Every year, my kids bake some delicious cookies (2010 they will be gluten free, egg free and nut free), and strategically arrange them on a plate. Then that plate is paired with a tall glass of milk and methodically positioned perfectly in front of the fireplace so that Santa has the optimum reaching distance from the snack to the Christmas tree. The kids want to make sure that he is refueled in order to finish his rounds flying around the world giving gifts to good little boys and girls.
Now the question, is Santa allergic to dairy? Based on his bloated belly, that is a possibility. A dairy or milk allergy is an adverse immune reaction to animal milk protein that can be found cows, goats or sheep. These milk proteins are casein and whey. Also in the milk is lactose, the sugar in milk.
Casein is about 80% of the proteins in dairy. Some processed food that may contain casein; glazed donut, mints, non dairy coffee cream, cereal, high protein shakes, ice cream, baby formula, nutrition bars, processed meats like hot dogs, salad dressings, and whipped toppings. Even some sorbet’s might have dairy, so we usually opt for italian ices.
Whey makes up about the 20% of the milk protein. It is a liquid by product in the cheese making process when the curd (casein) is removed and strained away. Whey can be found in ricotta cheese, brown cheese and nutritional supplements (especially in body building formulas)
The concentration of whey and casein varies from different dairy products, and immune reactions vary depending on your sensitivity.
Not to confuse a dairy allergy with lactose intolerance, lactose intolerance is a non-allergic sensitivity, where a person cannot produce enough of the lactase enzyme to digest the lactose sugar in the milk. While lactose intolerance is not a food sensitivity, it can lead to intestinal distress and the development of food sensitivities.
Some dairy substitutions include:
· Coconut Milk
· Hemp Milk
· Nut Milk (Almond)
· Rice Milk
· Oat Milk
· Potato Milk
· Soy Milk
Some symptoms to dairy allergy include:
· Abdominal Pain
· Canker sores
· Ear Infections
· Iron deficient anemia
· Irritable Bowel Syndrome
· Joint Pain
· Lactose Intolerance
· Poor Growth
· Poor immune function (frequent illness)
Read the labels and work with your healthcare professional team to review your dairy free options. Be Well!