Monday, October 15, 2012

The Lactose Intolerance Master List

If you were to go on the internet to try to find a comprehensive list of foods that a Lactose Intolerant person could or could not eat, you would search for hours without finding any information whatsoever. The frustrating fact is that lactose intolerance affects people in different ways and what foods bother me might be quite fine for my lactose intolerant neighbor.

For instance, I can eat most cheeses except for those that are very runny - like ricotta and cottage cheese.  I am also lucky enough to be able to tolerate small amounts of butter.  However, give me an ice cream cone or a butter-cream frosting made with regular milk, I'm doubled over in pain in minutes and in full-fledged agony seconds later.

One of my friends' husbands is lactose intolerant as well, and while he can't eat butter, milk or runny cheeses, he has no problem consuming whip cream.  Go figure!  I did a blog post (Click here to read) about a wonderful lactose-free yogurt I discovered and I was pleasantly pleased when the company posted my review on their Facebook page (click here if you want to see that facebook post!) along with my recipe for yogurt/zucchini pasta.  I was not surprised to see that they did warn lactose-intolerant readers to be wary of the fact that I included cheddar cheese in my recipe.

I can eat cheddar cheese, but some other lactose intolerant might not.  It's a puzzle that takes one bad experience to solve.

So I am starting a Master List of Foods For The Lactose Intolerant and maybe make some poor person's internet search a little easier.

Dairy Foods Acceptable for Lactose Intolerant People:

Most hard cheese, up to and sometimes including Mozzarella (as long as it is not milky)
Small amounts of butter
Sour cream if cooked into a Bundt cake
Lactose-free milk
Lactose-free yogurts (I recommend this brand)

Dairy Foods To Avoid Like The Plague If You Are Lactose Intolerant:

"Soft" cheeses like ricotta, cream cheese, cottage cheese etc
Large amounts of butter
Sour cream
All regular milks
All regular yogurts - cups or tubers
Heavy Cream - half & half, whipping
Butter milk
Cheese cakes
Butter cream frosting of any sort unless made with lactose-free milk
Cream cheese frosting
Sour cream-based veggie dips
Mousse  or puddings

Foods I'm Just Unsure Of:

Condensed milk - I can eat this when it's baked into Seven-Layer cookies
Brie cheese - I've had some successes

Feel free to leave me a comment and I'll add to any of the lists!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Regrets - Lactose Intolerant Style

My sister cut out the above cartoon from her New Yorker Magazine for me.  After I had stopped chuckling and composed myself, I realized that the cartoon really hits very close to my home.  If only time travel was possible, life with lactose intolerance would be so much easier to deal with.  Sometimes, I wish that all food would come with ingredient lists -including meals in restaurants.  Lactose intolerance is such an imprecise ailment and types of food that I eat successfully at one establishment might prove deadly at another.  A future Martha, whose entire purpose was to travel back in time and warn me of various impending lactose intolerant dangers, would be absolutely lovely.  No more worrying over ingredients, no more trying to explain lactose intolerant to wait-people who could really care less about my stomach issues, no more choosing a plainer entree over a more decadent & potentially cream-filled choice....  ah the joy!

Time travel is probably a long time in the future, so instead I stick to places and recipes that I have previously determined to be safe.  I have to be my own time-travelling advocate.  It's the only way.
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