...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Food journal number 1: Dairy

(First of an intended series about food in Sweden.)

As some of you may know (and you have to excuse me for repeating myself, Val, since something interesting is coming up), I've discovered this year that I'm lactose intolerant. I don't mean pretend lactose intolerant--you know... the one whose self-diagnosis increased since those Lactum baby milk advertisments from gradeschool? I mean, in a fresh-dairy-consuming country, I've just been slowly realizing this past year that the amount of dairy that I consume (in milk, cheese, yogurt, sour milk, creme fraiche, and even cakes) has been proportional to the sheer potency of those sulfur-like, bacterial gas... (Hmm... and I thought since August that it was just because I didn't boil the drinking water!)

I of course had to find this out the hard way... Not so much for me but for Marcus here who's been regularly victimized until we pinpointed the culprit of my bad gas, hahaha. :-) Apparently, the bacterial and fat content of the dairy mattered for me as well. Fil (sour milk) was the worst and had the fastest (unfavorable) effect, followed by creme fraiche, regular unflavored yogurt, cream cheese and whole milk. Milk with lower amounts of fat and Ultra Heat Treated milk (the kind which we have at home in boxes, which dosn't exist here by the way, but which I tested in Germany) was also bad but only if taken in larger proportions. Light yougurt, on the other hand, which I take now for breakfast with cereal, seem to be the most favorable for my tummy so far.

In the course of making my thesis and doing research about the meaning of disease, I even found out that lactose intolerance was elevated to the level of a disease here in Sweden, where most everybody drinks milk. Apparently the body stops producing this thing called lactase after the weaning period, and lactase is needed to digest milk (lactose) effectively. When whole populations continue to drink milk regularly throughout adulthood, though (as here), a mutation occurs that overrides the shutdown of the lactase production. As a result, Sweden has the lowest levels of lactose intolerance in the world (2%). Hooray, the old Swedes can continue to have their glass of milk with their meatballs-and-potatoes lunch! And for the rest of us, there's this: lactase capsules. So that our loved ones don't need to suffer :-)



I've just tested it today and took one and a half glasses of chocolate milk... I wonder if it works?

3 Comments:

Blogger camillo said...

About your comment on my entry Prayer for Repentance: well, we can only surmise what the pastor meant. Maybe, when he used other gods, he was referring to idols and not the gods of other religions. And on multiculturalism, maybe he was referring to relativism.

4:45 AM

 
Anonymous sj said...

joy, i was supposd to leave a comment on your blog last night but for some weird reason, i couldn't. must be some firefox problem.

id like to tell marcus that im very happy for him regarding this news. i remember how sour his face looked when i gave you a pint of yogurt here, literally dreading the horrible aftermath of my generosity. bwhahahha!

you think we have that in the Phils? im sooooooo lactose intolerant man! no wonder i never liked ice cream!

congatulations on your graduation! how did you celebrate? ours will be on the 29th, can you imagine that?! and then we have to move out of our rooms the next day before 12noon. argh!! anyways, ill see you in the phils. leave Lai a message of mail if you go with is to Bicol on the 26th since she might be the one who'll be buying the tickets for us. hugs!

8:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry for the grammatical and typo errors.

nanginginig na mga daliri ko sa keyboard after typing for endless days.
promise! parang maski daliri ko nasusuka na sa thesis typing!

8:03 PM

 

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