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Almond Milk – A Healthy Alternative For Those Who Are Lactose Intolerant

By HERWriter
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Obesity related image Photo: Getty Images

If you’re like me or 30 to 50 million Americans, you’re lactose intolerant. This means you cannot enjoy many dairy treats because you are unable to digest most of the sugars in milk. This is a result of being deficient in the enzyme lactase. Lactase is typically prevalent in the small intestine and helps to break down lactose. Some of the symptoms of lactose intolerance include abdominal bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and even nausea.

A healthy alternative that I have found is almond milk. It is actually lower in both calories and fat than cow’s milk. A cup of plain almond milk averages about 60-70 calories, while a cup of 2 percent cow’s milk is about 130. It is also rich in calcium. I like to use almond milk in my protein shakes. Here are a few recipes from my Fitness Answer Meal Plan:

• 1 cup almond milk
• 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
• 2 Tbsp. natural coconut flakes
• 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Thicken with ice.

Mix together:
1 tbsp. coconut
½ cup pineapple
1 cup almond milk
3/4 cup water and ice
Blend in blender until smooth.

• ½ banana
• 1 cup almond milk
• 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
• 3 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients together in blender until smooth.

• 1 cup almond milk
• 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
• 1 tsp. natural honey
• ½ cup frozen strawberries

* ½ cup water
* ½ cup almond milk
* 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
* 1 tablespoon fresh mint
* 1 kiwi, peeled and finely diced
Mix whey protein, skim milk, and water in blender. Add kiwi and mint in blender. Blend until smooth. Thicken with ice.

Mix together:
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
½ tsp. vanilla extract
a pinch of cinnamon and ice
Blend in blender until smooth.

Joanne Sgro is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training. Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com. She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her fiancé, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.

Add a Comment6 Comments


My daughter is now on a "no dairy" diet to assess potential lactose intolerance or other dietary issues. She's five. We have tried the almond milk. She drank for a week and has since boycotted it. We then tried the coconut and again, no interest. Any other recommendations? I will consider these smoothies as a consideration to mask the almond milk so that she is still getting the nutrition, likely minus the whey protein. Thanks.

November 17, 2013 - 6:20pm

There are some whey protein powders that have the lactose removed, so those would be good options to use in shakes. I personally think anyone that is trying to lose body fat should switch to almond milk... even skim cows milk has 12 grams of sugar and will lead to belly fat!

January 13, 2012 - 9:49am

Agree with dmarts, whey is a milk derivative. There are alternative protein powders out there (SunWarrior and Vega being the first two that come to mind) that are free of whey, other milk powders and soy -- vegan. Besides, almond milk, milks made from other nuts are tasty and oat milk and coconut milk are delicious too! There are so many options.

November 9, 2011 - 11:34am

Wow! I can't believe if you are lactose intolerant, you are using Whey protein in a shake. Very, very bad advice as Whey is a milk derivitive!!!

September 27, 2011 - 11:01am

Sounds yummy!

Some milk producers do offer a lactose free variety of cow's milk, too, instead of having to go almond or soy. I'm lactose intolerant and I wanted something that tasted like ordinary milk and discovered "lactose-free" cow's milk.

Although the caloric and fat intake is a little more, I'm sure these recipes would also work well with this milk.

April 21, 2011 - 6:48am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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