by Nicole Berry
A tall glass of cold milk, butter pecan ice cream and macaroni and cheese are foods that make most of us say, “Um good.” The truth is many African American women suffer from foods that contain milk or dairy products and are not able to enjoy their favorite dish.
A recent survey from Multicultural Communities sponsored by the Lactaid brand, shows 78 percent of African-American women are lactose intolerant. To escape the uncomfortable feeling, many avoid consumption of food with milk or dairy ingredients altogether putting them at risk of not supplying their body with healthy nutrients such as, Vitamins A and D.
Many go undiagnosed and dismiss the symptoms which include gas, bloating, and diarrhea. The survey reported only 16 percent of African-American women have actually discussed their condition with a physician. And 75 percent are aware of the symptoms through self-diagnoses. 29 percent however, have not taken the steps to determine if they are lactose intolerant.
Celebrity chef, restaurant owner and author Delilah Winder, teamed up with nationally recognized nutritionist and personal trainer Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, during a webinar to provide educational information surrounding the not so popular condition. They felt a need to educate women on how to manage their dairy intake by changing eating habits without giving up favorite foods.
Winder recommended substituting key ingredients with healthier alternatives such as fresh fruit and vegetables instead of processed or canned foods. Melendez-Klinger said the National Medical Association recommends people who are lactose intolerant should include lactose free milk in their diet as a strategy to obtain calcium and other important nutrients found in milk. Winder expanded on the recommendation by sharing her smoothie recipe which can be used to start your day. The smoothie is made with lactaid milk and fresh fruit and is a healthy addition to any meal.
Acknowledging that she too is lactose intolerant, Winder also spoke of the many delightful entrees she enjoyed as a child. “I carry a pack of Lactaid tablets in my purse,” said Winder. “It allows me to enjoy my food when I am ready to eat.” Winder continues to enjoy her favorite childhood dishes. She encouraged the use of lactaid products as an alternative source for providing key nutrients found in milk and dairy products.
Both ladies encouraged African-American women not to remove dairy products from their diet and to talk with a personal physician to discuss their symptoms and learn how to manage the condition by including healthy alternatives.
Lactaid has a variety of dairy products, supplements and educational material. For more information visit their website www.lactaid.com.