Cheese lovers this one’s for you! Think a lactose intolerance means having to give up cheese entirely, then think again. We have a tasty list of cheeses that are naturally low in lactose which will keep you grinning ear to ear.
What is Lactose?
Lactose is a dissacharide or the ‘D in FODMAP’ and contains two monosaccharides (single sugars). It is the primary sugar in milk and is often mistaken to be present in all dairy products. However, this is not the case and some dairy products can be low in or free of lactose, such as certain cheeses.
What cheeses are low in lactose?
A simple way to estimate lactose content in cheese is by looking at whether it’s a hard or soft cheese and the age. During the cheesemaking process, whey is removed from the curd (hard part of cheese). Since most of the lactose content is found in the whey, harder cheeses tend to have a lower lactose content compared to their softer counterparts. Hard, aged cheeses usually have the least amount of lactose. This is because during the fermentation process lactose is transformed into lactic acid.
- Ricotta (Consume in moderation)
- Cottage Cheese (Consume in moderation)
- Stilton Blue
- Parmigiano Reggiano
Lactose Content in Soft and Hard Cheeses
Lactose Content (grams per 100g)
0 – 1.4
0 – 1.8
0 – 2.0
0 – 2.1
0 – 2.1
2 – 3.5
What to Keep in Mind
- Lactose content may vary from brand to brand.
- Consume cheeses in moderation even if they are low in lactose as they are high in fat which can worsen or trigger IBS symptoms.
- If cheeses have given you trouble in the past, start with a small quantity and see how you react.