Learning about lactose intolerance

February is Lactose Intolerance Awareness Month.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the condition. Lactose intolerance occurs when a person has difficulty digesting lactose, the sugar naturally found in milk. But that it doesn't mean you have to avoid dairy foods which provide a powerful nutrition package that can help meet your nutrient needs.

Lactose intolerance and having a milk allergy are two different things. Many health experts agree that people with lactose intolerance should still try to get three servings of dairy every day because it provides essential nutrients needed for a healthy diet. There are several dairy products and substitutions that can ensure you get the necessary servings.

Robin Brown, RD from the Midwest Dairy Council visited the ABC 7 State Street Studios to talk about lactose intolerance and to give a few tips for your daily dairy.

Permission to use the following recipes provided by Midwest Dairy Association.

White Bean Chowder
Servings: 6
Total Time: 35 minutes


2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 (15-ounce) cans white cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
1 cup frozen corn kernels
cup grated carrot
cup diced celery
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
teaspoon salt (optional)

2 cups fat-free or low-fat milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

In a large saucepan, stir together oil, onion and garlic over medium heat until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1 can of beans and mash into onion mixture with a potato masher or a slotted spoon (mixture will be chunky).

Stir in second can of beans, green chilies, corn, carrot, celery, chicken broth, cumin, chili powder and salt. Bring mixture to a simmer. Blend cornstarch into milk and stir into chowder. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, or until corn and celery are tender and mixture thickens. Stir in 1 cup of cheese until melted.

Serve in individual bowls and top with fresh cilantro, if desired.

Nutritional Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 270
Total Fat: 7g
Cholesterol: 15mg
Sodium: 370mg
Carbohydrates: 38g
Dietary Fiber: 8g
Protein: 17g (3.8g from dairy)

Baked Spinach Artichoke Yogurt Dip
Servings: 8
Total Time: 30 minutes


1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 container (8 ounces) plain low-fat yogurt
1 cup shredded low-moisture part-skim Mozzarella cheese
cup green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons red pepper, chopped

Combine all ingredients except red pepper and mix well.

Pour mixture into 1-quart casserole dish or 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Sprinkle with red peppers.

Nutritional Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 140
Total Fat: 7g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Sodium: 330mg
Carbohydrates: 13g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Protein: 7g (3.8g from dairy)
Calcium: 15% Daily Value
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