What Cheese Is Safe For Lactose Intolerance

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How Is Lactose Intolerance Diagnosed

The best cheeses to eat if you’re lactose intolerant

The most common test for the diagnosis of lactase deficiency is the hydrogen breath test. This test is done at an outpatient clinic or doctor’s office. In practice, many doctors will ask patients who suspect they have lactose intolerance to avoid milk and dairy products for 1 or 2 weeks to see if their symptoms subside, and will then confirm the diagnosis with the hydrogen breath test. The hydrogen breath test measures the amount of hydrogen in the breath after drinking a lactose-loaded beverage.

Symptoms Of Lactose Intolerance

There are several symptoms of lactose intolerance, but these are not experienced by everyone. Some may experience one or two from the below-mentioned symptoms, some may experience more than 2. These are-:

  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating

If you are suffering from lactose, then it does not mean you need to stop consuming all the dairy products. These days all the dairy products are made with dairy machinery because machines at the dairy farm will offer you quality products. So you do not take unnecessary tension about anything.

Here are some products that you can simply consume if you are not allergic to dairy products.


You can consume natural or processed cheese because it is lower in lactose as compared to regular milk. Ricotta, swiss, cheddar, and parmesan are the types of hard cheese these are also beneficial for you in the condition of lactose.


No matter, butter is a dairy product, but it is made of low-fat cream or milk. According to a study, it is one of the best foods if you are suffering from lactose.


Curd has bacteria, which are helpful to break down lactose as well as help in digestion. You can consume probiotic yogurts because this does not affect your body.

Lactose And Cheese: Are You Really Lactose Intolerant The Cheesemonger

Know anyone who doesnt eat cheese due to lactose intolerance? Or perhaps you yourself have to turn down cheese because of a lactose allergy? What you probably dont know is that lactose intolerance should NOT affect cheese consumption. You may actually be suffering from something else!

Most cheeses dont contain lactose! Whats happening when milk turns to cheese is a souring process called acidification, whereby the lactose in milk is converted into lactic acid. This is the magical fermentation process in cheesemaking, when a sugar in this case, milk sugar, or lactose is converted into something else in this case, lactic acid, which happens to be an entirely different entity from lactose. By the time a cheese is made, most or all of the lactose that had been present in the milk no longer remains.

The longer that milk is left to sour, the greater the opportunity for all of that lactose to dissipate into lactic acid. A longer period of acidification allows the protein chains to form even stronger bonds, which will result in a firmer curd and ultimately a firmer cheese that can age longer. Therefore, its the harder, drier, and more aged cheeses that will be the safest to eat if youre lactose intolerant. Fresher cheeses that are higher in moisture may retain a small amount of lactose because the milk has not been left to ferment completely. People who are lactose intolerant may have issues with fresher styles.

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Here’s Our Advice For Safe Cheese Eating

While it’s true that some cheeses are lower in lactose, it’s important to keep serving sizes in mind. Even a low lactose cheese may screw with your stomach if you eat a ton of it. And the truth is that even among folks with diagnosed lactose intolerance, sensitivity to lactose can vary greatly, Dr. Agarwal explains. Something that barely affects one person could leave another curled up in the fetal position with stomach cramps, which is why Sasson cautions against throwing back a bunch of cheese without giving it a try first. No matter what cheese you’re eating , she recommends tasting a small amount first, then giving yourself time to see how your body reacts.

In general, it’s also best to eat cheese as part of a larger meal whenever you can, because eating it with other foods can make it easier to digest, Sasson says.

And unfortunately, Dr. Agarwal says there isn’t always an easy way to know for sure how much lactose is in a product, unless it’s explicitly marked low-lactose or something similar. So if you’re really not sure how much lactose you should eat, check in with your doctor first.

If you can’t tolerate even a small amount of Parmesan, your problem with dairy might be something elselike a milk allergy. Sasson says that while lactose intolerance isn’t life threatening, a severe allergy definitely can be, so if you’re not sure what you have or just how sensitive you are, talk with your doctor before experimenting with any cheeses.


Eating Out When Lactose Intolerant

Lactose Free UK: Tesco Feta

You can still dine out while following a lactose-free diet. Ask your server if there’s a guide for the menu that shows you which foods contain milk. Or let your host know which foods you’re avoiding. Take a lactase supplement in case dairy ingredients slip in. Eat simply. For example, skip cream sauces and dairy condiments like sour cream.

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Who Is Affected By Lactose Intolerance

For most people, lactose intolerance develops over time as the body produces less lactase.

It is estimated that 36% of Americans and 68% of the world population have some degree of lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance affects people from certain ethnic populations and racessuch as Latin Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans, Asians, East Europeans and Middle Easternersmore than others.

Will I Be Lactose Intolerant Forever

If you became lactose intolerant because of an illness, most likely you will not be lactose intolerant forever. If you were born with lactose intolerance or you are having more trouble digesting milk products than you did when you were younger, it’s possible that you may always have some degree of lactose intolerance.

