What’s Lactose Intolerance?

I’ve been asked again about “Lactose Intolerance” so I thought of re-sharing some general information about the topic!

Lactose (milk sugar) intolerance results from an inability to digest lactose in the small intestine. Lactose is digested in the small intestine by an enzyme called “Lactase”. The level of the lactase enzyme varies between individuals, as does the severity of symptoms caused by lactose intolerance. Some people may suffer severe symptoms after consuming small amounts of lactose. Others may be able to tolerate small amounts of lactose (sx. Small amounts of milk in tea). Symptoms vary from mild abdominal discomfort, bloating, excessive wind (flatulence) to abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Nutritional Advice
Some lactose-intolerant people are able to tolerate certain dairy products in small amounts, thus the diet ought to provide enough nutrients found in dairies (such as calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin D).

Special Consideration
Tolerance of lactose is variable. Some people can eat small amounts of lactose without having symptoms while others need to avoid it completely.
•Low-lactose diet: generally eliminates only milk and milk products. However, some can tolerate milk in small amounts (2 oz) throughout the day or as part of a meal. Some can tolerate small amounts of yogurt. These patients can experiment to find a level of lactose they can tolerate. Some people can build up their level of tolerance by gradually introducing the lactose-containing foods.
•Lactose-free diet: all lactose products must be eliminated, including foods that are prepared with milk, both at home and in commercially packaged foods. These people may be able to use 100% lactose free milk or soy milk. Labels should always be read carefully.

Lactase Digestive Aids and Products: Many people can drink milk in which the lactase has been partially or completely broken down. The following products may be available at a pharmacy or grocery store.

LACTAID and Dairy Ease enzyme products
•Drops: These are added to milk. Five, 10, or 15 drops per quart of milk will generally reduces lactose content by 70%, 90%, or 99% respectively over a 24-hour period
•Caplets/Capsules: A person chews or swallows 1 to 6 of these when starting to eat foods containing lactose

Non-fat or 1% low-fat is 70% lactose reduced

DAIRY Ease Milk
•Available in non-fat, 1%, or 2% low-fat – all are 70% lactose reduced

SOY Milk
Calcium-fortified soy milk has no lactose, is low in fat and is a good source of Vitamin D.

Disclaimer: Always check with your doctor, pharmacist, registered dietitian, or any other physician for individualized recommendation and guidance on the use of medications.

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Related References





A Sedative Spice “Cumin”

Have you ever wondered why cumin always escorts legumes?

If you look at the Lebanese characteristic dishes from Hummus Balila, Makhlouta, Moughrabiyeh or the yellow Lentil Soup that are mainly made from legumes (chickpeas, peas, beans and lentils), it’s surprising how they all have that pinch of cumin before serving.

Cumin, an aromatic plant originally from the Mediterranean region, its seeds are collected and used as is or grounded into powder. If you ask your grandma about cumin, she’ll defiantly tell you that it has been always boiled and consumed as tea to tranquil digestive problems.

That said most legumes are hard to digest and mostly lead to gas production if they were not cleaned, soaked and cooked properly. So adding cumin to such dishes was a clever thought to relief any side complication 🙂

Picture Source
Taste of Beirut
BHL Europe

“Janarik” Unripe Plums!

As spring blossoms, almost over the entire country white showers of “Unripe Plums” flowers cover the gardens. The fruit pop up early in March, where they are picked and eaten as is.

Here in Lebanon, we call them “Janarik”, some also call them “Jararank”; they are sour to sweet small round green fruits, just like the unripe plums yet they are eaten early during the season savoured with salt along with a refreshing drink! Note that plums when unripe, they have a very bitter taste thus mostly unpalatable in comparison to “Janarik”; as if they are of a different genre.

The most interesting part is that while I was going through a book called “Moune” by Barbara Massaad; I found out that some of the villages prepare “Janarik” Pickles allowing their enjoyment all year long!

Have a look!

Hummus: The Star of Lebanese Mezze

A guest post, written by Christian Manasci. Christian is a Lebanese blogger with various interests ranging from social media to food and music.”

Hummus Recipe

Hummus Recipe

Hummus is a very popular food in Lebanon/ Middle East that is well known for its nutritional benefits. It was traditionally consumed solely in the region (it is a great example of traditional Lebanese food) but has recently been in demand throughout the globe.

It is made using chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), Tahini (a paste made from ground sesame seeds), lemon juice and oil. It is usually eaten with pita bread or other types of flat bread and is known to be an inexpensive food that is easy to eat on the go.

According to certain sources, Hummus first originated in Ancient Egypt where locals would regularly consume chickpeas. The latter was a common food in ancient Rome as well as Mesopotamia and ancient Palestine.

In terms of nutritional values, Hummus is rich in vitamin C, B6, thiamine and folate. It is quite popular amongst vegetarians. Indeed, chickpeas are high-protein vegetables that contain no cholesterol or saturated fats. Also, the sesame seeds in Tahini contain proteins, calcium and are known to stabilize the blood.

As strange as it may sound, some studies have shown that Hummus can be an effective treatment against anxiety and depression. So, if you needed any more incentives for consuming this dish, that last point should be quite convincing!

Check out this great Hummus recipe for an authentic taste of Lebanese/ Middle Eastern food. It’s quite easy to make: just serve it in a plate, top the dish with some olive oil and enjoy!

Salmon Mood!

Salmon is a highly nutritious oily fish; rich in proteins, omega-3 fatty acids (the good fats), and vitamin D. Despite it is rich in the good fats; it’s also a source of cholesterol.

Salmon is consumed raw (in sushi and sashimi) and is used as a basic ingredient in several tasteful dishes, sandwiches, salads, omelets, mousses, quiches and pasta dishes.

Alert: For all pregnant women, it’s very important to know that despite fish is highly nutritious; it might contain some unhealthy toxic substances, mainly mercury. Mercury, coming from sea water contamination, can accumulate and sit within the fish meat, specifically that large in size fish; thus if eaten can pass through the placenta to the infant causing a disruption in the nervous and brain development. For more info regarding the topic check out one of our previous posts: Can I Eat Fish when I am Pregnant?

Have a look at this delicious Tagilatelle Creamy Salmon Dish. I’ve tasted it at “La Estancia”, an Argentinian steakhouse in Beirut, despite it is famously known for its freshly prepared Argentinian meats, this tasteful salmon is not to be missed.

Some Salmon Recipe Ideas:
Ginger-Scallion Crusted Salmon
Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze


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