Lactose Intolerance But Can Eat Cheese and Yogurt

Yogurt and berries

Even if you’re delicate to most dairy products since of lactose intolerance, that does not indicate you have to avoid cheeses and other dairy products completely.

While 65-70% of the population is formally identified with lactose intolerance, some professionals believe that we’re all at least a bit lactose intolerant– we just reject the bloating and gas as no big deal.

The reason it can be tough for us to absorb dairy is that, as we age, we start producing less of an enzyme called lactase, which is accountable for breaking lactose — the intricate sugar found in milk. Insufficient lactase implies lactose molecules wind up in your colon, where bacteria eat them up, producing gas and diarrhea.

While the nasty side effects may make you wish to ditch all dairy permanently, that’s not always essential unless you’re significantly lactose intolerant, i.e. your body makes essentially no lactase).

For those with milder cases, there are several dairy-based foods that actually won’t set off stomach difficulties, thanks to their naturally lower lactose content: cheese and yogurt.

The Best Cheeses to Eat If You’re Lactose Intolerant

Can a lactose intolerant eat some cheese and yogurt? Here’s a simple way to inform which cheeses have low lactose levels: Check the nutrition label.

Since lactose is the sugar discovered in milk, the less grams of sugar on the label, the much better. Compare, for instance, the 0.2 grams in chedder cheese, versus the 6 grams in feta.

A simple way to check for lactose in cheese is to take a look at the Nutrition Facts under “Sugar” Since the sugar in cheese is lactose, you can easily see how much lactose the cheese consists of.

If the sugar is noted as absolutely no, then the cheese includes no more than half a gram of lactose per ounce. Compare with 12 grams of lactose in an 8 ounce glass of milk.

Cheese with trace levels (less than 0.5 gram lactose) Natural, aged cheese (such as Cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss) can be absorbed by many individuals with lactose intolerance.

During the cheese making procedure, the majority of the lactose is drained off with the whey (a liquid part). The small amount that remains in the curd is changed to lactic acid during ripening (aging) of cheese. Just trace quantities of lactose stay.

Cheese with low levels (less than 5 grams lactose) Fresh unripened cheese (such as mozzarella, cream cheese and ricotta) are not aged. Just part of the lactose that stays in the curd has a chance to transform to lactic acid.

Home Cheese, likewise a fresh unripened cheese, normally has additional milk or cream blended with the curd. Therefore, fresh cheeses contain more lactose than aged cheeses.

Processed cheese foods and cheese spreads are made by melting natural cheese to stop the aging process then including other ingredients, consisting of whey or milk. Cheese foods and cheese spreads include lactose.

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So try to find aged, instead of more youthful cheeses, and sugar under 5 grams per serving. Dairy expert Steve Carper likewise suggests another general rule:

The greater the fat content, usually the lower the lactose levels!

Eating Cheese and Yogurt with Lactose Intolerance

If you’re lactose intolerant and searching for yogurt, go Greek. Greek yogurt, which is thicker since much of the whey, the watery part of milk, has actually been strained out in processing. This likewise removes much of the lactose.


You don’t need to give up ooey-gooey cheese entirely. Just keep away from soft varieties like mozzarella or brie. Harder cheeses– think cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan– that have been aged a minimum of 6 months, are completely great.

Enzymes used in the cheese-making process break down lactose more and more in time, so after the 6 months needed to make an aged cheese, there’s very little lactose left. That’s why cheese does not taste sweet– all the sugar has actually been broken down. So proceed and grate a little Parmesan over your pasta.


Yogurt can be another wise choice– however not all ranges. Try to find yogurt that has “live active cultures” or “probiotics” on the label. These excellent bugs are important, as bacteria feed on sugar and wind up consuming much of the lactose.

That’s why probiotic-rich Greek yogurt is so tart– little of the sugar it began with remains once it hits your spoon. Even better choose full-fat yogurt, particularly if you’re not going Greek. It has about 8.5 g of lactose per serving, while nonfat has 14 g.


You might experience symptoms of lactose intolerance to a various degree than another lactose-intolerant person. This takes place since many individuals still produce a small amount of lactase; if they keep dairy usage to a minimum, they may experience few symptoms.

Lots of lactose-intolerant individuals might tolerate dairy products much better if they start with a small amount and slowly increase their consumption, or if they take in dairy products with meals.

If you follow a low-lactose diet, keep your intake of lactose to less than 10 grams per day, the University of Virginia Health System recommends.

Diet Tips

When you’re ill with a digestive disorder, you might discover your tolerance for even yogurt and cheese falling to absolutely no once again.

Cheeses in packing

Digestive conditions can temporarily reduce your lactase production, triggering symptoms of bloating, stomach pain, nausea, gas and diarrhea to come back within 30 minutes to two hours after you eat yogurt or cheese.

As you age, your lactase production might also slow; you may discover yourself experiencing more symptoms after taking in dairy products even if you never had an issue in the past.

If you have a mild case of lactose intolerance, start with small parts of these foods and see how you feel. Still a little too nervous to try it out on your own?

Go see your gastroenterologist, who can give you a lactose intolerance test to determine the seriousness of your condition and give you an idea of how much (and what kinds of) dairy you can reasonably add to your diet.

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle blogger for over 10 years, I couldn't pass up healthy eating and diet reviews. I prefer to write small, understandable articles and guides for visitors, to answer the question clearly and concisely and to give the reader a starting point for further actions to improve their diet and health in general.

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