My love for dairy is unstoppable. Ice cream, mac and cheese, pizza and mozzarella sticks are just some of my favorite dairy foods and the reasons why I could never become vegan. Dairy is just too damn good to give up — sorry, cows. And I don’t care how much you try to convince me, dairy-free products are just not the same.
Over the years, I’ve developed a condition that has restricted my relationship with dairy. I am no longer able to enjoy the delightfulness and deliciousness of dairy without my body hating me. Lactose intolerance is such an unfortunate condition and one I wish I didn’t have, but like many others, this has not stopped me from eating all my favorite dairy products — ice cream is definitely worth the hours of bloating and constant trips to the restroom.
My body lacks enough lactase to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk. This results in the bloating, abdominal cramps and diarrhea I experience after I consume many dairy products. However, there are some dairy products that contain little amounts of lactose so when I eat them my body won’t hate me. Here are just some of the legen-dairy products that you’re still able to consume without feeling awful afterward.
I LOVE cheese. Pizza, quesadillas and mozzarella sticks are what I live for. There are some types of cheese that are less concentrated in lactose than others. Cheeses like Muenster, Camembert and brie contain less than 2 percent of lactose, and cheddar, Gouda and blue cheese have under 3 percent. Because these cheeses contain small traces of lactose, most lactose intolerance folks are able to consume them without feeling horrible after. It’s grate to be able to eat cheese again.
Although I can’t tell the difference when I use vegan butter instead of regular butter to bake cookies, vegan butter is considerably more expensive and as a college student who loves baking, I just can’t afford it. Good thing butter is a product high in fat with traces of lactose. So bake away!
Greek yogurt with probiotics
Yogurt with granola and fruit is one of my favorite things to eat in the mornings. It’s incredibly easy to put together and so delicious to devour. Unlike regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is strained more, therefore it contains less lactose. And the probiotics in the yogurt are healthy bacteria that digest and break down some of the remaining lactose for you through fermentation! (Thank you Nutrisci 103.)
Quark is a dairy product that is low in calories and fat and contains small amounts of lactose. It can be used to make smoothies, cheesecake, overnight oats or even a smear on your favorite crackers or toast. It’s a universal dairy product!
Although these dairy products contain small traces of lactose, they won’t completely prevent the aftermath of indulging in them. You should still consume these products with caution and only in small amounts!