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Not All Dairy Products Are Bad For Lactose Intolerant People

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RALEIGH — Most of us could not imagine breakfast cerealwithout milk or pizza without cheese. For people who arelactoseintolerant, dairy products can meandiscomfort and sickness as their bodies reject certain foods.

Lactose intolerance means your body has ahard time digesting the sugar in milk calledlactose. Your body has an enzyme called lactasethat breaks apart the milk sugar.

"People who are lactose intolerant can learn tobuild up their tolerance by starting with smallamounts of milk, perhaps half a cup with a mealand build up to two cups a day," says Janet Grubbs of the Southeast United Dairy Association.

You can also get lactase drops at the pharmacy to add to milk making iteasierto digest. Some people say it even makes milk taste sweeter. More thanhalf of the lactose is removedduring the cheesemaking process.

"Chocolate milk has been shown to be easier to digest, sothere are still many ways people who are lactoseintolerant can get dairy products in their dietwithout any lactose problems," Grubbs says.

Yogurt is another dairy food lactose intolerant people may be able to eat.Most types of yogurt have their own enzymes todigest the lactose. Look for the term, "active cultures," on thelabel.

Lactose intolerance can be something you are bornwith. It can also develop with age or be a side effectfrom some medications. If diary products upset your stomach, askyour doctor to be tested for lactose intolerance.

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