Lactose-Free

Everything You Need to Know About a Lactose-Free Diet: 2 Delicious Recipes

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Updated on January 12, 2024

Reviewed by Panseih Gharib

You’re out with your friends, and you notice your stomach growling as soon as you start eating. Has dairy upset your bowels? It might be time to try a lactose-free diet. You will avoid or eliminate foods containing lactose under this diet. It doesn’t sound easy, but it will feel like a lactose-free piece of cake once you get the hang of it.

A lactose-free diet is a wonderful alternative if you are allergic to milk or lactose intolerant. Again, it may be difficult if you love dairy so much. Still, if you’re only slightly lactose-intolerant, you may be able to enjoy dairy products in small amounts without experiencing any symptoms; you just need to monitor what you’re eating to see if it works, or your body will give up on you. You’ll have to cut out all dairy products. 

So, we keep discussing a lactose-free diet, but what exactly are we talking about? Let us walk you through it and tell you all you need to know about a lactose-free diet; just remember that the first step is always to check the label of anything you intend to eat.

What Is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose-Free

For starters, lactose intolerance means your body has difficulties breaking down lactose, the natural sugar in milk. You may be able to digest some dairy products, but you should also maintain a lactose-intolerance-friendly diet. 

Remember that the best treatment for lactose intolerance is to avoid it. Still, you must also make sure that enough calcium is in your diet. You can supplement your diet with the foods that work best for you. 

We will teach you about smart and delicious meal changes that can help you prevent lactose intolerance symptoms. The world isn’t that dull with a lactose-free diet; it’s free of annoying gas, constantly feeling bloated and we don’t need to get started on the diarrhoea. 

Who Should Follow a Lactose-Free Diet?

According to several studies, 70% of adults are deficient in lactose. This digestive enzyme aids in breaking lactose, a milk sugar that is our enemy. Keep in mind, however, that lactose sensitivity varies widely from person to person. Some people can take lactose in moderation without experiencing severe digestive troubles. However, for other people, even a single glass of milk can produce symptoms or an extended trip to the bathroom.

A lactose-free diet can help you avoid 4 symptoms that we all despise, such as:

  • Bloating
  •  Diarrhoea
  •  Gas
  •  Stomach Cramping

Lactose-Containing Foods

We are sorry that you must remove the following items from your shopping list. As previously said, going lactose-free can be challenging. Lactose, like mosquitos, slips into various things you might not expect. Here are some foods to avoid; as a result, it’s always a good idea to read the labels and double-check anything that goes into your food. 

Dairy

Lactose-Free

Let’s start with the obvious enemies. Just keep in mind that some dairy products have less lactose than others. This includes things like butter, hard cheeses, and kefir. If you’re only somewhat lactose intolerant, you might be able to eat them in moderation. Here are some dairy products you want to avoid as part of a lactose-free diet.

  • Butter
  •  Buttermilk
  •  Cheese (SpecificallySoft Cheeses Such as Cream Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Mozzarella, and Ricotta)
  •  Ice Cream (Dairy-Based Sherbet)
  •  Milk (All Types of Cow’s Milk, Goat’s Milk, and Buffalo Milk)
  •  Sour Cream
  •  Whipped Cream
  •  Yoghurt (Including Frozen Yoghurt)

Desserts

If you have a sweet tooth, you should carefully consider the type of dessert you consume. We’ve all had treats that make us weak in the knees: cookies that are crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, chocolate cakes that ooze when you cut through them, and everyone’s favourite candy. You don’t have to give up all of your favourite sweet and tasty meals when you begin your lactose-free diet. Remember that lactose can be found in many ready-made baked items.

You have three options to be safe: eliminate unhealthy sugar and replace it with healthier alternatives. If you prefer to bake, you can always prepare your desserts at home and know exactly what is in the dessert you are eating. Last but not least, look for lactose-free treats to be safe and avoid regretting or worrying that your stomach may be upset. 

Grains and Starches

Lactose-Free

You might want to take a seat for this, but remember that a lactose-free diet can be challenging at first. This may come as a surprise to you, but a lot of commercial bread, rolls, biscuits, and baked items are manufactured with milk. You might get lucky with yeast-based bread, but check the label first. We’d want to add boxed cake, muffin, pancake, and brownie mixes to the list of things to avoid. That is enough surprise for the time being.

Meat and Meat Substitutes

Once you start the lactose-free diet, you must follow an important rule if the label does not indicate “lactose-free,” you can’t eat it. Dairy derivatives are commonly used to flavour processed foods such as cold cuts like smoked turkey and hot dogs. Several excellent kosher brands do not combine meat and dairy; you might consider this an option. 

