July 2021 | Issue XI
Living with Lactose 101
The Digestion Diaries
Good evening Dairy Dreamers 🙇🏽♂️
Welcome back to the eleventh instalment of our weekly series, Living with Lactose!
Here’s to another week full of advice, tips and hints on aiding your digestion and helping our tastebuds explore - letting us all seize the day 🐮
In our eleventh weekly digestion diary, we’ll be breaking the bloat and identifying some serious struggle-foods:
➕ Helping us avoid the guilt that gas brings and how a deeper digestive understanding can help us minimise the bloating that usually comes with it 💨
➕ How we can be fearless with our food and drink when we know what enemies to look out for 👀
➕ Our Restaurant of the Week: Nandos 🐔 & our Indulgence of the Week: The Pastel De Nata 🧁
There's a million ways to enjoy one of the world’s most basic, yet important pleasures, pain-free, and we're here to guide you and keep you informed every step of the way 🕺🏽
Quote of the Week: Irena Chalmers
“The culinary oracle of 100 cookbooks”
“There are three reasons for breast-feeding: the milk is always at the right temperature; it comes in attractive containers; and the cat can’t get it.”
Whilst we all feel different ways and experience unique things, there’s one fact of life that rings true for everyone, whether it’s a beautiful burp, or fearful flatulence, everybody gets gas.
How painful gas can be depends on a number of factors, the culprit can be as simple as swallowed air, but any pain is more likely the result of the unique properties of your body, specifically, how able our intestines are at dealing with foreign foods like lactose and complex carbohydrates.
Indeed, intestinal gas can be an awful pain. As the abdomen becomes swollen due to gas, it often leads to uncomfortable and uneasy bloating in the stomach, this bloating is likely all too familiar, with clothes becoming tight and, at times, not fitting at all!
Therefore, it’s encouraging to know we can do something about it.
As the most common intolerance in the world, dairy often leads to gas due to our inability to break down and digest all the lactose we may be consuming in a snack, meal, or drink.
By the time we’re adults, most of our bodies no longer naturally produce enough lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. This means that with a lot of the foods we eat and enjoy, lactose goes undigested, allowing it to ferment once it gets to our large intestine.
Once at the large intestine, the indigestible sugar (lactose) becomes fermented by bacteria, producing gas, bloating, diarrhoea and other stomach pains.
I’m sure you all can have a great guess as to what can stop this pain 😉 supplementing our body with the lactase enzyme it’s missing helps prevent gas by breaking down the indigestible lactose into absorbable sugars.
As the science for food enzymes is so well established, we’ve been able to create a tiny, highly effective lactase enzyme that loves to digest dairy, giving your stomach a much-needed rest.
Sometimes, we lack the enzyme necessary to digest complex carbohydrates like vegetables, legumes, and grains. This can be a common issue with those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and is known as Complex Carbohydrates Intolerance (CCI). Other conditions, such as celiac disease, pancreatitis, and short-bowel syndrome, can also make it difficult to digest complex carbohydrates.
When the undigested carbohydrates reach the large intestine, the bacteria that normally live there ferments them. This fermentation, similar to dairy digestion, results in the production of gas.
One way to imagine this is by thinking about how champagne is made 🍾 fermented grapes begin to bubble, leading to a build-up of gas and pressure accumulating inside – the same sort of pressure that hurts us!
An enzyme called alpha-galactosidase has been shown to be effective at helping reduce gas in the digestive tract due to these complex carbs. If you remember our FODMAP newsletter, these carbs are polysaccharides and oligosaccharides, found in beans, peanuts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage amongst other things!
The enzyme, similar to lactase, breaks down these indigestible carbs into absorbable sugars, as these complex carbs are happily digested, the onset of symptoms caused by fermentation in the long intestine can’t take place.
It sounds like a joke, but swallowing air is a simple way to increase your burps and farts…
Usually, we expel the air we swallow naturally, in small amounts, throughout the day 😅 Yet there are still a lot of us that swallow excessive amounts of air, causing a build up in our intestines and, you guessed it, more gas!
