With around 65% of the human population thought to be intolerant to digesting lactose in some way or another, knowing your stuff when it comes to living lactose-free is important and can help you catch the problem early on to avoid further health issues.
But what is it to be lactose-intolerant and how can you avoid milk and dairy products in your day-to-day life?
Lactose intolerance – the cause
Lactose intolerance is a common digestive problem where lactose, a certain type of sugar found mainly in dairy and milk products, produces unwanted symptoms such as an upset stomach, bloating and abdominal cramps. These symptoms are extremely like those felt by IBS sufferers so it’s important to consult with your GP before removing dairy products from your diet to check there isn’t something more serious
The intolerance is caused by the body struggling to produce enough lactase to break down lactose in the bloodstream – this leads to it staying within the digestive system and being fermented by bacteria.
Diagnosing and curing lactose intolerance
Like most, there is no cure for lactose intolerance. The best solution is to limit your intake of foods and drinks that contact lactose including milk, cheese, ice cream and even some salad dressings and baked goods. A diagnosis is normally given by your GP based on the related symptoms and subsequent relief of symptoms once dairy products are cut from your diet. Sometimes, certain tests are required to confirm the intolerance such as a milk challenge test or a hydrogen breath test.
What can and can’t I eat?
Essentially, any food or drink products that contain dairy or milk are off limits for those that suffer with lactose intolerance. This includes:
- Ice cream
Some salad dressings, sauces, baked goods and ready meals could contain lactose too so it’s important to check the labels before trying anything new. By cutting dairy from your diet, you will also significantly reduce the amount of calcium you consume so it’s important to incorporate that into your diet in other ways. Foods such as kidney beans, almonds, tinned sardines and oranges are full of calcium and can help with any imbalance so be sure to stock up.
Soy-based products are a great alternative if you’re living a lactose-free lifestyle. From soy yoghurt to milk and even chocolate bars; living lactose-free doesn’t have to be restrictive.
How can Honest Eats help?
Shopping for lactose-free food and drink can be a tiresome job, particularly as most online supermarkets only stock a limited number of dairy-free items at once. Honest Eats will fill this gap in the market and provide an online destination that’s easy to use and stocked to the brim with delicious lactose-free products.
Sign up now and get 25% off your first Honest Eats order – our brand new website and online shop will be launching soon. In the meantime, we’ll also enter you into a prize draw to win a year’s worth of free shopping as a thank you for signing up. Click here to register now.
Our range of lactose-free foods and drinks are now live! Order today.