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Lactose Free Guide

What is it?

If you have been advised to move to a lactose free diet it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an allergy or a medical intolerance, it may simply mean that your body isn’t functioning optimally on lactose or dairy at this present point in time. This may change as your health improves over the course of your care with us.

Lactose is the sugar found in dairy products. If you are advised to have a lactose free diet this means that you are sensitive to the sugar found in dairy products. Lactase is the enzyme needed to break down lactose but a large proportion of people genetically do not make this enzyme efficiently. Sometimes this enzyme is not produced efficiently due to damage within the gut itself and as the gut becomes healthier, the production of this enzyme may improve. Lactose, being a sugar, can also feed opportunistic flora such as candida in the gut which can further disrupt the microbial balance.

If lactose is the problem you need to avoid dairy milk and milk product such as butter, yoghurt and milk powder. Traditionally made hard cheese and soft ripened cheeses often create less reaction than the equivalent amount of milk because the processes involved reduce the lactose content, so may be okay for some people, as may fermented milk (Kefir) and cultured butter.

Lactose (also present when labels state lactoserum, whey, milk solids and modified milk ingredients) can also be found in foods such as processed meat, gravy stock powder, margarines, potato chips and breakfast cereals.

Alternatives

There are many alternatives to lactose such as nut milk, rice milk, oat milk, coconut milk, coconut oil for cooking/baking and lactose free dairy milk; however, lactose free milk which is still made from dairy contains glucose and galactose so please discuss with your practitioner before adopting this into your lactose free diet.

When eating out it, is often possible for dairy free options to be made available if the kitchen is informed.