This week was World Milk Day; a day to celebrate and raise the awareness of dairy’s part in healthy diets. (June 1)
According to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, in the UK we are drinking 50% less milk than we were in 1974. Many people are moving away to more plant- based milks.
This may not be out of choice however as not everyone can drink diary milk. In the UK, between one and two people out of every ten have lactose intolerance.
At Creative Nature we know a lot about this – as our products have to be free from the top 14 allergens. Milk features high on the list.
It’s estimated that 65 per cent of the human population as a reduced ability to digest lactose. That’s a big number.
What is lactose intolerance?
To help the body digest lactose, it produces a substance called lactase. This helps to break down the lactose so that it can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
People with lactose intolerance don’t create enough lactase; therefore the lactose stays in the digestive system and ferments. This can cause stomach cramps, aches, bloating, and diarrhoea and even make you sick.
On some occasions babies can grow out of their intolerance, but many people have to change their diet and remove dairy and lactose products completely.
Foods to avoid if you are lactose intolerant:
Foods that contain milk:
- milk – cows, goats, and sheep
- sour cream
- cottage cheese
- butter flavouring
- butter fat
- butter oil
- ice cream
Some other foods and drinks also include lactose:
- salad cream, salad dressing and mayonnaise
- boiled sweets
- some types of bread and other baked goods
- some breakfast cereals
- some packets of mixes to make pancakes and biscuits
- instant potatoes and instant soup
- some process meats such as sliced ham
Instead, look for lactose-free foods, drink or alternatives:
- Soya yoghurts and cheeses
- Coconut-based yoghurts and cheeses
- Almond milk, yoghurts and cheeses
- Rice milk
- Oat milk
- Hazelnut milk
- Coconut milk
- Foods with the ‘dairy-free’ or ‘suitable for vegans’ signs
- Carob bars
These products contain the same vitamins and minerals as normal dairy products, but they will often include lactase to aid digestion.
Many supermarkets now have their own range of ‘free-from’ products, which makes shopping much easier for lactose intolerant sufferers. You’ll find our products in Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury for example.
Beware of labelling on foods:
Sometimes labels don’t contain the word lactose, so you need to check for milk, whey, curds, milk products such as cheese, butter and cream.
On the other hand, some products sound as though they do contain lactose ingredients, but don’t. Products such as lactic acid, sodium lactate and cocoa butter. You don’t need to avoid these if you are on a lactose free diet.
Are you getting enough calcium?
We were all taught at school that calcium is good for us, so how do you get yours if you are unable to eat dairy products? Are you getting enough calcium in your diet?
Why is calcium important to our diet; because it helps build strong bones and teeth, ensures that blood clots normally and regulates muscle contractions.
You need to find your sources of calcium in other foods, if you are on a lactose –free diet. These could include:
- Leafy greens – kale, broccoli, cabbage and okra
- Soya beans
- Bread and anything made with fortified flour
- Fish containing edible bones ie. Sardines, salmon and pilchards.
If you are lactose intolerant, the great thing about Creative Nature’s cake, bread and muffin baking mixes and products is, that they are all dairy free, safe to eat and delicious. Enjoy.