Unpleasant reactions to dairy products are a part of many people's lives. Some have to take different products in small doses, and others refuse milk and cheese altogether. The reason for this is lactose, the same as milk sugar, and the condition we just mentioned is called lactose intolerance.

Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk and dairy products, which is formed after joining two sugars - glucose and galactose (yes, that's what it's called).

In order for our body to process it in time, it uses a natural enzyme - lactase, which splits lactose into the two sugars already mentioned. When not enough of the enzyme is produced, the human body may no longer be able to break down or fully absorb lactose, which then leads to symptoms.

Sometimes the level of this enzyme is low and the body still manages to digest dairy products. But when the level drops too much after consuming dairy products, various symptoms begin - abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea.

Often this condition can be managed without giving up dairy products. But when that doesn't work, then you'll need lactose-free foods - lactose-free milk, cheese, etc. Add to your diet.

Lactose intolerance is different from milk allergy and the two should not be confused. We have already mentioned that intolerance to this sugar occurs due to lack of enzyme, and allergy is a reaction to milk protein.

Most dairy products contain lactose, but some contain more than others. Here we list the products that are most saturated with this sugar.


You probably won't be surprised to find milk in the first place. It contains the most lactose - 1 cup equals about 13 grams, while skim milk can contain 12 to 13 grams. Lactose-free milk is a very good solution at this time.


Cheese is also distinguished by its large composition. Products such as Parmesan, Swiss, Cheddar, Feta, Mozzarella, Parmesan are more easily processed by our body because most of the lactose is released during the manufacturing process.


In products made from cream - such as ice cream, cream cheese, butter is also in an advanced position.


Like the various cheeses mentioned above, some people can eat yogurt in moderation because the lactose in it is partially broken down.

Milk chocolate

Although milk chocolate contains less of this sugar than milk or cream, always be careful, some contain up to 8.2% of this sugar, so check the label and eat in moderation.

There are lactase enzyme tablets. They help break down lactose, which allows people to consume these listed products.

In fact, lactose intolerance is a natural condition. Human is the only creature that continues to drink milk after infancy, along with the milk of another animal, and this is not at all a natural act.

Lactose tolerance developed after early humans moved from Africa to northern Europe and other cold climates.

This is where the dependence on dairy products began, as they needed high-calorie foods.

Bones from the Neolithic age can also prove this. Examination of these bones showed that the DNA of the representatives of that time did not have the lactose gene.

So it is no longer a stranger to the fact that thousands of years ago there was an intolerance to this sugar in all humans (as well as in other mammals). But that was before they started domesticating farm animals and consuming milk. After that, they slowly became tolerant.

If you look at the areas with the lowest incidence of this sugar intolerance (Northern Europe), you will find that it was the first place where dairy animals were domesticated and milk was consumed as food.

Since the level of non-acceptance is directly related to the period in history when the local population started to domesticate animals, the rest of Europe has slightly more acceptance than the Middle East, followed by Asia (for example, in Japan, where milk is not consumed as much as in Western culture, this condition is much more common ) and finally the African population, which has the highest rate of intolerance.

Throughout history, our bodies have somewhat adapted to the constant consumption of dairy products - but not perfectly, and not all of them.

Intolerance symptoms usually develop within 30 minutes to several hours after consuming food or drink containing lactose.

It can be manifested in the following forms:

  • Diarrhea
  • gases
  • Bloating
  • Stomach cramps and pains
  • Feeling nauseous and sometimes vomiting

The severity of symptoms and when they appear depend on the amount of lactose consumed. Some people can still drink a small glass of milk without causing any symptoms, while others experience symptoms as soon as they add a small spoonful of milk to their coffee.

This condition is not very common in newborns and usually appears only after three years of age. All children are born with lactase enzyme, but with age, this enzyme decreases.

Premature babies are more likely to have a type of lactose intolerance called developmental lactase deficiency. This condition usually lasts for a short time after birth. However, most babies can take breast milk.

Congenital lactase deficiency is a very rare disease in which babies are unable to break down the sugar in breast milk. This disorder is caused by genes inherited from parents. This deficiency is the cause of severe diarrhea, and if infants are not fed lactose-free infant formula, they may develop severe dehydration and weight loss.

The treatment of this condition in children depends on the extent of the symptoms. Some children can eat small amounts of dairy products without the following complications.

