Lactose intolerance is when the body cannot digest lactose. Lactose is a type of sugar which is mainly found in milk and dairy products.
If you are lactose intolerant, you may develop symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea and stomach cramps within a few hours of eating any food which contains lactose.
Lactose intolerance is a common issue amongst adults. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and some people may still be able to consume a small amount of dairy.
Fortunately, there are now a number of dairy alternatives available now which you can substitute for a lactose free diet, if you are unable to eat dairy.
As lactose is mainly found in dairy products, you should avoid anything containing dairy if you are sensitive to lactose.
This includes, but is not limited to, butter, cheese, cream and milk.
Luckily, you do not need to miss out on anything when following a dairy free diet as there are lots of alternative products available which do not contain any dairy.
There are lots of different dairy free milk alternatives to choose from, so you can try them all before deciding on the one you like best.
Gluten is the general name for the proteins which can be found in wheat.
Gluten can be found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye, which means that it is commonly found in foods like bread, pasta and pizza.
If you have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease, then you will need to follow a gluten free diet.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease where eating gluten can lead to damage in the small intestine. When this damage occurs, your body cannot properly absorb nutrients.
Common symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhoea, abdominal pain and indigestion.
Gluten sensitivity is a milder form of gluten intolerance, which is also more common.
Many of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity are the same as those of celiac disease, however, it is not as severe or as serious.
Gluten needs to be avoided at all costs if you have celiac disease. But if you are sensitive to gluten, you may be able to eat small amounts without experiencing serious discomfort.
If you do not have any digestive issues then eating gluten is not necessarily bad for you.
However, gluten is found in a lot of simple carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta, and is well known that eating too many of these can lead to weight gain.
Grains which contain gluten include rye, barley and spelt as well as wheat. Therefore, if something is wheat-free, it may not necessarily be gluten free as well.
If you do have a food intolerance or allergy, you should ensure that you check the label of any product to ensure that it doesn’t contain that food before eating.