein that aren’t suitable for people with certain allergies.
Uncover “Hidden” Sources of Lactose
Keep an eye on the sources of food that contain Hidden amounts of Lactose as part of their overall ingredients. Such as;
- Instant soups
- Cake mixes
- Salad dressings
- Creamy sauces
- Powdered meal replacements
- Pancake and biscuit mixes
Don’t let the word “non-dairy” fool you!
A lot of the “non-dairy” coffee creamers, powder milks and whipped toppings contain lactose as their main ingredients. It lurks in the foods that you might not suspect. So, please keep a look at the ingredients of the food that you are consuming. Read food labels to avoid these ingredients;
- Dry Milk Solids
Still not satisfied?
Well, your efforts shouldn’t stop on just the ingredients. There are a number of medications that contain lactose. Birth control pills, antacids and a number of anti-gas medicines containing lactose must be avoided.
Some Strategies to Help you Out
The amount of lactose that one’s body tolerates can only be determined by trial and error. You need to keep a check on your daily protein intake, regardless of whether or not you are lactose intolerant. This is to avoid the embarrassing symptoms of gas, cramps, bloating and diarrhea. Here are some of the steps to manage dairy in your life.
- Divide your Daily Intake
Try and divide your daily lactose intake. Take about almost 6 to 8 ounces serving and try to space them out during the day.
- Make it Part of Your Meal
Solid food slows down the breakdown of lactose and makes it uneasy and slow to empty the stomach. So, try and add a small glass of milk with a full lunch.
- Steps to Take Before you Eat
Take your prescribed lactase tablets before your meal time. It’s better to take them 30 to 40 mins prior to your meal.
- Go for Yogurt
It is known that the bacterial cultures in yogurt pre-digest lactose. This makes it a very suitable food to add in the daily food intake.
You can make your gut feel quite healthy by doing the above dietary changes. It should be kept in mind that excluding dairy can also result in the deficiency of important nutrients. So, do visit your doctor for the calcium and vitamin D intake that you need. Keep taking the prescribed supplements in order to function well in the daily life tasks.