Health Tips: 5 Low-Lactose Dairy Products
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Lactose intolerant people frequently avoid dairy products in order to avoid unpleasant, inconvenient, or embarrassing side effects. However, not all dairy products contain a lot of lactose. You may be able to consume some low-lactose meals depending on the severity of your lactose sensitivity. Lactose intolerance is a frequent digestive condition. In fact, it affects around 65% of the world's population. It's interesting to note that it's most widespread in Asia and South America, but far less common in sections of the Western world like North America, Europe, and Australia.

Those who have it lack an enzyme called lactase, which is present in the gut. Lactase is required for the breakdown of lactose, the primary sugar present in milk. Lactose can pass through the gut undigested if lactase is not present, causing unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, discomfort, gas, bloating, and diarrhoea. People with this illness may avoid foods containing lactose, such as dairy products, out of fear of acquiring these symptoms. This isn't always essential, because not all dairy items contain enough lactose to cause issues for persons who are lactose intolerant.

1. Hard Cheese

Cheese is manufactured by infusing bacteria or acid into milk and then separating the resulting cheese curds from the whey. Because lactose in milk is contained in the whey, a large portion of it is eliminated when cheese is created. However, the amount contained in cheese varies, and the cheeses with the lowest quantities have matured the longest. This is due to the ability of the bacteria in cheese to break down some of the residual lactose, decreasing its content. The longer a cheese is matured, the more lactose the bacteria present is able to eliminate.

Low-lactose cheeses include Parmesan, Swiss, and cheddar. Lactose intolerant people can often tolerate moderate amounts of these cheeses. Cheeses manufactured from sheep's milk, such as pecorinos, are naturally lower in lactose since sheep's milk contains less lactose than cow's milk. Lactose-rich cheeses include cheese spreads, soft cheeses such as Brie or Camembert, cottage cheese, and mozzarella. Even higher lactose cheeses may not cause discomfort in little amounts.

2. Low-Lactose Protein Powders

Those who are lactose intolerant may have difficulty selecting a protein powder. Protein powders are often manufactured from the proteins found in milk whey, the lactose-containing liquid component of milk. However, depending on how the whey is processed, the amount of lactose included in whey protein powders might vary.

Whey Concentrate- includes up to 85% protein and a trace of lactose.

Whey Isolate- has a higher protein concentration and less lactose than whey protein concentrate.

Whey Hydrolysate- this powder includes the same amount of lactose as whey concentrate, but some of the proteins in it have already been partially broken down.

3. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented beverage originally created by fermenting animal milk with "kefir grains." Kefir grains, like yoghurt, contain living cultures of bacteria that aid in the breakdown and digestion of lactose in milk. This suggests that when consumed in moderation, kefir may be better tolerated by persons with lactose intolerance.

4. Probiotic Yoghurt

Yoghurt is generally considered easier to digest than milk for people who are lactose intolerant. This is because most yoghurts contain living bacteria that can assist break down lactose, reducing the amount of lactose your body must digest on its own. For example, one of the research included in a 2014 review of lactose digestion papers revealed that when lactose intolerant patients ate yoghurt, their digestive systems retained 60% less undigested lactose than when they ate the same amount of milk. According to the same study, yoghurt produced fewer symptoms, with just 20% of patients experiencing digestive trouble after eating the yoghurt, compared to 80% who experienced difficulty after drinking the milk.

Look for yoghurts that are branded "probiotic," which means they include live cultures of beneficial bacteria. Pasteurized yoghurt, which destroys the bacteria, may not be well tolerated. Furthermore, full-fat and strained yoghurts, such as Greek and Greek-style yoghurt, may be an even better choice for persons who are lactose intolerant. This is due to the fact that full-fat yoghurts have more fat and less lactose-laden whey than low-fat yoghurts. During the manufacturing process, Greek and Greek-style yoghurts are strained. This removes even more whey, naturally lowering the lactose content.

5. Low-Lactose Butter

The solid fat and liquid components of cream or milk are separated to make butter, a high-fat dairy product. Because the liquid half of milk, which contains all of the lactose, is eliminated during processing, the final product is around 80% fat. This signifies that butter has a very low lactose level. In reality, 3.5 oz (100 g) of butter has only 0.1 g of lactose. Even if you have an intolerance, levels this low are unlikely to create difficulties. Lactose levels in fermented milk products and clarified butter products, such as ghee, are lower than in ordinary butter. So, unless you have a compelling reason to avoid butter or require a significant quantity, skip the dairy-free spread.