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Lactose-Free Milk: An Alternative to Regular Milk?

Milk: it’s something many people enjoy on their cereal, in various recipes, or even on its own in a tall glass. But for those who suffer from any degree of lactose intolerance, drinking regular milk isn’t always the best decision. Fortunately, there’s always the option of making the switch to a lactose-free milk, of which there are many available. Lactose-free milk can often be used in baking and cooking as well, making them a potentially ideal alternative.

The Problem of Lactose Intolerance

These days, it’s estimated that about 75% of the world’s population has at least some degree of lactose intolerance. Of course, some people suffer more from lactose intolerance than others. Specifically, lactose intolerance refers to the body’s inability to digest the sugar found in milk (lactose). Symptoms most people suffer from after drinking or eating something with lactose in it are:

  • bloating
  • cramps
  • gas
  • diarrhea

What is Lactose-Free Milk?

For those who suffer from lactose intolerance, it’s generally best to stay away from foods and beverages containing dairy. However, the good news is that there are plenty of alternatives to regular milk that are lactose-free. Milk is made lactose-free by adding lactase during the production process; lactase can be comfortably digested by the body while also adding a sweetness to the milk itself (which would otherwise be lost without lactose). The end result is a milk that tastes similar to regular milk, but can be enjoyed without the gastrointestinal symptoms that those with lactose intolerance suffer from.

Of course, there are also non-dairy versions of milk that are lactose-free. These may be made from almonds, rice, soy, or any number of other ingredients.

Regular Milk vs. Lactose-Free Milk

For those looking to replace regular milk with a lactose-free milk in their diets, it’s good to be aware of some potential differences in taste, consistency, and other factors. The main difference between regular milk and lactose-free milk tends to be the taste; generally, lactose-free milk tastes sweeter than regular milk because of the added lactase ingredient. For those who aren’t keen on sweetness, then, it may be best to drink a non-dairy lactose-free milk, such as soy or almond milk.

Another characteristic to be aware of with lactose-free milk is that it tends to have a much longer shelf-life than regular milk, since it’s either ultra-pasteurized or made with ingredients that don’t curdle or go bad as quickly as regular milk. In fact, some non-dairy types of milk can last for several months before starting to go sour.

Lactose-Free Milk Options

So, which type of lactose-free milk is best for you? It can be helpful to try out a few different options and see what you like best. Specifically, consider trying samples of:

  • ultra-pasteurized milk (lactase added)
  • almond milk
  • soy milk
  • soybean milk

All in all, lactose-free milk is a wonderful alternative to those whose bodies cannot digest lactose found in regular milk. If you’re part of the majority of the population who falls into this category, be sure to give it a try for yourself.

Now that you have an understanding of lactose-free milk, if you have questions about any of the products produced by Clover Milk, please feel free to contact us. You can also use our Store Locator tool to find a store near you that carry Clover’s products.