I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for National Dairy Council and the LACTAID® Brand about lactose intolerance. I received product coupons from the LACTAID® Brand to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Somewhere around my 50th birthday I noticed certain foods that had never been a problem, were now starting to create uncomfortable symptoms for me. Sadly, there were some of my favorite foods – cheese, ice cream, and some brands of yogurt. At first I shrugged it off as over indulgence, but it wasn’t long before I realized that I was having more than just discomfort.
In fact, after one horrible night spent suffering in pain every bit as difficult as the labor of childbirth, I vowed never to eat dairy again. Of course, my resolve didn’t last long. These foods are what keep me a vegetarian and not a vegan. But every time I indulged, I felt ill afterwards.
National Dairy Council – Lactose Intolerance & Nutrition
I’m not alone in my lactose intolerance. The National Dairy Council estimates that there are 30-50 million American who believe they are intolerant (most are self-diagnosed). The National Dairy Council says most sufferers experience digestive issues like bloating, gas, and diarrhea after eating foods with lactose. Simply avoiding the foods should stop the symptoms.
But cutting out dairy foods could cause other issues. The National Dairy Council reminds lactose-intolerant folks that by cutting out dairy, they could be missing out the vitamins and nutrients they provide. These include protein, calcium, and Vitamins A and D. Calcium is important for strong bones, which is especially important for women of all ages, and it helps keep our nervous systems healthy. It’s helped in this mission by the phosphorus and Vitamin D that’s also included in milk (source: Unintended Consequences of Dairy Avoidance and infographic: Lactose-Free Milk, It Still Does a Body Good).
What should you do if you suspect you have a lactose intolerance?
Think the cause of your tummy troubles could be a sign that you suffer from lactose intolerance? There is a test your doctor can perform, but for most people that’s not necessary. Use the National Dairy Council’s Food Journal to track your daily food intake and share your findings with your doctor. Your doctor will likely suggest adding foods back one at a time and just a small amount until you find your limit (consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis first). I found I can eat a small amount of hard cheese (like cheddar) and certain brands of yogurt with no problem. But ice cream causes excruciating pain.
Find out more about lactose intolerance at the National Dairy Council’s website and download their free Lactose Intolerant? 5 Things You Need to Know infographic.
You can also try a lactose-free product like LACTAID® Milk so that you get the taste you love without the lactose your body doesn’t.
Lactose Intolerance –Great Tasting Choices
I’ve never been much of a milk drinker and over the last few year have preferred soy milk, but one thing milk does better is ice cream. I’ve yet to find a soy ice cream that can rival good old-fashioned, real cream, ice cream. Oddly, I never used to eat ice cream more than a few times a year; however, now that I can’t have it, I seem to want it more often.
We’re having a picnic this week where we’ll be making homemade ice-cream with heavy cream – yum. I was feeling a little blue thinking about what I’ll be missing out on. I know LACTAID® makes lactose-free ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, cookies & cream, strawberry & cream, and butter pecan), but it’s not vegetarian, so I had to come up with something else to satisfy myself while I watch everyone else enjoy their sweet treat.
What I decided to do was make a smoothie that was similar to a milkshake but filled with fresh fruit (though you could use frozen as well) and I used fat-free LACTAID® Milk for the base so that I could enjoy it pain-free.
Lactose-Free Recipes: Fruit Milk Shake
- 2 cups LACTAID Milk, divided
- 1 cup fruit (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tsp Agave or Honey (optional)
- About 1 hour before serving, pour 1 cup LACTAID milk into an ice tray (small cubes freeze faster and are easier to blend). Freeze for about 1 hour.
- Place the frozen milk into a blender cup, add fruit, milk, and sweetener if desired.
- Blend until incorporated.
- Serve immediately and garnish with fresh fruit if desired.
I will be trying to make my own LACTAID® ice milk soon with the remaining LACTAID®Calcium Enriched Fat Free Milk I have on hand. Sadly I have not been able to locate the LACTAID® Calcium Enriched Whole Milk near me or I’d use it and make an ice cream instead of ice milk. But until then, this light and refreshing fruit smoothie shake will be just the sweet treat I need and more importantly, I haven’t had any digestive issues with it whatsoever.
LACTAID® milk can be used just like regular dairy milk in your favorite recipes or by the glass and they can be found in the refrigerator or freezer section of grocery stores throughout the US. Find out more online at Lactaid.com or on their Facebook page.
One US reader will receive coupons for a full-size LACTAID® Milk. If you’d like to be considered, comment below with which LACTAID® Milk you’d most like to try. One person will be randomly selected from all those interested. Winner’s mailing address must be received by June 12, 2014.