So many delicious foods come from milk: cheese, ice cream, yogurt…And dairy is full of calcium, which we all know from the old ads help grow strong bones and teeth. But over one third of Americans is lactose intolerant.
Lactose is the sugar present in milk. The body uses the enzyme lactase to break down this sugar so it can be absorbed. People with lactose intolerance don’t produce enough lactase. With a low level of lactase, your body can still digest dairy, but these symptoms may occur within 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating or drinking dairy products:
- Upset stomach
If you have lactose intolerance, don’t worry – you don’t have to give up milk and cheese completely. There are lactose-free options for milk and cheese at the grocery store. You can also take over-the-counter supplements like Lactaid before eating dairy – they help break down the milk sugars your body can’t. If you decide to cut out dairy entirely, you can substitute almonds, tofu, and soy milk into your diet to get calcium and vitamin D.
If you think you might have lactose intolerance, talk to your primary care physician.
Content by Lockton Dunning Benefits with info from https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/digestive-diseases-lactose-intolerance