Why gluten free and lactose free often go together

Dairy products contain lactose

One of the annoying things about having ingested gluten is how carefully I have to eat over the next few days while my digestive system heals. Once the initial flu like symptoms pass, I have no appetite for several hours, followed by massive sugar cravings for the next few days. At the same time, I still have a tender tummy prone to gas, bloating and stomach cramps. Meat can be hard to digest so the first couple of days I stick to more vegetarian options. However, I find the hardest part is avoiding dairy products.

Lactase is the enzyme which breaks down lactose, the sugar found in milk. Lactase is made by the cells lining the small intestine and unfortunately, these are the cells most damaged when a coeliac eats gluten. In fact, many coeliacs are diagnosed as lactose intolerant before they are diagnosed as a coeliac, only to find they can tolerate dairy products after several months on the gluten free diet. I find that after I’ve eaten gluten, I become very sensitive to lactose for several days afterwards, which is why I’ve switched to lactose free milk and am going easy on the cheese and yogurt.

However, this creates other problems. I often use dairy products to top up my protein, so avoiding both meat and dairy makes it harder to get my target 100g of protein a day. Low fat milk and yogurt are excellent recovery products after exercise, delivering both protein and carbohydrates without much fat. Longer term, it’s difficult to get enough calcium and vitamin D without dairy products. So while I respect that some people are lactose intolerant, I do not recommend eliminating dairy products from anyone’s diet without good reason.

The Score for 16 January:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Sugars: Fat: Sat Fat: Fibre:  
1885 70.14g 254.39g 125.21g 62.08g 17.66g 31.89g  
15% 55%   30%    
Calories burned through exercise: 0      


What I ate:

Time Item Amount
08:45 Centrum Multivitamin,  Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg
Tap water 250mL
Soft boiled eggs, 2 large 125g
Free From pure oats 50g
made with boiling water 250mL
Tesco mixed frozen fruits 100g
Ground flaxseeds 10g
Black tea 450mL
12:30 Tesco finest vine ripened tomato and lentil soup 300g
Red grapes 100g
Yakult light 65mL
14:00 Decaf black tea with lactofree skimmed milk and sugar 450mL
Tesco free from Bramley apple pies 2 pies
17:00 Heinz baked beans 50% less sugar 195g
Golden delicious apple 120g
Decaf black tea with lactofree skimmed milk and sugar 450mL
19:00 Tuna sandwich with tinned tuna, 56g
Hellmann’s real mayonnaise, 10g
and French’s New York deli pickle relish 8g
on Genius brown sliced gluten free bread, 2 slices 62g
Sliced raw tomato 136g
Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa chocolate bar, 2 squares 20g

Image Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_oksix’>oksix / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

2 thoughts on “Why gluten free and lactose free often go together

    • sFizer says:

      Unfortunately I also have an allergy to almonds. Nothing serious, but I do try to avoid them. This can be difficult as ground almonds are a popular flour substitute in many gluten free cakes and desserts.

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