IF YOU’RE lactose intolerant, eating dairy products leaves you with uncomfortable gastro–intestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, flatulence, indigestion, bloating and diarrhoea.

Lactose, also known as milk sugar, is naturally present in all animal milk and dairy products, whether from cows, goats or sheep and is in breast milk and infant formula.

This list showing the lactose content of food may be helpful:

Very high lactose content:

  • Evaporated and condensed milk
  • Cheeses made from whey such as Norwegian brown cheese
  • Yoghurt-coated nuts, raisins, muesli bars – check the labels for lactose in the coating
  • Human breast milk and standard infant formula
  • High energy supplements (whey protein shakes and similar used by sportsmen)
  • Some yoghurt (but see note above)

High lactose content:

  • All animal milk. (Skimmed cow’s milk has more lactose than whole milk. Goat’s milk is slightly lower in lactose than cow’s milk)
  • Buttermilk
  • Some yoghurt (but see note above)
  • Curd cheese and ricotta
  • Cheese spread and processed cheese
  • Some cottage cheese (check label)
  • Ice cream
  • White sauce
  • Custard
  • Milk-based puddings such as rice pudding, crème caramel, baked egg custard etc
  • Milk shakes
  • Milk-based thick soups like leek-&-potato

Moderate lactose content:

  • Cream cheese, some cottage cheese (check label)
  • Cream, crème fraîche, fromage frais
  • Fudge, butterscotch, toffee
  • Medicines in capsule or tablet form where lactose is used as a filler. (It will be listed under ‘Inactive ingredients’ on the label. There are lactose-free alternatives that the pharmacist can recommend)
  • Some dry powder asthma inhalers
  • Sweet’n’Low, Canderel, some other sweeteners (check the label)
  • Dry-roasted peanuts where lactose is used in the coating (check the label)

Low level lactose content:

  • Sour cream
  • Swiss cheese (Emmental, Jarlsberg)
  • English cheeses (Cheddar etc)
  • Brie, Camembert, Mozzarella, Parmesan, most well-aged cheeses
  • Butter and foods made with butter ( homemade pastry, cakes, biscuits)
  • Coffee whitener, milk substitutes (but some brands contain lactose – check the label)

There are also some useful notes on Lactose Intolerance on the Allergy Info and Advice pages of the AllergyBestBuys website here.



Hello everybody. I’m Janet, mother of two great (most of the time) boys and founder of www.AllergyBestBuys.com, an online and catalogue mail order retailer. We sell things that help with the everyday management of asthma, eczema, chemical sensitivity, rhinitis and food allergies. Not drugs and supplements, but more practical things like anti-allergy pillows, air purifiers and vacuum cleaners, latex-free rubber bands, gloves for eczema, home allergy tests and lots more. I’m not a medical professional, but fifteen years of experience of the allergy market means I know which products can help or even make a significant difference when you’re trying to keep your problem under control and which ones are frankly a waste of money. Follow my blog and perhaps you’ll pick up a tip or two!

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