A Nutritional Guide for a Dairy-Free Diet
ave lactose intolerance but don’t want to miss out on a nutritious diet? The world is filled with lactose intolerant treats that not just taste great but also make up for the nutrients that foods with lactose typically offer. Incorporate lactose free foods like soy milk, almond milk, spinach, kale, seafood, and nuts to develop a good dairy free diet.
Lactose is a type of sugar that is naturally present in milk and milk products that occurs naturally. Before the body can use lactose, it must first be broken down by an enzyme called lactase. Lactose intolerance happens when a person's lactase production isn't enough to break down lactose in their diet.
This dairy-free diet guide will show you how to go dairy-free without sacrificing taste. It can be difficult to give up foods that contain lactose like milk, cheese and ice cream at first, but we hope that our dairy-free recommendations will make the transition much easier. Just keep going through this content to learn more food for lactose intolerance.
What is a dairy-free diet?
A dairy-free diet can be defined as a diet that does not contain any meal items that include dairy products. All or most dairy products, such as milk, butter, yoghurt, cheese, cream, and ice cream, are avoided in a dairy-free diet.
If you are on a rigorous dairy-free diet or have a lactose allergy or intolerance, you may need to avoid any milk-containing items, even if they're in little or trace amounts. A dairy-free diet can be extremely beneficial. Dairy products are healthy and nutritious, but there are other choices that are healthy and nutritious for individuals who need to avoid foods with lactose.
Protein, calcium, and vitamin D, which are found in dairy foods, can also be found in a variety of other meals. If you've been eating a lot of dairy, you'll need to make sure you're filling up the gaps with the right non-dairy meals to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
While many people report feeling better after eliminating dairy from their diet, dairy products are not inherently bad. Each person is affected differently by dairy. Those who can tolerate dairy do not need to exclude it from their diet; in moderation, less processed dairy products are quite healthy.
Food with lactose
Different people are affected by lactose intolerance in different ways. There’s no shortage of food with lactose in nature. It is mostly present in cow's milk, goat's milk, yoghurt, cheese, and ice cream. Bread, cereal, lunch meats, salad dressings, and baking mixes are examples of foods and beverages that contain it. You need to examine labels for ingredients such as:
- Milk, cheese, or yoghurt
- Milk solids or milk powder
- Malted milk
Here is the list of food items that are rich in lactose, and one should avoid these products if you’re lactose intolerant:
- Processed meat
- Milk chocolate
- Ice cream
- Dry milk powder
Lactose Free Foods
Lactose free foods include most fruits, vegetables, cereals, and meats. A well-planned dairy-free diet might be beneficial to your health. However, it is recommended to seek out adequate food alternatives to replace the nutrients found in dairy to avoid nutritional deficiency. If you want to go on a lactose free diet, here's a list of lactose-free food items:
- Choose soy milk- It has a plant based source and contains omega 3 fatty acid and can help support healthy muscles and organs.
- You can also try almond milk- Almond milk is low in calories, carbohydrates, and contains good amount of calcium and antioxidants, which have a positive effect on health after consumption.
- If you have a mild tolerance level for lactose, then you can try dahi (curd) or yoghurt.
- Try fermented milk products, as they have less lactose [only recommended for mild intolerance]
- Fill your plates with vegetables to balance the calcium requirement, like spinach, kale, broccoli, etc.
- You can enjoy fish, seafood and dishes prepared from it.
- Consume dark-coloured fruits like mangoes, blackberries, grapes, oranges, papayas dates etc. these fruits contains vitamins like riboflavin, folates [papaya and oranges], bananas have phosphorus all together it can help to meet nutritional requirements to some extent.
- Vegetable and meat stock are good options to balance nutrients if you’re on a lactose-free diet.
- Nuts- They are good plant-based protein sources for those who do not want to or can not consume animal protein . It helps in building muscles and bone
- Legumes and beans- They are low glycemic sources of complex carbohydrates and rich in protein, which makes them a suitable alternative for those who need to avoid foods with lactose.
Managing lactose in your diet is not that difficult. You just need proper guidance from health experts like dietitians and doctors. Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs contain a small quantity of lactose.
Discuss the amount of lactose in your medications with your doctor, especially if you can't handle even little doses of lactose. Keep in mind that dairy elements can be found in processed foods like breaded meat and shellfish. You can include lactose intolerant meal options in your diet like a banana milkshake, fruit custard etc. When feasible, choose unprocessed meals, and if you must choose processed goods, read labels carefully.