Lactose Intolerant? What Can You Eat?

Greek yogurt

If you’re lactose intolerant, you may cringe at the thought of eating dairy products.

But there’s really no need. In this day and age, there are plenty of nutrient-rich dairy products you can enjoy, without suffering the all-too-familiar consequences.

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about lactose intolerance.

What is lactose?

Lactose is the naturally-occurring sugar found in milk and most dairy products.

What does it mean to be “lactose intolerant?” 

Most people have an enzyme in their gut called lactase, which helps to break down lactose during digestion. People with lactose intolerance don’t have enough lactase to fully digest lactose, so eating dairy products can cause digestive distress like stomach aches, bloating, gas and diarrhea.

Is lactose intolerance the same as being allergic to milk?

No. These two conditions are completely different. Lactose intolerance refers specifically to the lactose (sugar) component of milk, whereas milk allergies are a reaction to the protein component of milk. Here’s more on the difference between an intolerance and allergy.

Do you have to avoid all dairy if you’re lactose intolerant?

Not necessarily. Different people have different levels of sensitivity, so if you’re lactose intolerant you may need to do some experimenting to see which foods you can best tolerate. Some people choose to give up dairy products altogether, but since dairy is a great source of naturally-occurring calcium and protein, it can be healthy to keep some dairy in your diet. Looking for lactose free dairy products is a great place to start.

What can you eat if you’re lactose intolerant?
  1. Yogurt.  Most people with lactose intolerance can eat yogurt. The good bacteria (live, active cultures) found in yogurt will help digest the lactose for you.  Choose a high quality yogurt (here’s a guide to help) with very few ingredients or Greek yogurt, which has very little lactose.
  2. Kefir. If you haven’t had kefir before, it’s kind of like drinkable yogurt, but with even more probiotics for even better digestion.
  3. Aged cheeses. The harder a cheese, the less lactose it has.  Lactose is found in the watery part of milk, and since harder cheeses have less liquid, that means they contain less lactose.  Extra sharp cheddar, Parmesan, Pecorino, aged gouda and other very hard cheeses have essentially no lactose.
  4. Lactase-fortified dairy products.  Lactaid is the most well-known example in this category, but there now quite a few other cheeses, yogurts, and ice creams that are fortified with the lactase enzyme, so people with lactose intolerance can digest them.
  5. Low-fat dairy products in small amounts. Low-fat dairy like low-fat milk and cheese tend to be easier on the system when eaten in small amounts and/or combined with other foods at a meal. (These foods are also higher in protein and calcium than their high-fat counterparts). Finding the foods that work for you may just be a matter of trial and error, so start slow.
  6. Dairy products eaten with a lactase pill.  Some people find lactase enzyme pills more effective than others, but they’re worth a try.  Pop a lactase pill 30-60 minutes before consuming dairy to see if this method works for you. (Note: it probably won’t work if you take lactase and then down a huge banana split, but it may be effective for eating a small serving of milk with your cereal).
What foods should be avoided?
  1. Large serving sizes of dairy products. Even if you’ve found a food that doesn’t cause bad symptoms, it’s still best to eat it in small portions. Your body is more likely to tolerate dairy if you eat only a little at a time.
  2. Very high fat dairy products like ice cream, soft creamy cheeses and cream (or foods made with cream). These actually have less lactose than low-fat products, but tend to be more irritating to those with lactose intolerance or who are sensitive to rich foods. The one exception here is aged cheese, which is high-fat but low-lactose.
  3. Whey protein concentrate. This is a doozy, because it’s added to a lot of foods to make them seem richer and creamier.  But it can wreak havoc on a lactose intolerant person’s system (and on a normal person’s system), because it often contains concentrated lactose.
  4. Soft-serve ice cream/frozen yogurt. This is mostly because of reason #2.  Many soft-serve desserts, smoothies, and protein shakes have significant amounts of whey protein concentrate, and will cause major digestive distress. If you love ice cream-style desserts, buy real frozen yogurt from the grocery store (Stonyfield, Julie’s Organic, and Straus Family Creamery all contain live active cultures that will help you digest) or make it yourself.

Thinking about using milk alternatives?  Here’s everything you need to know about which of them offer the best nutritional bang for your buck.

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134 Responses to Lactose Intolerant? What Can You Eat?

  1. Hi, I’m lactose intolerant and I was wondering is it still okay to have food products that contain milk as an ingredient? Such as cookies, chocolates, even certain breads? Or should lactose intolerant people avoid any product that contains milk in the ingredients?

