Lactose-Free Foods: Lactose intolerance can affect anyone, both adults and children. Those who have this condition must be very careful when choosing a diet. The reason is that the consumption of foods that contain lactose can cause several symptoms in the digestive system.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a variety of foods that are full of nutrition and pamper your taste buds. By following these guidelines, you can choose lactose-free foods that are safe for the body.
What is lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a digestive system disorder when the body cannot produce enough lactase enzymes. This enzyme is useful for breaking down lactose, which is the natural sugar contained in milk and its derivative products.
In the human body, lactose should be broken down into simpler forms of glucose and galactose. If the body does not have enough lactase, lactose will not be broken down and can cause various digestive disorders.
People who suffer from lactose intolerance generally experience various symptoms, such as nausea, abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea. Not only that, but there are also other symptoms such as frequent flatulence, vomiting, and stomach sounds.
Children can experience even more severe symptoms. Consuming foods that contain lactose can trigger vomiting and red rashes on the skin. Generally, symptoms appear within 30 minutes to 2 hours after the child consumes lactose.
In certain cases, children may experience weight loss due to various digestive problems they experience. In the long term, this condition can lead to malnutrition and slow growth in children.
Foods containing lactose that you need to avoid
People who have lactose intolerance are advised to avoid consuming cow’s milk and its derivative products, including cheese, butter, and yogurt. This is because cow’s milk is one of the highest sources of lactose.
However, avoiding dairy completely may not be easy because it is present in many products and dishes. Milk is also rich in protein, vitamin B12, calcium, and various other nutrients, which are a shame if you miss them.
Some people with lactose intolerance may still be able to eat butter that doesn’t contain a lot of milk. Especially if the product is clarified butter which contains almost no lactose at all.
Several types of yogurt contain good bacteria that help digest lactose in the intestine. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this product may be beneficial for people with lactose intolerance.
However, any food that contains lactose still has the potential to cause digestive problems. So, people who suffer from lactose intolerance are still advised to avoid:
- all kinds of animal milk,
- cheese (especially soft cheese),
- yogurt And Frozen Yogurt,
- ice cream and sorbets containing milk,
- sour cream,
- whipped cream, dan
Foods that are safe for you
So that your diet remains rich in nutritional content, here is a variety of lactose-free foods that you can consume.
1. Milk from nuts
Lactose is usually found in various animal dairy products, such as those goats, cows, and sheep. Meanwhile, milk produced from nuts such as soy, almonds, and cashews does not contain lactose.
So, if you want to drink milk or eat cereal with milk, use nut milk. You can also make coffee, tea, juice, or other drinks with a mixture of almond, soy, or cashew milk.
2. Green vegetables
Expand the consumption of green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cassava leaves, and beans. This type of vegetable is rich in calcium and iron, two nutrients that are abundant in a glass of cow’s milk.
Since you can’t get your calcium from animal-based dairy products, lactose-free foods like leafy greens can be your savior. A cup of cooked spinach can give you 250 milligrams of calcium which is equivalent to a glass of cow’s milk.
Apart from green vegetables, other lactose-free foods that can meet your calcium needs include fish. Types of fish rich in calcium include sardines, salmon, and tuna. These fish are high in calcium and vitamin D.
Each half-can of sardines contains approximately 300 mg of calcium. Therefore, don’t forget to add fish and other seafood to your daily menu to meet your calcium needs.
If you want to snack, you should avoid chocolate, candy, pastries, or biscuits, which usually contain milk. One of the healthiest and safest snack choices for people with lactose intolerance is nuts.
Apart from being lactose-free, nuts also contain lots of protein and healthy fats that are beneficial to the body. These foods also contribute calcium intake that you don’t get from cow’s milk.
Don’t worry about not being able to enjoy desserts or cold snacks that contain lactose. For a safe dessert menu, you can choose sorbet from fruit juice without cow’s milk.
Sorbet is a cold snack that is healthy and friendly for those of you who suffer from lactose intolerance. In addition, sorbet is also rich in vitamins that are important to support various body functions.
Be careful if you want to eat pastries or cakes. These types of food usually contain dairy products such as butter, cow’s milk, cream, or cheese. Therefore, replace it with lactose-free jelly.
Agar-agar is made from seaweed so it is safe for those of you who have lactose intolerance. As a variation, you can mix agar-agar with real cocoa powder that doesn’t contain milk.
Consumption of foods containing lactose can trigger digestive disorders in people with lactose intolerance. If you have this condition, try lactose-free alternatives that are safer for your digestive system.
For those who suffer from lactose intolerance, it is important to be aware of the foods that contain lactose and to find alternative options. The six lactose-free foods mentioned in this article are just a few examples of the many options available. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can enjoy a wide variety of delicious and nutritious options without the discomfort that lactose intolerance can cause. Don’t let lactose intolerance hold you back from enjoying your favorite foods – with a little bit of creativity and experimentation, you can find plenty of tasty alternatives that work for you.