Question: What is lactose-free?
Answer: Lactose is a sugar in dairy products. Foods like milk, cheese, ice cream, cottage cheese, and sour cream contain lactose. The amount of lactose in a dairy product will vary based on the product. For example, an aged hard cheese will typically have less lactose than a newly made cheese because as cheese ages its lactose transforms in lactic acid.
People with lactose intolerance cannot properly digest lactose. The body breaks down lactose with the assistance of an enzyme produced in the small intestine called lactase. If a person lacks sufficient lactase production in the body, they may experience symptoms of lactose intolerance. These symptoms may include an upset stomach, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and vomiting.
What is lactose-free? Lactose-free is often confused with dairy-free, however, they are not the same. Dairy-free means that a product does not contain milk as an ingredient. You will often see “dairy-free” printed on food products that might be confused as a dairy product. Examples are almond milk (made from water and almonds with no dairy) or soy milk (made from water and soybeans with no dairy).
Lactose-free means that the product does not contain lactose. Yes, some dairy products can be considered lactose-free. For example, you may have seen lactose-free milk at the grocery store. This is milk that has had the lactase enzyme added to it during manufacturing to break down the lactose. The addition of lactase eliminates the lactose, which makes it digestible for people that are sensitive to lactose. Any non-dairy food or beverage can also be considered lactose-free since only dairy products contain lactose.
If you are looking for lactase enzyme tablets to break down lactose, we highly recommend LactoJoy. The product is packaged in a modern designed tin (see picture above) that looks more like a mint container than a medicine bottle. This makes it easy to casually take a tablet in public without the stigma you might feel from pulling out a traditional medicine bottle. Additionally, there are not any unnecessary additives in the product like other supplements. It contains three simple ingredients of lactase, a vegetable separating agent, and organic potato starch. Nothing more. It does an amazing job at breaking down lactose for those who have trouble digesting dairy. Give it a try!