Lactose-Free Diet Plans

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Information of the Lactose Free Diet Plan for those individuals suffering from lactose intolerance.

Lactose is commonly referred to as 'milk sugar'. 'Lact' means milk and 'ose' means sugar.

In medical terms, lactose is a disaccharide (two sugars which are linked together)which is comprised of glucose and galactose. When an individual suffers from lactose intolerance, they are incapable of digesting lactose because of a lack of the enzyme lactase.

Lactase is an intestinal enzyme which is used amid the digestive process to split the disaccharide lactose to monosaccharides which are single sugar units. The word 'mono' means one and 'saccharide' means 'sugar unit'.

How common is lactose intolerance?

As individuals age, they lose the majority of their capability to produce sufficient lactase which is necessary for the digestion of milk sugar lactose. It is estimated that about three-fourths of the people in the world are impacted by insufficient lactase enzymes.

The following is an estimate of percentages of individuals exhibiting lactose intolerance:

<15% of Northern Europeans
25% of the American Population
50% of Hispanics
60% of Inuits - which are our Alaskan and Canadian Natives
70% of Mediterranean Population
80% of African Americans & Native Americans
90% of Asian Americans

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Before setting out on a lactose-free diet, it's important to know that many individuals who suffer from lactose intolerance may not be effected by all dairy products. Therefore, it's a good idea to do a bit of testing to identify the offending foods.

Before going on this restrictive diet plan the individual should discuss such with their doctor as the Gluten Free Diet excludes many foods that contain vital nutrients needed by the body to properly function.

These symptoms are often associated with lactose intolerance:

- bloating, gas, burping
- diarrhea - sometimes directly after dairy consumption
- abdominal cramping associated with gas, bloating and diarrhea

Tips for Lactose Intolerance Individuals

The active cultures in yogurt may also be of benefit for those seeking a low lactose diet. These active cultures aid in the digestion of lactose.

- For mild bouts of lactose intolerance, consider other the counter lactase tablets. Generally, these tablets are taken with the first bite of the offending foods.

- Anyone who chooses a lactose-free diet should consider calcium supplements.

- Soy products may also offer solutions for lactose intolerance.

In Summary

If you are suffering from what you believe to be lactose intolerance and suspect that a specific daily diet which is free of lactose might improve your condition, consult with your doctor for a professional diagnosis and recommendations based on your personal symptoms and nutritional needs.

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