Ever wonder why some people go dairy-free? Children grow up with a lactase enzyme that breaks down the sugars in milk, but some people lose this enzyme as adults. People with lactose intolerance experience annoying side effects like stomach aches, diarrhea, and gas, after drinking or eating foods with dairy milk. As heartbreaking as this is [but cheese!], luckily, there are lactose-free alternatives for your favorite foods --

1. Milk

Giphy

Most lactose-free milk is nut-based and vegan-friendly, so you can enjoy a similar yummy drink without the side effects. Some are soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk and rice milk, available typically in both chocolate, vanilla and sweetened/unsweetened. For a post-workout snack, lactose-free milk tastes great with protein powders and in smoothies!

2. Yogurt

Giphy

Lactose-free yogurts are now available in various versions and flavors, just like dairy-milk yogurt! SO Delicious and Green Valley Organics are two companies that create lactose-free products in a range of flavors, like chocolate, mango and strawberry. If you're limited to dairy options, opt for Greek yogurt over traditional yogurt. A regular yogurt can contain up to 14 grams of lactose, while Greek yogurt contains around 6 grams due to its different processing. It's all about moderation and what your body can handle!

3. Ice Cream

Giphy

Ice cream can be lactose-intolerant friendly too! Popular ice cream brands, like Ben & Jerry's and Breyers, offer lactose-free/non-dairy versions of your favorite flavors. Most dairy-free ice creams have an almond/coconut milk base. You can also make lactose-free ice cream at home. Banana "nice" cream or froyo blends frozen bananas with added flavors and fruits. It's a super simple lactose alternative that is perfect for anyone with a nut allergy!

4. Cheese

Giphy

For all the cheese lovers out there, there are plant-based cheese options! Field Roast's Chao Cheese is a vegan coconut cheese alternative without any lactose. Tofutti is another brand that offers dairy-free, soy-based cheese, sour cream and cream cheese. Other lactose-free alternatives are nutritional yeast [dried and crumbled yeast that has a cheesy flavor] and seasoned tofu crumbles.