Disclaimer: I don’t eat dairy, but I definitely used to. This post is based on my past experience and research. Both meat-eaters and vegetarians may have a sensitivity to dairy (vegans, you’re way ahead!) – this could be why. ❤
A significant number of people have – shall we say – “issues” with diary. Sometimes it’s legitimate lactose intolerance or even an allergy. Personally, however, I’m one of the people not officially labeled as either but with noticeable negative reactions.
Those reactions aren’t what this post is about. Rather, I want to emphasize the fact that I react differently to different variations of dairy.
What are those variations?
Those were the cute and obvious. Oh, there’s more…
Milk is in SO much. For now, I’m talking about the direct source.
This is a separate category because of the fermentation. Fermentation = bacteria-tastic… in a good way. ( Plant foods can be fermented, too. )
Sour cream is fermented dairy…but it’s in the milk category. This is because its lactose content is higher than ice cream. Both are higher than the three main fermented dairy products: yogurt, butter, and cheese.
Generally, those three have the lowest lactose content of all dairy.
More on that in a minute. Continuing…
By definition, cheese is fermented dairy – like yogurt and butter. But if you got a clue from sour cream, not all cheese is the same…
Upon reflection, I realize that if I leave a Kraft single out on the counter, as it gets warmer it just slowly turns to goo. Leave an aged cheese like parmesan out, however, and nothing changes except for the temperature.
Let’s go back to what I mentioned at the beginning of this post: lactose intolerance.
Lactose is a sugar present in milk. Lactase is used to break that down. People who are lactose intolerant do not have enough – or any – lactase.
Here’s a mediocre breakdown:
Looking at broccoli vs. milk, the reason ( respective to this context ) that a person with this intolerance can eat broccoli is because it has no – meaning less – lactose.
The less lactose food has, the better these people react to it.
And the more fermented milk is, the less lactose it contains.
Many lactose intolerant people have to avoid all dairy. But this explains why others can eat some – like yogurt, butter, and cheese.
Processed cheeses ( like those lovely Kraft singles ) are generally high in lactose. Basically, they’re milk.
Many of us with no lactose intolerance elect to avoid milk for various reasons, from acne to simple weight loss. With this in mind, you might be interested in avoiding more milk products – especially processed cheese.
We knew that different foods have different levels of lactose – but this same logic applies to dairy in general. Indeed, not all dairy is the same.
Milk allergy is a lot different to lactose intolerance. Here, there is a problem with the proteins in milk. Consumption triggers an actual immune response, which is more serious than discomfort – a livable issue.
The discovery of all this really explained my “milk probs.” In theory, I’m fine with yogurt and cheese, but not the milk category. In reality, it’s not black and white. Lactose levels can be unexpected, after all.
Well, I should say my body is fine with it, whereas I’m not really okay at all.