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DAIRY & LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

 With 33% of our population now being diagnosed as "Lactose Intolerant" and 75% of that 33% of adults said to have a decreased  lactase activity - what in fact do these terms mean? Are all people who are lactose intolerant also intolerant to all dairy?  People with dairy intolerance are perceived as having a problem breaking down not only lactose but also the milk proteins casein and whey, whereas lactose intolerant people only have a problem with the sugar lactose.

SYMPTOMS

A person who has difficulty or inability to digest the milk sugars found in dairy products, resulting in symptoms of bloating, gas, abdominal pain and diarrhoea, is deemed to be lactose intolerant.  The human body makes an enzyme called lactase for the purpose of breaking down the lactose which is a sugar found in dairy products.  Production of lactase decreases with ageing resulting in adults being more commonly seen with lactose problems.  Rarely does a baby not produce lactase however premature babies may experience a transient  lactase deficiency as a result of their immature digestive system.  Lactose intolerance is often seen following gastroenteritis and water-borne viruses experienced while traveling in mainly Asian countries, but this will often improve after the gut heals over a period of time unless you are diagnosed with Blastocystis hominis.  The symptoms of lactose intolerance are similar to those of IBS with the difference being that people with IBS are actually intolerant to the fat component of the dairy and not the lactose itself.
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CAUSES OF LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

Genetics - your predisposed genetic make-up not allowing you to produce enough lactase is the main cause particularly If you of Asian, Aboriginal, South American or Southern European descent

Parasitic Infection - parasite infections which are often water-borne are often responsible for a temporary reduction of lactase levels

Gastroenteritis, Chron's Disease & other digestive diseases can result in lowered amounts of digestive enzymes being produced

 WHAT IS LACTOSE?


Normal digestion in our small intestine, involves our naturally occurring enzyme lactase, breaking down the lactose found in dairy products.  It is a deficiency of this lactase enzyme that results in unconverted and undigested food giving off gases resulting in bloating and wind.  A lack of hydrochloride acid in the stomach will also give the same symptoms due to fermentation of undigested food particles.  Aged cheese and Swiss cheese are very low in lactose and might be a tolerated.  Cultured yoghurt might be tolerated due to certain enzymes it contains helping to break down the lactose.


WHAT ARE CASEIN & WHEY


Casein makes up to 80% of the milk protein content of our milk with beta-casein being responsible for about one-third of the total protein content.  Whey makes up to the other 20% and is the thin liquid that is left over from cheese production.  Casein is a milk phosphorite found in dairy products such as cheese, milk, butter and yoghurt but can be used as an emulsifying and binding agent in processed foods such as vegetarian cheeses, vegetarian meats, cereals, breads and supplements.  Beware of the following forms if you have a lactose intolerance - Rennet Casein, Ammonium Caseinate, Zinc Caseinate, Calcium Caseinate, Calcium Hydrolysate, Iron Caseinate, Paracasein, Magnesium Caseinate, Sodium Caseinate and Potassium Caseinate.


  WHAT IS PERMEATE?

Different breeds of cows, genetics, farming methods and fodder all affect the taste and nutritional composition of milk.  These are the reasons that Australian milk is modified in order to "standardize" it.  Permeate refers to the natural watery "left-overs" of making dairy products such as cheese and cream and includes milk sugar (lactose), vitamins and minerals.  It is this permeate that is added to milk to ensure milk has the same taste and nutritional composition all year round.  In summary, up to 12 % of your milk carton may contain permeate, resulting in your milk being much cheaper than whole milk.  Australian milk is higher in added permeate possibly due to unsustainable pricing of whole milk.
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A2 vs A1 MILK


There is only one amino acid difference between A2 and A1 milk.  A1 and A2 are the only two beta-caseins found in milk and it is the cow's genetics that is the pre-determining factor as to whether the cow produces A1 or A2 milk.  The A2 form is the same as was found  in our cattle thousands of years ago before natural genetic mutation occurred through cross-herding over the years.  A2 milk still contains lactose but the difference in protein composition may result in better digestive well-being.


