Planning your meals and snacks on the lactose intolerance diet is made more complicated when you discover that there are foods you didn’t even know contained lactose. Crossing off the basic milk and dairy products is simple, but you should know that the following cannot be included in your diet as well:
1. Most Bread
Bread, being a starchy, carbohydrate-heavy food, may seem a pleasant option for those on the lactose intolerance diet, but most bread contains lactose as a result of dairy products being used in the baking process, such as milk, butter or whey. Even breads that aren’t heavy on the butter or milk tend to contain whey, which is a lactose-containing protein made from milk. Avoid sandwich bread and look for whey on the list of ingredients. You may be able to tolerate breads such as French bread and Italian bread, which often do not contain whey.
2. Some Dry Cereal
Dry cereal is another seemingly-innocuous choice for the lactose intolerance diet, especially if you plan to eat it without milk. However, like bread, dry cereal often contains whey or other milk products. Read the label closely before you decide on which cereals to eat.
3. Instant Mashed Potatoes
You may realize that the recipe for instant mashed potatoes calls for milk, but you might have considered substituting with soy milk or rice milk. However, the mix itself for instant mashed potatoes usually contains whey, so instant mashed potatoes are not a good choice for your diet.
4. Most Battered Meats
Meat, poultry and fish are usually safe options for the lactose intolerant diet, but not when they’re breaded. Unless you know for sure that the breading is lactose-free, you should assume that it has whey or another lactose product in it. Luckily for you, meat, fish and poultry without the batter is healthier anyway.
5. Most Pancakes and Waffles
Again, that pesky whey is at work. You can search for lactose-free pancake and waffle mix, but otherwise, you should assume that the batter contains lactose–most likely in the form of whey.
6. Most Cookies
Because the batter for cookies will contain milk and/or whey, cookies are off limits for those with lactose intolerance. You can search for recipes to make your own lactose-free cookies, but assume most pre-packaged mixes contain lactose.
7. Most Muffins
Muffins you can purchase pre-made in stores as well as most muffin mixes will contain whey and/or some other lactose ingredient. If you have the craving for a muffin, search for lactose-free recipes to make your own from scratch.
8. Most Gravy
You’ll need to be careful when purchasing gravy. Make sure the label clearly says lactose-free–this usually includes those made with water. Otherwise, the gravy most likely used some milk product in its mix.
The lactose intolerance diet can be a choice for healthy eating, or it may be a necessity if you develop intolerance as a result of genetics or a medical procedure. In either case, it will undermine your careful diet plan if you fail to recognize all of the types of foods that include lactose–and it can be painful as well, if you’re intolerant.