Lactose intolerance – that is the inability of your body to digest and process lactose – is a very common problem. In fact, nearly 3,750,000 in the UK are lactose intolerant and actually, most of the world’s population is. If you suffer from lactose intolerance, then you will know the symptoms all too well. Bloating, a feeling of nausea or stomach cramps are the one’s we’ll talk about here, but more unpleasant gastric problems are part and parcel of your body’s problems with lactose.
Demand for lactose free milk has grown in this country – in fact 1 in 3 UK households now purchase non-dairy milks regularly – and whether it’s plant based milks or lactose free cows milk you prefer, there is an option for you.
But what are the benefits of drinking lactose free milk and why should it be on your Float?
What is lactose? Let’s get sciencey.
We are all born milk drinkers and all mammal milk contains, to one degree or another, lactose. Lactose is the sugar in milk and depending on the amount in an animal’s milk, the sweeter it tastes. As babies we all have the enzyme lactase in our guts. Lactase breaks down lactose – the milk sugar – into the simpler sugars glucose and galactose. Typically, when babies are weaned, their lactase levels drop and their ability to cope with lactose falls. They can often cope with their mother’s milk but other types can’t be digested so easily.
Except for a few people. Around 10,000 years ago, us Northern Europeans, some Arab groups and the Masai (East African) developed a genetic mutation that allowed them to process lactose into adulthood. And that is the first thing to remember, if you’re lactose intolerant, you’re in the world-wide majority and it’s the milk-drinkers who are the oddities. It really is them, not you.
And that really is all there is to it. Lactose is a sugar in milk that a small minority of the world’s population can digest and others cannot. Your inability to digest lactose is what creates all of the stomach and digestive problems you endure.
What are the options?
If you are one of the people who drinks alternative milks, whether it’s a dairy milk with the lactose removed like Just Milk Lactose Free or a dairy-free alternative like almond, rice or soy milk you may well have already experienced the differences that these products have. Almond milk is the most popular alternative milk in the UK currently and while it can be an excellent, low calorie alternative to cow’s milk, it contains very few of the nutrients and beneficial components of regular milk. Rice milk is growing in popularity but can be thin and not perform well when used in cooking. Thickeners are sometimes added to rice milk, so it’s worth checking the ingredients. Soy milk is another mainstay of the alternative milk market but it does have a strong flavour, often has added sweeteners and has a grainy texture.
One of the best alternatives to regular cow’s milk is lactose free dairy milk. Simply, it’s milk from cows that has been treated to remove the lactose by adding lactase and breaking down the hard-to-digest sugars.
Why we’re stocking Just Milk Lactose Free
We have tested all of the lactose free milks on the market and left no stone unturned. Just Milk Lactose Free is not the best known of the lactose free milks on the market but it is the best all-round performer. Many of the lactose free. milks on the market were sweeter than normal milk and lacked that satisfying, creamy mouth-feel that we all associate with fresh milk. We poured it over cereal, used it in our tea and coffee, even used it to make lattes and it was as good as regular milk – but it was easier to digest and we had none of the side-effects.
The added health benefits
OK, lactose intolerance means… consequences and we have discussed them enough, but that’s not the only reason for going lactose free. Compared to 100ml of regular semi-skimmed milk, Just Milk Lactose free contains 10% fewer calories, 10% less fat and the same amount of protein and calcium. There really is no down-side.
So, whether you need to get lactose out of your diet or simply looking for a healthier alternative, we know we’ve found the best on the market – so why not get some on your Float today.