Prepackaged Foods

Lactose is a sneaky sugar that can be found in a variety of prepackaged or processed meals. Watch out for:

  • Cereals
  •  Flavoured Chips
  •  Frozen French Fries
  •  Granola Bars
  •  Instant Coffee or Tea
  •  Instant Mashed Potatoes
  •  Nuts
  •  Oatmeal
  •  Protein Shakes or Bars
  •  Pudding Mix
  •  Sorbet
Lactose-Free

Sauces, Seasonings, and Pantry Items

It’s time to say goodbye to ranch sauce because dairy can be found in many salad dressings, spices, gravies, quick soups, and sauces. Here’s a hint: if the label says “creamy,” you can usually assume it contains dairy unless the product is labelled “dairy-free.” However, you should always double-check the label to be sure.

Lactose-Free Diet-Friendly Foods

A lactose-free diet isn’t dark as you think; a light is at the end of the tunnel. So, here are a few wonderful foods to fill up on when going lactose-free.

  • Beverages: Brewed Coffee, Coconut Water, Juice, Tea, Water
  •  Eggs: Egg Yolks and Egg Whites
  •  Fruits: Apples, Berries, Grapes, Mangoes, Oranges, Peaches, Pineapples, Plums
  •  Healthy fats: Avocados, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Sesame Oil
  •  Herbs and spices: Basil, Dill, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Turmeric
  •  Lactose-free yoghurts: Almond Milk Yogurt, Cashew Yogurt, Coconut Yogurt, Soy Yogurt
  •  Legumes: Black Beans, Chickpeas, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Pinto Beans
  •  Meat: Beef, Lamb, Pork, Veal
  •  Milk alternatives: Almond Milk, Cashew Milk, Coconut Milk, Hemp Milk, Lactose-Free Milk, Oat Milk, Rice Milk
  •  Nuts: Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Pistachios, Walnuts
  •  Poultry: Chicken, Duck, Goose, Turkey
  •  Seafood: Anchovies, Clams, Lobster, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines, Tuna
  •  Seeds: Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds
  •  Soy foods: Miso, Natto, Tempeh, Tofu
  •  Vegetables: Arugula, Broccoli, Carrots, Collard Greens, Garlic, Kale, Onions, Spinach, Zucchini
  •  Whole grains: Barley, Buckwheat, Couscous, Farro, Oats, Quinoa, Wheat

How to Read a Lactose-Free Food Label

Lactose-Free

If you’re unsure whether a particular food includes lactose, reading the label might be helpful. Save time before embarking on a nutrition label scavenger quest. If a product contains these ingredients, it most certainly contains lactose: milk solids, whey, or milk sugar, and added milk or dairy products and other things we’ll go over right now. Look for allergen warnings for milk or whey protein concentrate as well.

Keep in mind that, despite their similar names, lactate, lactic acid, and lactalbumin are not related to lactose.

  • Butter
  •  Buttermilk
  •  Cheese
  •  Condensed Milk
  •  Cream
  •  Curds
  •  Dry Milk Solids
  •  Evaporated Milk
  •  Goat’s Milk
  •  Lactose
  •  Lactose Monohydrate
  •  Malted Milk
  •  Milk
  •  Milk Byproducts
  •  Milk Casein
  •  Milk Powder
  •  Milk Sugar
  •  Sour Cream
  •  Whey
  •  Whey Protein Concentrate

You Must Try These 2 Delicious Lactose-Free Recipes

Are you looking for lactose-free meal ideas? Delicious meals that do not include ingredients that are considered your enemy, such as milk, butter, or yoghurt. Don’t worry; they’re so tasty that we’re sure you won’t miss them.

Vegan Lasagna

Lactose-Free

You adore lasagna, but since starting your lactose-free diet, you’ve found it difficult to eat it. This vegan lasagna is full of delicious flavours, yet it’s lower in calories and saturated fat than the classic dish. The white sauce, made with olive oil instead of dairy, perfectly complements the dense lentil filling.

Ingredients

  • 1 Bulb Fennel, Chopped
  •  1 Courgette, Trimmed and Sliced
  •  1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  •  2 Bay Leaves
  •  2 Carrots, Finely Chopped
  •  2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
  •  2 Large Onions
  •  2 Sprigs Rosemary
  •  2 Sticks Celery, Finely Chopped
  •  2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  •  200ML Red Wine
  •  250G Brown or Green Lentils, Rinsed
  •  250G Chestnut Mushrooms, Finely Chopped
  •  3 Tbsp Tomato Purée
  •  8-10 Vegan Lasagne Sheets, Fresh or Dried (Boil Briefly and Drain Well if Using Dried)
  •  800ML Vegetable Stock
  •  ½ (The Longer, Thinner Half), Peeled and Thinly Sliced Squash

White Sauce Ingredients 

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  •  50G Plain Flour
  •  500ML Unsweetened Plant Milk
  •  2 Tsp English Mustard
  •  A Grating Nutmeg

Directions

Step 1:

Cook the onions, carrots, fennel, and celery in 1 ½ tbsp oil in your favourite deep frying pan or casserole over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until softened. Remember to season with salt.