To relieve symptoms, if/when your child consumes lactose-containing foods, your pediatrician may recommend an over-the-counter lactase enzyme supplement.

If your child's symptoms are severe and require removing all lactose from his diet, the pediatrician may refer you to a nutritionist. Since dairy products are good sources of calcium and vitamin D, and all children need them, a registered dietitian can suggest other foods to provide these nutrients, as well as vitamin supplements.

Finally, a frequently asked question when having a baby is - if a mother has an intolerance, is it safe for her to breastfeed her baby? At this time, breastfeeding the baby is completely safe. Breastfeeding does not put the baby at risk and has significant health benefits for the baby. In adults, treatment almost entirely involves choosing the right diet.

Work with your nutritionist to determine the amount of lactose you can eat each day. You can find this amount by testing a small amount of lactose.

  • Try foods and drinks that contain lower amounts of lactose, such as lactose-reduced milk.
  • Eat or drink dairy products that are easier to digest
  • Pay attention to the amount, only small doses are allowed - such as ¼ cup of milk or ½ ounce of cheese.
  • Eat or drink 1 dairy product a day, and then gradually increase the daily intake.
  • Eat or drink only 1 dairy product with a meal.
  • Consume dairy products or drinks with other foods instead of eating and drinking them alone.
  • Take the lactase enzyme in tablet or liquid form before eating or drinking dairy foods. This enzyme can help prevent various symptoms.

    Naturally, doses and products are individual for everyone, and carefully choose the form of your diet.

    When a product containing even a small amount of lactose does not work for you, then you need a lactose-free product, whether it is cheese, milk or something else.

Which foods should I limit or avoid?

Limit or avoid milk (regular, condensed, powdered), yogurt, cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products. Always read ingredient labels before buying packaged foods.

Limit or avoid foods containing milk, milk solids, butter, cream. Even foods such as margarine, non-dairy creamers, baked goods and salad dressings may contain this substance. Soup or potatoes, drink mixes, and pancake or cake mixes are sometimes no exception. Milk sugar can also be found in many prepared foods, such as baked goods, cream-based sauces, and processed meats.

Replacing your favorite dairy products is not a tragedy, and you do not have to give up some products. Instead of the already mentioned yogurt, you can buy lactose-free yogurt, which is not only tasty, but also healthy.

What food should we eat?

Many healthy foods fit easily into a lactose-free diet, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

  • Lactose-free, almond, rice or soy milk
  • Soy yogurt or soy cheese
  • Almond milk cheese
  • Soy sour cream
  • Foods containing casein, lactate, lactic acid and lactalbumin
  • Lactose-reduced milk
  • Aged cheeses such as Swiss, Cheddar or Parmesan
  • cream cheese
  • Cottage or ricotta cheese

If you can't eat most dairy products, you may not be getting enough calcium in your daily diet.

Calcium has several important functions, including:

  • Helps build strong bones and teeth
  • Regulation of muscle contraction (including heart rate)
  • Ensuring blood clotting

Choose foods that include alternative sources of calcium in your diet, such as:

  • Leafy green vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli,
  • soybeans
  • Tofu
  • nut
  • Bread and everything with hardened flour
  • Fish that contain edible bones (for example, sardines, salmon, and salmon).

Despite the fact that Georgia is part of the lactose-tolerant part of Europe, a large number of the population still has this condition. Considering a number of factors, it is quite possible to live with this condition, and the replacement of dairy products will become more complete over time.

Lactose-free products in Europroduct

Europroduct offers the widest range of lactose-free food and other organic products on the local market. Here you will find different brands of rice, oat, soy, almond milk, which is one of the most demanded and healthy products, and most importantly, all of them are lactose-free.

"Granarolo" almond milk is also gluten-free. Energy value of 100ml product: 170 kJ / 41 kcal, fat 2.6g, of which saturated fat is 0.4g, carbohydrates 3.4g.

Scotti's rice and coconut milk can be enjoyed straight from the glass, with tea/coffee, added to cereal and used in various recipes. Its composition is as follows: water, organic rice (16%), organic coconut (2%) and rice oil. And stabilizers: carrageenan, xanthan gum, natural flavor and salt.

"Valio" lactose-free cheese will replace everyone's favorite dairy product - cheese. Made in Finland with pasteurized milk, this product is an ideal choice.

You won't be without dessert either. "Valio" protein pudding with different composition, aka lactose-free yogurt, is the best ending.