Hy-Vee at Midday: Options for the Lactose Intolerant

By Kimberly Proctor, Hy-Vee Dieitian

New Approach to Lactose Intolerance

Do you think being lactose intolerant means giving up dairy foods? Think again! Milk, yogurt and cheese provide an excellent source of protein, calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients. Giving up dairy foods means losing out on these great health benefits. Your Hy-Vee dietitian wants you to know that lactose intolerant individuals can still enjoy the great taste and important nutrition of dairy foods. Today, Kimberly Proctor, RD LD, will feature lactose-friendly options in the dairy department.

Lactose Intolerance Explained:
Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk. In the digestive process, lactose gets broken down by an enzyme into two smaller parts, which are easily absorbed by the small intestine. Lactose intolerance occurs when a person lacks sufficient amounts of the enzyme needed to break down the lactose. The large lactose molecule is not absorbed, and travels intact to the large intestine. This produces the symptoms of intolerance such as gas, bloating, cramps and diarrhea.

Tips for Enjoying Dairy Foods:

Start Small.
Some individuals can tolerate lactose-containing foods in small amounts. Begin with a few sips, and work up gradually as tolerated.

Mix it up.
Enjoy your dairy products in combination with other solid foods. Try milk in soup, cereal, or in a smoothie.

Cheese, Please!
Cheeses such as Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, mozzarella and Swiss are naturally lower in lactose.

Look for "lactose-free."
Dairy products such as milk, chocolate milk, cottage cheese and ice cream are available with the milk sugar already broken down. These are real dairy foods that look and taste like their traditional counterparts.

Get some culture.
Cultured dairy products like yogurt are often well-tolerated. Greek yogurt especially is naturally low in lactose. Try kefir, a probiotic smoothie beverage that is 99% lactose free.


Munch Mix (serves 1)
all you need:
1/3 cup red or green seedless grapes
½ oz. Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese cubes
1 heaping Tablespoon roasted almonds
All you do:
Combine grapes, cheese and almonds in a bowl or re-closeable bag.
Source: Cabot Cheese
Per serving: 118 calories; 8 g fat; 89 mg sodium; 7 g carbohydrate; 1 g dietary fiber; 5 g protein


Warm Cheese Dip (serves 4)
all you need:
2 tsp. cornstarch
½ cup reduced fat milk
8 oz. Hy-Vee shredded cheddar cheese
Pinch garlic powder
all you do:
In a small bowl, combine milk and cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved. Heat in microwave until boiling and thickened, about 40 seconds. Whisk in cheese until blended. Microwave an additional 10 seconds to melt cheese completely. Add pinch of garlic powder. Serve with whole grain pretzels and raw or crisp-tender broccoli and cauliflower.
Source: Cabot Cheese
Per serving (dip only): 133 calories; 10 g fat; 194 mg. sodium; 3 g carbohydrate; 0 g dietary fiber; 8 g protein


Strawberry Kefir Smoothie (serves 1)
all you need:
1 medium ripe banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup Lifeway Kefir, strawberry flavor
all you do:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.
Source: Kimberly Proctor, RD LD
Per serving: 300 calories; 3 g fat; 129 mg sodium; 61 g carbohydrate; 6 g dietary fiber; 13 g protein
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