Registered Dietitian Kara Lydon Shares How You Can Still Enjoy Dairy If You're Lactose Intolerant - Exclusive

If there's one thing Boston-based registered dietitian and licensed dietitian nutritionist Kara Lydon recommends to all of her clients, it's getting enough dairy in their diets. "The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that most Americans consume three servings of dairy per day," she stated during an exclusive interview with Health Digest. "While that's a helpful guideline to aim for, don't stress out too much about the number. As long as you're consuming dairy in a way that makes sense for you."

However, if you happen to be lactose intolerant, you may be wondering what exactly you can substitute in place of dairy in your daily diet. It's a common question that Lydon's clients ask her all the time. "Many of my clients think that if they are lactose intolerant, they shouldn't be eating any dairy," she said.

Her guidance for those who are lactose intolerant isn't much different from what she tells all of her clients. "The good news is that a lactose intolerance doesn't mean you have to cut out dairy completely," Lydon told us.

She recommends searching for dairy products with lower levels of lactose

Lactose intolerance is not at all that uncommon throughout the United States, "affecting approximately 65% of the population," The Foodie Dietitian Kara Lydon told Health Digest. "Those with lactose intolerance may experience symptoms such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea." However, these negative reactions should not be confused with a dairy allergy — which is something that can quickly become life-threatening.

When a person is allergic to dairy products, their immune system kicks into overdrive once the protein found in milk enters the body. An intolerance to lactose, on the other hand, is exactly what the name states: The digestive system has a problem breaking down lactose, a type of sugar found in milk. "Most folks with an intolerance can tolerate small amounts of dairy at a time," Lydon explained.

Her recommendation for anyone who is lactose intolerant is to search for dairy products that have lower levels of lactose, "such as Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese," she said.

For more information about intuitive eating and healthy recipes that include Truly Grass Fed dairy products, head on over to Kara Lydon's website.