Lactose intolerance - treatment

Low-lactose or lactose-free diet

Depending on the severity of the disease, a customized, lactose-free (at most 1 gram of milk sugar per day) or low-lactose (maximum 10 grams of milk sugar per day) diet is appropriate. For many sufferers, switching to a low-lactose diet is enough. For the therapy a variety of lactose-free products are offered in supermarkets and lactase preparations from the pharmacy, so that even dairy products are better tolerated.

Lactose-containing foods

Lactose-containing foods include milk and derived products, foods and beverages. The most important are:

  • buttermilk
  • milk powder
  • evaporated milk
  • butter
  • Quark
  • cream
  • yogurt
  • whey
  • ice cream
  • chocolate
  • chocolates

But lactose is not only hidden 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. And also medicines can have the ingredient milk sugar.

When purchasing groceries, the ingredients index can provide information on whether milk sugar is included. If in doubt, the manufacturer can be asked for information.

Well tolerated foods with lactose intolerance

Soy milk, soya quark and soya-based coffee creamers are replacing some of the products. Ripened semi-hard cheese, hard, sour milk and soft cheese are generally well tolerated because lactose is largely converted to lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria.

Fermented milk products such as yoghurt, quark and kefir are often unproblematic in limited quantities.

Particularly well tolerated are probiotic yogurts that contain bacterial lactase. In the meantime, even dairy-poor milk is available in the food trade.

Sufficient calcium intake

Calcium is a critical nutrient due to limited consumption of dairy and dairy products. To ensure adequate calcium intake, it is important to meet the need for other calcium-containing foods, for example:

  • Soy milk and tofu
  • Meat, fish and eggs
  • Vegetable foods such as legumes, kale, broccoli or fennel

Also, calcium-enriched mineral water with a calcium content of over 150 milligrams per liter is recommended.

Where threatens danger?

Anyone who suffers from lactose intolerance should be extra mindful when shopping. Caution is advised when buying unpackaged baked goods, meat and fish products and delicatessen salads, where no declaration of ingredients is necessary. In addition, lactose may be included in sweetener tablets, medications and toothpaste.

The use of lactose in the food industry is also used as an additive, eg. B. as a carrier for flavors or as an emulsifier. Ingredients of food additives, however, need not be listed in the list of ingredients if they account for less than 25% of the additive, so that the level of lactose is generally not reported. However, some manufacturers attach importance to a full declaration of all ingredients or to the note "lactose-free" or "low in lactose".

Lactose content of selected foods

Food (per 100 grams)Milk sugar (grams)
evaporated milk9.6
cheese spread5.7
Drink milk4.8
whipped cream3.4
cream cheese3.3
double cream2.5
Quark, lean0.7
Camembertpresent in traces
Emmentalerpresent in traces
Gouda cheesepresent in traces
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