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What Causes Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is caused by a shortage of lactase in the body, an enzyme produced by the small intestine that is needed to digest lactose. Certain digestive diseases , stomach or intestinal infections, and injuries to the small intestine may reduce the amount of lactase available to process lactose properly. If the small intestine is injured, lactose intolerance may be temporary, with symptoms improving after the intestine has healed.

Make Better Cheese Choices

Cheeses You Can Still Eat If Youre Lactose Intolerant

With lactose intolerance, you can still eat cheese, but choose carefully. Hard, aged cheeses like Swiss, parmesan, and cheddars are lower in lactose. Other low-lactose cheese options include cottage cheese or feta cheese made from goat or sheep’s milk. Certain types of cheeses — especially soft or creamy ones like ricottta and cream cheese — are higher in lactose. If you want to avoid dairy completely, try lactose-free and dairy-free cheeses.

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Probiotics For Lactose Intolerance

For some people, probiotics can ease symptoms of lactose intolerance. Probiotics are live microorganisms, usually bacteria, that restore the balance of “good” bacteria in your digestive system. They can be found in foods like yogurt or kefir — probiotic-rich milk — as well as dietary supplements. Check with your doctor to see if probiotics might help you.

Lactose Intolerance And Milk Allergy

Regarding dairy allergies, there is a difference between being lactose intolerant and having dairy allergies. Typically, dairy allergies are an allergic reaction to the proteins found in dairy products. If a person is allergic to the milk proteins in cow’s milk, it is likely they will be allergic to goat’s milk as well.

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Who Is At Risk

Lactose intolerance is a common condition that is more likely to occur in adulthood, with a higher incidence in older adults. Some ethnic and racial populations are more affected than others, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans. The condition is least common among Americans of northern European descent.

Here’s What Determines The Amount Of Lactose In Cheese

Lactose Free UK: Asda Swiss Gruyere

Cheese is actually quite low in lactose compared to dairy products like milk, cream, and yogurt. Most contain less than 2 grams per serving , which is far less than the 12 to 13 grams of lactose you get in one serving of milk. Of course, most people don’t just eat 1 ounce of cheese in one sitting, so keep in mind that eating the better part of a cheese plate will probably mean you’re having way more than just 2 grams of lactose.

Interestingly, the cheesemaking process contributes to the amount of lactose. Every cheese goes through a slightly different process, but in general, making cheese basically involves removing whey from milk and then acidifying and salting the remaining curd, says Andy Hatch, cheesemaker and owner at Uplands Cheese. “The manner in which each of these three steps occurs will determine the character of the resulting cheese,” including how much lactose is or isn’t in it, Hatch says.

For example, soft cheeses like brie as well as hard ones like cheddar or Monterey Jack are low in lactose, but they go through two totally different processes, he says. Harder cheeses have the whey drained out of the cheese vat before the curds are packed into cheese forms for pressing. But softer cheeses, like brie and Camembert, don’t have their whey removed until after the curds are put into cheese forms, where “they will slowly drip out of the newly formed cheeses,” Hatch says.

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Final Thoughts On Trying Dairy Substitutes For Lactose Intolerant People

Being lactose intolerant can make meals and snacks difficult, but it doesnt have to be impossible. By learning a healthy dairy substitute for all of the standard dairy products, youll be opening up many possibilities for a dairy-free diet.

It is essential for a person who is lactose intolerant to eliminate dairy from their diet to prevent severe and unpleasant side effects or discomfort. Always remember to check nutritional values and ingredient lists to make sure youre not adding harmful ingredients to your diet and to ensure all products are dairy-free.

List Of Foods To Avoid For Lactose Intolerance

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Almost everyone, as a baby, has the ability to digest lactose, the natural sugar found in mammal milk, but many adults lose this ability as they age. If you experience abdominal discomfort, cramping, gas and diarrhea after eating dairy products, you can feel better and prevent these unpleasant symptoms by keeping lactose-containing foods out of your diet.

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What Are The Causes

This is best explained by describing how a person develops lactase deficiency. Primary lactase deficiency develops over time and begins after about age two when the body begins to produce less lactase. Most children who have lactase deficiency do not experience symptoms of lactose intolerance until late adolescence or adulthood.

Some Dairy Protein Powders

Nutrition : How to Eat Healthy With Lactose Intolerance

Choosing a protein powder can be tricky for those who are lactose intolerant.

This is because protein powders are usually made from the proteins in milk whey, which is the lactose-containing, liquid part of milk.

However, the amount found in whey protein powders can vary, depending on how the whey is processed.

There are three main types of whey protein powder:

  • Whey concentrate: Contains around 7980% protein and a small amount of lactose .
  • Whey isolate: Contains around 90% protein and less lactose than whey protein concentrate .
  • Whey hydrolysate: Contains a similar amount of lactose as whey concentrate, but some of the proteins in this powder have already been partially digested .

The best choice for lactose-sensitive individuals is probably whey isolate, which contains the lowest levels.

