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Lactose-Free Diet in New Jersey

The Digestive Health & Nutrition Center has two convenient locations in Lawrenceville and Princeton New Jersey where you can receive the exceptional care you deserve. Angela Merlo, MD is an experienced Gastroenterologist with special expertise in the diagnosis and management of lactose intolerance in adults and children.

What is Lactose?

Lactose is the sugar or carbohydrate in cow’s milk. Lactose is therefore found in dairy, that is, all foods and drinks made from milk such as

  • Butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Cheese (although some cheeses are lactose-free)
  • Cream
  • Ice cream
  • Milk drinks
  • Yogurt

Most individuals with lactose intolerance can tolerate about 8 ounces of milk (or the equivalent) daily or twice daily when the dairy is consumed with other foods. The carbohydrate in goat’s milk can be digested by most individuals with lactose intolerance.

How Do I Restrict Lactose in My Diet?

There are four main concepts to remember:

  1. Avoid eating and drinking dairy products
  2. Substitute non-dairy foods and drinks as alternatives
  3. Take lactase enzyme supplements before dairy
  4. Supplement calcium and vitamin D that is normally found in dairy

Lactase enzyme preparations are swallowed immediately before eating lactose containing foods and will digest most lactose consumed. The number of tablets required depends on the amount of dairy consumed and the severity of the lactose intolerance. Many brand preparations and generics are readily available over the counter. No preparation is effective for drinking milk when other foods are not also consumed.

Some people with extraordinary intolerance to lactose will also have to restrict foods prepared with whey or dry milk products, information that appears on ingredient lists. However, the vast majority of individuals with lactose intolerance do not have to be concerned over these small amounts of lactose.

If you suspect lactose intolerance and want a proven diagnosis before restricting your diet, or want help in managing your diet, contact the Digestive Health & Nutrition Center in Lawrenceville or Princeton New Jersey for an appointment with Dr. Merlo.