When I tell people that I am lactose intolerant, their immediate reaction is to give me a look of pity, as though I’ve just told them that I’ve been living on a deserted island for the past 30 years, eating nothing more than raw fish and coconuts.
Awe! So you can’t have ice cream? Or cereal? How sad!
Here’s my secret: I eat ice cream. Mostly chocolate or some vanilla infused with some sort of chocolate. Lots of chocolate. I love me a cold glass of milk for dunking my Oreos. A bowl of cereal is my favorite mid-night snack. I practically lived off cereal during all three of my pregnancies!
See, I’m not milk-intolerant. I’m lactose intolerant. There’s a difference. And, thanks to Lactaid, celebrity chef Melissa d’Arabian and registered dietitian Michelle Harrington, I’m going to try to debunk some of the misconceptions around lactose intolerance.
In the simplest terms, Lactose is the major carbohydrate/sugar in milk (and other dairy foods) and it must be broken down into glucose and galactose by those wonderful enzymes in your stomach (aka. lactase) before it can be absorbed into your body. Those who don’t produce enough lactase have trouble breaking lactose down (obviously) and it can cause them some issues.
Here’s the crazy thing….everyone is lactose intolerant. To a degree. Those who have lower levels of lactase are the ones we really consider intolerant and those with higher levels of lactase are considered “normal”. Did I just blow your mind? And…did you know that your level of intolerance can increase as you grow older? That’s what happened to me! I don’t ever remember having a problem with dairy growing up. But as I went through college and after, that’s when the intolerance increased.
Also? Not all dairy products are created equal in the lactose intolerant world! Many lactose-intolerant people don’t seem to be bothered by dairy products like yogurt. All those splendid little live and active cultures in yogurt actually help you digest the lactose. I know! This is huge for us because my kids, who also have a big sensitivity to lactose, love yogurt! As in they will actually dip their food into yogurt. You say ketchup, my kids say yogurt.
But back to milk. Through my ugh-lactose years I’ve pretty much tried all the “it’s milk but not really milk” substitutes. Sadly, there’s not much out there that can pass for milk. At least not to me. Then I saw this in the dairy cooler…
It’s milk just without the lactose. What? Awesome! Lactaid is 100% milk that has had the lactase enzyme added to it, breaking down the lactose my body can’t. It still tastes like the milk you’re drinking, just a little bit sweeter. And, because Lactaid Milk comes in whole, 2%, 1%, and fat free, I was able to use it when transitioning Talon from his bottle and we avoided a lot of the stomach discomfort and congestion that my girls experienced.
Lactaid doesn’t just make lactose free milk. They also make lactose-free chocolate milk, egg nog, cottage cheese, and ice cream!
So, I hope I’ve intrigued you a little about this whole lactose-free stuff. And, if you are intrigued, you have the chance to try out LACTAID for yourself! I’m giving away a coupon for a free Lactaid product to one reader! Simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!
I’m working on this information sponsored campaign with LACTAID and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own. Please consult a doctor if you should have any questions regarding nutrition, etc.