Diet and Lactose Intolerance

Milk and foods made with milk are the only natural sources of lactose in the diet but there are many foods that have hidden lactose. It’s important for people with lactose intolerance to know what these foods are.

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Foods In the Diet With Hidden Lactose

● bread and other baked goods
● candies and other snacks
● dried fruit
● gravy mixes
● hot dogs
● instant breakfast drinks, potatoes, and soups
● lunch meats (other than kosher)
● margarine
● meal-replacement bars
● mixes for biscuits, cookies, and pancakes
● salad dressings
● powdered meal-replacement supplements
● potato chips
● processed foods
● processed breakfast cereals
● protein bars
● protein powders
● salad dressings
● sausages
● sliced meats

Some foods such as powdered coffee creamers and whipped toppings are labeled non-dairy, but actually may contain ingredients derived from milk; therefore, contain lactose. Look for the words: whey, curds, non-fat dry milk powder, dry milk solids and milk by-products. If these words are on the label, then the product contains lactose, and should be eliminated from the diet.

Almost 25% of all prescription drugs contain lactose and over 5% of over-the-counter drugs. But these only affect those people who have severe lactose intolerance.

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Lactose is water-soluble; therefore, the fat percentage and the curdling process have a direct affect on how foods are tolerated. In the curdling process, the lactose in found in the water portion, because of it’s water solubility. The casein and whey are also found there. Dairy products that are reduced fat or fat free will thus have a higher lactose percentage. In addition, low fat dairy products often have such things as milk solids to increase sweetness. This will increase the lactose content.

Traditional aging methods of cheese for over 2 years will reduce the cheese’s lactose content to practically nothing.

Comparison of Lactose Content in Various Milk

Skim milk 52.00%
Human Milk 9.00%
Unprocessed cow’s milk 4.70%
Goat’s milk 4.10%
Buffalo’s milk 4.86%
Yak’s milk 4.93%
Sheep’s milk 4.60%

Comparison of Lactose Content in Dairy Products

Approximate Amount of Lactose in grams

Non-fat dry milk powder, unreconstituted (1 cup) 62 grams
Sweetened Condensed Milk (1 cup) 40 grams
Evaporated Milk (1cup) 24 grams
Milk, reduced fat (1cup) 11 grams
Acidophilus Milk (1 cup) 11 grams
Chocolate Milk 11 grams
Buttermilk (1 cup) 10 grams
Ice cream (1/4-1/2 cup) 6 grams
Yogurt, plain low-fat 5 grams
Half and Half (1/2 cup) 5 grams
Sour Cream (1/2 cup) 4 grams
Whipping Cream (1/2 cup) 3 grams
Evaporated Milk (1cup) 3 grams
Lactose reduced milk 2.5 grams
Cottage cheese, low-fat 2.5 grams
Swiss cheese, 1 ounce 1 gram
American cheese, 1 ounce 1 gram
Cream Cheese, 1 ounce 1 gram
Butter, 1 teaspoon trace

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Kosher products that are labeled pareve don’t contain milk. If the letter D is present next to the circled K or U the food probably contains milk products.

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Lactose Intolerance
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The information on is not offered for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease or disorder nor have any statements herein been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We strongly encourage you to discuss topics of concern with your health care provider.

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