    • Hi Jess. Most people who are lactose intolerant can eat foods that are made with milk products without any problem, because there isn’t much lactose in a food that contains lots of non-milk ingredients too.

    • hi im liz, im also lactose intolerant. i assume everyone is different bc some ppl cud have more milk than others. but me i am allowed to have chololate and cookies but i still cant have milk, certain cheeses and etc

      • Hi my name is also Liz, i am also Lactose Intolerant and as it would seem i Can’t eat ANYTHING with milk in it, no milk products or anything so im having a hard time finding stuff i Can eat, for example i LOVE Oreo’s but because the creamy center is a milk product i can no longer eat them until i find a way to control it. It really stinks cause a lot of my diet includes milk products. I am also looking for ways that i can still have my milk products but not have the side effect of the Lactose Interance. I wish you luck Jess mine was a trial and error thing.

          • well.. I wonder. It says it has CHOCOLATE which can be make from MILK… unless they used dark cocoa………

            Here is a list: Sugar enriched flour, high oleic canola oil and/or palm oil and/or soybean oil, cocoa, high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch, leavening, salt, soy lecithin, vanillin, chocolate

          • Soy has a protein. which is digested in the same manner milk is. So it could be the sy which you cannot digest.

        • Chocolate is not made with dairy. Milk chocolate has dairy added. Unhealthy vegans eat Oreos. I was one for a while :). Oreos are actually considered vegan because they are basically made with all man made crap. You still shouldn’t eat them, but they won’t effect your lactose problem. If you have a problem digesting them it may be that you have Gerd or another serious issue you need to have checked out.

          • Thanks Christina and everyone else for the info. Still trying to find what i CAN eat though.

          • You can eat dark chocolate reesees! Yum! Also the lactaid brand has cottage cheese, which I would die without, and I know some grocery stores carry lactose free creamers.

        • Lactose intolerance is often linked with gluten-intolerance, both of which can develop later in life. I had problems with lactose first, then gluten, and now casein (milk protein) too. Technically everyone is gluten-intolerant, but most people have symptoms so mild they don’t mind/notice.

          And regular Oreos are dairy-free. The “creme” filling is just shortening with fake petroleum-derived flavors plus sugar. But the cookies are made with wheat, so contain gluten. Are you a big bread and noodle eater otherwise?

        • Hi Eliz
          I’ve been lactose intolerant for years.. I’m 60. Just found
          out about daiya cheese and there’s a frozen pizza with it. It’s not exciting,
          But ok. Also Amy’s has dairy free pizza with veggies and the real excitement..
          dairy free Mac n cheese! And other dairy free products. I know, frozen foods,
          but they aren’t bad. Whole Foods and Stop and shop. I can usually eat baked
          goods but no cheating otherwise. Aged Gouda has high fat & low lactose.
          also xtra sharp cheddar. The harder the cheese, less lactose.the ‘Daiya’ cheese comes shredded, but haven’t bought any yet. Hope this helps.
          Just had Starbucks hot chocolate with soy milk. So far so good.
          take care. Feel good!

    • My lactose-intolerant kid never had issues with dairy in baked goods, unless it had (real) buttercream or cream cheese frosting.

      Butter and milk chocolate DO have lactose, but usually in tiny enough amounts it doesn’t cause issues. I just took a 1-a-day lactase enzyme from Schiff’s Digestive Advantage line and was fine unless I ate tons of dairy in one day. And even then, I later discovered I’m intolerant to the casein protein in dairy too, so the supplement may have been 100% effective for my lactose intolerance, and what I was feeling was the casein reaction!

    • Yes Jesse, you can eat all those but you can’t have food that is considered as a dairy product (ex- icecream, some yogurt, and cheeses).

      • got just the one for you Nut Bars BUT you make them your self owing to knowing what you put in you can put almost any nut you can think of use olive oil and three spoons of honey or syrup mix well in and into a grease proof tray cook for 15 mins gas 5 till it browns off slightly take out grease proof on top wait till it cools then into the freezer for half an hour. these bars will feed your body pomegranit juice and seeds are good for your body system and the outer skin has 17 elements blitz the nuts and pome skin stops allot of things such as Cdon’t like using the word but try it and make sure your NOT Nut Allergy that’s the most important I must say ok and good luck

    • Rose,
      See my response to Alexis.

      Good Luck! It’s not so bad…think about all the things you can eat instead of all the things you can’t eat.

