Lactose is included in every dairy product of natural origin. Accordingly, lactose-containing foods include milk and foods and drinks made therefrom. However, many people do not tolerate lactose, they have lactose intolerance (lactose intolerance). But with some advice on what to look for in lactose intolerance, there is nothing to stand in the way of a healthy and balanced diet despite intolerance to lactose.
What are lactose-containing foods?
Lactose-containing foods should not be on the diet of sufferers. In particular, these foods include:
- milk powder
- evaporated milk
- cream cheese
- ice cream
- milk chocolate
In addition to cow's milk, the milk of other mammals such as goat or mare's milk is lactose-containing. A suitable substitute for some of these products are, for example, soymilk, soybean curd and soy-based coffee creamers. For example, vegetable margarine can be used as a substitute for butter.
Compatibility of dairy products
Also well-tolerated for people with lactose intolerance are products that have undergone an enzymatic conversion in the course of their formation and have thus degraded lactose. This means that lactic acid bacteria have already largely converted large portions of milk sugar into lactic acid. These include:
- mature cut, hard, sour milk and soft cheese
- probiotic yoghurt with bacterial lactase
- clarified butter
How much lactose is contained in a milk product depends on how it is processed. Lactose-free and therefore well-tolerated are foods with less than 0.1 gram of lactose per 100 grams of food.
Lactose content in finished products
Lactose is not only found in milk and dairy products, but also hidden in a variety of industrially produced foods. For example, in ready meals, confectionery, bread and bread products, spice mixtures, sweetener tablets, instant products, meat and sausages, lactose may be included.
When buying groceries, the list of ingredients on the packaging can tell you if milk sugar is included. If in doubt, the manufacturer can be asked for information.
Alternatives to lactose-containing milk
In the meantime, dairy products are low in milk. Other alternatives include soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk or milk from cereals such as oat or spelled milk.
"May contain traces of milk constituents"
On this note you often come across food packaging. The indication means that very small quantities of dairy products are contained in the respective product. This is relevant for allergy sufferers because even the smallest amounts can often lead to allergic reactions.
However, people with lactose intolerance may eat such foods without concern since the amount of lactose they contain is below the tolerance level.
Lactose content in medicines
Lactose may also be an additive in medications. In general, however, the amount in tablets or capsules is so low that most people with lactose intolerance tolerate these drugs without discomfort.
If you are still concerned about taking a medicine, ask your doctor for a lactose-free alternative.
Prevent calcium deficiency
In general, people with lactose intolerance must take special care to ensure that they receive enough calcium despite limited milk consumption. Because lactose contained in dairy products is an important calcium source. Alternative sources of calcium can be:
- lactose-free milk and dairy products with unchanged calcium content
- Hard or sliced cheese such as mountain cheese, Parmesan or Emmentaler
- green vegetables like broccoli, kale and spinach
- calcium-containing mineral water
- Soy, oat, rice and almond drinks