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Dairy and Digestion

The live and active cultures in yogurt make it easier to digest than milk for people with lactose intolerance.

  • The live and active cultures help break down lactose, the natural milk sugar found in dairy products.

  • Eating yogurt can also help decrease the unpleasant side effects people with lactose intolerance may experience when they eat other dairy products.

What are live and Active Cultures?

The live and active cultures Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are the two cultures added to milk to create yogurt. Yoplait also adds Lactobacillus acidophilus to some of our yogurts. Live and active cultures may naturally support healthy digestion for people with lactose intolerance.

Yogurt is initially made with live and active cultures, but some yogurts are treated with heat after they are made. The heat processing destroys the cultures, so it may not offer some of the health benefits that yogurt containing active cultures does.

What to look for:

Look for the National Yogurt Association Live and Active culture seal or the words "contains live and active cultures." All Yoplait products provide the benefit of live and active cultures.

How to still do dairy when you're Lactose Intolerant?

Lactose intolerance can cause uncomfortable digestive problems including abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea. Symptoms may occur as soon as 30 minutes or as late as 12 hours after consuming too much lactose.

The great thing about Yoplait yogurt is that it contains live and active cultures - which help break down lactose, making it a dairy product many people with lactose intolerance can enjoy.

How much is too much lactose?

Tolerance is an individual matter. What is too much lactose for one person may be a tolerable amount for someone else. But, for most people, lactose-containing foods are better tolerated when eaten with other foods.

So can you include milk products in your diet and still avoid symptoms? Of course. Here are some tips for doing so:

  • Consume Yoplait yogurts with live and active cultures. These cultures provide the enzymes necessary to help break down lactose.
  • Consume smaller amounts of lactose-containing foods at one time to avoid symptoms.
  • Drink milk and eat milk products with other foods to help slow down the digestive process.
  • Try lactose-reduced and lactose-free milk products.
  • Try eating aged hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Swiss and Colby. They contain very little lactose, yet offer the nutritional benefits of dairy foods.

If none of these suggestions help, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian for further advice.

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