I have met numerous people who have difficulty with milk and milk products. But, what many people don’t realize is that not all dairy sourced products are created equally. I myself can’t drink milk, nor can I eat a lot, of some cheeses. But, I can use butter, with no worries, creme fraiche and heavy cream. I also use whey protein with seemingly none of the stomach upset, gas, bloating, and pain associated with milk
Well, its because you may be sensitive to one component of milk and not all. For example cream, is primary the fat of the milk, while it does contain some lactose (milk sugar) it is typically in trace amounts. The harder cheeses, and fermented milk products are made using enzymes and probiotic bacteria that consume the lactose. Therefore, not all cheese contain the same amounts of lactose as straight milk, the longer the cheese is aged, typically the less residual lactose. The curds that form during the cheese making process is primarily made up of casein protein molecules. The watery leftover substance is the whey proteins.
So, although whey and casein are both components of milk, they are not the same proteins. Casein typically takes longer for the body to break down and use to build muscle. Whey is more easily absorbed by the body.
When you start talking about milk allergies or intolerances, you could be having difficulties with one or more of these milk components.
Personally, lactose is a problem for me, the younger the cheese, the more problem I have with it, yet a harder aged cheese, causes less issue. This tells me that casein isn’t a likely culprit. Whey protein powder which I use in some of my recipes has never caused me any issue.
So, when trying to figure out which parts of milk are causing your issue, start with cutting out any milk products except those made with cream. If you do okay with that, try adding in added hard cheese like parmesan. If you have problems again, then casein may be your issue. Once you know if casein is an issue, try some whey protein powder, if you start having issues again, then you know it is the whey proteins that are the problem. For those rare few, any dairy may cause problems, from those, there are some substitutions out there, such as nut-based milks and cheeses. Just be conscious that all nuts do not have the carb load.
For those of you looking for a substitution for parmesan cheese in your recipes, I developed this one and it worked pretty well in the recipes I tried it in.
Non-dairy Parmesan Cheese
- 1 1/2 cup finely ground raw sunflower seeds
- 2/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp ascorbic acid
Grind sunflower seeds in a mill or coffee/spice grinder into a fine meal. Add in other ingredients into a large ziplock and shake to mix well.
Per 1/2 cup
total fat 18.3 g
net carbs 4.3 g
protein 7.5 h