- Lactose-free diets can reduce digestive symptoms in people who are lactose intolerant.
- Lactose is a sugar found in milk and some dairy products, as well as many processed foods.
- For those on a lactose-free diet, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein are good foods to eat.
- Lactose-free dairy products are available in most grocery stores for those who can’t consume the enzyme.
If you’ve been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, your doctor will likely suggest that you make changes to your diet. Following their advice and sticking to a lactose-free diet may help reduce symptoms, such as diarrhea and bloating.
Knowing which foods fit a lactose-free diet is the first step toward successfully controlling the symptoms of lactose intolerance. Check out the foods to eat and avoid below, and talk to your doctor for more advice.
Avoid: Cow’s Milk
Before delving into what you should eat and avoid on a lactose-free diet, it’s important to understand that being lactose intolerant isn’t the same as having a milk allergy. Most people with lactose intolerance can digest small amounts of lactose without experiencing symptoms.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states that the average person with lactose intolerance can digest up to 12-grams of lactose per meal. This is the amount of lactose found in 8-ounces (29.5 milliliters) of whole milk. However, the threshold for the digestion of products varies from person to person, so you may wish to avoid drinking milk entirely while on a lactose-free diet.