Have You Ever Wondered 105

  • if goat milk is a good substitute for cow milk for someone with lactose intolerance or with a milk allergy? Goat milk has slightly less lactose: 9 grams of lactose per cup, compared with 11 grams of lactose in one cup of cow milk. For a milk allergy, the protein in goat milk is similar to that of cow milk; it's not a safe alternative.
  • if a nondairy creamer can replace milk for someone who's lactose-intolerant? How about nonfat dry milk? No. Nondairy creamers may contain lactose. Check the label. The nutrient content of the creamer and the milk is different. In a nondairy creamer, the protein quality and the amounts of calcium and vitamins A and C are lower than in milk. Regarding nonfat dry milk, remember that fat, not lactose, has been removed from milk. . . . if a/B milk offers unique health benefits? Milk with added a/B cultures (acidophilus and bifidobacteria cultures) is similar to the milk it's made from. Although research isn't conclusive, these cultures may help improve lactose digestion, promote healthy bacteria in the GI tract, and help lower blood pressure.
  • Choose calcium-rich foods that are naturally lower in lactose, such as aged cheese. When cheese is made, curds (or solids) are separated from the whey (or watery liquid); most lactose is in the whey. Aged cheeses such as Swiss, colby, Parmesan, and Cheddar lose most of their lactose during processing and aging. Much of the lactose is removed with the whey.
  • Try yogurt and buttermilk with active cultures. Their "friendly" bacteria help digest the lactose. Not all cultured dairy foods contain live cultures. Look for the National Yogurt Association's seal "Live and Active Cultures" on the yogurt carton.
  • Opt for whole-milk dairy products. Their higher fat content may help to slow the rate of digestion, allowing a gradual release of lactose. Then in your overall food choices, choose other foods with less fat.
  • Even if you're sensitive to lactose, include a variety of calcium-rich foods in your diet every day. In addition to dairy foods, enjoy these other calcium sources: dark-green leafy vegetables; calcium-fortified products such as juice, bread, and cereal; and canned sardines and salmon with bones. For canned fish you need to eat the bones to get the calcium!
  • Check labels for ingredients that may indicate lactose. See "Lactose in Food: Which 'Whey'?"
  • Don't be fooled by lactobacillus or sweet aci-dophilus milks. Most are no lower in lactose. They're tolerated about the same as other forms of milk.

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