We seem to take in more air when we are under stress or when we swallow frequently. For example, from drinking through a straw or from smoking 🚬
Our intestines can also move food through slower than normal, making swallowed air more of a problem as the air builds up and moves backward into the stomach, causing burping and bloating amongst other things.
Simethicone, an anti-foaming agent, can be used to reduce bloating and discomfort caused by excessive gas.
At Leaving Lactose, we’re exploring this agent as studies have shown that it can relieve symptoms of indigestion and bloating! It does this by breaking down gas bubbles in the stomach and intestine so they can be expelled by the body naturally.
Enjoyable Enemies: Am I Missing Something? 😬
As we know, a room full of people with lactose intolerance will experience a sliding-scale of symptoms. Just because most of us struggle with lactose, doesn’t mean we all suffer the same. Our sensitivities will always be different as our bodies are not all the same, but with that being said, here are a few under-the-radar culprits worth looking out for:
Despite its position as the most popular supplement on the planet, with an illustrious list of well documented health benefits, your protein shake could be the reason behind a lot of the painful toilet trips you may have had in the past.
The problem whey protein gives to our digestion lies with how it’s made. Whey is the liquid that separates from milk during the cheese-making process 🧀 the whey is then filtered, refined, and dried into whey protein powder.
The obvious issue with being a by-product of cheese is the presence of the ever-so-tasty, yet ever-so-painful sugar in milk… lactose.
Sweeteners & Medication
As a milk-based sugar, lactose is frequently used as a flavouring agent, this makes it perfect for sweeteners, especially those that are used as an alternative to sugar, such as Canderel.
This also shows why it’s commonly used as a filler or base for birth control pills and other medications, it improves the drug’s bioavailability and the taste of a quick dissolve tablet.
So, next time you have to take any medication, make sure to give the ingredients a read, dependent on your sensitivity, the lactose inside may mean the sweetener or medication gives you an uncomfortable reminder of your dairy intolerance.
Baileys and Cream Liqueurs
We’ve been told by customers that Baileys is a silent killer 😄 despite the heavenly taste, the full name should tell you what you need to know.
Baileys is an Irish cream, a cream liqueur based on Irish whiskey, cream, and other flavourings. The reason behind its beautiful taste is also why it can hurt us so badly, with the cream still containing lactose. Its sweet taste is also used to flavour desserts and other sweet treats!
Restaurant of the Week: Nandos 🐔
In 1987, Nando’s started their long journey from Johannesburg, South Africa.
The fast-food chain, specialising in peri-peri style chicken, quickly exploded, with 1,200 restaurants in 35 countries. Interestingly, peri peri sauce was first developed in Mozambique, before being further refined in South Africa and then eventually taken to Portugal!
You could say the UK is Nando’s home away from home, with 400 restaurants and the largest collection of South African art in the UK, with over 5,000 works displayed in restaurants!
Indulgence of the Week: The Pastel De Nata 🧁
This dreamy, delicious, and daring egg custard pastry dusted with cinnamon was created in the 18th century by Catholic monks in Lisbon, Portugal.
At the time, monks used a lot of egg-whites to starch their clothes, this meant there were usually a lot of leftover egg yolks to make cakes and pastries, resulting in the beauty that we have today.
One of the most famous pastel restaurants, Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém, keep the original recipe of the pastel de nata in a secret room. The recipe remains unchanged to this day, with the shop selling over 20,000 pastels a day!
See You Next Week!
Dairy is such an unavoidable and enjoyable fact of life we started a business just so we could focus on it 😎 supplying high quality lactase tablets that ensure you’re prepared for any indulgence, and any occasion, that life might throw at you! 🥳✨
We hope we’ve managed to give some dairy enlightenment with the world finally opening up!
See you next week Dairy Dreamers 🤩