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Thread: Lactose-intolerance and butter

  1. #1
    Senior Member watergoddess's Avatar
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    Lactose-intolerance and butter

    Questions for anyone out there who is lactose-intolerant:

    How does your body so with butter?
    If the body does not like dairy is butter in the same group?

    I recently discovered that my body does NOT like dairy - I get rashes along my neck and chest. Not really sure why this new reaction - I'm thinking that when I cleaned up my diet it made the offenders stand out like never before. I don't notice the rash with the butter but I'm thinking it's that I don't consume butter in large doses so there is not enough in the body for the visual reaction but that maybe it's still not good for me.

    Would love to hear feedback from fellow lactose-challenged folks out there!

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    When I drink milk, or eat things like ice cream or cheese cake, my heart really pounds. If I eat too much of it over a period of time, my neck and chin really itch! I haven't really noticed a problem with butter, but I don't usually eat 8-12 ounces of butter at once. haha
    I have no idea why my heart pounds, but it does.
    I don't seem to have problems with some ice creams and things like yogurt.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    You can clarify butter by heating and skimming the milk solids off (or use commercially-prepared ghee). I'd try that before giving up butter altogether.

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    High-quality butter should be lactose free; lactose is a sugar and it's water-soluble. Good butter is washed after churning, and the water is pressed out. The Irish butter, KerryGold, is very good; it's churned from the milk of grassfed cows which are milked only in summer. It has a very fresh flavour.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gina's Avatar
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    Years ago I had a dairy allergy - not lactose intolerance, but rather a reaction to a milk protein. (My eyes would hurt, I'd be hot, and breathing became an issue.) I had to avoid all dairy, including butter. It wasn't the fat in the butter, but rather the small amount of residual milk that all butters retain. Clarifying butter should do the trick (it's easy), but it also changes the taste of butter when you remove those last bits of milk solids.

    Add: to clarify butter, in a heavy saucepan, put butter on the stove on low-med heat. Watch carefully, adjusting flame. Butter will melt and begin to separate. You'll get some foam to skim off, and some gunk/milk solids that will fall to the bottom in a loose manner. The clarified butter fat will be golden in color and clear. Dip the clear fat out. That is ghee or clarified butter. The longer you cook it, the darker it becomes, but IMO the flavor is less desireable when it gets dark. I would do a pound at a time. Put the ghee in a clean jar - it keeps a long time in the fridge - longer than fresh butter.
    Last edited by Gina; 3-8-11 at 5:10pm.
    moo

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    I used to make butter; after churning, I washed it repeatedly with cool water and squidged it on a board, repeating until the water was absolutely clear. I think my butter was lactose-free. However, manufacturers may deliberately not wash their butter clear, as a small amount of milk solids adds to the flavour. Then too, leaving in some liquid increases the density of the product, essentially making it heavier so you end up paying for water/residual milk instead of butterfat. If you can't be sure of the butter, either wash or clarify it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member watergoddess's Avatar
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    Gina, now that you mention it, my reaction (and CathyA's) does seem more like an allergy. Dh is lactose-intolerant and his tummy is the one who objects when he eats it whereas I have no problems with mine, it's all in the rash.

    We have lots of Indian markets around so I'm going to look for ghee and I'll also test out cooking with a bit of butter, first I'll try unsalted Challenge and then Kerrygold (Kerrygold is not stocked at my usual market but I can get it easily enough).

    Thanks everyone!

    p.s. Gina - did your allergy eventually go away?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gina's Avatar
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    Suzanne, your butter sounds wonderful. I wish I had access to good stuff. And yes, the cheapest butters do leave more milk solids/liquid to boost the weight. Last year I made a lot of cheeses (some of which are still aging) but could never find milk that was good enough to make really good-tasting cheeses - the flavor of store-bought milk just doesn't measure up. Same with butter.

    Watergoddess: The ghee should be ok. It was for me. And I never had problems with digestion/tummy stuff. You can tell the difference by trying a dairy product such as yoghurt where the lactose has been digested by the appropriate bacteria. I think they might sell lactose free milk nowadays too. Not sure - I don't drink milk.

    I noticed today Costco stocking Kerrygold, and also Trader Joes does. But good butter did not make a difference to my allergy.

    p.s. Gina - did your allergy eventually go away?
    Yes. At one time I was allergic to all dairy products, milk, cheese, icecream, butter, etc. even things with a bit of milk in them - breads and the like. Even most margarines. I had to read labels very carefully. I did not have this allergy as severely as a child, though in retrospect, I had lots of resperitory problems. It hit the worst in my early 20's for about a decade, and then I did out-grow it.

    Now I eat lots of dairy, but never have gone back to drinking milk. I was counter conditioned for too long.
    moo

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