There is a lot of confusion about dairy, specifically lactose intolerance, which may cause bloating, nausea and other stomach discomforts. Here’s what you need to know:
Lactose intolerance is caused when your body can’t easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products, such as cheese, whole-milk Greek yogurt, ricotta or cottage cheese, heavy cream, sour cream, ice cream, etc. This happens when your body doesn’t make enough of the lactase enzyme. Most adults have some degree of lactose sensitivity, and once you lose the enzyme activity, you will not regain it. Some people with lactose intolerance can’t digest any milk or dairy products while others can eat or drink certain types or small amounts of dairy or milk products without any problems.
You can treat your symptoms by limiting or avoiding dairy and milk products, and you can also take dietary supplements (such as Lactaid) to help you digest lactose. With Atkins, you are limited in the amount of dairy products that you consume, but if you are lactose intolerant, be careful about the use of cheese, cream cheese, whipped cream and other cream-based products. They should not affect you unless you eat excessive amounts at one time, unless you have found you can’t consume any dairy or milk products at all.
Whey and casein proteins, which are often found in protein powders or shakes, are not really dairy products, but they are proteins that come from milk and contain very little lactose. When it comes to Atkins products, the type you can consume really depends on how sensitive you are. Atkins Ready-to-Drink shakes have less than one part per million of lactose, and Atkins Advantage Bars contain 0.3 grams of lactose per serving from the milk chocolate coating. Depending on your lactose tolerance, you may be able to consume these products with little to no discomfort.