  2. I’ve enjoyed looking through your blog, and this topic got my attention. I don’t believe the first point is accurate on the yogurt. I’m lactose intolerant and I have tried the Oikos (Stonyfield) greek yogurt and even with a lactaid pill it tore me up after trying a small amount. Yogurt seems to bother me more than most dairy products.

    • Hi Susan. While most people who are lactose intolerant can eat yogurt without trouble, you bring up the good point that everyone is different and you are the one who knows your body best.

    • I’ve been lactose intolerant my whole life and I’ve also never been able to tolerate any type of yogurt. I’ve read numerous times that it’s ok for a lot of us, but it’s definitely not friendly to me! I’m glad I’m not the only one 🙂

      • Lactose intolerance – and dairy allergies/sensitivities – vary from person to person, so you always know your own body best!

      • Have you tried authentic Greek yogurts? Oikos is greek yogurt in name only.
        Read the label is all I can suggest when it comes to real Greek Yogurt. Not all yogurts are created equal. Some contain as much sugar as a candy bar, while others have more than a third of the saturated fat you’re supposed to have in a day. Many use corn starch as a thickener. Fage is expensive but it has the most respect of all the commercial Greek yogurts — and the company actually originated in Athens, Greece. However, Greek doesn’t refer to where it comes from but it’s the process that qualifies it as Greek yogurt. Oikos (aka Stonyfield ) has additives, a thickener and fillers. And it is owned by Dannon which most people will agree is NOT the standard when it comes to anything with the name yogurt in it. Real Greek yogurt is made straining out the whey, therefore more milk is used which also makes it thicker and have a higher protein content. Whey has the most milk sugars that causes problems to lactose intolerant persons. I suspect that some people will have problems with Greek yogurt because it has a higher milk content than regular yogurt. But don’t take my word for it, compare labels! It won’t make you any less lactose intolerant but it just may allow you to grasp what it is that is actually causing you discomfort.

        • Great info you’ve contributed here, Rick – thanks. One thing to note though: Oikos is not the same as Stonyfield. Groupe Danone owns both Dannon and Stonyfield. Dannon is their conventional brand and Stonyfield is their organic brand. Until recently both brands made an “Oikos” but because this was kind of confusing, Stonyfield Oikos became Stonyfield Greek. It’s an organic, very pure, delicious Greek yogurt.

        • Also, Greek yogurt should be less problematic for those who are lactose intolerant because when the whey is strained, so is most of the lactose, so the result is a lower-lactose, higher protein yogurt. Yogurt in general is usually OK for lactose intolerant folks but Greek yogurt should be especially non-irritating.

  3. Hi I believe I am lactose intolerant. Every time I have sweets I have a horrible stomach ache. So I am trying to be lactose free for a week to see if I am lactose intolerant and so far I have had one stomach ache in 3 days. I love to eat sweets so how can i really figure out if I’m lactose intolerant and what medicine(s) can I take to let me have food with lactose in it?

    • The best way is to stop eating dairy for 2 weeks. So obviously no milk, cream, ice cream, yogurt, cheese, (the article above is good if you find out you are l.i., but during your experiment, don’t eat those). Also you need to check labels on all processed foods. If any form of whey or milk, etc. is in the list, don’t eat it, (you’d be surprised how often these are thrown in as a filler). If your stomach/digestive issues cease during the 2 weeks, then, unfortunately, you are joining the lactose intolerant club! (if not, time to see a doctor)

      If you are l.i., then you will want to continue to avoid dairy for the most part, but as the article says above, depending on how severe your case is, you may be able to eat some of those foods. I have a pretty severe case, so I can only indulge in yogurt or a hard cheese occasionally, and then still have to take a few Lactaid pills before and during, but many l.i.’s can follow the article easier.

      If sweets are your biggest concern, avoid the milk and cream-based ones, but that leaves many options open…cookies, fruit pies, most cakes* (careful of cream cheese frosting!). Homemade are usually safer–again, processed desserts often have dairy thrown in whereas the homemade version would not. Oh, but Oreos are OK, (I don’t want to know how they make a “cream filling” without cream, all I care is that I can eat them and they are delicious!)

      Best of luck!

  4. hi my name is tiffany n i haven’t been lactose intolerant for long, i know most of what i can and can’t eat but for some reason i can’t eat egg either, people say that i should be able to, so i was woundering does anyone know if poeple that are L.I can eat egg or no? thanks

    • Hi, I am lactose intolerant and suffer from IBS. Cannot eat chocolate or anything sweet. Now have to check all labels on tins etc. What about breads – which ones are ok to eat. Oh, I can’t eat eggs either.

