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Tips For the Lactose Intolerant

How can a hot slice of ooey-gooey cheese pizza taste so good but make you feel so bad? If you're lactose intolerant, even one bite could have you racing to the bathroom. Here are some tips to help you deal with your dairy-filled world.

  • If your body can't tolerate any dairy products whatsoever, keep Lactaid pills with you at all times. Lactose intolerance is caused by a lactase deficiency, the enzyme needed to break down the lactose (milk sugar) in your food. If the lactose doesn't get broken down, it causes major bloating, gas, or diarrhea. Just pop a pill with your first bite of food containing dairy, and you're all set. If one pill doesn't offer the magic, take another.
  • A package of 60 Lactaid brand caplets costs around $15, so if you're going through three or more pills a day, this can be a big expense. Buy them in bulk and save some dough — Kirkland brand costs $16.50 for 180.
  • If you're not into popping Lactaid pills, avoiding dairy is your best bet, which means being a keen label reader. Look for words such as milk, milk powder, butter, buttermilk, cream, cheese, whey, curds, or milk solids. Hidden lactose can be found in baked goods, dressings, chips, instant soups, candies, pancake mixes, margarine, and even certain medications. If you think a food might have dairy in it, but you're not sure, don't take the chance.
  • If you're able to tolerate small amounts of dairy products, be sure to enjoy them with other nondairy foods. This helps reduce the rate at which the lactose enters your small intestine, and allows the small amount of lactase that your body produces to break down the lactose without feeling overwhelmed.
  • If possible, remove the dairy from your favorite foods. Peel the cheese off your pizza, order the baked potato but hold the sour cream, and enjoy your burger sans the slice of cheese.
  • Look for dairy products that are lactose-free. Lactaid milk is an obvious one, but some hard cheeses (like a few made by Kraft and Cabot) and some yogurts (Green Valley Organics) don't contain lactose, so check labels.
  • Look for dairy-free alternatives to your favorite foods. There are tons of dairy-free milks to pour on your cereal — not just soy or rice milk. Use olive oil or a dairy-free margarine such as Smart Balance in place of butter, and pick up some dairy-free chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Companies also make dairy-free yogurt, coffee creamer, ice cream, and cheese so you won't feel like you're missing out.
  • Don't be embarrassed. Tell everyone who needs to know that you are lactose intolerant. That way when you show up at a friend's house for dinner, they won't offer you a plate of fettuccine Alfredo.
Image Source: Thinkstock
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Join The Conversation
loveclarke loveclarke 6 years
For those of you who have to spend life avoiding things with lactose in them...you may want to look into something like Lactagen. http://lactagen.reviews-com.com/
Advah Advah 6 years
Oooh I recommend Cadbury's Buttons for the dairy-free chocolate, they're so good! Great tips Fit, thanks. :)
danni2009 danni2009 6 years
Second one is sooo true, if I just drink a cup of tea with milk in the morning I am guaranteed to be in pure agony with stomach cramping, and other tummy troubles until midday. I've started drinking green tea on a morning instead. I find the dairy substitute products pretty rank, I can just about tolerate rice milk in cereal but definitely not in tea. I prefer to 'lacto-free' cows milk. Dairy free chocolate is just awful.
Lukin Lukin 6 years
I'm lactose intolerant, but not severely... unless I eat ice cream. Other dairy products just bother my stomach if I eat them to excess, but ice cream is like eating my own death. I have no idea why.
zacatecanita zacatecanita 6 years
Thanks ffor the tips! The one thing i crave the most is Ice Cream...But i have found soy ice cream and it is very good!!!
fittipdaily fittipdaily 6 years
I avoid milk products myself. I found this great product called "mimicreme" check out the great informational article I wrote on my site.. www.fittipdaily.com This product contains nut oils so it's also safe for those who are gluten intolerant as well! Adria www.fittipdaily.com
bonniebonnie bonniebonnie 6 years
Being lactose-intolerant can be a pain. I cook with and sometimes drink lactose-free milk which tastes just fine. I also substitute soy milk. Finer and aged cheeses have very small traces of lactose in them (even creamy ones like brie!) so I am able to eat those in small amounts. And I love Smart Balance! Thanks for this article!
miss-malone miss-malone 6 years
Good tips. I'm not lactose intolerant, but I always prefer dairy free products. :)
TidalWave TidalWave 6 years
Just so you know, there is powdered milk used as filler in almost every birth control pill.
becoming-brina becoming-brina 6 years
Another great non-dairy margarine is Earth Balance, and they have an organic variety that's great! For soy cheese i'm a fan of Follow Your Heart mozzarella, and Purely Decadent has a delicious line of dairy-free ice cream. Try the mocha almond or the coconut-based, gluten free cookie dough!
ashantixoxo ashantixoxo 6 years
thanks for all the information
greatscott200 greatscott200 6 years
So I figured out after years of suffering and a colonoscopy, that I am lactose intolerant. I stopped eating dairy and I went from a pant size almost 12 to an 8 in a month and a half. I was so bloated and thought I was just fat. Amazing. I take a multivitamin, but I'm going to look into extra calcium supplements to save my bones.
Beaner Beaner 6 years
I take Lactaid pills every day because I'm a vegetarian and I need the protein from dairy. Lactose intolerance stinks.
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