Lactose free yogurt: Does Greek Yogurt Cause Lactose Intolerance?
Do you know that milk has a natural sugar? Yes, milk contains sugar as well. The milk sugar is known as “Lactose”. Although, the term is probably familiar with you, I will try to explain several other facts about lactose. Today, my write-up will be covering lactose free yogurt and its benefits mainly, lactose free Greek yogurt, foods with lactose, does yogurt contain lactose, lactose free foods, does greek yogurt have lactose? and some other interesting facts as well. Moreover, I will be focusing on lactose intolerance (perhaps a new thing for you) and I will try to provide you with a list of lactose free diet that will help you if you are suffering from lactose intolerance. So, let us move on.
What is lactose?
Basically, lactose is milk sugar and it is a disaccharide. A disaccharide is an element which is composed of two sugar compounds. Lactose consists of both glucose and galactose, which are two simple sugars. Lactose covers almost the 2-8 percent of the milk by weight. Lactose has a widespread use in food industries. Its characteristic blend flavor makes it as a stabilizer component in aromatic products. In addition to that, it has a higher use in pharmaceutical industries as well.
Before going to discuss lactose intolerance, I will try to let you know something about your digestion. So, in that case, when you drink milk, it needs to be digested the sugar in the milk. As I said earlier that, the milk sugar is called lactose, there is an enzyme named “lactase” secreted by your intestine, which helps to digest that lactose. The function of the enzyme “lactase” includes the breakdown of complex disaccharide into simple sugars. Therefore, lactase converts the milk lactose into glucose and galactose in order to aid your digestion. Now, what is lactose intolerance? To answer that, when your intestine does not produce sufficient amount of lactase enzyme, your stomach will may not properly digest the lactose which you got by drinking milk. Therefore, the insufficient amount of lactase enzyme producing, results to lactose intolerance. I will show the symptoms of lactose intolerance later on. So, if you are a person of lactose intolerance, your doctor will probably suggest you to consume lactose free foods. I will suggest you to eat yogurt which is lactose free and Greek yogurt lactose free will be the best option for you, is yogurt really good for you the answer my surprise you!!
Lactose intolerance and milk allergy
People can often become confused with milk allergy and lactose intolerance. But, they are totally different. Allergic reactions are specific immune responses; a person can be allergic to certain foods such as, milk, milk products, prawn, some vegetables such as, brinjal, beans, etc. On the other hand, lactose intolerance is a digestive problem where digestion of lactose is being interrupted due to the lacking of lactase enzyme.
Lactose free (Yogurt and Greek yogurt)
There are numerous number of dairy food products available in the market. These products include yogurt, cheese, etc. If you have lactose intolerance, you need to know the differences between regular and lactose free foods. Yogurt is a good option as a lactose free food. Now, I will explain about yogurt and Greek yogurt lactose free.
Lactose free yogurt
This type of yogurt can be an excellent choice for your breakfast. Because, lactose-free contains essential nutrition’s and less amount of lactose. If you face problem by consuming milk products, then you can consult with your doctor about consuming lactose free yogurt.
Lactose free Greek yogurt, Does greek yogurt have lactose?
Greek yogurts contain lactose as well, but now days; it has become much famous as a dairy product. People with healthy stomach for lactose digestion, can consume much amount of Greek yogurt. On the other hand, in case of people with lactose intolerance, it needs to be choosier. If you are highly lactose intolerant, then you need not to be worried at all. There are several brands of yogurt, which are completely lactose-free. You may think about that, why Greek yogurt is unique? Then, let me show you.
Does Greek yogurt contain lactose, What researches say?
Yogurt contain lactose and greek yogurt contain less lactose than other dairy products. according to the Chobani.com, a national brand of Greek yogurt. AskDrSears.com explains that yogurt contains live and active culture (known asprobiotic) that convert the lactose into lactic acid, which is easy for the body to absorb.
Why Greek yogurt lactose free ?
