Difference between Lactose-Free and Dairy-Free

Key Difference: Lactose-Free basically states that lactose was removed from the milk that was used from the product. However, it doesn’t mean that the product does not have any milk in it. Dairy-Free products are foods that do not have any animal dairy in it. Dairy-free products do not contain any parts of Dairy, no lactose, no whey and no casein.

Many people are cutting out Dairy products from their daily diet because of their shift to a healthier one. There are also many people that are either milk intolerant or have airy allergies and have to cut dairy out; for these people it becomes dangerous to consume dairy. The number of lactose intolerant people has been on the rise, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There are two different labels found on products that cater to people that cannot have milk or lactose in their diets; these are Lactose-Free and Dairy-Free. These different labels are issued by different companies in a bid to gain a competitive edge; however have become a common label found on many healthier products. These two labels are often confusing for many people and are used synonymously. However, these two are different.

Lactose intolerance is a condition in which a person cannot consume lactose, a sugar that is found in milk and through milk, all dairy products. Individuals that are lactose intolerant have insufficient levels of lactase, an enzyme that catalyzes hydrolysis of lactose into glucose and galactose, in their digestive system. If these people consume lactose, it may result in bloating, cramps, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Now, people that have milk allergy are allergic to milk and all dairy products including milk solids and proteins found in animal’s milk. When people with dairy allergyies consume milk, they can suffer an anaphylaxis, a deadly condition.

 There are many different foods that contain dairy or some part of Dairy. While, milk, cheese, yogurt are common forms of Dairy products. There are other types of food that contain dairy in the form of power (milk solids), whey or casein. Woman.thenest.com describes whey and casein as,” Whey is the watery part of milk and casein, the solid clot that forms when milk sits out.” Whey can be found in food such as custards, sport drinks, baked goods, etc. For people that have milk allergies, they cannot consume any of these and should avoid any food that contains any of these products on the label.

The two-most common labels that are found on food for the lactose-intolerant are Lactose-Free and Dairy-Free. Though, this may seem the same to many people, it isn’t. Lactose-Free basically states that lactose was removed from the milk that was used from the product. However, it doesn’t mean that the product does not have any milk in it. Some, lactose intolerant people have found that they can consume lactose in small amounts or milk from goats, rather than cows. However, Lactose-Free foods will contain some form of milk, either whey or milk solids (casein).

Dairy-Free products are foods that do not have any animal dairy in it. So, how can we have dairy free milk and dairy free yogurt? Well, these milk and yogurt are made using milk from plants such as soy, rice, coconut, almonds, etc. These do not have the proteins or lactose that can cause people allergies. There are also dairy-free products that do not have soy, as some people can also be allergic to soy milk. Dairy-free products do not contain any parts of Dairy, no lactose, no whey and no casein. These products are known as Lactose-Free and Dairy-Free products.

Image Courtesy: consumer.darigold.com, moofreechocolates.com

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