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What is a lactose-free diet?

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Quick Answer

A lactose-free diet is a diet that does not contain products with lactose in them. Lactose is a sugar that is found in dairy products. People who cannot process lactose are said to be lactose intolerant and may opt to follow a lactose-free diet.

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Full Answer

Once lactose enters the body it is processed by the enzyme lactase. This enzyme breaks lactose down into smaller substituents so that the body can digest and obtain energy from it. People who are lactose intolerant either do not have this enzyme in their digestive systems or they have too little of it. This deficiency causes them to feel pain and bloating when they consume foods or beverages that contain lactose.

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