How to follow a lactose-free diet

How to follow a lactose-free diet


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Lactose intolerance is a frequent condition that causes digestive problems in its carriers when they use milk and milk products. The symptoms of intolerance can be easily combated and avoided by adopting a lactose-free diet, which must be adapted according to the patient’s degree of tolerance.

  • Lactose intolerance

  • Lactose-free diet

  • Lactose-free food

  • Lactose-free menus

  • Calcium consumption by lactose intolerants

Lactose intolerance

Lactose is a sugar digested thanks to the action of the enzyme lactase and broken down into one molecule of glucose and one of galactose, substances that are absorbable by the body. Lactose intolerance, therefore, is due to the patient’s lactase deficit. Intolerance causes digestive problems, such as diarrhea, bloating, constipation and abdominal pain, every time the patient comes into contact with milk and dairy products. Lactose is also present in some medications. Patients with lactose intolerance should always be attentive to the composition of products and medicines and should not hesitate to seek medical help in case of doubt.

Lactose-free diet

Under medical supervision and with an accurate diagnosis of the disease at hand, it is possible to adopt a lactose-free diet, which should be carried out in three stages. In the first phase, which lasts two weeks, the patient removes pain and other symptoms limiting the consumption of foods containing lactose. In the next phase, tolerance is tested from the progressive reintroduction of foods with lactose and the observation of the symptoms that will appear. In the third and final phase, the definitive regime it will be established by the doctor to favor tolerated foods and guarantee the supply of proteins and calcium, the main component of milk.

Lactose-free food

Some dairy products have reduced levels of lactose, such as yogurts, butter and hard-shell cheeses. Cow’s milk can be replaced by lactose-free milk, in addition to options such as soy milk, rice, coconut and almonds.

Lactose-free menus

It is important that people with lactose intolerance maintain a varied food. Some examples of lactose-free menus that can be consumed on a daily basis are spinach dumplings, eggplants with tofu, fried mushrooms, green salad, lentil soup and pasta recipes that do not use milk. In addition, basic products such as rice, beans, meats, fruits and vegetables do no harm to patients if they are not prepared with milk and dairy products.

Calcium consumption by lactose intolerants

Eliminating dairy products from the diet due to strong lactose intolerance can cause calcium deficiency. To prevent it, it is necessary to compensate for the lack of these products with other products rich in calcium, such as mineral water, nuts, green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, watercress) and fruits (orange, blackberry, currant).

Photo: © tanuha2001 – Shutterstock.com

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