Lactose intolerance and whey sensitivity
When it comes to food allergies and protein shakes or supplements
it’s important to ask the right questions for your health and sustainability. Do the words whey, lactose, isolate, milk protein, casein, protein concentrate and vegan protein all have clear definitions for you? Do you know what each one does in your body? If you are lactose intolerant, can you have whey? Is there lactose-free, whey protein?
When the body is sensitive or has a low-grade allergy to certain foods, there are some common symptoms to be aware of, which typically present themselves within a couple of hours. Your stomach may feel distended and you might become physically swollen or bloated. The body may also become gassy causing excessive flatulence. It may present itself through a stuffy nose or a thick throat because of increased mucous production. If you have one or more of these symptoms on a daily basis, then start paying attention to what you regularly eat. For many, that is their smoothie or workout shake.
When looking at your food consumption, particularly protein shakes, it’s important to understand the terminology, so you can make the right decisions for your health. It is common to read whey on labels and ingredient lists, but what exactly is whey?
Whey is one of two proteins found in milk. The other is casein. The two are separated by adding specific enzymes which split the milk into liquid and solid particles. The solids are the curds or casein, and the liquid is the whey. Hence, curds and whey. The liquid whey is then sent on for more processing to remove the fats, carbohydrates and water content.
This is when concentrates, isolates and hydrolysates come into play. A concentrate is the first round of processing and will contain low levels of fat, carbs and lactose. Isolates are more highly processed and contain little to no lactose or fat. Hydrolysate is more often found in protein supplements used by physicians for infant formulas and patients, as it has gone through partial hydrolysis making it extremely easy to digest. If you know you are lactose intolerant, a whey concentrate would not be a good choice, and even an isolate can cause discomfort.
Lactose is the sugar in milk, and it irritates people whose bodies do not produce enough of the enzyme - lactase - to fully digest it. The tricky part is most people are not born with this. It takes time for our bodies to develop the intolerance and can therefore show up at any point in our lives or not at all. It does tend to be genetic and worsen with time, so ask your parents or grandparents, if you are unsure. Also take a look at your medical history. If you’ve ever had an infection in your small intestines, this can leave damage that leads to a lactase deficiency.
If you’re not lactose intolerant, but you still have symptoms of milk sensitivity, then you may have a milk allergy. This has nothing to do with lactose. Instead, it means your body cannot break down one or both of milk’s natural proteins, casein and whey. This will often be present in children and is often outgrown, but not always. It can also create more severe symptoms such as a skin rash, facial swelling and even trouble breathing. It is best to avoid both forms of the protein if you are unsure.
If you’ve kept a food journal and been diligent with determining what foods are creating these issues in your body, you may feel a bit distressed. This does not mean the end of smoothies or pre and post workout protein shakes. If your body had any of the above symptoms in connection with dairy, it is best to find a dairy free substitute, meaning no lactose, casein or whey. This is where a plant-based protein becomes the better choice.
Some people have an immediate reaction to this idea and only think soy, but even soy can be the cause of dietary intolerance, including nuts and gluten. So, for the sensitive system or simply for the person who wants the cleanest option available, it is best to avoid all the top allergens. This strictly limits the supplement world, and that is why OWYN set out be a protein source that eliminated the top eight allergens in the food industry.
We have created an alternative that is gentle on the body and gives you the protein you need through a carefully sourced combination of pea protein, pumpkin protein, chia, flaxseed, zucchini, spinach, broccoli and kale. We have thoroughly tested final production lots to ensure it is dairy free, gluten free, contains no soy, egg, peanuts and tree nuts and is also free of GMOs.
Now there is a creamy, flavorful, fully vegan ready to drink shake or protein powder available with 20 grams of complete protein in every serving. Avoid all the trial and error and choose OWYN.
So for the sensitive system or simply for the person who wants the cleanest option available, it’s best to avoid all the top allergens.