LACTEEZE DROPS


Lacteeze drops contain the lactase enzyme necessary to break down lactose, therefore making dairy easier to digest.  It will not help people with general dairy intolerance but will help those with straight lactose intolerance.


EVOPORATED & CONDENSED MILKS


The only difference between these milks and whole or skimmed milks is that the whole milk is gently heated to remove all the water from the milk following homogenization.  Then, in the case of condensed milk, it is heavily sweetened.  The advantage of this process is a longer shelf-life - for at least a year in fact.


HIDDEN LACTOSE


Approximately 20 percent of prescription drugs including the oral contraceptive pill, anti-histamines and antacid medications use lactose as a base as do about 6 percent of over the counter medications.  Care should be also taken when reading labels as whey, curds, milk by-products, dry milk solids and non-fat dry milk powder also contain lactose.  Even products such as powdered coffee creamer and whipped toppings, despite being labelled non-dairy, may contain lactose due to the fact that they are derived from dairy.
 
 

MILK ALTERNATIVES

A lot of my patients have a Thermomix and make their own milks these days but these recipes are written for a blender. I see a lot of people with dairy intolerance and an increasing number of people who just “feel better” when not consuming it. People with autoimmune diseases and asthmatics and eczema/dermatitis sufferers are also best avoiding dairy. For these reasons I have written a selection of home-made milks using dairy alternatives. If you use a thermomix there won’t be left-over pulp but if you are using a blender there will be, so don’t discard it as this is where a lot of the goodness is contained and it tastes delicious. Think about freezing the pulp and then adding it to smoothies and baked goods such as pancakes, cakes, cookies, bliss balls and slices. The nut milk bags can be bought in health food shops or strain through a fine muslin.

SWEET ALMOND & VANILLA MILK

Ingredients: (makes 500ml)

1 cup almonds, soaked overnight and rinsed (you can use brazil nuts instead)

500ml filtered water

Pinch salt

1 – 4 dates, soaked until soft

2 tsp vanilla powder or essence

Method:

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until well combined, smooth and creamy. Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag or fine muslin, and collect the liquid. Once drained,transfer to a glass container and store in the fridge for up to three days. This almond milk can be used in recipes that ask for animal milk.

RICE MILK

Ingredients: (makes 350 – 400mls)

2 cups cooked brown rice

Pinch salt

500ml filtered water

Option to sweeten with one of: 2 teaspoons vanilla essence or powder; 2 tablespoons cacao; 3 tablespoons honey; 1 teaspoon cinnamon; or 2 – 4 dates

Method:

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until well combined and smooth. Strain through a nut milk bag or fine muslin and collect the liquid. Once drained, transfer to a glass container and store in the fridge for up to three days. This is a good option those who can’t drink soy, nut or cow’s milk as it’s the least likely of milk products to trigger allergies.

PEPITA MILK

Ingredients: (makes 350 – 400mls)

1 cup pepita seeds (pumpkin seeds), soaked overnight and rinsed

Pinch salt

500ml filtered water

Option to sweeten with one of: 2 teaspoon vanilla essence or powder; 2 tablespoons cacao; 3 tablespoons honey; 1 teaspoon cinnamon; or 2 – 4 dates

Method:

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until well combined and smooth. Strain through a nut milk bag or fine muslin and collect the liquid. Once drained, transfer to a glass container and store in the fridge for up to three days.

CREAMY CASHEW MILK

Ingredients (makes 1.25 litres)

100g raw cashews (if you have time, soak overnight in 2 cups of water, then drain)

600ml filtered water

2 dates, or a dash of pure maple syrup or raw honey

1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)

Method:

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. There is no need to strain. Transfer to a glass container and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Date posted: 2013-09-11 | posted by: debras




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