Lactose intolerance can make eating a balanced diet more complicated as there are many foods to avoid with lactose intolerance in a lactose free diet. If you’re one of the millions of people who have trouble digesting milk products, there are plenty of delicious ways to get the nutrients you need from both dairy and non-dairy foods.
Lactose intolerance is related to primary or secondary lactase deficiency. Common symptoms are abdominal pain and distension, borborygmi, flatus, and diarrhea induced by lactose in dairy products. Lactose malabsorption is contributed to genetic, endoscopic and physiological testing and requires foods to avoid with lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance depends on the enzyme lactase but also on the dose of lactose, intestinal flora, gastrointestinal motility, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and sensitivity of the gastrointestinal tract. Treatment of lactose intolerance can include a lactose free diet and enzyme replacement.
Lactose intolerance can be part of a wider intolerance to variably absorbed, fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs). This is present in at least half of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This group requires a lactose free diet but also a low FODMAP diet to improve gastrointestinal complaints.
Tips for Foods to Avoid with Lactose Intolerance
1. Control serving sizes:
Lactose intolerance is usually a matter of degree. Find your individual comfort level by cutting out all dairy foods and then adding them back into your diet a little at a time.
By eating dairy products in moderation, you can probably avoid the typical symptoms like cramps, gas, or bloating that usually occur within 2 hours of eating a trigger food, but be mindful of how much you consume.
2. Combine dairy products with non-dairy foods:
You may be able to tolerate trigger foods better if you pair them with other stuff. Try putting milk on your cereal instead of drinking glass by itself. Serve ice cream on a slice of pie.
3. Eat a lot of yogurts:
Even though yogurt contains the sugar (called lactose) that your body has trouble digesting, it also produces the lactase enzyme that solves that issue. Try regular dairy yogurt as food to avoid lactose intolerance but you can try Greek yogurt to see how your body responds.
- Frozen yogurt lacks live cultures, but many yogurt products are loaded with active bacteria that will protect you from any discomfort.
4. Say cheese:
Cheese is another winner. Hard cheeses like cheddar are naturally lower in lactose than soft and creamy styles like Brie. Cottage cheese and Feta are also good choices.
As foods to avoid with lactose intolerance, you also now have the option of lactose free cheeses.
5. Look for special formulas:
Virtually all dairy products, including milk, now come in a lactose free diet and low lactose versions. With an estimated 30 to 50 million people in the U.S. alone being sensitive to dairy products, there’s a huge market for producers to cater to.
6. Read package labels carefully:
Watch out for milk products in places where you’re unlikely to suspect them as a means to be aware of foods to avoid with lactose intolerance. Many processed foods contain dairy products, as do certain organ meats and even lima beans. Read labels to see if what you’re buying contains whey, caseinates, milk solids, curds and other ingredients that could spell trouble.
7. Consider supplements:
You might find that lactase enzyme supplements enable you to keep eating dairy products. Ask your holistic doctor if they’re right for you on a lactose free diet.
Foods to Avoid with Lactose Intolerance
1. Learn about non-dairy calcium sources:
Calcium is essential for healthy bones, nerves and blood circulation.
- If you think you need more calcium, try non-dairy sources like broccoli and other green vegetables or fish with edible bones like salmon and sardines.
2. Mind your vitamin D intake:
Vitamin D is also important for your bones and general wellbeing. While milk is fortified with this essential nutrient, so are many other foods like bread and breakfast cereals. Natural sunlight also helps your body make its own vitamin D and is naturally synthesized through the skin.
3. Order Chinese food:
Eating out can sometimes pose difficulties when you’re looking for foods to avoid with lactose intolerance. Most Asian cuisines rarely use dairy products, so you should find plenty of dishes on the menu that are appealing and safe.
4. Learn new recipes:
At home, you can modify many recipes that use dairy products to suit your lactose free diet needs. For example, fruit pulp can stand in for butter.
5. Be prepared for age-related changes:
Many people become more sensitive to milk as they grow older. Knowing your options will help you to keep eating well.
Lactose intolerance is usually easy to manage. Find your individual comfort level with dairy foods, opt for the safest choices like yogurt, and get calcium and vitamin D from non-dairy sources if needed. Your holistic doctor can help you design an eating plan that will keep you well nourished and includes foods to avoid with lactose intolerance.
When symptoms persist such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, alterations in bowel movements with or without bloating it is best to look for foods to avoid with lactose intolerance. Irritable bowel syndrome or other food intolerances need to be considered when healing the digestive system.
FODMAP diets (fermentable oligo di, monosaccharides, and polyols) is one of the most popular diets when people are looking for a lactose free diet. This is defined as a “short-term (2–6 week) restriction of foods high in fermentable carbohydrates, followed by reintroductions of foods to assess tolerance”. The rationale for the diet is based on similar concepts as for a lactose free diet. Different carbohydrates reaching the colon build up and form short chain fatty acids. There have been many successes reported with this diet. In one study of 473 patients who responded to the FODMAP diet, both fructose and lactose malabsorption showed promise. Since many foods are involved dietary guidance is necessary to reintroduce different food items, and we at Holistic Family Practice are here to help you in the process.