Around 36% of the United States population suffers from lactose malabsorption, which causes the body to break down lactose at a significantly slower rate than usual, causing stomach discomfort. Because of this, most people resort to chopping off dairy foods altogether from their diet.
However, it should not always be the case. Letting go of these goods will only do you more harm as it can lead to calcium and nutrient deficiency. Thus, it’s best to explore your options. By adding the proper food selections to your diet and trying on more suitable and delectable meal replacements, people with lactose intolerance can still consume dairy products in amounts that are not harmful to them.
For instance, consuming milk and adding it with your morning cereals should not be a problem as long as you purchase them from reputable protein manufacturers that offer low lactose in their products. This way, you can still enjoy milk while preventing the sudden surge of symptoms such as flatulence, diarrhea, and other stomach discomforts that comes with the condition.
It all comes down to understanding how your body tolerates these products to ensure that you are still getting adequate nutrients to balance your dietary needs.
Consider Soy Milk
According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended calcium intake for adult men and women should be around 1,000 mg daily. This equates to almost four cups of milk each day on average. However, given that we get calcium from most dairy products, achieving this would be challenging for someone with lactose intolerance. Therefore, a good alternative is to try calcium-fortified soy milk, as each serving contains at least 500 mg of calcium.
Trying on soya milk may also benefit those who want to lose weight. Moreover, for individuals not accustomed to its unusual taste, you may also want to go for the flavored variants or experiment with new flavors by adding or mixing them with some fruits.
Cheers for Cheese
There are many different varieties of cheese in the market, and not all of them are high in lactose. So, you need to know your cheese well. For instance, lactose in fermented or aged cheeses such as Parmesan and Blue Cheese are at a reduced level, making them a good option for lactose-intolerant people. Moreover, they are rich in protein and calcium, so adding them to your diet is a brilliant idea.
Dairy-free cheese and normal ones have different nutritional profiles depending on the replacement. For example, in milk-free substitutes, protein is often less, while some products include up to eight grams of carbohydrates per ounce. Whereas milk cheese seldom has more.
Lactose intolerance is a serious condition that requires you to forgo all dairy products at once. Thus, missing out on the nutritional benefits of such. In addition, when you reduce your dairy intake and any milk-based items, you will likely get an insufficient supply of essential vitamins and minerals such as protein, calcium, and magnesium. These are necessary for keeping balance in the body, regulating the movements of your muscles, heart, ensuring proper circulation of blood, and providing you with solid teeth and bones.
In some extreme cases, people find it difficult to consume any milk-based products altogether. If you find it hard to squeeze in any dairy in your diet, you may consider calcium-rich green leafy vegetables instead. For instance, kale, broccoli, and arugula may provide you with the significant amount of nutrients you need equivalent to eating dairy-based goods. Additionally, if you want to add other food supplements to your diet, you may consult with your dietician to know which ones are right for you.
Trial and Error
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all to finding the right balance for you. Through self-experimentation and dietary testing, you will be able to get a complete and clear idea of which products are completely incompatible with you and which ones do. To accomplish this, you must entirely eliminate all lactose-high products from your diet for a week or two. After that, slowly reintroduce them to your body and keep an eye on any discomfort or responses you have for each. With the elimination and reinstatement of specific goods, you should understand which meal triggers your uneasiness.
Remember that every person is different despite similar conditions. There is no such thing as the perfect diet for each dietary need. Therefore, although it may take some time to find the right balance for you, it pays to be cautious with what you eat and be open to possibilities and alternatives.