When you are lactose intolerant, your body reacts when you consume milk because it finds it difficult to digest the sugar (lactose) in it. This condition occurs when the small intestine lacks lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that converts lactose into glucose and galactose.
Milk is high in protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It is also an excellent source of essential nutrients. Milk substitutes are required for those who are lactose intolerant due to the ease with which they can be incorporated into meals.
Lactose intolerance symptoms typically appear shortly after eating or drinking lactose-containing foods. Some of the signs and symptoms include diarrhea and stomach cramps.
Types of Lactose Intolerance
Primary Lactose Intolerance
This type of lactose intolerance develops when lactase production decreases as you consume less and less milk and its products. This usually starts when children stop breastfeeding and gets worse as they get older.
Secondary lactose intolerance
This type of lactose intolerance occurs when your small intestine’s lactase production decreases as a result of an illness, injury, or surgery involving your small intestine.
Developmental lactose intolerance
This type of lactose intolerance affects premature babies. This is because their small intestines have not fully developed. This condition usually improves as the affected babies grow older.
6 Milk Substitutes if You Suffer from Lactose Intolerance
Almond milk is used as a milk substitute in baked goods. It is made by blending almonds with water and then straining the mixture to remove the solids. It can also be made by adding water to almond butter. Almond milk has a creamy texture that is similar to regular milk. Its flavor and texture make it a popular choice for women who are lactose intolerant.
It is commercially available in a variety of brands and flavors. The following are the advantages of using Almond milk as a milk substitute:
- Almond milk is naturally high in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin E.
- It is low in calories, making it an excellent choice for those looking to lose weight.
- It is low in sodium and high in healthy fats, which helps to keep blood pressure in check.
- It contains vitamin E, which has antioxidant properties and will protect your skin from sun damage.
- It has iron and riboflavin, which help with muscle growth and healing.
You can buy coconut milk at the store or make it yourself. To prepare, break the coconut pod and shred the copra. Blend in water after shredding. After blending, strain and refrigerate. Because of its strong flavor, some women who suffer from lactose intolerance use coconut milk as a milk substitute.
The advantages of using coconut milk as a milk substitute are as follows:
- Because of its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties, coconut milk can help protect your body from infections and viruses.
- It is high in healthy fats, which help to prolong the feeling of fullness. This causes you to eat less and experience fewer cravings.
- It is high in vitamins C and E, both of which are antioxidants. They aid in the destruction of free radicals, which cause aging and tumor growth.
- It contains a lot of potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Potassium keeps the heart in a normal rhythm and the muscles in good working order. Magnesium is necessary for a healthy immune system as well as normal nerve and muscle function. Phosphorus is an important structural element of bones and teeth.
- It is rich in iron which ensures the formation of healthy red blood cells with normal hemoglobin levels.
This is a low-fat, low-calorie milk substitute that contains more protein than other popular plant-based kinds of milk. It can easily replace animal milk in baking, cereals, pancakes, and smoothies. Soak soybeans in water until softened to make soy milk. Boil, strain, and blend. Sugar and artificial flavors can be added.
The advantages of using soy milk as a milk substitute are as follows:
- It contains unsaturated fats and has no cholesterol, making it an excellent choice for women with heart disease.
- It contains iron, which helps your red blood cells function properly. It also ensures that your body’s cells and tissues receive the oxygen they require.
- It is lower in sugar than animal milk. This, along with the fiber it contains, which helps you feel fuller for longer periods, aids in weight loss.
- It contains vitamin B12, which aids in the production of DNA in your cells, the function of red blood cells, and the health of your nerves.
- It contains a substance known as phytoestrogen, which helps your body absorb calcium and prevents bone mass loss.
Oat milk is made by combining oats and water, just like most plant-based kinds of milk. After blending, strain the mixture and bring it to a low boil. When compared to other plant-based kinds of milk, it has a thick and creamy texture that many lactose-intolerant women enjoy. Because of its neutral flavor, it is an excellent milk substitute for savory recipes where the flavors must be preserved.
The benefits of using oat milk as a milk substitute are as follows:
- It contains beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that helps to boost the immune system.
- It contains no cholesterol and can help lower blood cholesterol levels if consumed regularly.
- It contains potassium, magnesium, and zinc, all of which help to form and strengthen healthy bones.
- It aids in fatigue relief.
- It is high in antioxidants.
When you want something with a neutral flavor and a less creamy texture, rice milk is a good choice. Rice milk can be made by blending unsalted cooked rice or by using uncooked rice. If using uncooked rice, soak it in hot water until softened. Blend, then strain.
The advantages of using rice milk as a milk substitute are as follows:
- It’s sweeter than other plant-based milk alternatives.
- It contains antioxidants and acids that can shield the skin from the sun’s harmful rays, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes.
- Its antioxidants aid the body’s resistance to oxidative stress and inflammation, which can lead to chronic diseases.
- It is free of cholesterol.
- It is easily digestible and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.
It is the creamiest and most delicious plant-based milk substitute. It can be used to replace animal milk in almost any recipe. It is made by soaking cashew seeds in water until they soften. Blend and strain after the seeds have softened.
The following are the advantages of using cashew milk as a milk substitute:
- It is free of cholesterol.
- It’s high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that help keep your eyes healthy.
- It contains anacardic acid, a bioactive compound that limits fat accumulation during fat cell formation.
- It contains calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, which aid in the formation and strengthening of healthy bones.
- It is high in antioxidants, which help to prevent eye problems.
Plant-based milk substitutes are easier to digest than animal milk. Walnut milk, quinoa milk, flax milk, and hemp milk are some other milk substitutes.
Apart from lactose intolerance, women prefer these milk alternatives for a variety of reasons, including milk allergy, ethical concerns, and dietary preferences. As nutritionists and manufacturers discover new ways to make these plant-based kinds of milk more appealing, their consumption will rise globally. This is because they contain fewer calories, less fat (except for coconut-based milk), more water, and less protein (except for soy milk)