Being lactose intolerant can be disheartening when you love the taste of milk. Especially if you grew up being able to drink milk but suddenly now your body says you can’t without the side effects. Here’s a list of six food alternatives you can have if lactose isn’t your friend anymore.
Milk Without the Lactose
When it comes to choosing food alternatives for when you’re lactose intolerant, milk is the first to be looked at.
There are several different kinds of milk from soy to almond to coconut. Different types of milk are available depending on where you live. Some even come in different flavors like chocolate or strawberry.
These different flavors can help with the taste if you just became lactose intolerant but love the taste of cow’s milk.
One of the main differences between cow’s milk and the alternatives is that they tend to be sweeter than cow’s milk. This is because the alternatives include the enzyme lactase. It is the enzyme that helps break down lactose in a person’s body, so it is extremely helpful for those who don’t produce any or enough to comfortably consume dairy.
Sherbert is one of the greatest things you can have as food alternatives to ice cream. It’s smooth like ice cream and comes in many different flavors. Most of them are based on fruits so you might not find that chocolate ice cream you used to love.
In recent years, there have been more and more places that are experimenting with different flavors so if Sherbert doesn’t have the flavor you like right now, it might in the future as the culinary world continues to grow and adapt.
Since it has mostly fruity flavors, Sherbert tends to be a little sweeter than ice cream. This can be because of the added flavors and such in Sherbert to allow it to compete in the huge ice cream field.
If you don’t like Sherbert then another great alternative is froyo aka frozen yogurt. It has a different taste and texture than regular yogurt but not quite the same as ice cream. It’s somewhere in the middle of being both creamy but also sweet and frozen.
Vegetables High in Calcium
If you can’t have dairy, then an excellent food alternative is to add more leafy greens to your diet so you can still get the calcium you are missing from dairy.
What’s great about these food alternatives is that you can eat the leafy greens by themselves, cooked, or you can add them to any dish you choose. They are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dessert.
Add on a small amount of dressing with some toppings and you have a delicious salad. Put them on some bread with other ingredients and BOOM! A sandwich.
For breakfast? You can put them into an omelet or into some kind of breakfast casserole and you have yourself a hearty breakfast.
Eat More Seafood
Eating seafood can be a great and easy way to supply your body with the calcium it’s missing from avoiding dairy. Especially if you like to eat fish.
The kinds of fish you should try to eat more of are small with soft bones. These tend to have a lot more calcium than other fish.
Much like the above suggestion, you can have fish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Although you should try to limit how much fish you’re having each week. Eating too much fish can provide your body with an overdose of mercury, thus leading to mercury poisoning.
Fish get mercury from the water they swim in. If you only eat smaller fish, then you don’t have to worry as much although you should still read up on how much you should be eating a week.
If you tend to eat bigger fish, then they will have more mercury in them since they prey on the smaller fish.
You might be thinking that cheese is a dairy food so it shouldn’t be on a list for food alternatives for people who have lactose intolerance. However, cheese actually has a lot less lactose than you might think.
There are many people who have lactose intolerance and eat cheese since the dairy product has little to no lactose in it. Cheese is classified into two categories: soft and hard.
The soft cheeses are the easiest to make completely lactose-free, while the hard is, well, harder to make it that way. Soft cheese tends to have less lactose in it than hard cheeses do.
Even though this food is much lower in lactose, you should still try to not eat too much. There is still a good amount of sodium in cheese and having too much sodium in your diet can lead to negative results.
Unless you’re in love with cheese by itself, you can add it to almost everything and improve upon that food somehow.
Yogurt is a great food alternative to other dairy products. The bacteria that is in it helps to strengthen the stomach and gives you other health benefits.
You can eat it plain or get different flavors at the store. You can also look up recipes for yogurt online to try and make it from home.
There are some yogurts that contain lactose so you will want to look carefully at the food label or do some preliminary research before you take any yogurt home.
Yogurt is great plopped on top of fruits, as a dip, on top of some cereals, or just by itself. There are even some recipes where you can put it into a mix and have it as part of a dessert or casserole.
Many people also put yogurt into their smoothies to get that extra calcium they might otherwise be missing if they can’t use milk or milk alternatives.