Lactose Intolerance: 5 Dairy Products You Can Eat If You Are Lactose Intolerant
Lactose intolerant people can have these dairy products as contain less lactose than milk and can be easily digested.
Lactose Intolerance: Yogurt has low lactose and can be easily digested
- Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar in milk
- Lactose intolerant people can have almond milk
- People with lactose intolerance can have yogurt
A lactose intolerant person is one who cannot produce enough of enzyme lactase which is needed to break down lactose. Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar in milk and dairy products. Being lactose intolerant can cause a lot of inconvenience as a lot of foods contain milk or dairy products as essential ingredients. However, some rare cases of lactose intolerance include people who can tolerate some amounts of lactose. But some amount of trial and error is involved to figure out the level of a person's intolerance to lactose.
Here are a few dairy products which can be better tolerated by people with lactose intolerance:
1. Hard aged cheese
Harder cheese products like cheddar, Paremesan and Swiss cheese can be eaten by people with lactose intolerance. Harder cheese are aged for such a long time that their lactose gets broken down over the years. This happens because of the enzymes in hard cheese which break down more and more lactose over time. This is the reason that cheese like cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss don't taste sweet. They contain very low levels of lactose and hence lactose intolerant people might not be that intolerant to hard aged cheese.
Yogurt is a dairy product which is the more easily digested as compared to other dairy sources of lactose. This is because the bacteria needed to produce yogurt breaks down lactose and reduces incidence of unpleasant symptoms related to lactose intolerance. Yogurt can be used to make a variety of dips and desserts. But make sure that you take yogurt which has probiotics or live active cultures marked on the label. These bacteria are important because they feed on sugar and break down a lot of lactose. People with lactose intolerance can probably try taking small servings of yogurt to see if they can tolerate it.
It can get a bit difficult to have a crispy toast without butter, even for people with lactose intolerance. Butter contains small amounts of whey protein. Whey protein is where most of the lactose in dairy products is stored. Butter contains very less lactose. 1 tsp of butter will not contain any more than 1/2 gm of lactose. A teaspoon of butter spread over a toast should not cause much intolerance in people who are lactose intolerant. But in case it does, lactose intolerant people can have ghee, which is butter extracted from molten and strained milk solids.
Also read: 6 Best Non-Dairy Substitutes For Milk
Cultured buttermilk contains bacteria which can help in breaking down lactose. Buttermilk is mostly prepared from yogurt and water and hence it can be a dairy product which people with lactose intolerance can have.
Kefir or quark is fermented dairy product which contains bacteria that can break down lactose in yogurt and make it easy to digest. Fermentation process in kefir or quark makes them quite easy on the stomach. People with lactose intolerance can add kefir in their morning smoothies. Quark can be used in place of thick cheeses like ricotta.
Also read: 5 Non-Dairy Foods Rich In Calcium
Other food substitutes for people with lactose intolerance
1. People with lactose intolerance can chose to buy milk which is lactose free. Numerous companies today sell milk which is lactose free especially for people who are intolerant to lactose.
2. People with lactose intolerance can try soy milk. Soy milk is plant-based milk which is made by soaking and grinding soy beans. Soy-based milk is prepared by boiling the mixture of ground soy beans filtering out the remaining particles. Soy milk is a stable emulsion of water, oil and protein.
3. Almond milk can also be considered a good option for people with lactose intolerance.
We ask clinical nutritionist Monisha Ashokan about lactose intolerance and dairy products that they can have. She says, "Lactose intolerant people can have soy milk and almond milk. They can also have lactose-free milk available in the market. It is created by commercial producers who add lactase in milk to break down lactose and make it more digestible. They can also have yogurt as it has much less lactose as compared to milk and is also easy to digest," says Monisha while adding that people with lactose intolerance should have lots of green leafy vegetables to replenish calcium in the body.
(Monisha Ashokan is a clinical nutritionist at Nourish Me, Delhi)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.