Trouble digesting dairy?
When it comes to lactose intolerance, the percentage of those affected can be quite high. In fact, depending on your genetic background, you may have up to a 90 percent chance of lacking the lactase enzyme that allows adults to consume dairy products containing the milk sugar lactose. Lactose intolerance is also a very individual condition and people often tolerate varying amounts of lactose. What does this mean? The good news is it means there can be many solutions that can help people still enjoy the recommended three servings of milk and milk products a day!
Why is this important?
Low-fat and fat-free dairy products contain nine essential nutrients, specifically three of the nutrients of concern for Americans (calcium, vitamin D and potassium). If you avoid dairy foods because you have trouble digesting them, it could mean you’re not getting enough of these essential nutrients as well as the great taste dairy can bring to meals. Plus, consumption of dairy foods has been associated with a decreased risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and with lower blood pressure. In addition, dairy products may have a positive impact on bone health, weight management (when included in a reduced-calorie, higher protein diet), improved nutrient intake and diet quality.
Many people eliminate dairy from their diet because they don’t know what foods DO work for them, but the truth is there are all kinds of solutions, tips and tricks.
7 ways to start adding dairy back into your diet.
Our friends at Dairy Good suggest using the acronym LACTOSE to start enjoying dairy again:
- Look for Hiland Dairy Lactose Free Milk. It is real milk with the lactose sugar already broken down so it should reduce unwanted gastrointestinal issues.
- Add natural cheeses to your meals and snacks. Cheeses like Hiland Dairy Cheddar Cheese, Colby Jack Cheese and Monterey Jack Cheese contain minimal lactose and provide a great way to get in a serving of dairy.
- Cook with it. Using dairy in recipes is a great way to get in its essential nutrients. For example, you can substitute Hiland Dairy Greek Plain Yogurt or Hiland Dairy Sour Cream for ingredients like mayonnaise or use Hiland Dairy Lactose Free Milk in baking, on hot cereals like oatmeal or in soups.
- Top veggies with it. Sprinkling a serving of grated, low-fat natural Hiland Dairy Cheese on your veggies adds protein, calcium and a scrumptious taste.
- Optimize your workout with dairy! Low-fat and fat-free dairy foods are a great source of high-quality protein, which can help you refuel post-workout. Mix Hiland Dairy Lactose Free Milk in a shake or make a parfait with Hiland Dairy Yogurt and honey to replenish and rebuild!
- Scoop up a serving of Hiland Dairy Yogurt. Though it contains lactose, yogurt is also full of good bacteria (e.g., live and active cultures) which helps you digest the lactose making it easier to tolerate.
- Experiment with regular dairy foods. Introducing dairy slowly can help your body gradually begin to tolerate it little by little.
Don’t let lactose keep you from eating dairy and benefiting from all the nutrients it has to offer. Instead, use the LACTOSE solutions to enjoy dairy again!
We want to hear from you!
Do you have other tips on how to enjoy the benefits and taste of dairy products that don’t aggravate your lactose intolerance? Tell us in the comments below!