Lactose is a natural sugar that is only found in milk. Our bodies need the enzyme lactase to break down Lactose. Most of the carbs in dairy come from Lactose. You can’t handle Lactose if your body doesn’t make enough lactase. Some people take lactase supplements when they eat dairy products to help break down Lactose in the stomach, but this doesn’t always prevent digestive problems.
What is Lactose-Free Milk?
Cow’s milk is used to make lactose-free milk. It is different because it has the enzyme lactase added to it. Lactase breaks down the Lactose in milk, making it easier to digest and less likely to cause stomach pain and nausea, which are symptoms of lactose intolerance. Lactase is added to regular milk to turn it into lactose-free milk. Lactase breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose, which are two sugars. The total sugar in the milk stays the same, and no more sugar is added, but the milk usually tastes a little sweeter.
We add the lactase enzyme to our premium, certified organic, pasture-raised milk to eliminate the Lactose. After 24 hours of slow mixing, the enzyme breaks down the Lactose into glucose and galactose, which are simpler sugars that are easier to digest. We test our lactose-free milk to ensure there is no lactose. This means that most people who can’t digest Lactose can safely drink Organic Valley Lactose-Free Milk.
What does Lactose-Free Milk Taste Like?
If you’ve ever liked the milk left in your bowl after eating cereal with a little sugar, you’ve tasted lactose-free milk. Some people can’t tell the difference between lactose-free and regular milk in terms of taste, while others like the lactose-free version even more because it tastes sweeter.
But the second one has a lot of lactase, which makes the milk taste sweeter than the first one. Lactose-free milk also lasts longer than regular milk, which is good for the people who make it. You can also find lactose-free milk that doesn’t come from cow’s milk made from rice, soy, almond, potato, hemp, coconut, and oats. They are safe and good alternatives to regular milk but have very different amounts of nutrients.
But a fortified drink like soy milk can help fill the gaps and meet the needs. It can give you most of the vitamins, calcium, and riboflavin your body needs. People who can’t handle Lactose can get gas, bloating, and diarrhea when they eat dairy products. Even though these aren’t fatal, they can be painful. So, switching to milk without Lactose can help a lot. One cup (244g) of lactose-free milk has 124 calories, 42 of which come from fat and 8.4g of protein. 5g of protein, 395mg of potassium, 12g of carbohydrates, 127mg of sodium, 20mg of cholesterol, and 24% of calcium and vitamins.
If you can’t handle Lactose, choose lactose-free milk instead of regular milk so you can still enjoy the taste of dairy without getting sick. Studies have also shown that you don’t lose too many nutrients when you drink lactose-free milk. So, there’s no need to worry about that.
How does Lactose-Free Dairy Work?
In most dairies, the milk first goes through filters that take out 40% of the Lactose. Next, we remove the rest of the Lactose by adding lactase, an enzyme that can separate the two lactose molecules. Lactose has been broken down into glucose and galactose in lactose-free products. Lactose is a sugar molecule, and the filtering process slightly lowers the number of carbohydrates. For example, the amount of calcium and protein is pretty much the same.
Do Butter, Yogurt, and Cheese have Lactose?
Some dairy products already have a low amount of Lactose in them. During fermentation, some lactose is removed from the product or used by lactic acid bacteria. Some people who can’t digest Lactose can eat these products without trouble.
Lactose in Butter and Cream
Butter is made from cream that has been churned, and it doesn’t have much Lactose in it. Regular cream contains some lactose. Lactose is also found in cream, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and butter, all made from milk. But the amount of Lactose in these products varies and is sometimes very low, so you may still be able to eat some of them without any problems. If you have trouble digesting Lactose, you may need to avoid these foods.
Lactose in Yogurt, Skyr, and Kefir
Some people who can’t digest Lactose can still enjoy fresh yogurt and other fermented foods like skyr or kefir. One reason could be that these products are fermented with live cultures of lactic acid bacteria.
Lactose in Cheese
People who can’t digest Lactose can eat hard or semi-hard yellow cheeses like Cheddar, Havarti, Gouda, or Emmental. Because of how these cheeses are made, most lactose-containing milk water (whey) is drained from the milk, and most of the remaining Lactose is broken down by the added lactic acid bacteria. With less than 0.05 grams of Lactose per 100 grams of cheese, many hard or semi-hard yellow cheese is almost lactose-free.
