Lactose Free Diet Menu – Top 10 Substitutes for Dairy Lovers!
Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar that is found in dairy and milk products. Some people have a difficult time digesting this sugar and unpleasant symptoms can result when it is incorporated into the diet. There are varying degrees of intolerance to lactose. Some people are fine ingesting small amounts, while others must adhere to a strict and uncompromised lactose free diet.
Not doing so can have unfortunate results. One of the most common symptoms is excessive flatulence. The gas results from the poor digestion or lack of digestion in the large intestine of the sugar, and other uncomfortable symptoms can accompany the excessive flatulence, or be a result of it. Pain in the abdomen and stomach bloating can occur individually or along with gassiness in response to lactose intake. These symptoms can also be attributed to other gastrological effects of dairy intolerance, such as constipation.
Lactose intolerance treatment depends on the severity of the intolerance as well as the balance of the diet. Products are available that can help make digesting lactose easier for those that choose to continue eating some dairy, and they are available over the counter. Many times, these will be used as therapy before dairy products are consumed. Additionally, calcium supplements may incorporated into lactose intolerance treatment in order to prevent potential conditions like osteoporosis from a dairy devoid calcium deficiency. However, the core of lactose intolerance treatment is most often a lactose free diet where no dairy is consumed or it is consumed in very small amounts only.
Limiting a diet for lactose intolerance sufferers used to be much more challenging. However, sensitivity to digesting lactose is actually incredibly common. Where specialized milk for lactose intolerant people used to be one of few grocery offerings for sufferers, now store shelves carry a much bigger variety of lactose intolerance foods. All sorts of cheeses, yogurts and even eggs can be found to incorporate into a lactose free diet.
Thus in general, dieting sans lactose has become much less of a burden. And, with an increasing awareness for lactose intolerance, it is much easier to find lactose free recipes that are easy to incorporate into daily life. Even lactose free desserts are simple and easy to craft so that sufferers may enjoy all the foods that they love. Baking, cooking and even candy making are possible with lactose friendly recipes and an ever growing availability of lactose product substitutes. We have compiled the top 10 dairy alternative products that are a great addition to any lactose free diet to make skipping the milk not worth a second thought.
1. Almond Milk: Boasting a unique flavor and a desirable nutritional profile, almond milk is a great replacement for cow’s milk. It is normally made with water, cane juice and of course, almonds. Loaded with potassium and vitamins, it is a great option for those that are missing out milk. It is also great for baking and replacing cow’s milk in baked goods.
2. Soy Cheese: Of all the lactose intolerance foods to avoid, cheese is one that many sufferers truly miss. Alternatives did not start out great, but are really coming along in terms of capturing the texture and flavor of cheese made from cow’s milk. Soy cheese that is made with casein is one of the better options to pick for a lactose free diet, because it typically melts better than other cheese substitutes.
3. Non Dairy Coffee Creamer: Half and half from the refrigerated store section adds creamy flavor to the morning cup of coffee. However, for the lactose intolerant individual, it adds nothing more than a day of unpleasant symptoms. Non dairy powdered creamer is surprisingly similar to its partial milk relative and is quite close in taste.
4. Lactose Free Eggs: Eggs are a great way to start the day, but lactose intolerant people often miss out on a sunshiny, day starting egg breakfast. Lactose free eggs serve to bridge this divide and scramble up quite nicely. Soy milk can be used for the cream component for light and fluffy scrambled eggs.
5. Yogurt: Sure, yogurt is certainly not lactose free or a very good choice for a lactose free diet. However, some types of yogurt may not be completely off limits for sufferers. Yogurt with live and active cultures (it must say this on the label) are often easier for lactose intolerant people to digest, because the live bacteria assists with the process.
6. Lactose Free Ice Cream: Ice cream has long taunted the lactose intolerant with its creamy, milk based formulation. However major brands like Breyer’s are cranking out half gallons of their signature frozen dessert sans lactose, and the taste and texture are surprisingly familiar.
7. Soy Milk: Soy milk is likely the most traditional and popular alternative to cow’s milk. It is not identical in terms of flavor and consistency, but more than adequate for most people looking to douse their morning cereal or reach their daily calcium intake. Bear in mind however that while soy milk is great for lactose intolerance sufferers, it is useless for anyone with a milk allergy and a reaction is still likely to take place.
8. Hard Cheeses: Different types of cheese have different types of lactose, and with regards lactose free cheeses, options are still limited with the aforementioned soy option being one of the best. However, a substitution for lactose packed cheese may be possible with some hard cheeses that contain much less lactose. Examples include blue cheese, parmesan and swiss. In small amounts, they are much less likely to cause intolerance symptoms than their creamy counterparts.
9. Dressing Alternatives: Salad dressing is considered a hidden source of lactose, and those who don’t know it may be setting themselves up for unpleasant reactions. Consider a simple oil and vinegar dressing instead spiked with a little lemon.
10. Sherbet: Surprisingly enough, there is lactose in sherbet, although many people are not aware of it. However, it is still thought of as a low lactose food. Sufferers that are able to withstand small amounts of lactose may find that sherbet is a suitable substitute for ice cream and some dessert options on a lactose free diet.