As you know, this blog is gluten-free and predominately cow’s milk free too. I am always interested in the connection between gluten and dairy- I’ve blogged before about how many people with coeliac disease, IBD and IBS suffer from issues with milk. However, I am always curious to know how this breaks down: I’ve experimented with goat’s milk (check out my goat’s cheese gluten free calzone), A2 milk, lactose-free and of course plant milk. I know cow’s milk doesn’t agree with me but I haven’t really been able to narrow the cause down completely. So when Tesco invited me along to learn more about the nutrition behind lactose-free, I was keen to learn more.
First up, we were treated to a talk by a nutritionist all about lactose intolerance. Interestingly, the products by Tesco add a lactose enzyme into the product. If you are truly lactose deficient (rather than say having a problem with another milk protein) then it’s because your body doesn’t have as much of this enzyme as it needs. That’s why, unlike gluten, people with lactose intolerance may be able to have small amounts as they may have a little of the enzyme to deal with things like a splash of milk in tea. By adding more of this enzyme, the lactose-free range should be much easier to digest for more.
Interestingly, it’s thought many people who have coeliac disease or gluten intolerance can’t tolerate lactose. But why?
It’s thought it is because this enzyme is temporarily lacking when the gut is impaired. However, many people with coeliac disease may still struggle even after following a gluten free diet. This might also explain why lactose intolerance is linked to IBD- since our gut is often in a constant state of being impaired and we’re more likely to lack the enzymes on a permanent basis.
Once I’d learnt a bit more about lactose and lactase, we then tried out some recipes! The first was this gluten and lactose-free risotto! My cooking partner was the legendary Becky from Gluten Free Cuppa Tea. Becky is also on a low FODMAP diet, so we made a slightly altered version to accomodate her too.
I always buy risotto sauces in a jar but we mixed vegetable stock, cooking wine and Tesco’s lactose-free cream to make the perfect rich, creamy risotto.
It was actually the first time I’d done a cooking class and was really proud of the results!
(Photo courtesy of Sarah from The Gluten-Free Blogger)
We also made a gorgeous gluten-free tiramisu made with lactose-free cream. However, being a gut health blogger coffee is a huge no-no for me as it makes my symptoms worsen (it increases gut movement, so ideal if you struggle with constipation, however!) Some of the lactose-free range!
Overall, I left brimming with ideas and I have been experimenting with lactose-free a lot more. I have been trying their lactose-free mozzarella; which is naturally lower in lactose anyway, even without lactose added; and have been feeling fine- so I am hoping that I’ll be able to expand the variety of dairy products I eat too!
I would definitely checkout the rest of Tesco’s range. Tesco has always been at the forefront of ‘free from’ but I love how they are widening this and working with a nutritionist to ensure the proper information gets out there!
Disclaimer: A big thank you to Tesco who covered my expenses to attend the event and learn more about lactose free!