Foods for Lactose Intolerant People

Lactose intolerance means that a person does not have the enzyme to digest the sugar in milk and other dairy products, and must avoid milk, cheese, sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese and ice cream. Some people can safely consume small amounts of lactose while others cannot consume any, according to Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include nausea, gas, bloating, cramps and diarrhea. However, a wide variety of foods can be included in a lactose-free diet.



People who are lactose intolerant must get their calcium from alternative food sources. Many vegetables can help them reach the daily recommended allowance for calcium without consuming lactose. Included are broccoli, Chinese cabbage, dried peas and beans, greens and spinach. Incorporating these vegetables into a lactose-free diet is as simple as adding them to a salad or soup. Fresh, frozen and canned vegetables are generally safe to eat, but those that have been creamed or breaded may contain lactose and should be avoided.

Water-Based Grains

Some bread products are made with milk, but those made with water are safe to consume on a lactose-free diet, reports Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology. Included in this category are French and Jewish rye bread, pasta, rice, graham crackers, rice cakes and many types of cereal. Read labels to determine if there is an unsafe ingredient in the product. Water-based grains can be used to prepare sandwiches, make side dishes or create snacks that fit into a lactose-free diet.

Plain Meat

Plain meats are lactose free and fit well into the diet of someone who is lactose intolerant. Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish and shellfish are all good choices and should be prepared without marinades, sauces or breading unless they are lactose-free. Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology advises avoiding lunch meat, sausage and hot dogs because they are often prepared using ingredients that contain lactose. Eggs, peanut butter or beans can replace meats to provide protein.

Soy Products

Many milk product substitutes, which mimic traditional dairy foods, are available. Milk and cheese are two examples. Soy versions of hot chocolate, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk are also available for someone who is lactose intolerant. Many supermarkets and health food stores sell these products, which can replace high-lactose ingredients in many meals, including cereal, sandwiches, salads and Mexican dishes that use a lot of cheese.


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