is important in the diet. How can I replace its nutrients for
a healthy life?
Milk and other dairy
products are a major source of nutrients in the human diet. The
most important of these nutrients is calcium. Calcium is essential
for the growth and repair of bones throughout life. In the middle
and later years, a shortage of calcium may lead to thin, fragile
bones that break easily (a condition called osteoporosis). A concern,
then, for both children and adults with lactose intolerance, is
getting enough calcium in a diet that includes little or no milk.
In planning meals, making sure that each day's diet includes enough
calcium is important, even if the diet does not contain dairy products.
Many non-dairy foods are high in calcium. Green vegetables, such
as broccoli and kale, and fish with soft, edible bones, such as
salmon and sardines, are excellent sources of calcium. To help in
planning a high-calcium and low-lactose diet, the table below lists
some common foods that are good sources of dietary calcium and shows
about how much lactose the foods contain.
1. List of calcium and lactose content in food.
Recent research shows
that yoghourt with active cultures may be a good source of calcium
for many people with lactose intolerance, even though it is fairly
high in lactose. Evidence shows that the bacterial cultures used
in making yoghourt produce some of the lactase enzyme required for
proper digestion. Clearly, many foods can provide the calcium and
other nutrients the body needs, even when intake of milk and dairy
products is limited. However, factors other than calcium and lactose
content should be kept in mind when planning a diet. Some vegetables
that are high in calcium (Swiss chard, spinach, and rhubarb, for
instance) are not listed in the table above because the body cannot
use their calcium content. They contain substances called oxalates,
which stop calcium absorption. Calcium is absorbed and used only
when there is enough vitamin D in the body. A balanced diet should
provide an adequate supply of vitamin D. Sources of vitamin D include
eggs and liver. However, sunlight helps the body naturally absorb
or synthesize vitamin D, and with enough exposure to the sun, food
sources may not be necessary. Some people with lactose intolerance
may think they are not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in their
diet. Consultation with a doctor or dietician may be helpful in
deciding whether any dietary supplements are needed. Taking vitamins
or minerals of the wrong kind or in the wrong amounts can be harmful.
A dietician can help in planning meals that will provide the most
nutrients with the least chance of causing discomfort.
can I use instead of milk for cooking etc?
There are a number of
other milks that are available that may be substituted for cow's
milk when baking or cooking. The type of substitute used will depend
on the type of food it is used for. Rice milk is good for drinking
and putting on cereal. It can also be used when baking or as a thickening
agent. In some recipes water, broth, or juice can be substituted
for the cow's milk. Sometimes, a milk allergic person can use goat's
milk or soy milk. Both of these milks, however, are also very allergenic.
In fact, most people allergic to cow's milk are also allergic to
goat's milk. Persons with lactose intolerance should never use goat’s
milk. See medical reports’ abstracts. Milk allergy is caused when
the immunity system reacts against the proteins found in milk. This
happens due to the lack of the immune system to learn to recognize
milk proteins as being harmless. When unwanted bodies (proteins)
enter our system the immune system is altered and reacts against
the protein to destroy it and protect our body. For instance, if
bacteria enters our body through the skin, the proteins that make
up the bacteria (which are different than ours) act as a trigger
to the immune system to get rid of it. Once this trigger is reached
by the immune system a chain of reactions happen in order to expel
and reject these unwanted proteins (bacteria). Therefore the first
cells that react are those beneath the the skin to avoid the bacteria
to travel further while other parts of the immune system stay on
the alert. When milk is ingested (into someone who is allergic to
milk) the proteins present come in touch with the immune system
but unfortunately the immune system fails to recognize them and
believes they are unwanted and harmful proteins. Hence, the reactions
questions? Ask here.