It’s a question not many people ask, but they should. Because dairy foods are so nutrient dense, it’s recommended that adults consume three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy every day. But most people with lactose intolerance tend to avoid dairy completely, and eliminating dairy could mean missing out on these essential nutrients. The good news is that living with lactose intolerance doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite dairy foods.
Lactose intolerance isn’t as prevalent as it may seem. Many people self-diagnose themselves as lactose intolerant. The truth is, lactose intolerance is just one of many reasons a person could have digestive or gastrointestinal issues. If you are experiencing discomfort after eating, it’s best to visit your doctor to get to the root of the problem.
If you are lactose intolerant there are ways to incorporate dairy into your diet to make sure your body is still getting the sustenance it needs. Of course, you need to do what works best for you and your body, but here are a few tricks from the National Dairy Council on how to keep enjoying your favorite dairy foods:
Start with small amounts of low-fat or fat-free milk and increase intake slowly over the course of a few weeks.
Try lactose-free milk and other lactose-free dairy products. They’re just like normal dairy products, just without the lactose!
Blending foods with milk, like cereal or soup, could help slow digestion and give the body more time to digest milk’s lactose.
Try natural cheeses like Cheddar, Mozzarella and Swiss – these cheeses all contain less than 0.1 grams of lactose per serving
Traditional and Greek-style yogurts contain live, active cultures that help digest lactose.