When the Greek yogurt is produced, the regular yogurt undergoes straining process for several times. Multiple straining processes provide the Greek yogurt its characteristic flavor and taste. Moreover, it removes much of the lactose as well. Greek yogurt contains three times less amounts of lactose than the lactose present in the same amount of milk. Therefore, Greek yogurt is recognized as a lower lactose food. Lactose free Greek yogurt also contains much amount of live cultures, which are called probiotics. These probiotics help the digestion process by enhancing the breakdown of lactose. Thus, it builds up a higher lactose tolerance.
Hopefully you may got the answers of “does yogurt have lactose?”,”does greek yogurt have lactose?” and now you can choose greek yogurt without any hesitation if you have lactose intolerance. I recommend you to find out the best yogurt brand like Chobani, Fage, Siggi etc. let’s move on next part of the article, where we listed different lactose free foods.
Lactose free yogurt for babies
Although, lactose intolerance in babies is a rare issue, but it can happen due to some genetic problems. If the gene, that is responsible for lactose intolerance, passes from both father and mother to the baby, the baby may be born with lactose intolerance problem. All we know that, milk is an essential food for baby. The baby with lactose intolerance, can attack with severe diarrhea by drink ink milk because, his/her stomach cannot digest the lactose of the milk.
For these reasons, babies need lactose free dairy products. Though, the dairy products contain lactose, there are lots of other nutritional elements are there which are essential for the growth of the baby. This yogurt can be a better option for the babies. There are lots of benefits of yogurt. These are given below:
- Healthy immune system: Yogurt contains probiotics (essential gut microorganisms) which help to achieve a better immune response. Consumption of probiotic yogurt helps babies to get a strong immune system.
- Strong bones and muscles: The nutrient contained by yogurt (protein, calcium, potassium, vitamins and minerals) helps to build the bones and muscles as it should be.
- Improved digestive system: The amount of live cultures present in the yogurt is important. Because, the live cultures help the digestion of food.
- Strong metabolism: Yogurt contains enough amount of protein, which ensures a strong metabolic function. A developed metabolic function aids the sufficient release of necessary hormones.
Besides these, there are also several other benefits of yogurt. I have already discussed about them on my previous articles. All the things will make you understand the benefit of yogurt.
How to make yogurt that lactose-free?
If you want to make lactose free yogurt at your home, it is not that much difficult. You can easily make it by following several steps. Now I will show you how you can make it.
Ingredients: Making lactose free yogurt, you need:
- Whole milk or half and half milk. (Half and milk is preferred, because it is used in the production of Greek yogurt)
- Bacterial inoculums. (Inoculums are also called starter culture which contains species of Lactobacillus). You can use a small amount of previously maid yogurt as a starter culture.
- At first, you have to heat the milk for about 15 to 20 minutes. The temperature should be 180º Celsius during heating.
- After heating, allow the worm milk to cool down
- Then you have to add the starter culture to the milk and slowly mix it.
- After completing all the processes, keep it in a warm place for about 24 hours. (The temperature should be about 37º-40º Celsius)
After making the yogurt, you have to keep in mind that, you cannot leave it for more than 24 hours. Because, with the passage of time, the number of live cultures of the yogurt will be started decreasing in numbers. You can see some watery liquid on the top of the yogurt, this usually happen because of the respiration of microorganisms.
Lactose free foods to buy
If you are lactose intolerant, you have to choose foods which are lactose-free. As I said earlier that, there are so many food products are available in the market which are lactose-free. Among those foods, I recommend you to buy yogurt without lactose, especially lactose free Greek yogurt. I do emphasize on this because, lactose free Greek yogurt has less amount of lactose than other lactose-free products and it contains enough amount of live culture which are beneficial for your digestive system.
Where can I buy lactose free yogurt?
You probably thinking, where to buy yogurt lactose free? You can buy this kind of yogurt from any supermarket. But, while buying, you should observe the following aspects:
- Read the label and find whether it has been labeled “lactose free” or not.
- Try to buy from a reputed store.
- See the company name and its reputation. Because, you are much likely to get a better product from a reputed company.
- You also have to avoid the foods which are labeled “may contain milk”.
What foods have lactose?
