How to detect lactose intolerance

The majority of the world's population suffers lactose intolerance. Currently, it is estimated that 75 percent of the population is not genetically capable of digesting lactose. The symptoms of having a lactose intolerance They are not pleasant: nausea, diarrhea, abdominal distension and colicky pain. These are the precautions you should take and what diet to follow if you detect that you are lactose intolerant.

Lactose, the sugar in cow's milk

The lactose is a type of sugar, called disaccharide or simple carbohydrate, present in the Cow milk and the rest of mammals, including breast milk. The lactose to decompose in glucose works as a source of energy for the cells of our body. It is found in dairy products such as yogurt, whole milk, cream and cheese. It is also in products made from these as ice cream, pasta sauces, soups, breads and desserts.

The lactase is an enzyme It is produced in the small intestine and is responsible for digesting lactose converting it into two simpler sugars: glucose and galactose. Hypolactasia, commonly known as lactose intolerance, refers to the deficiency of this enzyme.

Approximately 20% of people who suffer from lactose intolerance are also allergic to casein, which is the protein present in cow's milk. This means that a person with lactose intolerance can consume products labeled as "deslactosados" (example "delayed milk", which has been removed sugar), but one that suffers from both should stop consuming dairy products of cow completely.

How to detect an intolerance to lactose

Currently, many laboratory tests and medical studies are available that can be performed for diagnosis so if someone is suspicious you should consult your doctor directly. Rocío Río de la Losa, nutrition specialist, affirms that "a form that helps identify a food intolerance like this, is being aware of your own body, keeping a diary and pointing out what it is and how you felt afterwards".

There is a popular belief that dairy products are the best source of calcium and that not consuming them can lead to problems such as osteoporosis. However, lactose intolerance does not alter the ability of the digestive tract to absorb calcium or bone production. The important thing, as in any diet plan, is to consume a large amount of foods rich in this essential mineral.

Some examples are seeds like sesame and chia, green leaves like cabbage and vegetables, some whole grains, the sardines (with their thorns) and fortified foods. Such is the case of some bakery products, breakfast cereals, smoothies, vegetable milks (almond, soy, rice, oatmeal, etc.), soy yogurts, vegan cheeses, etc.

And in addition to calcium, it is necessary to have adequate levels of vitamin D, which is achieved by sunbathing safely every day, consuming mushrooms, fortified foods or taking supplements.

Alternative recipes without lactose: almond milk

Ingredients: 1 cup of almonds (soaked from the previous night), 1 liter of pure water, 1 pinch of salt, 4 dates without bone, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 pinch of cinnamon

Preparation method: Grind everything in the blender, go through a bag for vegetable milk or fine cloth, squeeze well and store in the refrigerator a maximum of three days.

Elena Compte

Video: 6 signs you might be lactose intolerant

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