If you are intolerant to lactose, you may think that consuming milk is out the question for you. Lactose is found in most dairy products like milk, cheese and butter, many are staples in an every day diet. If you have been told you are unable to consume lactose and you think you have to compromise on your favourite dairy products, you don’t have to. The awareness around being intolerant to lactose has meant the creation of many milk alternatives to fit around this.
Being intolerant to lactose means that the body is unable to digest lactose in the same way as someone without this intolerance. It is when people do not produce enough lactase and therefore the lactose stays in the digestive system, causing the digestive to not respond well and cause illness. The body digests lactose using a substance called lactase. This breaks down lactose into 2 sugars called glucose and galactose both of which can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Some lactose intolerances may only last a few weeks, however it can continue into adulthood and affect people for the rest of their lives. It is important to know if you are intolerant to dairy to allow you to alter your diet and lifestyle. Some lactose intolerance show up in children at a young age. There are various milk alternatives for toddlers that are suitable for them to consume too.
Being intolerant to dairy is not a life threatening condition but it may alter how you eat and drink. It can become quite serious for some people in terms on the side effects so it’s best to know as soon as possible so you can avoid these foods.
The most obvious choice of milk to think about when you are intolerant to lactose is lactose free milk. This is exactly what you think it is, it is free from lactose. Lactose free milk has all the nutritional benefits and taste of standard milk, just without the lactose. This makes it safe for people with this intolerance to drink. Lactose free milk is the best milk alternative for those who are intolerant to lactose.
A lot of people do not realise that oat milk is actually lactose free. Oat milk is a perfect non dairy milk alternative. This is because it contains no lactose or dairy so makes a popular favourite for those who follow a vegan diet or are intolerant to lactose. Many say that oat milk is the best milk alternative for coffee as it is great for frothing. We offer Oatly oat milk which our customers enjoy having delivered if they are dairy intolerant. We now also offer oat milk in glass reusable bottles from Oato which many customers find is the most sustainable milk alternative. Oato is a creamy ‘non-dairy’ plant based milk alternative which is lactose, nut, sugar and soy free. It is made with the freshest British ingredients.
Almond milk is another great plant based drink that is perfect for anyone who is intolerant to lactose. It has a nutty flavour and a creamy consistency and can be used as a replacement for cow’s milk. It’s a great alternative milk that is suitable for vegans and contains no dairy or animal ingredients. It is also considered one of the best milk alternatives for tea and coffee.
Soya milk has been thought to be the closest non dairy milk to cow’s milk on the market. This is because of the taste and the nutritional value it contains. This is a perfect substitute if you are intolerant to dairy as it tastes great in teas, coffee or in your breakfast cereal. soy milk is naturally free of cholesterol and low in saturated fat. It also contains no lactose. Soya milk is a high protein milk alternative and contains calcium, making it great if you are unable to consume cow’s milk.
Coconut milk makes a good milk alternative for anyone that has a intolerance to lactose as it is naturally lactose free. It is made by grating the white flesh inside a mature coconut and soaking it in hot water. It is dairy free which means it is suitable if you are vegetarian, following a vegan diet or lactose intolerant.
There are many alternatives you can have in your tea or coffee if you are intolerant to lactose. You don’t have to give up your favourite dairy products if you are lactose intolerant and most alternatives have similar nutritional value of cow’s milk. This makes it easier for you to enjoy your milk as you normally would. The range of alternative milks in endless and there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Having a intolerance to lactose can make people feel confused about what they can and cannot consume. Sometimes it can be hard to know which products contain lactose and are therefore unsafe to consume. Becoming intolerant to lactose can start suddenly, and the best way to see if you are unable to consume lactose, is to keep a food diary. This way, you can record what you eat, when and how it made you feel. If a pattern emerges that every time you eat a dairy product you become ill, it’s a good indication you might to lactose intolerant.
Side effects of lactose intolerance
The side effects of being lactose intolerant include wind, bloating, stomach cramps and/or pain and feeling sick. These side effects can become unbearable for some people so the sooner you find out if you are lactose intolerant, the better. The severity of the symptoms can vary from person to person and how much lactose you have consumed. If you are unsure if dairy is causing these side effects, visit your doctor to confirm. Whilst there is no cure for lactose intolerance, knowing what you can and can’t consume will help relieve symptoms. It is important to note that being lactose intolerant is not the same as a dairy allergy. Food allergies are caused by the immune system reacting to a certain type of food you have consumed.
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