Dairy is one of the main protein sources recommended when switching to a high protein diet. It is, like meat, one of the most bioavailable proteins for human bodies. We are also the only mammal that consumes another mammal’s milk! Lactose is found in mostly all dairy products; some are very high, and some have close to none.

What is lactose? A sugar naturally found in milk. You must have or take an enzyme called lactase to break milk sugar down.

You can become intolerant in 4 ways:

  • born with the intolerance due to a defect in a gene from parent
  • illness such as Crohn’s or inflamed bowel; surgery
  • developmental due to lack of enzyme production
  • aging due to lack of enzymes.

Lactose intolerance is something people can easily diagnose themselves.  Typical symptoms include burping, gas, bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping and nausea. You may even experience fatty stools and indigestion.  These symptoms can occur anywhere from a half hour to 2 hours after consuming milk products.

Dairy products like cream and creamy cheeses can be some of the biggest offenders due to the fact they have a higher fat content, NOT lactose, as these products have almost no lactose. Having these symptoms with these products may mean you have trouble with rich, fatty foods and not so much of a lactose problem. And contrary to what we may think, DRIED milk has the HIGHEST amount of lactose in relation to fresh milk! I bet you guessed it, milk and ice cream have the HIGHEST amount of lactose and thankfully cheese has one of the lowest amounts. Cheese that are the lowest include low fat cottage cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, and other hard cheeses. Yay cheese!

Testing:

  • Lactose intolerance blood test
  • Hydrogen breath test
  • Stool acidity test

Here are some alternative proteins!

Alternative proteins:

  • Pea Protein – has all essential amino acids, just lower in methionine – higher in carbs
    • Vega and Orgain are two very good brands
  • Soy protein – has similar bioavailability of meat and dairy, but is controversial Silk milk is a great source, choose the unflavored
  • Egg white based protein – has all the essential amino acids Jay Robb has a variety of flavors

If you have cut dairy products out of your diet completely, you can become deficient in Calcium, Vitamin D, Riboflavin and Protein so it is essential to take your vitamins every day and find an alternative protein that is fortified in these vitamins and minerals.

Please call our office and ask for a dietitian if you have questions or concerns regarding lactose intolerance or alternative protein suggestions.