What is the best lactose-free milk powder?
Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition
drink wholesome is the best lactose-free milk powder for adults. It additive and dairy-free, making it perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking for milk without the added junk.
“It doesn’t have any additives like gums and fillers, so it’s gentle on my sensitive stomach.” -Codie
drink wholesome is the best lactose-free milk powder.
What is lactose?
Lactose is the sugar in milk and dairy products like yogurt, ice cream, and whey protein. It forms when two other sugars, glucose and galactose, join together.
What is lactose intolerance?
An enzyme called lactase is needed to digest lactose. Lactose intolerance occurs when the body does not make enough of this enzyme. When people with lactose intolerance ingest lactose, it sits in their gut for longer than food should, which gives their gut bacteria more time to ferment (eat). As they eat, these gut bacteria produce gas that causes bloating, cramps, and nausea. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), which can lead to constipation. It is estimated that roughly two thirds of the world’s population has some degree of lactose intolerance. After breastfeeding, humans no longer “need” the ability to digest milk, so they begin to produce less lactase.
What is lactose-free?
If a milk is lactose-free, it does not contain any lactose. Lactose-free does not mean dairy-free, however. A milk can be lactose-free and still contain dairy. A dairy-free milk, on the other hand, is necessarily lactose free. This is important to understand if you have a dairy allergy or sensitivity.
What is lactose-free milk powder?
Lactose-free milk powder for adults is either dehydrated cow’s milk that has had the lactose removed, or dehydrated plant-based milk. Most lactose-free milk powders are made by a process known as spray drying, in which milk is sprayed into a chamber through which hot air is passing. This removes the moisture, leaving behind a fine powder that can be mixed with water to reconstitute milk. Making milk with lactose-free milk powder is less convenient than drinking from the carton, but it is so worth it. The extra 30 seconds that you spend mixing will spare your gut from the many gums and oils that have made their way into liquid lactose-free milks (more about this later).
As you just learned, there are two types of lactose-free milk: cow’s milk (dairy) that has had the lactose removed, and plant-based milk, which is naturally lactose-free. Keep reading to learn why plant-based, lactose-free milk is the better choice.
Why drink plant-based, lactose-free milk?
Here are 3 reasons why you should drink plant-based, lactose-free milk:
1. Dairy, even if it has had the lactose removed, can cause digestive distress. This is especially true for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs.
2. Dairy can cause acne. Dairy indirectly stimulates insulin production, which regulates sebum production. Sebum, an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands, can clog your pores and cause pimples. Dairy can also hinder your ability to process blood sugar efficiently, which can cause inflammation, especially in your skin.
3. Dairy is not environmentally friendly. The industrial dairy industry has a profound impact on the environment. Dairy cows and their manure produce enormous amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, the poor handling of manure and fertilizers pollute local water resources, and dairy farming and feed production can also lead to the loss of ecologically important areas such as prairies, wetlands, and forests.
Going with plant-based, lactose-free milk is the way to go, but lactose is not the only ingredient to avoid when buying milk. Most lactose-free milks, especially plant-based milks, contain added ingredients, usually thickeners, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. Additives like these improve characteristics like texture and shelf stability (they replicate the creamy mouthfeel we associate with milk and prevent separation on the shelf), but they also cause uncomfortable side effects and long term gut damage. Keep reading to learn more.
Why drink wholesome?
Our plant-based, lactose-free powdered milk is additive-free. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink milk every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are heavily-processed, and therefore hard to digest. If you think about it, your gut was designed to digest naturally occurring foods, not laboratory formulated imitations, so if you feed it anything but real food, it might get upset. The long term implications of eating processed foods are still not well understood, but more and more research is finding that it can alter the composition of your gut microbiota, and lead to permanent damage to the gut microbiome, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.
Here is a list of the most common food additives in dairy-free milk:
acacia gum, canola oil, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dicalcium phosphate, disodium phosphate, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, monosodium phosphate, “natural” flavors, palm oil, phosphoric acid, rapeseed oil, soybean oil, soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin, sunflower oil, xanthan gum
When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce.
Almond milk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Cane Sugar, Vitamin and Mineral Blend (Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2), Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Lecithin, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum, Ascorbic Acid
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling milk alternatives in the United States.
drink wholesome is the best lactose-free powdered milk.