Aged cheeses: the safe alternative for lactose intolerant people

Did you know that aged cheeses are naturally lactose-free? Those who are therefore intolerant to this sugar will find them perfect for their diet. First, however, let’s find out together what lactose intolerance means.

Lactose intolerance: what is it caused and what causes it?

Lactose intolerance, found in 75 percent of the human population, results from theinability to digest lactose in turn caused by the deficiency of an intestinal enzyme called lactase, which is intended to split lactose into two sugars: glucose and galactose.

The cleavage allows the two components to continue the pathway within the intestine and be absorbed smoothly. In case of lactase deficiency or complete lack of lactase, lactose is not digested and remains in the intestinal lumen, where it is then fermented by the bacterial flora.

This situation leads to unpleasant consequences. For example, the subsequent recall of water and the production by fermentation process of gases and short-chain fatty acids. Excessive production of fatty acids and gas can cause meteorism, flatulence, and abdominal distension with pain.

In this case, the most recommended solution is diet therapy, thenexclusion of lactose-containing foods for a defined period or permanently, depending on the form of intolerance.

Why can people who are lactose intolerant eat aged cheeses? And what cheeses can he eat?

But not to worry: it is still possible to eat and drink many foods that contain milk, for example, lactose-free yogurt, delactose-free milk, and long-ripened cheeses-which, thanks to their fermentation and aging process, are naturally lactose-free.

This is because during the fermentation stage, lactose is consumed by the bacteria added in the milk and is thus transformed into lactic acid. Later, with the aging process, the remaining lactose is almost completely “degraded.” Clearly, the longer the cheese is aged the less residual lactose will be present in it.

There are many naturally lactose-free cheeses such as: gorgonzola, parmesan reggiano, grana padano, pecorino, emmental, taleggio, and provolone.

In addition, cheese is an excellent food to introduce into any diet as it is rich in all the major nutrients, which humans need to have a healthy lifestyle such as protein for muscles and tissues or calcium for bone health. The minerals within it (such as sodium, potassium and magnesium in good amounts), are also essential for our bodies.

Now that you are finally aware of why aged cheeses are suitable for those who are lactose intolerant, the next time you stand in front of a counter-with numerous cheeses in front of you-you will surely know which one to choose, without running into digestive problems.

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