About this time last year, I discovered I was lactose intolerant. I’ve always had trouble with dairy, but suddenly any and all dairy was no longer my lukewarm friend. Now it was my mortal enemy. Like many, many others I realized that those stomach aches weren’t a coincidence – they were directly related to my body’s inability to digest the lactose enzyme.
Lactose Intolerance is surprisingly common. Most people produce that natural enzyme, lactase, which breaks down lactose (sugar in milk). The amount of lactase your body produces will determine how much lactose your body can break down. So as you lose that lactase, you lose the ability to digest the lactose in milk. And it is common for lactose intolerance to be progressive; many people develop a lactose intolerance later in life. Guess I’m getting old?
It was quite sad when I had to say goodbye to some of my favorite foods. Like lattes. (tear) Like ice cream. (SOB! Goodbye, Old Friend!) But my sister recommended Lactaid tablets and I gave it a try. It helped – a lot! I still had trouble eating really good ice cream, but with Lactaid I could comfortably eat frozen yogurt again. Now I always carry Lactaid in my purse, for those dairy emergencies. Like crème brulee on the dessert menu. (Because you should never EVER pass up crème brulee.)
I just recently was on a call with Food Network chef Melissa d’Arabian and registered dietitian Michelle Harrington and learned so much about what lactose intolerance is and how to live with it. And one of those ways to help is Lactaid milk products! I went out and grabbed some Lactaid milk. I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed milk! I put it in my coffee, in my cereal and my tummy is so much happier! Even those little glugs of dairy in my coffee were hurting, so this is a fantastic development for me!
Lactaid milk is real milk – it just has had the lactose enzyme removed. For some reason I never knew this. I thought it was like soy milk or something. Clearly, I am a super informed consumer, as usual. But it is just regular milk without the lactose. Same thing, just made so that people like me can drink it. And did you know that Lactaid also makes ICE CREAM? No joke. Things just got real, people.
One lucky Girlymama reader will win a coupon for a FREE Lactaid product!! (As if you are going to get anything but ice cream, right?) To enter, tell us someone in your life who is lactose intolerant.
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I entered to win free Lactaid from @MelissaAngert #giveaway! Enter here: http://girlymama.com/?p=5969
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