What is lactose intolerance?
Lactose is a type of sugar, composed of glucose and galactose, present in mammalian milk and other mammalian milk products such as cheese or yoghurt. In order to digest lactose, we need lactase, an enzyme that breaks down “milk sugar” into glucose and galactose.
When a person’s body does not produce enough lactase to digest this compound, it’s when we talk about lactose intolerance. The symptoms of this food intolerance begin when lactose is not absorbed into the intestines, causing unpleasant symptoms in the digestive system. Although not everyone with lactose intolerance experiences the same symptoms or has the same sensitivity, if you have trouble digesting lactose, it may be better to stop or reduce your intake of lactose.
At Gula Sana we also think of people with lactose intolerance and vegans. So if you have decided to eat a lactose-free diet out of necessity or on your own, among our gluten-free proposals you will also find lactose-free and protein-free options for milk.
Types of lactose intolerance
Congenital lactose intolerance is developed by a mutation of the lactase gene, which causes the enzyme to have little or no activity at all. It is considered a rare type of intolerance and the only way to avoid its symptoms is to not drink milk or dairy products with lactose.
This type of lactose intolerance has a genetic component, it consists of a gradual diminution of the production of lactase and, therefore, of the ability to digest this sugar. People with primary lactose intolerance usually realize over time that milk makes them feel worse and worse.
Secondary or acquired
Secondary lactose intolerance may occur after occasional and transitory intestinal damage. This condition causes the enzyme that digests lactose to decrease its activity and not degrade it normally.
Alternatives to milk
As the tests and diagnoses for food intolerances are being perfected, more and more people are discovering that an allergen is the cause of their discomfort. In the case of milk, there are different alternatives that we can use to replace this ingredient. In the elaboration of our meals and sweets, we use some of these alternatives so that people with lactose intolerance can enjoy them without worrying about anything.
In the case of the intolerant, it is possible to use lactose-free milk. Although lactose is the second compound present in milk after water, there are different methods to eliminate this sugar from its composition. Lactose-free milk allows people who are intolerant to this allergen to consume it as is or as an ingredient in different recipes without experiencing any of the annoying symptoms.
In the case of vegans (and also intolerant people), plant-based drinks are the most popular and commercialized alternative. We can find vegetable drink made from soy, almond, walnuts, etcetera. They are very easy to obtain and can be easily included in traditional pastry recipes such as cakes, biscuits, biscuits and many others.