Best Liquid Vitamins

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Who is at risk for lactose intolerance?

Between 30 and 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant and certain ethnic and racial populations are more affected than others. Up to 80 percent of African Americans, 80 to 100 percent of American Indians, and 90 to 100 percent of Asian Americans are lactose intolerant. The condition is least common among people of northern European descent.

Babies that are born prematurely are also more likely to be lactose intolerant, because lactase levels do not increase until the third trimester of a woman’s pregnancy.

What can I do about lactose intolerance?

You will need to avoid or eat less of foods that have lactose in them.

Lactose is in milk and all foods made with milk. It is also added to some boxed, canned, frozen, and other prepared foods, such as

  • breads
  • cereals
  • lunch meats
  • salad dressings
  • mixes for cakes, cookies, pancakes, and biscuits
  • frozen dinners

Learn to read food labels carefully. Look for milk and lactose in the list of ingredients. Also look for words like whey, curds, milk by-products, dried milk, milk solids, and powdered milk. If any of these words are listed on a label, the product contains lactose.

Do I have to avoid all foods with lactose?

Not necessarily. You may be able to eat a small amount of some foods with lactose. For example, you may be able to eat cheese or yogurt but not drink milk. Try a small amount of the food and then see how you feel. You can also drink lactose-reduced milk. And you can buy lactase enzyme caplets or drops that help you digest lactose. Continue to the next page to read more on this important subject...
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