The following foods have high lactose content:
- Any kind of food which is made from milk
- Milk and milk based drinks
- Whipped cream
- Soup and sauce that are made with milk cream
- Puddings, custards, etc.
Other foods: Lactose also present in breads, baked food products like biscuits, cookies, breakfast mixes, pancakes, etc. Foods that are refrigerated, such as salad dressings, margarines also contain a little amount of lactose as a preservative agent.
Some processed foods can also contain lactose. Milk and milk products can be used in prolonging the shelf life of processed foods. Therefore, observe the label of food products to identify sources of lactose if present and try to avoid it if you are lactose intolerant.
Some medicines also contain lactose, such as, birth control pills.
Benefits of lactose free foods
Lactose free food products have several benefits. It is important to keep foods with lactose away from your meal if you are lactose intolerant. The beneficial aspects of lactose free foods are as follows:
Reduce gastric problems: A large number of are suffering from lactose intolerance all over the world. If you are intolerant to lactose and eat lactose food products, lactose will reach to your colon without being break down and combine with your intestinal bacteria which can cause gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, production of gas, etc. Therefore, if you avoid consuming lactose-free food, you are more likely to get relief from those problems.
Advanced nutrition: A study of National Institute of Health (NIH) shows that, People with lactose intolerance, may face malnutrition, less Body Mass Index (BMI), and reduced growth rate. So, in case of lactose intolerance, removing lactose containing foods from the diet list will help you to get much nutrition as it helps increasing the absorption of nutrition by the stomach.
Diet for disabled: Generally, children with autism are intolerant to lactose and gluten. Therefore, doctors suggest a lactose free diet for them. Feeding them with lactose free foods can bring up a better improvement.
Most importantly, following a lactose free diet will help you to maintaine vegetarian diet. Recently, a large number of people have been following this because of beneficial health aspects. It has been proven that, a plant based diet can prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Therefore, it is too distinct that, you will get huge benefits by following a lactose free diet.
Bad sides of lactose free foods
There are several negative aspects of lactose-free foods as well. You will miss something as well by avoiding lactose containing foods. I am going to talk about them now. So, please have a look.
The main sugar component of milk: Lactose is a complex sugar mainly available in milk and milk products. This sugar is used as energy to our body directly.
New born babies’ energy requirements: Lactose can supply almost the half of the energy required for the babies.
The only source of galactose: The source of galactose is lactose only. It has been found that, galactose has a large number of beneficial functions, which are as follows:
Galactose provides neural and immunological support. The macromolecules of galactose are major components of nerve cell membrane.
Galactose is an element of ABO blood types determining molecule
Absorption of minerals and nutrients: Recent researchers have found that, lactose can play major role in the absorption of minerals, such as, zinc and copper, and nutrients, such as, calcium.
Besides these, lactose supports the functions of the immune system, and fight with the aging associated immune functions by facilitating the growth of bifidobacteria present in the gut.
Moreover, the microorganisms that inhabit our gut may use lactose as their source of nutrition.
What causes lactose intolerance?
There are some reasons behind loosing the secretion of lactase enzyme, which causes lactose intolerance. Several digestive diseases, such as ulcerative disease, Crohn’s disease and diseases that are associated to the injurious small intestine are responsible for reducing the amount of lactase enzyme required to break down lactose properly. Sometimes, you may face lactose intolerance for a short period of time if your small intestine gets injured. But, you will be cured right after the healing of your small intestine.
There are also several risk factors which are associated with lactose intolerance. They are:
Age: Lactose intolerance is mostly found in aged people, not in children and young generations.
Ethnicity: Ethnicity is also a factor because, researches show that lactose intolerance is comparatively much more common in people of American Indians, Africans, Asians and Hispanics.
Problems in th small intestine: Several functional problems of the small intestine also cause lactose intolerance.
Early born of babies: a child, who took birth prematurely, may develop lactose intolerance. Because, the development of lactase enzyme producing cells by the small intestine occurs at the end of the third trimester. Therefore, if a baby born much before the delivery time, his/her small intestine will not release sufficient lactase enzymes at all.
