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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Not Just Milk -- 5 Other Foods That May Be Hard For Your Body To Digest

Black woman with digestion problems

Almost a quarter of all African Americans are lactose intolerant, according to the Journal of the National Medical Association. The symptoms, however, may indicate an intolerance to not just the milk but something found in milk as well as other foods.

Sugar intolerance

Lactose intolerance is the body's inability to absorb the sugars found in milk. But sugars are found in other common foods and can also trigger the same symptoms, which include cramps and bloating, constipation or diarrhea, gas, fatigue, heartburn, headache and other symptoms.

How? When sugars do not digest, they end up in the far end of the large or small intestine, fermenting and creating many of the same symptoms that are related to lactose intolerance. If you are one of those who has digestive problems, watch for similar symptoms after eating these 5 foods:
  1. Onions, cabbage and wheat - these foods contain a sugar called fructan. This sugar can also be found in artichokes and cauliflower.
  2. Apples and peaches - these fruits contain sugar alcohols called polyols. Although they taste sweet, they don't absorb as sugar.
  3. Beans and lentils - these veggies are good for you, but may not agree with you because they contain short strands of simple sugars that are difficult to break down.
  4. High-fructose fruits, honey - all contain a high level of fructose, or fruit sugar. The body can only digest 20–25 grams of fructose at a time, so go easy on these.
  5. Other kinds of milk - not just cow's milk has milk sugar. The truth is all milk, including sheep milk, goat's milk, and even almond milk - all contain some type of milk sugar or fructans.

So, if you think it's just the milk giving you symptoms, it may be the sugar. Check these foods to see if they produce the same results.

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DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.