Lactose intolerance is referred to as an inability of the body to digest lactose. It is a pretty common problem with people from all parts of the world. This condition happens when the small intestine doesn’t produce enough lactase enzyme. This enzyme is required for breaking down lactose. When there is a lack of this enzyme, our bodies become lactose intolerant. The characteristic symptoms of this condition can vary from short-term inconveniences like stomach flu to long-term chronic repercussions like cystic fibrosis. Other more common symptoms of this condition include gas, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting and intestinal discomfort.
There is no permanent cure for this condition, but the discomforts associated with this can be avoided by choosing healthier alternatives to lactose-containing products. Some of these healthy alternatives have been listed below.
1. Lactose-Free Products
For people who are lactose intolerant, lactose-free products can be an absolute savior. There is a huge variety of lactose-free products available in the market today. So, if you like to have your breakfast with milk, and are lactose intolerant, these products can be your redemption. Since, lactose-intolerant people don’t have a sufficient amount of lactase in their bodies, lactose-free products can provide them with all the required nourishment minus the inconvenience.
2. Soy Milk To The Rescue
According to the National Academy of Sciences, every individual (males and females) should consume a minimum of 1000 mg of calcium daily for healthy functioning of their bodies. 1000 mg of milk can roughly come up to three glasses of milk. But, sticking to this regimen can be a difficult task for the people with lactose intolerance. Thankfully, there are many alternatives that can help in this scenario. Soy milk is one such wondrous alternative. Soy milk with calcium can provide up to half of the daily requirement in one serving. But, you need to use your discretion before substituting milk with soy milk, especially if you are allergic to soy milk.
3. Other Natural Alternatives
Substituting cow milk with goat or buffalo milk might not help much with the lactose intolerance. And, soy milk can also cause allergy. So, in this scenario the best thing would be to look for other natural alternatives like almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk or milk extracted from other organic sources like hemp, oat etc. Almond milk is a rich source of vitamin E and magnesium. Coconut milk is another wonderful source of nutrients but it contains high amount of saturated fat. So, take your pick wisely.
4. Make Yogurt Your Regular Buddy
Experts from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that people with lactose intolerance should choose low lactose containing products like yogurt. Also, yogurt with good bacteria should be preferred over other kinds of yogurt. Good bacteria is useful as it helps in breaking down lactose. Thus, the lactose content in these yogurts are comparatively lower. So, don’t hesitate to binge on some yogurt with good bacteria today.
5. Little Too Cheesy
Cheese is another potent alternative to lactose containing milk and milk products. Cheese is produced by the process of fermentation. This reduces the percentage of lactose in the cheese. Research has found that an ounce of cheese contains only about two grams of lactose when compared to a glass of milk which contains about 11 grams of lactose. Also, cheese is a rich source of protein and calcium. Parmesan, Swiss and blue cheeses are some of the cheeses with low lactose content. So, don’t hold yourself back from being a little ‘cheesy’.
6. Vegetables Can Be Nutritious Alternatives Too
People who are severely lactose intolerant need to avoid dairy products at all cost. But, they can substitute the absence of dairy products by adding more greens to their diets. Green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, rhubarb are rich sources of calcium. So, these vegetables can compensate for the lack of dairy in your diet by providing enough calcium.
Don’t let a small glitch in the metabolic way stop you from getting your nutrition and satiating your appetite.