But the level is different for each kind of cheese. Most of the time, aged, hard cheeses have the least amount of Lactose. Lactose levels are usually higher in cream and mold cheeses, cheese spreads, cottage cheese, and mozzarella. However, these cheeses still have less Lactose than regular milk.
Is Lactose-Free Milk Just as Good for you as Regular Milk?
Yes, but strangely, the simple sugars in lactose-free milk taste sweeter!
Sure is! Lactose-free milk has vitamins A, D, and B12 as regular milk. It also has the key nutrients riboflavin, phosphorus, and calcium for strong bones. Also, these nutrients are well-balanced. For example, the vitamin D in milk makes it easier for the body to take calcium. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids and adults who can’t digest Lactose eat lactose-free dairy products. This is because milk is such an important source of nutrition. Sure is! Lactose-free milk has vitamins A, D, and B12 as regular milk. It also has the key nutrients riboflavin, phosphorus, and calcium for strong bones. Also, these nutrients are well-balanced. For example, the vitamin D in milk makes it easier for the body to take calcium.
Where do I Find Lactose-Free Milk?
The lactose-free products from Organic Valley can be found in the dairy section. If your local store doesn’t carry our lactose-free milk yet, tell the dairy buyer that you’d like to see it there! Use the drop-down menu on Organic Valley’s online product locator to find lactose-free options in your area.
What are the Benefits of Lactose-Free Milk?
If you can’t handle Lactose, you shouldn’t drink milk unless you want to spend the rest of the day locked in the bathroom. But lactose-free milk is definitely in, while regular milk may be out. Lactose-free milk doesn’t have the carbs that make you sick, but it still has all the good things that regular milk does.
Lactose intolerance happens when your digestive system doesn’t make enough of the enzyme lactase. The enzyme’s job is to break down the milk sugar (Lactose) into its parts (galactose and glucose), so they can be absorbed. If you don’t have lactase, you can’t break down Lactose. When this happens, your digestive system responds by giving you indigestion, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Lactose is the source of all of the carbs in cow’s milk. Lactose-free milk is made from cow’s milk, but the lactase enzyme is added so that no lactose is left. This means you can drink a cup of milk or eat a bowl of cereal without worrying about stomach problems.
Good for your Bones
Since lactose-free milk is made from cow’s milk, it has all the same benefits, like calcium and vitamin D for stronger bones. One cup of regular lactose-free milk gives you 30% of your daily calcium and 25% of your vitamin D needs. Most of the minerals in your bones are calcium, and vitamin D helps your body absorb more calcium. Getting more of these nutrients from food may help strengthen your bones and lower your risk of osteoporosis. You can even get lactose-free milk that has more calcium added to it.
Your heart also benefits from low-fat or nonfat lactose-free milk because it has minerals that help lower your blood pressure. The calcium in milk helps keep your bones strong, and it also helps keep your blood pressure in check. Lactose-free milk also has a lot of potassium, which helps lower blood pressure by keeping the amount of sodium in the body.
Lactose-free milk is a good addition to your diet because it is high in protein and has a lot of other nutrients. About 10,000 proteins make up your body, and the proteins in dairy help build hair, skin, bone, muscle, and some enzymes. One cup of lactose-free milk has 8 grams of complete protein, which means it has all the essential amino acids your body needs to work.
A Little Sweeter
The easiest way to remove Lactose is to add an enzyme before pasteurization or heat treatment. The enzymes break down Lactose into simpler monosaccharides, free glucose and galactose, which are much sweeter than Lactose. Some manufacturers add lactase enzymes to milk before UHT treatment, while others prefer to add them after the heat treatment is complete.
Good news! Lactose-free milk can be used in baking and cooking just like regular milk for sweet and savory dishes. Lactose-free milk is the same as regular milk, except that the Lactose has been broken down into simple sugars. This makes Organic Valley Lactose-Free Milk a great replacement for regular milk in the kitchen. There isn’t a big difference between lactose-free and regular milk in terms of how much sugar it has. On average, lactose-free milk has a little less sugar than regular milk.