What is lactose?

Lactose has been a recurring theme in some discussions about food. But do you know what lactose is ? And the reasons why so many people are intolerant of it?

According to Dr. Juliano Pimentel, “lactose is a disaccharide, composed of a molecule of glucose and galactose. The lactase enzyme is needed to break down lactose into glucose and galactose, which can then be absorbed into the bloodstream and used for energy production. Without enough lactase, lactose moves through your intestines and causes digestive symptoms ”.

This is where problems related to the consumption of foods rich in this carbohydrate arise. Pimentel explains: “lactose intolerance is a digestive disorder caused by the inability to digest lactose , the main carbohydrate in dairy products. It can cause several symptoms, including bloating, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Intolerant people do not produce the enzyme lactase in sufficient quantities to digest lactose ”.

So, learn more about lactose in this post .

Which products contain lactose?

Milk derivatives are rich in lactose (Photo: depositphotos)

Dairy products containing lactose are all types of cow’s, goat’s, cheese, ice cream, butter and yogurt . This first group is directly related to lactose.

There are also those who, in some way, use products that contain lactose in their composition, such as milk chocolate, cakes, breads, cereals, cookies, ready meals, sauces and other types of creams, desserts, sweets, soups etc.

However, the word lactose is not always very explicit on the product label. So some endings are synonymous and you need to know what they are. Whenever there are the expressions: whey proteins, milk casein, milk sugar, curd, cream , you should know that there is lactose in the composition.

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What is lactose intolerance?

According to doctor Marcon Censoni, a specialist in gastrosurgery and coloproctology, lactose intolerance “is the inability to take advantage of lactose, a characteristic ingredient in animal milk or derivatives (dairy products) that produces abdominal changes, most often diarrhea, which is more evident in the first hours after consumption ”.

It happens when an enzyme called lactase, which is in the small intestine, does not do its direct job of digesting lactose, which is a carbohydrate.

This causes the rest of the unprocessed lactose to ferment in the intestine producing inappropriate gas and acids that lead patients to experience the symptoms of lactose intolerance. They are: bloating, abdominal cramps, gas and diarrhea, just to be in the most common.

Who can develop lactose intolerance?

90% of the Asian population suffers from lactose intolerance (Photo: depositphotos)

Anyone at any time in life can develop this intolerance. When we are born, we already have a certain number of lactase in the intestine and over the years, they end up.

Therefore, people can become intoxicated with some food and only develop the problem during a certain period . Or over the years it becomes more conducive to the development of intolerance.

Some diseases can also cause the effect, such as the so-called Crohn’s, Whipple’s, celiac, AIDS, giardiasis and short bowel syndrome.

The doctor Censoni’s website also reveals that 90% of the Asian population suffers from intolerance, against 50% of blacks, Indians and Jews and 25% of Americans and Europeans.

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What is the best way to prevent lactose intolerance?

The best form of prevention is the most obvious, which is not to consume milk and dairy products . Some people who already have the problem use synthetic yeast before eating something that contains lactose. But the use of this and other medications must be prescribed by a doctor.

The most recommended is to consume zero lactose products.

Interview on zero lactose products

Intolerants should consume zero lactose products (Photo: depositphotos)

Thinking about making your life easier, the Practical Study consulted Helena Magalhães de Camargo, Manager of Research and Development at Piracanjuba, a company founded in 1955, which is today the 13th most present brand in Brazilian homes.

Piracanjuba has more than 120 items and has a zero lactose line. The brand has already gained prominence “for launching nutritious and innovative products, such as dairy drink with cereals and zero lactose products for people with lactose intolerance, providing more quality and practicality to its consumers”.

Check the contribution of Helena Magalhães de Camargo, Piracanjuba’s Research and Development Manager for the Practical Study (EP).

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EP – What is a zero lactose product?

First, it is important to clarify that lactose is the carbohydrate naturally present in all types of milk produced by mammals, including humans. Zero lactose is considered to be a dairy product which, by specific technological methods, or even natural chemical reactions related to the transformation of milk into other derivatives, is lactose-free in the product ready for consumption.

EP – Are the nutritional properties of the product maintained without lactose?

Yes. In this product, only lactose is removed or transformed into other molecules that are more easily digestible. All other macro and micronutrients in milk remain intact , such as their proteins of high biological value, calcium, in addition to other essential vitamins and minerals for the proper functioning of the human organism, at any stage of life.

EP – Is the zero lactose product usually more expensive?

On average, it tends to have a slightly higher price than traditional milks, as it goes through specific technological processes and strict controls to ensure that the product actually arrives free of lactose to the consumer.

EP – Can you make recipes with the same results with zero lactose ingredients?

Yes. Many recipes have been tested with Zero lactose products and the results are identical and, in some cases, superior as the prepared products are lighter and easier to digest .

EP – Is the taste of a product with or without lactose different?

Lactose-free products tend to be slightly sweeter than traditional milks, although they have no added sugars or other sweeteners. It is just the natural sweetness of pure milk with hydrolyzed lactose.

See also :  Know the difference between the two types of digestion

EP – Is the zero lactose product only for those who have an intolerance or can anyone consume it?

Anyone can consume it. These products are suitable for all types of consumers, in any age group.

EP – Is the conservation of these products the same as those with lactose?

Yes, regardless of whether they are refrigerated or long-lived, the products have the same way of preserving traditional products.

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