Foods Containing Lactose

Do you have a colleague or a friend who is lactose intolerant and you are not quite sure what foods you can now share with them or prepare when they come over for dinner? I hope this blog helps you to understand lactose intolerance a little better.

So, what is lactose? Lactose is a natural sugar found in dairy products, including milk. Lactose is broken down by an enzyme called lactase and can then be absorbed by our body. People lacking this enzyme are lactose intolerant and must monitor their diet. Some are more sensitive than others and often experimenting with foods is necessary to find out what one can tolerate.

Lactose is not only found in dairy products and in cow’s milk, goat’s and sheep’s milk. It is also found in many prepared foods. It is necessary to read package labels carefully to uncover lactose in prepared foods or snacks.

Cheeses contain lactose but the amount of lactose varies: cream cheese, cottage and ricotta cheese and feta are high in lactose, whereas aged cheeses such as cheddar have a much lower lactose content.

Similarly, yoghurts and ice cream contain lactose but the amount varies.

Other foods to consider containing lactose are

  • salad cream, salad dressing and mayonnaise
  • breads and baked goods
  • fruit smoothies if prepared with yoghurt
  • breaded or battered foods such as vegetables, meat or fish
  • certain chips or crackers, eg. cheese crackers
  • ready-made soups and cake or pancake mixes
  • chocolate, hot chocolate mixes and biscuits
  • peanut butter
  • breakfast cereals
  • ready made tracy and other sauces
  • cream-based liqueurs
  • processed meats

Foods containing little or no lactose include:

  • meat and fish
  • fats and oils, including non-dairy creamers
  • vegetable and fruits
  • grains

Did you know

  • that Angel Cake does not contain dairy products and is ideal for those with a lactose intolerance?
  • that foods and drinks labelled “suitable for vegans” are lactose free? Other lactose-free drinks are soy milk or yoghurt, drinks prepared from certain cereals such as rice milk, almond milk coconut milk. Safe foods and drinks maybe also be labelled “dairy-free”.

For lactose-free recipes, try these websites:

For lactose-free products available in Switzerland, try these links:

  • Freefrom Supermarket (in G & E) is a fantastic online shop for products free from anything, organic foods, foods for various intolerances, separated into different categories and new also with some small kitchen appliances.
  • Migros (in G, F, I): the Aha! range of lactose or gluten-free products. There are also products for those allergic to nuts.
  • Coop (in G, F, I): a list of lactose-free products available at Coop.
  • i can eat (also in E): an online health food store with a large orange of lactose and gluten-free products.

With all these precautions in mind, I wish you “En Guete” or “Bon appétit”!

Posted on March 04, 2014 by Luitgard Holzleg

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