  5. I’m L I too & I can eat about 2 eggs per day. Anything over that & I have stomach issues. As far as I know there isn’t any dairy in eggs but I find that rich foods in general make my stomach complain. I can however eat small amounts of dairy, yogurt & even yogurt ice cream. I’ve never tried greek yogurt before. I’ve read that kefir is good for those who are L I as it helps increase the healthy bacteria in the gut that help with digestion.

  6. i guess it depends on the severity i had an endoscopy and it came back with severe lactose intolerance so i cant eat any dairy

    • Hi my daughter just had an endoscopy and hers was severe and i was told to start her on lactose free diet and i was wondering do you not eat anything that says it had milk in like bread,chicken nuggets and all sorts of foods its hidden in cos its in almost everything and shes 5years old and already used to eatting most things.its proving hard

  7. Hi, I might be lactose intolerant, but I’m not sure. Can I eat dairy products if I have a Lactose Fast-Act pill?? It seems ok

  8. This is all good in theory but for those that are severely lactose intolerant, use caution.
    Lactase infused dairy products are not entirely lactose free and some people still have issues with them.
    Often, major name brand yogurts have milk that is added after the culturing process. If you see milk in the ingredients that is mentioned alone than you know it is added after culture.
    I love anything made with coconut milk. I am lactose, soy and gluten intolerant….It’s hard to be compliant but much more pleasant if I am. haha! Good luck to those!

  9. Hi everyone! My grandma had my go a week without eating any dairy to possibly see if I was Lactose Intolerant because I have all the symptoms of it. Any type of milk products make me really bloated & I feel horrible. It’s really hard not to eat anything that doesn’t have a milk content in it. I hate milk to drink but I love it in everything it’s in. I do wanna try to loose weight so I wanna go completely dairy-free. What can’t eat?

  10. Hi my daughter who is only 5 has just been confirmed as lactose intolerant only a few weeks tho I’m finding it very hard to work out wot I can n can’t give her as u can imagine I’m tryin to cut out dairy n luckily she likes lactose free milk , withit being summer she is wanting ice cream alot As she has 2 sisters does anyone no if there’s lactose free ice cream or cookies as I feel bad denyin her but I no if that’s what’s goin to make her better I hav to none of my friends kids hav this problem so I’m kinda lost x

    • Bryers makes a lactose free vsnilla i e cream …. I can’t have it as it is actually made with lactase enzime, and does no good for me, but your daughter may be able to tolerate it better

    • Hi my daughter is 5 and ive been told she needs lactose free diet and i was wondering how r u getting on with it now as it seems that everything she eats says “contains milk”.although even though its winter she did have lactose free ice cream from asda

    • Rice dreams! Lactose free ‘ice cream’ not cheap
      but really good flavors. Try it. It’s hard. My son started allergies in the high hair !
      fish sticks, peas, then a fish, all beans, legumes, all seafood & a nickel allergy. No PB& J for lunch or tuna!
      It’s not easy but you get used to reading labels & going to bake sales at school.he had cold cuts a lot! He’s now a big strong 25 yr old!! He did not get my lactose intolerance. My best advice is make sure everyone she knows, & comes in contact with on a regular basis knows of her allergy.
      Btw worstechire ? sauce has anchovies in it, hence fish allergy for us,
      but hopefully she’ll outgrow her allergies.
      You become an expert. Look in Whole Foods for the Rice dreams by the ice cream.

  11. Hello Everyone!

    I am L.I. and have Crohn’s Disease… you may be able to appreciate, besides air, I have to really watch my diet like a hawk 🙂 I have found peace with my sweet tooth, and love for milk products such as milk with cookies, love cottage cheese, and ice cream! the website “” is a treat saver! I hope these two cents of joy will help you all. As always, follow your MD’s advise, and ‘everything’ in moderation!

  12. Hi – I pulled up this article, becaue I had heard that those with lactose intolerance can eat Greek yogurt with little to no side effects…unfortunately, not the case for me. I have tried more than once (with different high-quality brands) and I still cannot digest Greek yogurt properly. Although they make soy yogurts, they are really not the same. I am quite happy with the Lactaid brand products from the ice cream to the cottage cheese.

    • I just became lactose intolerant this summer but I have actually never been able to eat yogurt. My body has the worst reaction to any type of yogurt. I have been looking for more Lactaid products. My local Walmart doesn’t sell any Lactaid products. Meijer and Kroger have selections limited to milk and chocolate ice cream. Where do you find the cottage cheese at?