Step 2:

Before adding the wine, cook for another 10 minutes or until the mushrooms and garlic are soft. Reduce the liquid by half, then add the tomato purée and soy sauce.

Step 3:

Bring the herbs, lentils, and stock to a boil before lowering to low heat and cooking for 35-40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat; don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.

Step 4:

Preheat the oven to 220°C fan 200°C gas. Season the Courgette and squash with the remaining oil. Place a single layer in a roasting pan and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Step 5:

Meanwhile, we will make our lovely sauce by heating the oil in the non-other skillet, and of course, don’t forget to add the flour. Stir to produce a paste, then add the lactose-free milk and a splash until completely incorporated. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Mix the mustard and nutmeg in a mixing bowl.

Step 6:

Our final step, lower the oven’s temperature to 200°C fan 180°C gas. In a baking dish, put one-third of the ragu. Spread one-third of the white sauce evenly over the roasted squash, then top with the remaining roasted squash, top with another third of the ragu, then half of the trimmed lasagna sheets. Another third of the white sauce should be spread on top, then the Courgette slices, remaining ragu, and lasagne sheets. Lastly, drizzle with the leftover white sauce. Cook for another 25-30 minutes until the lasagna has that delicious golden colour we admire. Don’t forget about the bubbling.

Dairy-Free Mushroom Risotto

Lactose-Free

Are you craving some risotto? Well, we’ve got you covered. Risotto is well-known for its rich flavour and high-quality ingredients, often loaded with butter and cheese. This dish is substantially lighter and is suitable for a lactose-free diet. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 Large Onion, Finely Chopped
  •  1-2 Tbsp Truffle Paste, Depending on Strength
  •  125ML Vegan White Wine
  •  150G Chestnut Mushrooms, Sliced
  •  1½ Tbsp Olive Oil
  •  2 Sticks Celery, Finely Chopped
  •  200-400ML Hot Vegetable Stock
  •  20G Dried Porcini Mushrooms
  •  3 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
  •  300G Risotto Rice
  •  A Small Bunch of Parsley, Finely Chopped
  •  ½ Small Lemon, Zested

Pickled Mushrooms

  • 50g Caster Sugar
  •  50g Cut Into Bite-Sized Pieces of Mixed Wild Mushrooms 
  •  75ML Cider Vinegar

Truffled Mushrooms

  • 100G Mixed Wild Mushrooms, Plus Extra to Serve, Plus Extra to Serve
  •  1 Tbsp Truffle Oil, Torn Into Bite-Sized Pieces
  •  Finely Snipped to Make 1 Tbsp Chives

Directions 

Step 1:

Pour 600ml of boiled water over the dried porcini in a heatproof basin. Allow to soak for a few minutes. To make the pickled mushrooms, combine the vinegar, 75ml of water, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a small pot. Remove the wonderful pot from the heat and set aside to cool once the sugar has completely dissolved. Set aside the pickling liquid over the mushrooms in a heatproof bowl while you make the risotto.

Step 2:

Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a deep frying pan over a moderate temperature and sauté the onion and celery for 10 minutes, or until softened but not brownish. Turn up the heat slightly and add the chestnut mushrooms. Fry for another 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly, or until the mushrooms have lost their liquid and are beginning to become golden.

Step 3:

Remove the remaining few tablespoons of stock after straining the porcini into a jug. After adding the garlic and rice to the pan with the veg mixture, cook for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant. After a minute, add a splash of the porcini mushroom stock at a time, do not forget to stir frequently and wait for each addition to be absorbed before adding more. 

When all the mushroom stock has been added, use the same process to add the vegetable stock. Check the rice after 15-20 minutes to ensure it is tender. Add extra stock or water if you need to continue cooking for a few minutes. When the rice is soft, stir in the rehydrated porcini, lemon zest, parsley, and truffle paste. Cover, turn off the heat, and set aside for 5 minutes.

Step 4:

Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over high temperature and sauté the mushrooms until lightly brown and softened. Remove from the heat and mix in the chives and truffle oil after seasoning with salt.

Step 5:

Mix the truffled mushrooms into the risotto, then spoon the pickled mushrooms on top. To serve, pour with additional truffle oil and sprinkle with chives. Your lactose-free meal is now complete. 

In conclusion, a lactose-free diet is challenging to follow at first, but after you get the hang of it, you will become used to it and not crave dairy products. Remember, the most essential rule is always to check the label before eating anything. If you’re out with your friends, asking what’s in your food is fine. If you feel like you’re the only one stuck on a lactose-free diet, it’s always a good idea to start looking for people in the same situation and share your tips and tricks with them. Remember that your step is for greater health, with no diarrhoea or stomach ache. 

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