How Does Lactose Affect Weight?

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Is there any relationship between lactose intolerance and weight gain? When we consider the fact that up to 15 per cent of the global population may suffer from lactose intolerance, the importance of this question becomes clear. Whether you are currently leveraging the benefits offered by the Spatz3 gastric balloon or you are simply looking to eliminate lactose from your diet, there are several questions which need to be addressed.

Can dairy products cause you to gain weight? Why do some individuals feel bloated after consuming substances high in lactose? Should you drink lactose free milk for weight loss? What is the best lactose-free diet if you wish to reduce your body mass index? Let’s begin by taking a look at the basics.

What is Lactose?

Lactose is a type of simple sugar that contains two primary ingredients (galactose and glucose). However, lactose is not nearly as sweet as the typical refined sugars found in many foods. Our bodies are nonetheless capable of deriving an impressive amount of energy from this substance.

During digestion, the bonds between galactose and glucose are broken down by chemicals found within the small intestine. The galactose is converted into glucose and therefore, serves to increase your basal metabolic rate. However, it is important to note that lactose is a simple sugar. It will therefore be digested rather quickly. The only problem here is that those who suffer from lactose intolerance may still experience problems.

Lactose and weight gain

Does Lactose Intolerance Lead to Weight Gain?

Lactose intolerance is associated with several common symptoms including:

  • Upset stomach.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Nausea.
  • Bleating.

The last observation is particularly relevant to this article. Those who are lactose intolerant will often feel as if the size of their stomach has increased after even a small meal. This is why lactose intolerance has been linked to weight gain in the past.

However, there is no empirical evidence to support such an observation. In terms of dietary weight gain, caloric intake is primarily caused by consuming excess calories as opposed to the effects of a single substance (particularly a simple sugar). This leads us directly into the next section of our article.

Can Eliminating Dairy Products Help?

Let’s now assume for a moment that you have a problem digesting lactose. While we have already established that there is no real correlation between lactose intolerance and weight loss, could eliminating all dairy products from your diet help?

Answering this question partially depends on what types of dairy you eat. For instance, whole milk and many types of yogurt contain an appreciable amount of calories and saturated fats. From a chemical perspective, many dairy products contribute to higher blood plasma levels of a substance known as IGF (Insulin Growth Factor) 1. Some studies have linked elevated concentrations of IGF-1 to weight gain. It therefore stands to reason that eliminating dairy products may help some individuals reduce their body mass index over time.

Lactose intolerance side effects

What is the Best Weight Loss Diet for Lactose Intolerance?

Although a food intolerance such as the inability to metabolize lactose may cause physical discomfort, it will not directly lead to weight gain. Having said this, digestive issues may cause periods of nausea followed by sudden bouts of hunger, potentially causing you to snack on unhealthy foods. This is why there can sometimes be an indirect link between lactose intolerance and weight gain. So, are there any dietary habits to embrace? Here are some vital substances to include within any healthy meal plan:

  • Ample servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • Nuts and seeds (for healthy fats).
  • Lean meats and oily fish (for protein and omega-3 fatty acids).
  • Lentils and legumes.
    Whole grains.

Of course, we always recommend that you speak with a physician or a dietician if you feel that you may be suffering from lactose intolerance. There are specific tests that will be able to confirm whether or not this condition is present.

While some may choose to consume dairy products while experiencing the benefits of the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloons, eliminating these foods could be a good idea if you are experiencing digestive issues. You can therefore rest assured in the fact that lactose intolerance and weight gain will never occur simultaneously.

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