Need to know more about a Lactose free diet? If your doctor has diagnosed you as having an intolerance to the sugars naturally found in dairy products, you need to learn to alter your eating habits to help you condition.
In a nut shell, a lactose free diet means that you have to limit or eliminate dairy foods from your daily meal plan. In order to do this safely, you have to make sure that your general nutrition doesn't suffer. A healthy lactose free diet is about finding alternative ways to get the important nutrients you would otherwise get from all your favourite dairy products. So how do you create a fantastic lactose free diet?
Having an intolerance isn't the same as having a severe allergy to a type of food. Sufferers can usually digest traces of the item used in cooking - for example, sufferers can usually eat pancakes made with milk, but can't drink a glass of milk on it's own. Foods with a high sugar count that should be avoided include milk, icecream, soft cheeses, creams and sometimes yoghurts. Foods with lower sugar counts that should be relatively digestible are butter, (in small amounts), hard cheeses like cheddar, and occasionally also yoghurt. Yoghurt can be especially good for sufferers because the bacteria found in yoghurt will sometimes pre-digest the sugars. The individual responses to yoghurt varies among sufferers, with some people suffering no symptoms from it, and others having to avoid it completely.
If you have to limit dairy products, it's important to make sure your calcium intake doesn't suffer. The recommended intake of calcium is 800mg/day for men and premenopausal women, 1000mg/day for post menopausal women, 1100mg for pregnant women, and 1200 for breastfeeding women. Fortunately, you can get your calcium requirements elsewhere through supplements, dark leafy vegetables, and special calcium-fortified milk substitutes such as Lactaid or Balance. There are also enzyme drops available on the market, such as Lact-Easy Drops, which can be added to normal milk or dairy in order to pre-digest the sugars.
Your doctor can offer guidance in terms of dietary planning, and can point you in the direction of recipes, related websites and support groups.