Lactose Free or Low Lactose diet - Guideline

Lactose Free or Low Lactose diet - Guideline

What is Lactose?

Lactose is milk sugar. It is formed in the mammary glands of all lactating animals. Human breast milk, cow’s milk, goat’s and sheep’s milk all contain lactose.

Lactose intolerance means that the enzyme lactase is not breaking down the lactose into two simpler sugars called glucose and galactose, which can be absorbed by your body. Instead the lactose is being fermented by your gut flora creating gas and may trigger symptoms such as flatulence, bloating, abdominal cramps or diarrhea.

Your healthcare practitioner will advise you whether to follow a low-lactose diet or a lactose free diet.
  • A low lactose diet typically contains less than 10g of lactose per day.
  • A lactose free diet contains no lactose.
This list includes approximate levels of lactose per serve. The actual levels will vary from one brand to another.

Lactose Content of Common Foods:

Food Serving Size Approximate Lactose Content In grams
Cow’s milk – full cream 1 cup / 250ml 12
Cow’s milk – low fat 1 cup / 250ml 13
Goat’s milk 1 cup / 250ml 10
Sheep’s milk 1 cup / 250ml 11
Buffalo’s milk 1 cup / 250ml 12
Human Breast Milk 1 cup / 250ml 23
Cow’s milk yoghurt - regular 200g 8-11
Cow’s milk yoghurt – low fat 200g 10 to 12
Butter 1 tspn 0.03
Ice cream 100g 3 to 9
Cream – half and half 50g 2
Cream - light 50g 1.5
Cream - whipping 50g 1.5
Sour cream 50g 2
ButterMilk 1 cup / 250ml 10
Condensed milk 100g 13
Evaporated Milk 100g 10
Powdered Milk 100g 50
Whey Protein Concentrate 50g 5-30
Whey protein Isolate 50g 0.5
Cows cheese Cheddar 100g 0 to 2
Cows Cheese Cottage 100g 3.5
Blue Cheese 100g 0 to 2.5
Brie 100g 2
Camembert 100g 2
Cream Cheese 100g 2.5
Edam 100g 1.5
Feta 100g 4
Gouda 100g 2
Leiderkranz 100g 0
Mozzarella 100g 3
Muenster 100g 1
Neufchatel 100g 0.5 to 3
Parmesan – hard 100g 0 to 2
Provolone 100g 0 to 2
Quarg 100g 3
Ricotta 100g 2.5 to 5
Roquefort 100g 2
Stiliton 100g 0.5
Swiss 100g 0 to 2
Velveeta 100g 10

Other Sources of Lactose...

Lactose is also extracted and used commercially in many other packet foods, tablets, and premade foods. Check the ingredient panel for the following words which may suggest the product contains lactose:

Butter Dry Milk solids Milk Sugar
Caseinates Lactose Dry Milk Powder
Cheese Milk Skin Milk Solids
Cream Milk By-Products Whey
Curds Milk Solids Yoghurt