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7 Reasons Being Lactose Intolerant Doesn’t Mean You Should Swear Off Dairy

Have you noticed that every time you eat cheese, ice cream, or other forms of dairy you experience abdominal pain, gas, or bloating? If so, you may have lactose intolerance, or an inability to properly digest dairy products, says Karen Kafer, RDN, a representative with the National Dairy Council.

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But being lactose intolerant doesn’t mean you must forgo dairy at every meal. According to Kafer, the body produces an enzyme called lactase to help digest the lactose in milk. As we age, the body sometimes produces less lactase than it did from childhood, making it hard to break down dairy. However, many people with lactose intolerance can still tolerate at least 12 grams of lactose (equivalent to 1 cup of low-fat and fat-free milk or yogurt) in one sitting, with little to no discomfort. So, being diagnosed with the condition simply means that you may need to moderate your intake.


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“People with Lactose Intolerance Should Still Eat Dairy,” Says the Dairy Council

Lactose intolerant consumers can still enjoy milk and limited dairy consumption, regardless of what they may have thought in the past. This is the takeaway from the live webinar this afternoon sponsored by the National Dairy Council, hosted by Jennifer Goodrich, senior analyst at the Hartman Group and Robin Plotkin, registered dietician and nutrition communications consultant. The one-hour session discussed lactose intolerance perceptions from the public and ways to bridge the communications gap between patients and health professionals.

The National Dairy Council contends that even with a diagnosis of lactose intolerance, up to 12 grams of lactose may still be comfortably consumed in a day without triggering gastrointestinal distress. Twelve grams doesn’t sound like much, but it’s actually the combined equivalent of one-half cup ice cream, half cup Greek yogurt, half cup cottage cheese, and an ounce of hard cheese.

The confusion surrounding lactose intolerance was the focal point of the discussion. According to a study conducted by the Hartman Group in 2012, consumers were not only self-diagnosing their condition, they were also stymied by milk substitution choices. “Dairy sensitive consumers don’t want to be full time detectives,” explained analyst Jennifer Goodrich. “They want it to work for their stomach, taste good, be relatively low in calories, low cost and have some nutritional benefit.”
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Lactose Intolerant? Discover Which Dairy Products You Can Still Enjoy

If you’re like us, you’ve started to think more seriously about your diet than ever. And not just for weight loss purposes, but for the sake of optimum health and pinpointing which foods may be doing more harm than good.

My primary cause for concern is dairy as I was lactose intolerant growing up. Despite seemingly “outgrowing” my intolerance as an adult, I still notice that dairy can make me feel poor from time to time.

Lucky for me the National Dairy Council (NDC) is perking its ears to the cries of people like me and thousands of others who face similar intolerances. The good news is, these diet discrepancies don’t necessarily mean you have to give up dairy. It just means you have to learn which products may work best for you.

To spread the word about National Lactose Intolerance (LI) Month, the NDC held a Twitter party in late February to equip the LI population with helpful tools and resources to better manage their dietary needs. The council sought to inform the public of the important nutrients dairy can provide in our diets, as well as the many dairy products that those with LI can still consume.
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Vegan Advocacy Group Fights to Remove Milk from Schools

In these tumultuous times while most of our country has its eyes on the upcoming election, some health advocates are turning their eyes in another direction: On school lunches.

The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) – a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. – advocates for vegan diets and is out to bring dairy down, and hard. And where are they aiming their message? At kids, naturally, because they want to abolish milk from the school lunch programs for good. And in place of diary, they want to see other calcium sources on kids’ plates like beans, sweet potatoes and figs.

This isn’t an entirely unreasonable request, however, not everyone’s buying what they’re trying to sell. And perhaps it’s because of the group’s tendency to use harsh, unconventional methods for advocating in the past.

An example of PCRM’s radical ways? Just earlier this year the group placed some controversial billboards in Albany, New York, with images of overweight people grabbing their fat, and blamed dairy as the reason for their weight.

The signs said things like “Your Thighs on Cheese,” and “Your Abs on Cheese,” in an attempt to send the message that dairy is the reason Americans are fat. This, they say, is because of the saturated fat milk contains.
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Fuel Up to Play 60 Reflects Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Program

It’s not just adults who are making efforts to be healthy in the new year. Schools and kids all across the country are also eating and moving their way to a healthier 2011.

The Fuel Up to Play 60 is a nationwide program that has been encouraging kids and classrooms to healthy up their lives through an interactive challenge and contest for the past two years. Now, Fuel Up to Play 60 just announced that it’s accepting applications for 2011.

For those of you who don’t know what the program is all about, Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program. Launched by National Dairy Council and the National Football League in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Multiple health and nutrition organizations and several major corporations are also supporting the program.
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