Nevertheless, the lactose content can vary considerably between brands, and most people have to experiment to see which protein powder brand works best for them.


Diary protein powders have been processed to remove a lot of their lactose. However, whey protein concentrate contains more of it than whey isolates, which may be a better choice for sensitive individuals.

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No Sugar Means No Lactose

On every Nutrition Facts panel, youll find the amount of sugar in that food. If it says 0g, that means theres no sugar, and no sugar in Cabot cheddar cheese means no lactose. To be sure our cheese is lactose-free, look for the Naturally Lactose-Free icon on the packaging of your favorite Cabot cheese products.

What Products Contain Lactose

Regular milk and milk products contain lactose, as well as some processed foods containing milk or milk products. Check the ingredients on food labels to find possible sources of lactose in food products. Lactose is sometimes used in prescription medicines and over-the-counter products to treat stomach acid and gas. Hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Gouda and Parmesan contain little or no lactose.

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Is It An Allergy

Lactose intolerance is not the same as a milk or dairy allergy. Food allergies are caused by your immune system reacting to a certain type of food. This causes symptoms such as a rash, wheezing and itching.

If you’re allergic to something, even a tiny particle can be enough to trigger a reaction, while most people with lactose intolerance can still consume small amounts of lactose without experiencing any problems, although this varies from person to person.

Foods To Eat If You Have Lactose Intolerance

Naturally Lactose Free Cheese

Low-lactose dairy foods

  • Butter. Butter is a high fat product that has most of the milk components that contain lactose removed during processing. Butters made from fermented milk products or ghee are even lower in lactose
  • Cheese. Cheese has most of the lactose drained off during the manufacturing process. The small amount of lactose left is converted to lactic acid by the bacteria used in the cheesemaking process. The longer a cheese ages the more the lactose reduces. Therefore, hard, aged cheeses such as cheddar, parmesan and swiss have low levels of lactose. Soft cheeses like brie, blue, camembert and feta are also low in lactose and can be tolerated by some people
  • Yogurt. Full fat or greek yogurt with live active cultures or probiotics, which are a bacteria that feeds on the sugar, essentially eat up most of the lactose

Lactose-free alternatives

Lactose-free or dairy-free unsweetened alternatives can be a healthy replacement for regular dairy products. These can be used in baking too. Look for:

Calcium and vitamin D enriched foods

A lactose-free or lactose-reduced diet may not contain enough calcium and vitamin D. It is beneficial to add foods rich in calcium and vitamin D to balance out the loss. Examples of these foods include:

  • eggs
  • Cheeses

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What Cheese Is Ok If Lactose Intolerant


With lactose intolerance, you can still eat cheese, but choose carefully. Hard, aged cheeses like Swiss, parmesan, and cheddars are lower in lactose. If you want to avoid dairy completely, try lactosefree and dairyfree cheeses.

Secondly, how is lactose free cheese made? During the cheesemaking process, the milk is thickened and the whey is drained from the curds . Whey typically has more lactose in it than curds do. Since the whey is drained from the curds before the cheese is made, this removes quite a bit of lactose. As cheese ages, it loses even more moisture.

Then, is lactose free cheese better?

Not only do you get that boost of calcium and protein, you can also obtain these healthy nutrients without the saturated fat and cholesterol that are found in dairy cheese products.

What foods to avoid if you are lactose intolerant?

Do not eat or drink the following dairy foods because they contain lactose.

  • Some cheeses – generally aged cheese contains less lactose, soft and processed cheeses contain higher levels of lactose.
  • Buttermilk.
  • Cheese spreads and cheese foods.
  • Cottage and ricotta cheese.

What Is The Lactose Content Of Different Dairy Products

The amount of lactose in dairy foods varies between products, ranging from 15g in a cup of milk to virtually zero in hard or mature cheeses.

Most dairy foods contain the natural sugar lactose, however some dairy foods contain very little or no lactose. Hard cheeses, such as cheddar and Parmesan, as well as matured cheeses such as brie, camembert and feta contain virtually no lactose because of the way they are made. Yoghurt contains good bacteria, which helps break down the lactose. The table below shows the lactose content of some common dairy foods.1


*The lactose content in yogurt decreases each day, even while it sits in the fridge, because the natural bacteria present in yoghurt use up the lactose for energy.

If you have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, there is no need to cut out all dairy foods from your diet, but rather adjust your lactose intake according to your own tolerance levels. In addition to hard and mature cheeses as well as yoghurt, the Australian Dietary Guidelines suggest that up to 250ml of milk may be well tolerated if broken up throughout the day and consumed with other foods. 2 You can also try building up your tolerance by starting with small amounts of milk and gradually increasing your intake.


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Eat Yogurt For Less Lactose

If you have lactose intolerance, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you choose dairy products with less lactose, such as yogurt with active bacterial cultures. “Yogurt may cause less bloating because much of the lactose has already been broken down by its ‘good’ bacteria,” explains Dr. Barto. However, frozen yogurt does not have active cultures, so it may not fit into your lactose intolerance diet.

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