Milk and milk products such as yogurt and cheese are an important source of key nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus and Vitamin D, for all people – including those who are lactose intolerant, or cannot easily digest lactose, the sugar found naturally in milk. Health and nutrition experts agree that it is difficult to get enough of these nutrients without dairy in your diet.
The good news is there are simple tips to help you enjoy dairy again. While lactose intolerance is a very individual condition, many people with lactose intolerance can still consume lactose-containing dairy foods in varying amounts or forms. These tips can help you enjoy the recommended three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods every day, without experiencing discomfort or embarrassment.
Try it. Try lactose-free milk and milk products. They are real milk products, just without the lactose.
Sip it. Start with a small amount of milk daily and increase slowly over several days or weeks to identify individual tolerance.
Stir it. Mix milk with other foods, such as soups and cereal; blend with fruit or drink milk with meals. Solid foods help slow digestion and give the body more time to digest lactose.
Slice it. Try natural cheeses such as Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella and Swiss, which are low in lactose.
Shred it. Shred your favorite natural cheese onto veggies, pastas and salads.
Spoon it. Enjoy easy-to-digest yogurt. The live and active cultures in yogurt help to digest lactose.
Health and nutrition authorities recommend individuals with lactose intolerance try to keep dairy in the diet. Dairy avoidance can have significant and unintended consequences. Dairy-poor diets will generally be deficient in many nutrients, including calcium. Deficient diets can lead to a broad spectrum of chronic diseases. Learn more about the science behind the unintended consequences of dairy avoidance, including practical solution.
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