I gave up dairy for a week — and it totally changed my relationship with cheese

giving up dairy side effects 1

Lactose intolerance is a common ailment, one that affects a huge number of people, particularly as they enter adulthood.
That said, dairy is such a common ingredient, one that’s often hidden in menu items or offered at grocery stores.
How could a self-confessed cheese lover go a week without eating anything containing dairy?
In the end, it’s not easy, but the pros outweigh the cons.

I come from a long line of Parmesan.

OK, no, I’m not a plastic container of Kraft with legs and a mouth, but I’m as close as it gets: I am Italian. Seriously, if I were forced to name my blood type right now, I’d probably just say mozzarella and follow it up by kissing my fingers like an old-timey chef preparing a spicy meatball.

In many ways, I feel as though dairy has become not only a staple for me, but also a go-to ingredient or dietary must-have for so many people. It comes in many forms, but no matter which way you slice it (cheesy joke, I know), the dairy industry is not only huge, it’s kinda pervasive.

Many items at restaurants contain dairy, sometimes in ways that you wouldn’t exactly expect.

You’d think that a little hint of hidden dairy would be like finding a penny on the ground for me, a quesophile, but it actually isn’t. In my adulthood, I’ve developed a moderate form of lactose intolerance, one that allows me to eat cheese … if I’m really willing to accept the risks, including pain, to put it mildly.

I’m not alone. Many people develop lactose intolerance as they age. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s genetics reference page, “Lactose intolerance in adulthood is caused by reduced production of lactase after infancy (lactase non-persistence). If individuals with lactose intolerance consume lactose-containing dairy products, they may experience abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, nausea, and diarrhea beginning 30 minutes to two hours later.”

The site reports that 65% of people have a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy, varying from person to person. Some people can handle their dairy and say “yes” to the charcuterie plate, but others like me, need to find some new ways and tricks to either minimize or eliminate their symptoms.

So, what’s the alternative?

For me, it was admitting to my addiction and quitting cold turkey. I decided that if I could do a week without dairy then I not only be proud of the fact that I did it, but that I also might be aware of the ways it might be good (or not so much) for my body, even the most subtle of differences, and able to weigh the pros, cons, benefits, and risks of my love for dairy.

As soon as the week without dairy began, I knew I’d need to search for alternatives.

The good part: there are a whole lot of options when it comes to dairy-free snacks. Cheese? Yep! There are different types of cheese that actually can work for those who are lactose …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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