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You may have noticed that some children or adults start vomiting as soon as they drink milk. Parents often feel that their child is doing this under the pretext of not wanting to drink milk. In some circumstances, though, this isn’t true. Some people suffer from lactose intolerance, which means non-digestion of lactose present in milk. Not only drinking milk but consuming other food items prepared from milk such as curd, cheese and cream can make these people sick. If you are unaware of the word lactose, then the following article will explain what it is and which food item it is present in.

  1. What is lactose and what is it made of?
  2. Which foods contain lactose and in what quantity
  3. Foods containing small amounts of lactose
  4. Health benefits of lactose
  5. Sidee effects of lactose
  6. Healthy alternatives to dairy products
Doctors for Lactose

Lactose is a type of disaccharide, also known as double sugar or bios. It is made up of galactose and glucose. It is an element found in milk or dairy products and is present as a natural sugar. Milk contains about 2.8% lactose. It is because of lactose that milk has a mildly sweet taste. Also, it is a water-soluble and non-hygroscopic solid substance. Some people have trouble digesting lactose, due to which they start experiencing nausea and vomiting after consuming milk or other dairy products. This problem is called lactose intolerance.

(Read more: Milk allergy)

Dairy products made from milk contain lactose, such as:

  • 225 grams of cow's milk contains about 12 grams of lactose.
  • 200 to 225 grams of low-fat plain yogurt contains 12 to 16 grams of lactose.
  • 40 to 50 grams of cheese can contain about 1 gram of lactose.
  • Half a cup of cottage cheese can contain up to 5 grams of lactose.
  • Half a cup of ice cream can contain about 14 grams of lactose.

The following food items contain small amounts of lactose in them:

  • Breads and other baked goods
  • Milk chocolate and some candies
  • Salad dressings and sausages
  • Instant potato, soup, rice and noodles
  • Some breakfast cereals
  • Salad creams and custard
  • Dishes and snacks prepared with paneer
  • Biscuits, pancakes and cookies
  • Boiled sweets
  • Some processed meats such as sliced ​​ham
  • Margarine and butter
  • Sugar, beets, peas, lima beans
  • Some coffee creamers

(Read more: Balanced diet)

Benefits of lactose for adults

While there is limited research on its health benefits, some studies suggest that lactose may have a prebiotic effect in some adults - meaning it may stimulate the growth and/or activity of certain 'good' bacteria in the gut.

Benefits of lactose for babies

Lactose can be quite beneficial for the health of babies. Human breast milk contains about 7.2% lactose. This is very important for breastfed babies as it gives them half the energy they require.

The lactose present in human breast milk is very good for the digestive system of babies as it benefits the growth of the microorganisms living in the digestive system. Not only this, it helps in better absorption of calcium.

(Read more: Benefits of breastfeeding)

Some people may suffer from lactose intolerance and be unable to consume items with lactose without getting sick. If you have lactose intolerance, then you may experience symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas, nausea and vomiting after consuming lactose. Additionally, some people may also have problems like headaches, fatigue and eczema due to this.

(Read more: Home remedies for eczema)

Some healthy alternatives to dairy products are as follows:

  • Instead of lactose-containing milk, you can consume lactose-free cow's milk, oats milk, soy milk, coconut milk or hemp milk.
  • Similarly, for curd, you have the option of replacing it with coconut yogurt. It also proves to be very beneficial for health.
  • You can use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter.
  • Instead of cheese made from milk, you can use cheese prepared from cashew nuts.
  • Apart from this, peanut butter is also a better option for you.
Dt. Akanksha Mishra

Dt. Akanksha Mishra

Nutritionist
8 Years of Experience

Surbhi Singh

Surbhi Singh

Nutritionist
22 Years of Experience

Dr. Avtar Singh Kochar

Dr. Avtar Singh Kochar

Nutritionist
20 Years of Experience

Dr. priyamwada

Dr. priyamwada

Nutritionist
7 Years of Experience

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