Food & Nutrition

Milk substitutes for the lactose intolerant

Having a glass of milk on a daily basis is sufficient to provide enough calcium for the healthy development and maintenance of bones and teeth. Milk is a wellspring of nutrition that offers a wide range of benefits to the body. Almost, everyone consumes milk daily. But there is a category of people, who simply can’t digest milk. They are, in medical terminology, diagnosed as lactose intolerant.

Lactose intolerance is a common disorder found in individuals who struggle to break down the natural sugar found in milk. Although some dairy products can be consumed, anything that has high lactose content can lead to severe gastric problems, bloating or even diarrhoea. Hence, it is advisable to avoid food products that are rich in lactose, such as milk, in particular.

Hence, in this blog, we suggest a few fantastic and nutritious milk substitutes for you to consume. Let’s take you through them one by one!

Almond milk

Almond milk is a decent dairy alternative. It is low in calories, yet highly nutritious. Vitamin E and D are abundantly found in it. Sugar content is also low in almond milk. Almond milk is a fantastic option for those who are lactose intolerant and are desperately trying hard to shed some kilos. The milk also contains anti-inflammatory properties.

Coconut milk

Another healthy option is coconut milk. It is too loaded with many benefits. It tastes creamy, almost similar to cow’s milk. It is good for improving the metabolism of the body and simultaneously, it helps in losing weight too. Like, almond milk, coconut milk also contains anti-inflammatory properties. The carbohydrate content is also low in coconut milk, but, has a high quantity of saturated fats. It is obtained by blending coconut flesh in water.

Soy milk

Soy milk is a very good alternative to animal-based milk. Soy milk is rich in calcium and protein. Sugar-free soy milk is absolutely apt for rich protein consumption. The milk also contains high sources of vitamin B, calcium, potassium and iron. A glass full of soy milk delivers up to 500 mg of calcium. However, if you are allergic to milk, which is totally different from lactose intolerance, soy milk must be avoided. Soy milk is readily available in retail and online stores.

Oat milk

Oat milk is a mixture of oats and water. It is ideal for someone, who apart from being lactose intolerant, has cholesterol problems too. The milk helps in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol. The texture of the milk is smooth and creamy and has a sweet flavour. Oat milk also works as a good roughage as the content of fibre is high in it.

Rice milk

Rice milk is also a substitute for regular milk. Although rice milk has absolutely no saturated fats in it, its consumption is not advisable as the milk has very high levels of carbohydrates in comparison to regular milk or other dairy substitutes. It is rich in vitamin B12 and is sweet in flavour.


Anyone with lactose intolerance and dislike for any other sort of non-dairy milk can opt for yoghurt. The good bacteria found in yoghurt already breaks down much of the lactose and hence it becomes easily digestible. However, one must be aware that frozen yoghurt, would not have active bacteria cultures to work upon the lactose and hence consuming frozen yoghurt might not be suitable.


Any sort of cheese, that is well fermented, has lesser proportions of lactose in it. Therefore, consuming cheese in low portions can be doable. Cheese is a good fit in a lactose intolerant diet as it is packed with calcium and protein. Swiss, parmesan and blue cheese are good examples of hard and aged cheeses that are much low in lactose.

Other lactose-free foods that are rich in nutrients:

Apart from the above-mentioned options, there are other non-dairy products that can be consumed to fulfil the body’s requirement for nutrients that majorly come from milk. If you are a veggie-lover then you can incorporate spinach, broccoli, rhubarb and certain other greens to replenish the body’s need for calcium. Other food items that can be included in a lactose intolerant diet are beans, calcium-rich orange juice and fish if you are a non-vegetarian.

Finally, we would like to advise that, if you are intending to add any milk substitute to your diet plan, please do so keeping in mind the portion of the quantity that is apt for your body. Expert advice is highly recommended to know the quantity that you should intake.

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