    • You may want to try yoplait lactose free yogurts, i’ve had the best results from those. They only come in four flavors and have a green lable, and not all stores carry them, though i know winn dixie does.

    • You might want to ask the MD that is monitoring his IBS. I can’t have too much sugar, too much fat (any type- good or bad), too much dairy, too spicy, and I usually limit myself to one 4oz portion to see how my GI tract will react. I never, never, ever eat ‘ready made’ store bought bake goods, and unfortunately I don’t go to ‘bakeries’ either. I did purchase a ‘gluten free’ cake mix and frosting at the local market, and I loved it (so did the tummy!) It is pricey, but I only eat cake when I crave it, which is hardly ever. I do miss my ‘iron’ tummy of my 20’s, but life goes on! Keep communications open with your MD, and ‘everything’ in moderation!

  13. Hi I don’t know whee I’m lactose intolerant but I do get headaches and stomachaches immediately after eating the cheap cheddar my mum buys and drinking milk. I was just wondering whether it was ok to eat pizza when lactose intolerant (the really thick mozzarella covered ones) cuz I do get a headache from that.. Cuz if it is ok to eat pizza this whole headache and stomachache might be my imagination..

  14. Hi!! i dont know if i am lactose intolerant, but for the past 2 months my stomach has been bloated and i havent had a plesant #2..and i have milk every morning, i hav pizza at least once or twice a week, and for the past 2 months i have been having eggs every morning. do you think i am lactose intolerant, or it might be something else?!

  15. Hi There, I think I’m Lactose Intolerance as I’ve got most of the symptoms. I’ve always suffered from bloatness for a long time with whatever I eat, but this past week it’s been terrible, I’ve been feeling so nauseous, bloated & tired. On Mon I tried to take a herbal life shake with fat free milk but that was a no go for me, I felt so sick! Could some1 please tell me if I am or not LT?

  16. Hi, i just recently found out that I am lactose intolerant, I have been having a lot of problems with my stomach.. but I am also a vegetarian, is it okay for me to stay away from dairy and meats and poultry’s? And do you have any suggestions on what i should substitute for my proteins now because most of what i was eating had a lot of dairy in them as well?

    • Your body does not produce the lactase enzyme to digest lactose which is found in milk products. Not all milk products are made alike, as some have more or less lactose in them. Easiest way to start is to simply elliminate milk products from your diet for 2 weeks. Make sure you read ALL lables on anything you buy, you’d be amazed at the number of processed foods that contain milk products. Get to know the different names they use as well ….. If you see “whey” , avoid it like the plague ! Even deli meats contain milk products, as well as hot dogs, and a whole bunch of grocies never meant to fall into the milk category. Once you get your tummy under control, start adding milk products back into your diet a little at a time. Make note of any reactions you have and the ones that bother you more than you like, stay away from those products. Many people find adding a lactaid pill to their diet, about 30 minutes before eating, helps a lot, though it isn’t a fix for everyone.

  17. Im breastfeeding and my daughters doctoe said that she might be lactose intolerant so i now have to go on a milk free diet. does anyone have any suggestions on specific foods i can eat bc i have no idea what to eat. any suggestions would be great!!

  18. My problem is when ever I eat frozen yogurt I have a very bad headache after. So I tried Greek yogurt and the same thing happen What is this coming from the sugar, can’t be because I use sugar in other things?

  19. Hi I just found out I’m lactose intolarent and before a few months ago could eat or drink anything any body got any advise its killing me to stay away from everything I eat and drink i used to be able to eat ice cream cheese milk milk shakes exc and now everything makes me break out in hives gives me diareah and makes me throw up . Plz help.

    • Laura – hives, diarrhea, and vomiting doesn’t sound like lactose intolerance to me – maybe a milk allergy? You should see a doctor to determine.

  20. Every other reputable website I check seems to disagree with what it says here about whey protein. This article suggests that whey protein contains higher levels of lactose, so should be avoided. But other sites say that whey protein contains very minimal amounts of lactose and is tolerated better than other milk products by those with lactose intolerance – for instance, this article:

    What’s the story?

    • Good question. Here’s the gist: whey protein ISOLATE is almost lactose free (some brands guarantee it)– but regular whey protein (not isolate) can contain lactose. Sometimes whey protein is used as a thickener in foods where you wouldn’t necessarily expect it, and it can be in large enough amounts to affect those sensitive to lactose. So if you’re lactose intolerant, you should read ingredients carefully and limit whey protein consumption to avoid symptoms.

