What is Lactose Intolerance?
Have a “gut reaction” (intestinal discomfort) to milk? Thirty million Americans are lactose intolerant. The “dairy” good news: If you’re lactose intolerant, you probably still can enjoy milk with your cookies.
Lactose intolerance isn’t a milk allergy. Instead the body simply doesn’t make enough of the enzyme lactase to digest lactose properly. Lactose sensitivity varies; you may be more or less sensitive than someone else.
How do you know if you’re lactose intolerant? See your doctor if you suspect a problem; symptoms could be something else.
To get milk’s many nutrients if you’re lactose intolerant, try this:
- Drink milk with food. Diluting lactose makes it easier to digest.
- Enjoy less more often. A 1⁄2-cup serving may be easier to digest than a cup.
- Opt for “whole.”Whole milk with more fat slows digestion so lactose is released gradually.
- Get “cultured.” Yogurt and buttermilk with active cultures may help digest lactose.
- Say cheese. Aged cheeses, such as Cheddar, Colby, and Swiss, may be better tolerated.
- Reduce lactose. Buy lactose-reduced milk, or use a lactosereducing tablet in any milk.