Is Lactose-Free Milk Healthy?

Is Lactose-Free Milk Healthy?

Gone are the days when milk only came in bottles with a thick layer of cream floating on the top. Today you also get milk in cartons and there is a wide variety of both dairy and plant milk available for consumers to enjoy. Almond milk, oat milk, skimmed, semi-skimmed, homogenised and lactose-free – there’s a milk for everyone, whether your choice is for ethical reasons or to help with digestive issues. Take lactose-free milk for example; it’s the milk of choice for anyone who loves dairy milk but has problems digesting it. But is it healthy? Read on to find out more!

How does lactose-free milk differ from regular dairy milk? 

Before we explain why lactose-free milk is just as healthy as regular dairy milk, you need to understand a little about lactose. Lactose is just the name for the natural sugar that’s found in dairy milk and dairy milk products. Unfortunately, some people don’t digest lactose well and experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms when they drink regular milk. 

What it means to be lactose intolerant

If you can’t digest lactose, you’re said to be lactose intolerant. But what does that really mean? It means that you were born with low levels of the enzyme lactase. Lactase breaks down any lactose in our digestive systems into simpler forms of sugars that can be more easily digested. If you don’t have high enough levels of lactase, the lactose remains undigested until it reaches your large intestine. Once in your large intestine, it’s then broken down by bacteria, but this process causes gases to be released which can lead to bloating, abdominal pain, sickness, and diarrhoea. 

How is lactose-free milk made? 

To make lactose-free milk, a percentage of the lactose is removed during processing. The milk is passed through filters and lactase is added to the milk to break down the lactose into more simple sugars that can be easily digested. This means you won’t experience the usual symptoms experienced when the bacteria in the large intestine digest lactose. 

Does removing the lactose make it less healthy than regular milk? 

The simple answer is no. The nutritional composition of the milk is not affected at all when the lactose is removed. It remains an excellent source of protein and retains all the vitamins and minerals of regular milk. So, you’ll still be getting vitamin A, vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin in your milk. Some lactose-free milk also contains added vitamin D as an extra bonus, so you can rest assured that it’s a healthy addition to your diet, especially if you find it difficult to tolerate regular cow’s milk. 

Try lactose-free milk from the Little Big Dairy Co

Our farm is situated on the banks of the Macquarie River in Dubbo, NSW. This is where our herds of beautiful Holstein cows produce our award-winning milk. Some of this milk is made into lactose-free milk and we guarantee that it still retains all the goodness and taste of the original. When you drink our lactose-free milk, you can do so safely in the knowledge that it won’t cause bloating, pain, and toilet issues! Plus, just like all our milk, we can trace our lactose-free milk back to the lovely cow who made it. 

Incidentally, just in case you were wondering, at The Little Big Dairy Co, we also produce the traditional cream-on-top milk in a glass bottle – it’s just like the milk you remember from your childhood!