If you're lactose intolerant, you know that it can be difficult to find foods that don’t contain lactose but still taste great and are nutritional. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives for most dairy products out there. Here are five to try if you're looking to diversify your diet.
The National Academy of Sciences recommends that you should be getting at least 1,000 mg of calcium every day, but this can be difficult to accomplish if you are lactose intolerant. Unfortunately, other milks that come from mammals, like goats or sheep, contain the substance as well. However, there are plenty of other milk alternatives that come from vegetables and other natural substances. For example, calcium-fortified soy milk is a great choice. However, if you don’t like the taste of soy milk, there is also almond milk, rice milk and coconut milk. Though these kinds of milk typically don’t have natural calcium, they do have lots of vitamins and antioxidants.
Even though many desserts contain dairy (and therefore lactose), there are still many alternatives that you can try to satisfy your sweet tooth. For example, if you love milk chocolate, you can try rice milk chocolate or dark chocolate instead. When making chocolate chip cookies, use carob chips instead of milk chocolate chips. If you enjoy ice cream, try sherbet or sorbet as an alternative. Also, many lactose intolerant people enjoy a frozen banana, which has the same consistency and texture of ice cream.
One of the biggest problems with being lactose intolerant is getting enough calcium in your diet. So, it's important to make sure to include plenty of calcium-rich, non-dairy foods in your daily meals. Some foods that are good for this purpose include seafood, orange juice, pinto beans, and green, leafy vegetables such as rhubarb, spinach, broccoli, and kale.
If you enjoy the taste of cheese but your lactose intolerance makes it hard to include in your diet, there are some other alternatives that are dairy free, yet still mimic the taste and texture of certain cheeses. For example, sliced tofu is similar to the taste and texture of mozzarella and provolone cheese, so it can be good on a sandwich or crackers. Crumbled yeast is good for sprinkling on foods to achieve the right texture, though the taste can be rather bland. There are also a variety of veggie cheeses that might be good alternatives for you as well.
For daily snacks that include dairy, try these alternatives instead. Instead of yogurt, try lactose-free yogurt or coconut yogurt. Sometimes regular yogurt can be fine if you are only mildly intolerant, since it doesn’t contain as much lactose as other dairy products. However, frozen yogurt is typically higher in lactose, so this should generally be avoided. Also, some white breads will contain lactose, so you can try dairy-free breads instead.