Radiation therapy: If somebody undergoes a radiation therapy in the abdomen, there is a higher risk of lactose intolerance.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance
The symptoms of lactose intolerance usually depend on the release of lactase enzyme by your small intestine. Depending on this, the signs can be moderate to dangerous. Symptoms generally start within half an hour to two hours right after consuming milk or milk products. The probable signs are as follows:
- You may feel pain in the lower belly
- You can feel unusual sounds from your lower belly
- Other symptoms include: production of gas, diarrhea, foamy stools, etc.
If you feel uncomfortable every time after consuming milk or milk products, then probably you are lactose intolerant. Sometimes, people who never faced any difficulties with milk or milk products, may also face lactose intolerance problems as they get aged.
The signs of lactose intolerance in infants are as follows:
- Loss of weight
- Foamy stools
- Rashes in diaper
All of these are the probable signs of lactose intolerance. Sometimes, you may become confused with the symptoms and become worried. In that case, my suggestion is, do not become anxious, rather you should consult with your doctor.
Lactose intolerance and yeast infection
Yeast infections are also associated with lactose intolerance. When your immune system shows weak response, yeasts are more likely to get the opportunity to attack you. Due to lactose intolerance, yeasts can cause thrush to your mouth and tongue. A thrush refers to the development of rash in your mouth and tongue. Here brief discussion about yogurt for yeast infections and other aspects as well.
Lactose free diet list
A lactose free diet basically refers a list of foods which are lactose-free. Several problems are associated with the consumption of lactose containing foods. People with lactose intolerance should avoid these foods in order to protect them from those problems. Your doctor can help to provide you a diet chart of lactose free food.
Dairy Foods lactose free
The following list of dairy products is lactose free:
- Canned soy drink: This is a drink which is made from soy and do not contain milk.
- Soy milk
- Lactose free whipped creamers
- Yogurt (Choose the lactose-free)
- Lactose free Greek yogurt is a fermented milk product which contains a very little amount of lactose. Therefore, you can add it in your lactose free diet
Baked food products
- Biscuits that are made without using milk are lactose-free.
- Pasta, noodles, macaroni, are also lactose-free food
- Cereals that are made without using milk are lactose-free
- Cakes without milk are also lactose-free baked food product
Vegetables and fruits that is lactose-free
You can eat any kinds of fruits and vegetables, because they do not contain any lactose.
You cannot add milk while cooking vegetables. Moreover, you have to avoid adding milk to make fruit juice.
You can add yogurt or greek yogurt lactose free to make fruit juice.
Soups and sauces are lactose-free
You can eat any vegetable or meat soups and sauces which are not added to milk. You also can eat spices and plain herbs
Pick Desserts that lactose-free
On a lactose free diet, you can eat jams, jellies, honey or syrups as a dessert. On the other hand, you should avoid desserts with milk, such as pudding, custard, etc.
Dairy free and lactose free food products
All the products labeled “lactose free” available in the supermarket are not constrained to be “dairy free”. There are significant differences between lactose-free products and dairy free products. Lactose-free foods and food products can contain milk. On the other hand, dairy free products do not contain any milk. People with lactose intolerance, usually look for lactose-free foods. But, they may not have problems if the food is a lactose free milk product like yogurt, cheese, butter, etc. In another case, a large number of populations are allergic to dairy product. So, they will be looking for the product labeled “dairy free” and perhaps they do not have any problem with lactose containing foods or food substances.
Why baby needs a lactose free formula?
Although it is a rare case, but, if a baby develops lactose intolerance, he/she needs lactose free formula. Lactose intolerance can be developed in babies by genetic issues or by born. If a baby born prematurely, then the intestine may not develop lactase enzyme releasing cells. Many problems and diseases associated with digestive system can happen to the baby. For, all these reasons, a baby requires a lactose free formula as well.
To conclude, I want to say that, I have given my effort to provide you a nice write-up with necessary information based on recent researches. In the article, I tried to focus basically on lactose and lactose intolerance, lactose containing and lactose free foods and several other important facts related to these. Finally, I will again suggest you to consume yogurt (more importantly, Greek yogurt lactose free) if you are lactose intolerant.
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