People who suffer from lactose intolerance are unable to digest foods containing lactose ingredients. Lactose is the sugar that is found in milk and other milk products. People who suffer from lactose intolerance often have symptoms of gas, diarrhea and swelling in the stomach when they consume products containing lactose. There are several sources of food that are completely free of lactose ingredients.
A few dairy products are lactose free. These products include soy-based canned nutrition drinks such as Ensure, lactose-free milk, non-dairy creamers, rice milk and soy milk.
Bread and Starches
Breads that are made without milk are safe from lactose, such as Italian and French breads. Other lactose-free starches include cereal made without milk, pasta, potatoes, rice barley, cooked grains, rice cakes, Saltines and whole-grain crackers.
Sources of fat that do not contain lactose include margarine that is made without butter or milk, non-dairy creamers, oils, shortening and some salad dressings.
Fruits and Vegetables
All fresh fruits and vegetables are lactose free, including fruit and vegetable juices. Any cooked or baked fruits and vegetables that are made without milk products are lactose free as well.
Meat and Substitutes
All freshly-cooked, plain meats, fish and poultry are lactose free (meaning no dairy ingredients have been added). Meat substitutes that do not contain lactose include cooked dried beans or peas, peanut butter and other nut butters, peanuts, seeds, soy cheeses, soybean products and tofu products.
Soups, Sauces and Seasonings
Most soups and sauces are made with some form of dairy. Plain herbs and spices are safe choices. Other lactose-free ingredients include vegetable or meat soups that do not contain milk, gravies that are made with water, broth, bouillon and consommé.
There are many sweets and dessert options that do not contain lactose. Angel food cake, frozen pureed fruit bars, fruit ices, sorbets, gelatin desserts without added milk or whipped cream products, honey, sugar, syrup, molasses and powdered sweeteners. Jellies, jams and preserves are safe to eat. There are pies, cakes or other baked goods that are made without milk as well.
Other food ingredients that are lactose free include calcium propionate, calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium phosphate, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, coconut butter, coconut cream, cream of tartar, creamed honey, fruit butter, glucono delta-lactone, lecithin oleoresin, malted barley, grain-based malts, malt liquor, malt vinegar, milk thistle and shea butter.