Ever wonder why there’s little or no dairy in Asian cuisine? Why there are plenty of goats in Africa, but not a lot of goat cheese?
After weaning, an estimated 65% of humans worldwide, including up to 50 million Americans, decrease their production of lactase. Lactase is produced by the cells that line the small intestine. It is necessary for the digestion of lactose, the main carbohydrate in milk.
Without sufficient lactase, consumption of significant amounts of milk and milk products (including, but not limited to, butter, cheese, ice cream, sour cream and yogurt) can yield unfortunate results.*
Those with the condition can still enjoy milk products by popping products like Lactaid, essentially the lactase enzyme in a pill or chewable tablet.
Or, they can look for lactose-free products. So far, there’s good availability of lactose-free milk. Lactose-free yogurt is just beginning to trickle out.
Celebrate the four new lactose-free yogurt flavors from Yoplait. Photo courtesy Yoplait.
*In 30 minutes to two hours after consuming lactose, symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, gas and nausea.
Green Valley produces plain and flavored lactose-free yogurt and kefir, plus sour cream.
Clemmy’s makes a delicious line of ice cream that is lactose-free, sugar-free and gluten-free.
But both have limited distribution. The best way to get them into your store is to beg your store manager, and rally others to do the same.
Yoplait Lactose Free Yogurt
The good news for yogurt lovers is that Yoplait, a national brand with great distribution, has just introduced Yoplait Lactose Free yogurt in Cherry, Peach, Strawberry and Vanilla. (We wish they’d add a plain yogurt, which can be used in so many ways, including as a sour cream substitute.)
You can enjoy the lactose-free yogurt straight from the container or use it in recipes from yogurt parfaits and frozen yogurt pops to smoothies and baked goods. Head to the brand website for recipes.
And head to your grocer to pick up a bunch.
About Lactose Intolerance
Thirty to 50 million Americans—adults and children—are lactose intolerant. The disorder affects some populations more than others:
Brits have the most tolerance to lactose; East Asians have the least. Check out this chart to see where your heritage falls.
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