Lactose-free or lactose-free milk: is it good or bad?

Have you ever seen lactose-free milk on supermarket shelves and wondered if this version is good or bad? Know that this milk is very good for your health and helps to keep various functions of the body working properly.

First of all, it is important to know that cow’s milk with reduced or zero lactose has the same properties as the common version, it just goes through a process where the main sugar is removed from it.

It is necessary to clarify that this milk is indicated for those who have an intolerance and not allergy to milk, which are different conditions and it is also not suitable for a vegan diet , as it is still food of animal origin. That said, check out why add this drink to your life!

What are the benefits of consuming lactose-free milk?

Nutritionist Vanessa Nogueira clarified that lactose-free milk is a healthy and beneficial option even for people who do not suffer from intolerance to this type of carbohydrate.

“Lactose is a molecular structure that comprises the sugar in milk ”, teaches Vanessa. However, not everyone can digest it, as it is necessary for the body to produce an enzyme called lactase, which serves “to break/hydrolyze this large chemical structure into smaller fractions (glucose and galactose)”, causing the body to do so. enjoy it.

Therefore, the only difference between this and the traditional version of the product is the absence of this sugar .

Furthermore, it “has the same nutritional benefits [as regular milk], as this version only lacks milk sugar, the amount of protein and fat is the same,” said the expert.

Good for bones and muscles

As the nutritionist explains, lactose-free milk has the same benefits as the “common” version and this includes the large amount of calcium , making it also beneficial for bone health.

Some proteins present in food, especially caseins and lactoglobulins, work by improving the transport of minerals through the blood and increasing the rate of their absorption by the intestine. ( 1 )

Milk is also a source of vitamin A, another essential compound for maintaining bone integrity. ( 2 )

Because of this, the consumption of this drink is ideal to help people who suffer from carbohydrate intolerance to reach daily levels of calcium through food and prevent nutritional deficiencies that increase the risk of bone diseases and fractures.

Protects the health of the intestinal tract

Milk can help in the proliferation of microorganisms that are part of the intestinal flora , a set of very important bacteria to prevent a series of diseases that can affect the intestinal tract. ( 2 )

Furthermore, this type of milk is better digested , especially for those who suffer from a problem to metabolize lactose, as it is not necessary for the body to release an enzyme called lactase, which serves to break this sugar into smaller parts.

As a result, the body is able to absorb faster and there is a reduction in the chances of suffering from discomfort that may appear after consumption of dairy products.

Helps strengthen the immune system

This drink is also considered an ally of the immune system, which is the body’s defense against disease.

Proteins found naturally in milk help to regulate the production of cells that are part of this system.

When digesting these proteins, the body produces peptides, which are molecules formed by a set of amino acids, which also act as natural immunomodulators. ( 1 )

protect the vision

Adopting the consumption of zero lactose milk is also a great way for people who suffer from some type of intolerance to increase their intake of vitamin A and protect their eyesight against blindness .

Each 200 ml glass of milk has about 74 micrograms of this nutrient, which represents 9% of the daily consumption for an adult person. “Okay, but what does this have to do with vision?”

Vitamin A is used by the body in the production of components that make up the structure of the eye . For this reason, keeping the consumption of it in the recommended amounts is a way to prevent degenerative problems and also dry eye disease. ( 1 )

Promotes a healthy pregnancy

Food is a source of folic acid. This nutrient is essential for anyone thinking about getting pregnant and during the first weeks of pregnancy.

It is even recommended to supplement it during this period, as it participates in the growth and maturation process of the baby’s nervous system .

Adequate milk consumption can help prevent brain malformations in children and also reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, a condition that can lead to complications during this period.

Who Should Drink Zero Lactose Milk?

Have you seen that lactose-free cow’s milk has the same benefits as the traditional one, but this version can be consumed by anyone or is there any harm to health?

As Vanessa Nogueira explains, consuming lactose-free milk, even if you are not intolerance, does not result in loss of benefits, flavor or nutrients.

Can those who are allergic to milk consume this version?

No , allergy and intolerance are two different problems.

In the first picture, according to the nutrition professional, what happens is that “the body’s immune system does not recognize the proteins in that food and rejects them”, which usually occurs in childhood and is overcome over time in 80% of cases.

However, there is no process to eliminate these proteins , as is the case with carbohydrates. Therefore, the best option is to avoid the consumption of milk and dairy products and opt for vegetable versions .

“ Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, concerns the body not being able to manufacture the lactase enzyme, thus being unable to hydrolyze lactose into smaller fractions for absorption in the body”, explains Vanessa.

Also according to her, “this can be corrected with some drugs , even so they should be prescribed with caution because the high consumption of lactose can cause intestinal inflammation, in addition to uncomfortable stomach pains and vomiting”.

The best option is to opt for free versions of this carbohydrate whenever possible.

Other healthy and lactose-free milk options

“For those who have lactose intolerance, consuming zero lactose dairy products is the recommended option, for others the consumption of plant extract, popularly known as vegetable milk can be used.”

Among the main vegetable milks are: soy , rice or oilseed milk such as chestnuts. 

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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