People who are lactose intolerant are unable to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and milk products. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include bloating, gas and diarrhea within 30 minutes to two hours of ingesting lactose-containing foods. The severity of symptoms can vary from person to person, but creating menus without any lactose can prevent symptoms from occurring at all.
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Keep in mind that if you don't consume dairy products, you can become deficient in calcium. Calcium is essential to strong bones, but also has other important functions. It assists in muscle and blood vessel contraction, hormone secretion and a healthy nervous system. If you have lactose intolerance, your meal plan should include plenty of calcium-containing foods such as canned fish with bones, dark leafy greens and calcium-enriched soy milk and orange juice.
A breakfast without lactose can include many traditional breakfast foods. You can have eggs with bacon, whole wheat toast and orange juice. Spread your toast with peanut butter instead of butter. Alternatively, you can have oatmeal with dried fruit, almonds and soy milk or a whole wheat bagel with almond butter and banana slices. Create fruit smoothies with soy milk for a quick breakfast option.
At lunch, enjoy sandwiches made with deli meat, hummus or nut butter. Have baked chips, pretzels or cut-up vegetables on the side. Enjoy an oatmeal cookie, graham crackers of a piece of fruit for dessert. For a calcium-rich option, make a salad using canned salmon, lemon juice, capers and celery. Serve it over mixed leafy greens with shredded carrot and halved grape tomatoes, or in a whole grain pita pocket. Alternatively, a salad that includes with chicken or salmon pieces, baby spinach, sesame seeds, chopped red bell pepper and oranges also provides calcium.
For a lactose-free dinner, you can have grilled or roasted meats with a whole grain, like brown rice, and steamed vegetables. Choose broccoli, kale or spinach to include some calcium in your dinner. Eat starchy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes or peas in lieu of whole grains if you prefer. Season your vegetables with citrus or fresh herbs instead of butter and sour cream. Tacos made with pinto beans, avocado, salsa and corn tortillas contain about 40 milligrams of calcium without any lactose. Whole grain pasta with marinara sauce, broth-based soups and stews with egg noodles, or plain hamburgers with baked fries are other lactose-free dinner options. When buying packaged foods, check the labels to ensure that products are lactose free.