Milk! While kids have evaded it, mommies have always been fond to serve it! However in recent years, there has been a breakthrough research and revelation on intolerance towards milk and milk products in many individuals across all age groups. The phenomenon known as Lactose Intolerance is body’s inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and dairy products. Lactase is an enzyme secreted by small intestine to aid digestion of lactose sugar by breaking it down to simpler compounds. In absence of enough of lactase production by small intestine, lactose intolerance surfaces.
People across the age spectrum often complaint of frequent episodes of bloating, ache in lower belly, flatulence (gas), loose stools, vomiting, and gurgling sounds in the stomach. These can occur either right after the consumption of dairy or sometime after ingestion. It is however worth noting that all individuals have different magnitude of intolerance and can tolerate moderate amounts of curd, while being vulnerable to only milk protein.
Some healthy and balanced substitutes for dairy comprise Soy milk, almond milk, spinach, tofu, broccoli, and fruits rich in Vitamin C to make up for the requirement of calcium by the body. While to cover up the deficit of protein that would otherwise be achieved by dairy, the experts, depending on an individual’s body type and need do recommend consumption of eggs, chicken, fish for those who consume non vegetarian diet and inclusion of peanuts, lentils, tofu and quinoa for followers of vegetarian diet regime.
While there is need to control and regulate diet in presence of such a tendency of body, there is no need to panic. One should consult an expert to understand the intolerance factors better and customise one’s body’s needs better so that nutrition is not sacrificed and the body is supplied with all it needs for proper metabolism and growth.