Making a meal plan is hard enough, and when you have food restrictions, it adds an extra layer of complexity.
One thing I’ve learned as I went along is that once you find out what you can eat and find food that meets your dietary restrictions, you’re going to have to figure out a meal plan.
And sometimes it can seem like a huge hassle. But, if you can just focus on one meal at a time and keep everything organized, this stuff isn’t hard at all.
Let me share with you my lactose intolerant diet plan. I talk about what some of my favorites are, why I prefer this plan, and how I use the products listed – it’s quite easy to follow. Let’s jump right to it!
Lactose Intolerant Diet 101 [Dos and Don’ts!]
What are the do’s and don’ts in a lactose intolerance diet? I am sure you have tons of questions in mind, such as “can lactose intolerant eat yogurt?” or perhaps you wonder how can a person with lactose intolerance obtain dietary calcium, if they are totally eliminating cow’s milk from their diet?
Eating a healthy diet is important, but it’s especially important if you are lactose intolerant. If you have trouble digesting lactose (the sugar found in milk products), you may be wondering what to eat and what not to eat on a lactose-free diet.
- Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes and whole grains. These foods are naturally low in fat and high in fiber, nutrients and vitamins. They also contain little or no lactose.
- Choose lean meats such as chicken, turkey breast without skin or fish instead of red meat like beef or pork which contains more saturated fat.
- Limit your intake of milk products like cheese, yogurt and ice cream which contain more lactose than other dairy products like milk and butter.
- Consider milk substitutes such as soy or rice milk.
- Do introduce one new food at a time into your diet so you can identify which ones cause problems for you personally before introducing another one into your meals.
- Lactose can be found in all dairy products, including milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt. So if you’re avoiding all dairy products because of lactose intolerance, that’s all good!
- But if you’re just trying to cut down on your consumption of lactose (for example: because it makes your stomach hurt), then check the label before eating anything.
- There are some hidden sources of lactose in processed foods—like breads and cereals—so read the label carefully. You may also find some unexpected sources of dairy in sauces and dressings that aren’t specifically labeled as “dairy-free.”
- Be sure to check labels carefully before buying anything packaged or processed—even foods that might seem healthy like granola bars or crackers can contain hidden sources of lactose (and other allergens).
- Fortify your gut health with natural supplements such as Optima. This also helps speed up healing and encourage recovery if your gut has been under the weather for quite some time!
Here is a 3-day plan that shows what can lactose intolerance eat in a day, most of which you can also prepare in advance and save you more time in the kitchen, too!
- 1 cup of lactose-free Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup of milk (I recommend almond or rice milk)
- 1 tbsp honey (or agave syrup if you prefer)
- a handful of ice cubes
Blend until smooth and enjoy!
In case you’re a newbie in substituting milk with non-dairy options, here is an article I wrote that you could find helpful, if you’re worried about the taste: does lactose free milk taste different
Lunch: Stir Fry
- 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables
- 2 cups of shredded chicken breast meat (can be substituted by tofu or beef)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until no longer pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables and toss to coat with oil, then add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes more. Serve hot!
Dinner: Lemon Sardine Pasta
- 1/2 lb spaghetti (or any other type of pasta you prefer)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best!)
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)
- ½ cup sardines in olive oil, drained and flaked
Cook pasta following package directions, or until it is al dente (meaning it is firm but not hard).
While the pasta is cooking, heat up some olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until it becomes golden brown. Add your lemon juice and cook for another two minutes or so until fragrant.
Finally, add your sardines to the pan with some salt, pepper and chili flakes (optional).
Once all of these ingredients have mixed together nicely, turn off the heat then mix in some parsley leaves at the end of cooking time (or just before serving).
Once your pasta has finished cooking rinse it out under cold water then mix it together with all other ingredients from your pan until well combined. Serve immediately alongside some salad greens if desired.
Breakfast: Dairy-free Cereal or Granola
If you prefer to make your own granola, here is a great and simple recipe:
- 2 cups of gluten-free oats
- 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed meal
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Combine the oats and flaxseed meal in a large bowl; stir in the salt.
Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total baking time.
For a quick fix of grains, you can also prepare a bowl of cereal. Use almond milk or soy milk for lactose intolerance, which is a popular substitute for cow’s milk.
Lunch: Burrito Bowl
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup salsa or hot sauce (optional)
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. You can add vinaigrette or dairy-free sour cream for added flavor and texture.
Dinner: Salmon With Brown Rice
- 2 cups brown rice, cooked
- 2 cups canned salmon, drained and flaked (or fresh salmon)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes)
- 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives (optional)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the rice, 1 3/4 cups water, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 45 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in green onions and parsley. Spoon into serving bowls. Top with salmon and olives if desired.
Breakfast: Avocado Toast using Dairy-free Bread
- 1 slice of dairy-free bread
- 1/2 of a large avocado
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
Smash the avocado and spread on top of the bread, sprinkle with salt, and enjoy! You can also add chili pepper flakes if desired.
Lunch: Cauliflower and White Bean Soup With Crispy Bacon
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 1 cup white beans, cooked
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 slices bacon, fried until crispy and crumbled
Add all ingredients except bacon to a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in crumbled bacon (if using). Serve with a garnish of parsley or chives if desired.
Dinner: Chicken and Broccoli With Rice
- 1 cup cooked rice (brown or white)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced (about 1 pound)
- 2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
Cook rice according to package instructions. Fluff with fork and let cool. Stir in sesame seeds and set aside. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in broccoli florets, crushed red pepper flakes, and half of the black pepper; stir for about 2 minutes.
Season both sides of chicken with remaining black pepper; then add to pan and cook for 3 minutes until cooked through. Turn off heat and serve immediately with rice.
Plan A: Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Eat Bread if You’re Lactose Intolerant?
Yes, you can eat bread if you’re lactose intolerant. The reason most people who are lactose intolerant cannot eat bread is because it contains milk.
However, not all breads contain milk; some breads are made from wheat flour, which contains no milk or lactose at all. If you’re wondering whether or not your favorite type of bread is safe for someone with lactose intolerance to eat, look at the ingredients list on the package: if you see “milk” or “lactose” in the list of ingredients, then that particular loaf may not be right for you.
Are Eggs Ok for Lactose Intolerance?
Yes! Eggs do not contain lactose. If you have other allergies or if you’re unsure whether or not eggs are OK for your diet, talk to your doctor or nutritionist before trying them out just in case.
Does Chocolate Have Lactose?
Yes, such as milk chocolate, but not all chocolates contain lactose. If you’re lactose intolerant, you can still eat white or milk chocolate in moderation—just be mindful of how much you’re eating.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your sweet treats, I recommend choosing chocolates with a higher percentage of cacao (darker) and avoiding those with more than 35% cacao (milk).
If you’re unsure of whether or not a particular type of chocolate has lactose, check the label or call the manufacturer.
It is definitely doable to go on a near-normal diet without the milk! you have to be persistent and be sure to prepare the right kinds of food during the first few weeks, but if you’re determined, it’s not impossible.
We’ve seen a ton of helpful suggestions on how to go about your lactose intolerant diet, and the best part is that these recipes are guaranteed to work! If you’re looking for a new way to get some variety in your healthy eating plan, this 3-day plan will prove to be a huge help.
Stay tuned for more posts about certain diets, healthy living, and how to improve your overall health! SuperHumns are a new breed – we do not just approach health and wellness through small, separate programs. We do a holistic approach. Curious? Sign up for the 30-day jumpstart program today!