More than 60 percent of the global population will at some time or the other be diagnosed as being lactose-intolerant. Every individual at some point will be lactose-intolerant owing to various conditions of sickness or aging faced by the body. Most of us will pass off symptoms of intolerance as being just a random case of gas or bloating when it could actually be contributing to lactose intolerance. Dairy products contain an enzyme called lactase which is responsible for breaking down the sugar lactose. As we age our bodies tend to produce less and less of this enzyme. However, there are those who do not produce this enzyme at all. For those individuals, it is imperative to watch what they eat as a build-up of the lactose molecule in the intestine could lead to complications. With that said there are still some dairy foods that lactose-intolerant individuals can consume that will not affect them. Read on to understand more about these food items.
Cheese That Has Been Aged
If you are a dairy lover and being lactose-intolerant has put a serious damper on your food habits, you are probably wondering what else you can eat apart from dairy free yoghurt. Well, believe it or not, you can eat cheese. However, it has to be the kind that has been aged. The cheeses that are soft and break easily are those that have not been aged. These include cheeses like the brie and mozzarella. When cheese is aged, enzymes in the milk used to make the cheese are being broken down. Ultimately at the end of the aging process, there is very little lactose remaining in the cheese. Aged cheese is much harder like Parmesan and Swiss cheeses. So you can still have your mac and cheese, just with a different cheese.
Yogurt with Active Cultures
You´ve probably heard that yogurt is good for you because of the active bacteria or the good bacteria that helps digestion. Well, it is that very same bacteria that will help to cut down the lactose sugar in yogurt making it more palatable for those who have lactose issues. The more bacteria in the yogurt the more of the lactose sugar is consumed. Yogurt varieties that have large amounts of active bacteria are very sour or tart to taste. The tart yogurts make for really good salad dressings. So you do not have to worry about staying away from yogurt-based salad dressings.
Incorporating Quark into Your Dishes
Quark is a type of dairy by-product that is produced when sour milk is heated. The by-product is similar to small lumps of cheese. The best thing about quark is that it is packed with active bacteria that feeds on lactose. The amount of bacteria is much more than what you would find in say, Greek yogurt. Quark can be used to give a creamy texture to dishes and can be used as a substitute for cheese like Riccota.
If you have been diagnosed as being lactose-intolerant, don´t worry it is not the end of the world. You can begin exploring alternatives and start with the list above.