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Lactose Intolerance


Lactose intolerance is repeatedly mistaken for an allergy to specified dairy foods, when in fact it is not a food allergy at all. Lactose intolerance, also referred to as lactose deficiency, is one of the many ailments more specifically classified as being a food sensitivity. Meaning, one can withstand minute amounts of a certain food product before experiencing any adverse effects or reactions to the food. People who experience adverse reactions to dairy products may experience digestive problems caused by the naturally occurring sugar found in dairy called lactose.

Those who suffer from lactose intolerance do not produce enough of lactase which is needed in aiding the digestion of dairy products containing lactose. Lactase, as well as many other essential digestive enzymes, are partially destroyed during the pasteurization process. These enzymes are important during consumption because they help the body breakdown and absorb the viable nutrients.

People with lactose intolerance simply do not produce enough of the digestive enzyme needed to assist in the digestion of dairy products, but that does not mean they can never enjoy dairy again. In fact, although there is no set gradience as to how much lactase one should produce naturally, lactose intolerant individuals still produce up to enough lactase to enjoy a small eight ounce glass of milk with a meal if they choose.

Many people who experience food sensitivities to milk, find that they are not as sensitive to some cheeses or other varieties of dairy from other animals, like goat or sheep’s milk. It can be a frustrating task, but finding out what food products one can tolerate will also help to narrow things down so they don’t feel like they have to miss out on anything.

There are plenty of lactose free and dairy free products on the shelves compared to ten years ago, and many of them are very comparable in taste and quality. If one decides to omit dairy from their diet completely, there are milk alternatives like flaxseed, hemp, coconut, soy and the ever so popular almond. If they are looking for a cheese alternative there are companies dedicated to developing a tasty cheese replacement for people who have dietary specifications like lactose intolerance or veganism. These cheeses are more commonly made with milk derived from soy, rice or almonds.

If you or someone you know has the condition, avoiding or restricting the amount of milk products in your diet can obviously reduce or prevent symptoms. To avoid undesirable weight loss and malnutrition you should find suitable dietary replacements and follow a nutritious diet program to ensure adequate protein and vitamin consumption.