Enjoy a more comfortable life despite your lactose intolerance condition by following these tips.
If you’re the kind of person who gets an upset stomach after consuming dairy products, you may be lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is a very common health condition defined by the body’s inability to digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products like milk. While undigested lactose is not harmful, it can cause discomfort, bloating, stomach cramps and even diarrhoea. Manage your lactose intolerance better by following these tips.
1. Know Your Limits
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to completely remove dairy from your diet. People with lactose intolerance can eat or drink dairy in minimal quantities without suffering any symptoms. It’s just a matter of knowing your body’s limits and level of tolerance to different dairy products.
2. Choose Low-Lactose or Lactose-free Dairy Products
Low-lactose and lactose-free dairy products are widely available in the market, cafes and restaurants now. This means you can still enjoy your coffee with lactose-free milk or treat yourself to a low-lactose grilled cheese sandwich.
3. Incorporate Yoghurt in Your Diet
Most lactose-intolerant individuals find it much easier to digest yoghurt than milk because active cultures found in yoghurt make it easier to digest lactose. Not only is yoghurt a tolerable dairy product, but it is also a good source of protein. So instead of having sour cream with your tacos, replace it with some plain Greek yoghurt to make your stomach happier.
4. Try the 80/20 Approach
You don’t have to completely eliminate dairy from your diet just because you are lactose intolerant. Just avoid consuming lactose-rich dairy foods all at one time. To minimise the symptoms of lactose intolerance, follow the 80/20 method, which requires you to follow a diet composed of 80 per cent dairy-free food and 20 per cent of dairy food.
5. Cook with Dairy Substitutes
Substitute dairy products with lactose-free alternatives when cooking or preparing your meals. You can use a plethora of products to replace milk, like fruit juices, almond milk, and soy milk. Coconut oil and extra virgin oil can be used instead of butter. With these alternatives, you can reinvent your recipes into healthier and lactose-intolerant friendly meals!
6. Use Lactose-free Creamers
If you want to take your coffee with cream or milk but you are lactose intolerant, simply replace your creamer or milk with a lactose-free substitute. Choose from a plethora of alternatives including almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, rice milk, or simply lactose-free milk.
7. Eat Calcium & Vitamin D-rich Foods
We all know that milk is the best source to get calcium, but not everyone knows that it is also the best source for vitamin D. The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. If you are lactose intolerant, there is a possibility that you are getting less calcium and vitamin D compared to others who can tolerate dairy.
Make sure you structure your diet so it will be rich in calcium and vitamin D. Regularly eating fish, green leafy vegetables, oranges, almonds, and tofu can help ensure your body gets the calcium it needs. Complement these with foods rich in vitamin D like eggs. Salmon is a good source of both calcium and vitamin D.
8. Use Miso & Yeast
Miso is a Japanese fermented soybean which is rich in umami, a savoury taste and one of the five basic tastes that can be described. This paste-like food is a great lactose-free substitute for cheese. You can use it not only for the traditional Japanese soup but to also create many dairy-free fusion dishes and condiments.
Nooch is a nutritional yeast that is high in vitamin B. It can also give you food a cheesy flavour. If you love the taste of cheese but suffer from lactose-intolerance, simply add some nooch into your recipe.
9. Know Your Cheese
Not all types of cheese are rich in lactose. Lactose-intolerant individuals can enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich or homemade pizza with soy and nut cheeses like soy cream cheese and cashew cheese. If crafty-artisan cheese doesn’t entice you, try traditional hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano. Hard cheese is relatively healthier because they have higher calcium and protein content and lower fat than their softer counterparts like Swiss and cheddar.
10. Consider Lactase Supplements
Make your life simple by taking a lactase supplement before eating dairy products. Lactase supplements will help you enjoy eating and drinking lactose-rich dairy without compromising the taste and structure of the food, and your comfort. These supplements help lactose-intolerant individuals to break down the lactose present in dairy while minimising their symptoms.
Need Our Help?
Book an appointment with an accredited dietitian or nutritionist by phone on (07) 3071-7405 between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday or send us an enquiry. Alternatively, learn more about how our team can help you deal with your lactose intolerance symptoms here.