A lactose intolerance diet is ideal for individuals who suffer from this disorder. To figure out the right diet, you will first need to know what causes you to experience painful cramps or embarrassing gas when you consume milk, cheese and other dairy products. But once you do, you will be able to craft out the right diet and make the right choices to enable you to avoid these symptoms and enjoy a healthier life. Take a more in depth look at lactose intolerance, its symptoms and tips on how to avoid it altogether.
What is Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the body is not able to break down lactose, a sugar contained in milk and other dairy products. Unlike milk allergies which involve the immune system and are potentially life-threatening, lactose intolerance typically affects the digestive system. There are various ways of testing for lactose intolerance including the common blood testing which is carried out 2 hours after you drink a glass of milk, so as to measure the amount of glucose in the blood.
Lactose intolerance symptoms occur as a result of the incomplete breakdown of lactose. In such a case, the small intestine of lactose intolerant individuals is unable to digest the lactose and break it down completely. Instead, when the lactose passes on into the large intestine, it is attacked by bacteria that are naturally present in the gut. This results in painful cramps, diarrhea and gas.
Lactose intolerance diets offer various meal options to individuals who suffer from this condition. To begin, you may want to look into dairy-free cooking methods which are common in the cuisines of cultures that do not typically utilize dairy products. For instance, you will find that the cuisine in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa rarely make use of milk-based products during food preparation. You will also find many ideas for dairy-free foods in the traditional cuisines of India, Mexico and Italy.
Alternatively, for your lactose intolerance diet, you could go for specialty dairy-free and lactose-free foods prepared with plant-based milks, including margarine, soy milk, soy-based yoghurts, as well as desserts such as dairy-free ice cream. More ideas on other suitable dairy-free foods can be found on various websites online.