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What foods should be avoided in galactosaemia?

Q: My 5 months old patient has galactosaemia. What are the Indian foods that should be restricted? Does Zerolac (baby food) contain galactose?

A:Zerolac is prescribed for lactose intolerance and can be used for patients with galactosaemia. It is now recommended that persons with galactosaemia should avoid eating foods with galactose throughout life. Avoid milk and milk products, as they are the most common food source of galactose. The diet should allow most protein-containing foods other than milk and milk products. Fruits, vegetables, grains, breads, fats and sugars are acceptable, as long as they do not have ingredients that contain galactose. Some fruits and vegetables do contain small amounts of galactose. However, the form of galactose (bound galactose) found in fruits and vegetables is not usable by the body, and may not contribute to elevated blood gal-1-p. Recent research has shown that bound galactose may in fact be usable by the body, but further studies are needed to confirm this. Tomato, papaya, watermelon and dates have a galactose content of about 10 mg per 100 gm of food serving. A little less (5-10 mg/100 gm) is present in beans, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, egg plant, lettuce, peas, potato, radish, spinach, carrot, onions, pumpkin and in fruits like green grapes, oranges, apple, banana and pear. All nuts and seeds can be safely given. You can also go to www.galactosemia.org for information on various types of foods and their galactose content.

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