A large number of Canadians are lactose intolerant. This is when you are unable to digest lactose that is found in milk and a wide variety of other dairy products. When you consume lactose then you experience a number of uncomfortable reactions, such as flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, chest congestions and bloating. And this occurs within 30 minutes.
Thankfully, the marketplace has afforded millions of people all over the world an array of non-dairy options so that you are still able to imbibe your necessary amount of calcium.
Everything from non-milk beverages to supplements, there are many ways that you can maintain a well-balanced diet with your lactose intolerance. All it takes is a little bit of due diligence, heightened awareness and your taste buds adapting to the change in your diet – a glass of chocolate soy takes a little bit getting used to, but it's still delicious!
Just because you are lactose intolerant it doesn't mean that you will have to endure any type of suffering.
Here are five ways to live with lactose intolerance:
Be Aware of Surprising Sources of Lactose
For years, you have been steering clear of popular milk products, like two percent milk, cheese and yogurt. At times, however, you still experience the symptoms of lactose intolerance. This may be occurring because lactose can be found in many other foods, such as baked goods, potato chips, processed meats and even vegetables like spinach and rhubarb.
Moreover, lactose is regularly used in fillers, including in those pills you take every day!
Complement Your Diet with Supplements
Since milk contains an immense amount of vitamins and nutrients, you're missing out on key health benefits. Calcium, potassium, phosphorus and protein are just some of the elements you're not imbibing. In other words, you can't build strong bones and maintain healthy teeth.
By complementing your diet with supplements or multivitamins you can still get what you need.
Drink & Eat Alternatives to Milk
As previously mentioned, the marketplace has allowed consumers to modify their diets but still get everything they require. When you are diagnosed with lactose intolerance, you can turn to the likes of soy beverages, almond drinks and coconut milk for your liquid needs. For physical foods, you can still eat yogurt, ice cream and cheesecake that is made out of tofu or coconuts.
Inform Your Friends & Family of Your Intolerance
Before you visit your neighbour for dinner or you take a trip to your aunt's home for afternoon tea, you should inform them that you are lactose intolerant. Therefore, you can't have milk with your coffee or tea, desserts that are made with milk or any other potentially lactose dish.
Take a Tolerance Test
Not everyone has the same level of lactose intolerance. In fact, everyone's degree of lactose intolerance varies. Therefore, before you undergo a complete dietary overhaul, you should undergo a tolerance test, which will permit you to still consume small amounts of milk.
Here is what you do: consume two glasses of skim milk on an empty stomach. Once you do, you will need to notice excessive gas or a so-called laxative effect within two to four hours. You may soon realize that you can handle as much as eight ounces of lactose at a time.
This means that you can still take a bite out of soft cheeses, drink a small glass of milk or add buttermilk to your pancakes (yes, we know that last one is a bit fatty).
Although you may be lactose intolerant, the severity may not be as immense as initially thought.
Millions of Canadian consumers are lactose intolerant. It may have been difficult years ago to go about shopping in a grocery store, seeking out products that do not have milk or ingredients that are laced with lactose. Today, every grocery aisle is fit for lactose intolerant and vegans alike.
Life is not over just because you can't add milk to your coffee or eat delicious coffee-flavoured yogurt. You have to ask yourself: what's more important? Your health or yummy chocolate milk? We tend to believe the former far more than that the latter.