Living A Happy Lactose-Free Lifeby Guest writer Carly Trigg
What’s the difference between lactose intolerance and a dairy allergy?
Be careful not to confuse an intolerance with an allergy, otherwise you’ll be restricting your diet based upon symptoms which are not your own. So how do your symptoms match up? Here’s the lowdown on what the differences really are…
This occurs in 168 million people worldwide and is generally acknowledged as the inability to break down the sugars found in dairy products.
If you suffer with a lactose intolerance, you are unable to digest ANY dairy product without a nasty feeling of abdominal discomfort and nausea experience afterwards. This is because the sufferer does not have enough of the enzyme ‘Lactase’ which is needed to break the sugar molecules properly.
This is an allergic reaction to the proteins in dairy, most commonly associated with cow’s milk products. Those who suffer with this might feel stomach pain, skin rashes, lip swells or breathing problems immediately after ingesting the dairy. Reaction to this can be much more extreme than those with a lactose intolerance including anaphylaxis shock. Products including butter, creme cheese, sour cream, milk, cheese, whey, casein can all cause dairy allergic individuals allergic reactions.
Click to read more about the difference between food allergy and food intolerance
Can I consume lactose when I have IBS?
It's all about trial and error. As symptoms and trigger-foods differ from IBS sufferer to IBS sufferer, it’s inconsequential to say that all of those with digestive ailments cannot digest lactase. I, personally, can. Considering this, I do have to ensure it is only in small quantities and/or combined with some other food source, such as milk in my porridge, or yoghurt with some berries.
Having said this, IBS and lactose intolerance are completely different problems, and are not to be confused. IBS sufferers are not necessarily sensitive to ALL dairy foods and should also consider whether their problems with digesting lactase is linked to a gastrointestinal infection, food allergy or Coeliac disease before restricting their diet of lactose.
Lactose-free alternatives to try
Going lactose-free is pretty simple nowadays due to the great range of free-from foods you can find in your local supermarket. Instead of cow’s milk, why not try soya or nut milks?
You can also find loads of dairy-free chocolates online, like from MooFree and DandD chocolates.
Other lactose-free foods include lactose-free cheese and lactose-free yoghurts.
There are great varieties available online too, with some of the best sitting pretty on LactoFree.com.
Dairy-free Cupcakes Recipe
(Email me for US conversions)
30ml vegetable oil
2tsp lemon juice
50g caster sugar
100g coconut flour
2tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
120ml soya milk
100g icing sugar
3tbsp tepid water
1sp cocoa powder (optional)
Food colouring (optional)
Dairy free mini eggs (I used D and D Chocolate’s mini eggs which are dairy, egg and wheat-free)
1. Set the oven to 180c.
2. Mix together the wet ingredients (milk, oil and lemon juice).
3. Stir together the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda).
4. Add the wet to the dry and mix quickly so that the lemon juice is completely combined with the baking soda and flour.
5. Distribute the mixture with 1 tablespoon per cupcake case.
6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Whilst these are baking, mix the ingredients for the icing. Add all the icing ingredients together so that it’s thick but no lumpy (it needs to sit atop the cake but not slide off). If you’re looking to jazz it up, add your food colouring at this stage.
8. Once the cupcakes are cooked and have chilled for half an hour, add the icing. Don’t be inclined the spread the icing during this part – it will naturally move around the cake’s exterior and shouldn’t be melded into the sponge any more than it needs to.
9. Top with mini eggs or dairy-free grated chocolate.
Did you enjoy this recipe? Head over to Carly's blog and check out healthy oatmeal raisin cookie recipe – a real favourite amongst the family and everyone in the office!
For more nutritional advice and IBS advice, go to My Well Being Journal (Note: reading the blog may cause irrational hunger pangs)
Stay connected to Carly on Twitter or Instagram @mwbjournal