What are lactose free products? Find out what to replace milk and dairy products with. Here are alternatives for people with symptoms of lactose intolerance

Lactose-free products are foods without milk sugar, which in many people causes more or less severe symptoms of a food intolerance. However, this compound is found not only in milk and milk products, but also in highly processed products, nutritional supplements, and doctors. Getting rid of it requires a change in diet, but not as severe as it used to be. Lactose-free foods, of both animal and vegetable origin, are available for sale. See a list of lactose-free and low-lactose products that are alternatives to conventional products. We also suggest what does not contain gluten at the same time.


lactose milk sugarMore precisely, a disaccharide consisting of a glucose molecule and a galactose molecule. It is found in cow’s milk in an amount of 4-5 percent. For the digestion of lactose that occurs in the small intestine, it is necessary lactase enzyme or beta-D-galactosidase. People with a deficiency of this enzyme (or often an inability to produce it) experience the unpleasant symptoms of lactose intolerance after consuming lactose.

In the case of lactose intolerance, this compound is not hydrolyzed in the small intestine, but passes unchanged into the large intestine, where it is fermented with the participation of intestinal bacteria. The products of these processes are lactic acid, carbon dioxide and hydrogen, to which they contribute symptoms Such as: pain in the lower abdomen, nausea, bloating, gas, colic, stomach overflow and diarrhea. Diseases usually appear inside From 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming lactose, and its severity depends on the amount of lactose ingested.

Lactose intolerance It is not an allergic reactionWhich in the case of milk does not apply to the sugar contained in it at all, but to proteins. Although the symptoms of lactose intolerance do not damage the digestive system, they can cause significant discomfort and impair quality of life. Therefore, many people who notice the above symptoms after consuming milk give up milk permanently. However, it could be the effect of avoiding lactose Complete cessation of lactase production The ability to digest milk sugar.

Read also: Lactose – what is it and in what products is it found?

Products containing lactose, such as milk and its products and derivatives (such as milk or whey proteins) should be avoided – or consumption restricted – by people with impaired tolerance to milk sugar. Restrictions also apply to dietary supplements and medications that contain crystalline lactose. This sugar is present in about 20 percent. Prescription drugs, including birth control pills, but also in about 6 percent. Over-the-counter medicines, eg to relieve symptoms of hyperacidity.

However, it is important to know that it is not necessary to completely abandon dairy products. They are an important source of essential nutrients, such as protein, calcium, magnesium and vitamins A, D and group B, which may be lacking in the diet. Most importantly, certain amounts of lactose can be safely consumed even with lactose intolerance—according to the Cleveland Clinic, one serving of about 12 grams of lactose is equivalent to, say, a cup of milk.

The incidence of negative symptoms after consuming milk can also be reduced by dividing the doses of dairy products into smaller portions, and combining them with other meal components. You can also support yourself with lactase-containing preparations, eg taking them with milk consumption or mixing them with dairy products.

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With lactose intolerance, you can safely consume products that are labeled lactose-free, information that the manufacturer voluntarily puts, often on the packages of processed products. There are many options to choose from.

Lactose-free products:

  • lactose-free dairy products – made from milk from which lactose has been removed; Lactose-free milk is defined as containing less than 0.5%. lactose,
  • consumed dairy products with the addition of the enzyme lactase in the form of drops or tablets,
  • Plant milk, for example Soy milkAlmonds, Oats, Hemp, Rice, Coconut, Cashews, etc.,
  • Vegan alternatives to cheese, such as mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan, etc.
  • Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, Dziugas and other long-ripening hard bovine cheeses – preferably more than 6 months fermented,
  • products that do not contain pure lactose, ingredients and additives such as milk, whey, powdered milk, etc .; The possibility of containing trace amounts of lactose also applies to products marked with the information “May contain milk” or “Milk is processed at the production plant”.

Low lactose products:

  • full-fat fermented milk drinks without added unprocessed milk or powdered milk, such as Greek yogurt, kefir, buttermilk (they have less lactose than their lower-fat alternatives),
  • Dairy products with a low lactose content, for example in the case of milk, a product with a “low lactose content” is milk in which its concentration is reduced by 50%,
  • clarified butter (ghee),
  • Goat milk and dairy products – although it contains lactose, it is better tolerated by many people.

What instead of milk for allergy sufferers and vegetarians? See the best of…

Some people need to pay special attention to making sure the food they choose is lactose- and gluten-free. These two problematic ingredients can be consumed simultaneously when searching for dishes such as macaroni and cheese, pizza, or yeast dough. It also includes highly processed products containing pure gluten and lactose as functional additives, such as deli meats, sweet and savory snacks, and powdered products.

It is forbidden to use milk, cheese and other products containing lactose Celiac disease and inflammation of the small intestine with gluten hypersensitivityWhich increases the permeability of the mucous membrane and reduces the absorption of nutrients. It is also not taken in case of damage and surgery in the small intestine, as well as during chemotherapy.

A large proportion of patients who are lactose intolerant are also diagnosed with lactose intolerance Inflammatory bowel disease, among others with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis with bloody mucoid diarrhea and nutritional deficiencies. About one in three people are also lactose intolerant Irritable bowel syndrome (irritable bowel syndrome).

also the elderly They may be associated with the limited ability of the body to digest lactose and gluten, so in the presence of any intestinal disorders, it is best to exclude them from the diet for about two weeks and observe whether the adverse symptoms disappear.

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