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6 Best Lactose-Free Substitutes For Regular Milk

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Nowadays, lactose-free milk has become a trend in the fitness world. Also, many people are allergic to milk and dairy products due to the presence of lactose in it, and they might need lactose-free milk. But what is lactose-free milk? Is it healthy for you? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this milk? There are many queries and doubts related to this topic. So, let’s clear these doubts and know more about lactose-free milk.

What is lactose-free milk?  

Lactose-free milk is milk without lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other milk-derived products. The lactose in milk is hard to digest for some people (lactose intolerance). To make lactose-free milk, the manufacturers add lactase – a natural enzyme that breaks down the lactose into digestible sugar, glucose, and galactose, which is easy to digest.

Is lactose-free milk made from real milk?  

Yes, it is! Some lactose-free milk is made from cow milk. There are also other types of milk, which are lactose-free such as almond milk, soy milk, etc.  Like regular milk, it is an excellent source of calcium, protein, and vitamins.  

Also Read: Is Heavy Whipping Cream the Same as Heavy Cream? Decoding Dairy Terms

Major substitutes for lactose-free milk  

When it comes to milk substitutes, there are multiple options, and they are as nutritious as regular milk. Many people who are intolerant to lactose can try these options –

1: Almond milk  

Almond milk is one of the popular types of milk with several health benefits. Almond milk is prepared by blending almonds with water and then straining the mixture to separate the solid residue. It has a subtle, nutty flavor with a creamy texture. This milk is very popular among people who follow a vegan diet or are allergic to lactose. Studies suggest that whole almond (with skin) is more beneficial than skinless almond. However, many manufacturers use skinless almonds to prepare almond milk that might reduce its nutritious value. Here are some benefits of almond milk –

  • Rich in vitamin E, which promotes eye and skin health
  • Low in sugar
  • Low in calories
  • Strengthens your bones
  • Reduces heart risk
  • High in vitamin D

2: Soy milk  

Soy milk is classic non-dairy milk with a considerable  amount of protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. It offers a creamy, smooth texture with beany taste. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and has anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, and cardio-protective properties. The benefits of soy milk are as follows –

  • High in vegetable protein
  • Soy milk reduces cholesterol
  • No lactose contents
  • Improves heart health
  • Reduces the risk of cancer
  • Helps to reduce menopausal symptoms

Lactase enzyme supplements contain lactase which breaks down lactose in milk and milk-containing products. They are available as lactase enzyme tablets or drops.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

3: Coconut milk  

Coconut milk is very popular and is also easily available in the market. It is made from the white flesh of the mature coconut. The milk can be thick or thin with a creamy consistency. Coconut milk is high-calorie milk with many other nutrients. You can add coconut milk to various dishes such as cereal, smoothy, soup, and chicken curry. The benefits of this versatile milk are as follows –

  • Enhances body metabolism
  • Helps to reduce weight
  • Increases good cholesterol levels
  • Improves heart health
  • Boosts immune system
  • Reduces inflammations

4: Oat milk

Oat milk is a healthy alternative for regular milk and is the best option for people with lactose intolerance. Oats are the best source of protein and fiber. This gluten-free oat milk is creamy in texture and loaded with various nutritions. Some benefits of oat milk are as follows –

  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Great for bones
  • Low in fat
  • Reduces heart risk

Even though lactose intolerance may not be a serious condition, it may be uncomfortable as it may cause diarrhoea, bloating, etc after consuming or drinking dairy products. Quality of life is a major factor for people with lactose intolerance, finding lactose-free options usually works to prevent chronic bloating or diarrhoea.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

5: Rice milk  

Rice milk is made from white or brown rice and water. It is less allergic and a safe option for people with  lactose-intolerant or gluten, nut-allergic people. It is watery in consistency and sweet in taste. You can easily use it in desserts and smoothies. It has more carbohydrates than the other kinds of milk and contains less amount of protein and calcium.

6: Cashew milk  

Cashew milk is prepared from cashew nuts and water. It is sweet and creamy in texture. It works as a great thickener for smoothies, coffee, and desserts. It is low in calories, protein, and sugar. The best benefits of cashew milk are as follows –

  • Boosts heart health
  • Provides good eye health
  • Helps in the blood clotting process
  • Reduces blood sugar levels
  • Improves skin health
  • Boosts immunity

Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll be able to enjoy the best benefits of lactose-free milk.

Also Read: Oat Milk vs Almond Milk: A Nutritional Showdown

Read more about:  Understanding Lactose Intolerance from Its Causes to Diet



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