Lactose Intolerance and Foods to Consume

What is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose intolerance results from the inability to digest lactose, the main carbohydrate in dairy products. This happens when your body doesn’t have enough of the lactase enzyme you need to digest lactose.

People with lactose intolerance experience digestive issues when consuming dairy products, which can negatively affect their quality of life. For example; bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pains

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance can cause serious digestive problems if not managed properly. These symptoms may appear 30-60 minutes after consuming lactose-containing foods.

The most common symptoms are;

  • Swelling

  • abdominal cramps

  • Gas

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea

Some individuals may also experience urgent need to go to the toilet, vomiting, lower abdominal pain and constipation.

The severity of symptoms varies depending on how much lactose you can tolerate and how much you eat.

If you think you are lactose intolerant Remove lactose from your daily diet for 2 weeks, then add lactose-containing products back to your daily diet to see if you experience any digestive problems. If you see a decrease in your symptoms, lactose may not be good for your body.

Which Foods Contain Lactose?

Lactose is found in almost all dairy products.

Dairy products;

  • Cow’s milk (any kind)

  • Goat milk

  • Cheeses

  • Ice cream

  • Yogurt

  • Butter

Foods that may contain lactose;

  • Creamy Pasta

  • Biscuits and cookies

  • Cakes

  • breakfast cereals

  • Packaged chocolates

  • Ready-made soups and sauces

  • Processed meats like ham and sausage

  • Ready meals

  • Desserts, creams

CAUTION!If you are lactose intolerant, I recommend reading the nutritional labels of packaged foods thoroughly.

You should also be careful if you see these phrases on food labels..

  • Milk powder

  • Whey

  • Curd

  • Milk sugar

  • malted milk

  • Dry milk solids

  • Whey protein concentrate

How Can I Get Calcium Without Consuming Dairy Products?

If you are lactose intolerant, you may have been concerned about where to get calcium.

Foods containing calcium;

  • sardine fish

  • Salmon. 85 grams of salmon with bones meets 14% of the daily calcium requirement.

  • Cabbage

  • Broccoli

  • Spinach

  • Calcium-fortified foods (oat milk, orange juice, almond milk)

It should not be forgotten that calcium from plant foods is generally less absorbed due to the presence of nutritional disruptors such as phytate and oxalate.


Fruits:apple, orange, strawberry, peach, plum, grape, pineapple, mango

Vegetables:onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, arugula, collard greens, zucchini, carrots

Meat:beef, lamb, pork, veal

Poultry:chicken, turkey, goose, duck

Sea products:tuna, mackerel, salmon, anchovies, lobster, sardines, oysters

Eggs:egg yolk and egg white

Soy foods:tofu, tempeh, natto, miso

Legumes:black beans, kidney beans, lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas

Whole grains:barley, buckwheat, quinoa, couscous, wheat, farro, oats

Nuts:Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts

Seeds:chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds

Milk alternatives:lactose-free milk, rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, hemp milk

Lactose-free yogurts:coconut yogurt, almond milk yogurt, soy yogurt, cashew yogurt

Healthy fats:avocado, olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil

Herbs and spices:turmeric, thyme, rosemary, basil, dill, mint

Beverages:water, tea, brewed coffee, coconut water, juice

What can we do?

  • If you want to consume milk, you can choose products such as lactose-free milk, lactose-free yogurt, lactose-free kefir, lactose-free ayran.

  • You can reduce the symptoms by making adjustments to your daily diet. If you cannot create an order on your own, you can get support from a nutritionist. If you can make this diet your lifestyle, both your quality of life and your symptoms may disappear.

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