Lactose intolerance occurs because of the body’s inability to digest the naturally occurring lactose, a milk carbohydrate (aka the sugar found in milk and milk products). It’s important to note that this is different from a milk allergy – a milk allergy is the body’s immune system response to milk protein.

People with a milk allergy must avoid all milk products to avoid a reaction, but a person with lactose intolerance can still consume milk and dairy products, though in limited amounts.

The National Dairy Council offers these tips to help to minimize symptoms:

n Try it: opt for lactose-free products, which provide the same nutrients as dairy foods, but without lactose.

n Sip it: introduce dairy slowly; start with ¼ cup milk and gradually increase.

n Stir it: mix milk with food; don’t consume milk and other dairy foods on their own; always combine with other foods.

n Slice/shred it: choose aged cheeses; add a slice to sandwiches or shred on veggies.

n Spoon it: try yogurt.

Current research indicates that most individuals with lactose intolerance can still handle the amount of lactose found in one cup of milk (about 12 grams) with minor to no symptoms. Smaller amounts (less than 6 grams per serving) are unlikely to result in any symptoms.

REDUCED LACTOSE YOGURT PUDDING

Ingredients

1 c nonfat plain yogurt

1 c lactose-free fat-free milk

1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix

Directions

Mix all ingredients together. Beat until smooth and thickened. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with fresh or canned fruit.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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