I write this while sitting in bed with an upset stomach. The cause: dairy.
There are a lot of old wives tales about lactose intolerance. Admittedly, some of the methods I use to control my symptoms are fabricated around tales…which is why I occasionally suffer. Here’s one:
Female hormonal cycle impacts sensitivity to dairy. Fiction?, likely. The truth is, hormones impact my sensitivity in general. If I am ill as a result of consuming too much lactose, I am likely to feel more ill at a certain stage of my cycle. I am usually pretty good to avoid dairy when I’m at the “sensi” stage of my cycle. Feeling yucky makes me grumpy. Haha
Here’s another one:
If you are lactose intollerant, you should slowly increase the amount of dairy you consume and in time, you will not be intollerant anymore. Fiction?, likely. Everybody has a different level of tolerance and it is up to that person to learn what their threshold is and to keep their lactose consumption below it to avoid having to suffer. Being a mix of Cree First Nations and Jamaican (with a dibble dabble of other stuff), I am culturally prone to producing less lactose digestive enzymes. My ancestors do not traditionally eat much dairy. If you think of what your ancestors ate, with minimal modern influence, that’s likely an indication of the kinds of things your body was created to need and use. I wonder if my future child will take after me or daddy (who can eat dairy with every meal if he wanted to). I come from very strong female genes, but my boyfriend looks like his mother! Hahaha we’ll see one day.
Here’s one more I hear a lot and know is fiction: richer dairy products make lactose intollerant people more sick. Fiction!
Lactose is primarily present in the water protein of dairy (and in additives). Skim milk has more lactose than cream. Fat-free dairy has more lactose than full-fat. Soft cheeses have more lactose than hard. Butter has very little lactose and there is likely more lactose in margarine because of all the creepy additives (do not buy margarine unless you buy Earth Balance–which costs more than butter. Just use butter or oil, unless you’re vegan). Also, lactose is not just about cow products. Goat’s milk and your mom’s milk are all full of the stuff. Most of us start out with the enzymes we need to take in mama’s milk and then they significantly reduce their production as we grow into adolescence.
I like cheese. I can do without milk and ice cream just fine. Where I get in trouble sometimes is with cheese. I have to say that the poutine we made was incredible!!! Crumbled homemade vegan Italian sausage, carmelized shallots and garlic mushroom gravy? Yeah, we did!!
This too shall pass. I plan to try baking a grapefruit for breakfast this morning. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Enjoy your day!