Diet for lactose intolerance

Lactose is present in every milk product of natural origin. Accordingly, foods containing lactose include  milk  and foods and drinks made from it. However, many people cannot tolerate lactose, they have  lactose intolerance  (milk sugar intolerance). But with the help of a few tips on what to look out for if you are lactose intolerant, nothing stands in the way of a healthy and balanced diet despite lactose intolerance.

What are lactose-containing foods?

Food containing lactose should not be on the menu of those affected. These foods include in particular:

  • buttermilk
  • milk powder
  • condensed milk
  • Butter
  • Quark
  • Scene
  • yogurt
  • Milk
  • cream cheese
  • ice cream
  • milk chocolate

In addition to cow’s milk, milk from other mammals such as goat’s or mare’s milk also contains lactose. Suitable substitutes for   some of these products include soy milk, soy curd, and soy-based coffee creamers. Vegetable margarine can be used as a substitute for butter.

tolerance of dairy products

Products that have undergone an enzymatic conversion in the course of their production and have thus broken down lactose are also well tolerated by people with lactose intolerance. This means that  lactic acid bacteria  have already largely converted large parts of the lactose into lactic acid. These include:

  • matured semi-hard, hard, sour milk and soft cheeses
  • probiotic yoghurt with bacterial lactase
  • clarified butter

How much lactose is contained in a milk product depends on how it is processed. Foods with less than 0.1 grams of lactose per 100 grams  of food are considered lactose-free and therefore well tolerated  .

Lactose content in finished products

Lactose is not only contained in milk and milk products, but also hidden in a large number of industrially produced foods. For example, lactose can be contained in ready meals, confectionery, bread and bread products, spice mixtures, sweetener tablets, instant products, meat and sausage products.

When shopping for groceries, the list of ingredients on the packaging can provide information as to whether lactose is contained. If in doubt, the manufacturer can also be asked for information.

Alternatives to milk containing lactose

Low-lactose milk is now available in grocery stores. Other alternatives are, for example, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk or milk made from cereals such as oat or spelled milk.

“May contain traces of milk components”

This notice is often found on food packaging. The indication means that very small amounts of milk products are contained in the respective product. This is relevant for allergy sufferers, because even the smallest amounts can often lead to allergic reactions.

However, people with lactose intolerance can consume such foods without hesitation, since the amount of lactose they contain is below the tolerance limit.

Lactose content in medicines

Lactose can also be found as an additive in medicines. Usually, however, the amount contained in tablets or capsules is so small that most people with lactose intolerance tolerate these medicines without any problems.

If you still have concerns about taking a medication, ask your doctor about a lactose-free alternative.

Prevent calcium deficiency

In general, people with lactose intolerance must make sure that they consume enough calcium despite limited milk consumption. Because the lactose contained in dairy products is an important supplier of calcium. Alternative sources of calcium can be:

  • lactose-free milk and milk products with unchanged calcium content
  • Hard or semi-hard cheese such as mountain cheese,  Parmesan  or Emmental
  • green vegetables like broccoli,  kale  , and  spinach
  • calcium mineral water
  • Soy, oat, rice and almond drinks

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