  21. I’ve been lactose intollerant most of my life, but it’s gotten really bad within the last 10 years. I have also become very intollerant of eggs and soy as well. Add to this a nut allergy (ground and tree nuts, as well as coconut and sesame seed), and you can guess how my lean my diet is. I do most of my cooking from scratch because i can’t trust the majority of processed foods anymore, though bread seems to give me no issue what so ever. There are many egg replacer recipes that can be used in cakes and other sweets, as well as replacing milk with water and other liquids. A lactose free diet isn’t that hard to maintain as long as you get out of the “quick food” mentality. Even ice cream can be replaced with a good sorbet. There ar always alternatives out there if you just look and be prepared to make it yourself.

  22. I have been lactose intolerant my whole life. I am 57 and the older I become, the worse the reaction. I must avoid all dairy, whey and any products that contain ingredients that begin with “lac.” What I have been taught, thank goodness, from PhD nutritionists and holistic MDs, holistic Chiropractors, etc. is that you are putting a time bomb in your body every time you ingest lactose. Since your body does not know what to do with lactose your defenses surround each lactose molecule with 4 times its weight in water, hence the bloating starts. Then your immune system weakens as the disruption of the body causes a failure to extract many nutrients from the other ingested foods. Then follows the gas, cramps and diarrhea or constipation. I even must avoid lactose containing medicines. 70% of all tablets or capsules contain anhydrous lactose, or lactose monohydrate, or other lactose powders as fillers. So I must research each Rx and special order a lactose free version of the drug from my pharmacist. You can look up meds at Dailymedaboutmed or google the name of your med and type in “ingredients.” Then readyou the section called “Inactive ingredients.” Since your body does not fully digest lactose it sits in your intestines and putrifies. Your normal digestion could take up to 2-3 months to normalize. Food allergies also cause deep dark circles under your eyes. I look so young now and I don’t need layers of under eye cover cream. I eat soy yogurt by Whole Soy, almond vanilla milk by Silk, Soy ice cream, any brand and almond cheese, any brand. I eat non dairy chocolate chips from the baking aisle, and I eat soy chocolate pudding any brand. I can tolerate sheep’s milk and goat’s cheeses and I use rice milk grated cheese to sprinkle on my food. I eat out, take in and never feel deprived. I just speak up and say, “No dairy.”I I treat my body with kindness and it treats me back with good health. Make friends with your health food store clerk in the vitamin aisle. He or she is usually well versed in nutrition and his her guidance is free. Good luck to you 🙂

    • Thanks for the tip on medicines. I need to check that
      I love what you wrote. I found rice dreams.. Delicious, wish I hadn’t!
      Have you tried Daiya , dairy free cheese? They make a frozen pizza, not bad.also they have grated cheese, I haven’t tried… but I try not to cook!! Whole foods has a good selection of dairy free. Enlighten fruit bars in summer.. Yummy! Cookies don’t bother me much, but Paul Newman brand has a ‘fake’ dairy free Oreo!
      Take care!

  23. I am also a lactose intolerant person and I found out when I was about 20. When I first noticed, I refused to eat any dairy, but then I realized I love dairy too much to live completely without, so I started introducing things in small amounts to see my reaction (similar to introducing infants to solid food) and I found that trying foods at night after dinner, before bed, was the least painful and reactive way. I was able to try “new” food but didn’t have to worry about being in public and my reactions aren’t as bad if I lay down and try to sleep (I have no clue why)

  24. Hi, I have come to the conclusion that I am highly lactose intolerant and I have noticed even when I take a lactase pill with the dairy products It does not help. I cannot keep any type of dairy products down or I have very bad stomach pains. Its gotten to where I have to avoid dairy products completely. Is this normal?

  25. I’m lactose intolerant. I have found that taking a probiotic pill daily has significantly helped with the bloating, etc. The one I use contains lactobacillus. Now I even try the softer cheeses (in moderation) and have very little, of any symptoms. It takes about 3 weeks before it begins to work.

    • Some of you with varying symptoms may want to check out FODMAP intolerance. It basically means that you can’t digest short chain carbs, sugar alcohols, and lactose. You also can’t absorb fructose. Unfortunately, some of us are dealing with more than one malabsorption issue at a time. Look up FODMAP and see if the descriptions of the foods involved make sense. As I read the first article, I started crying-things finally made sense. Good luck!

  26. My friend’s 3 yr old is lactose intolerant 100% and we are trying to find out what exactly this poor child CAN eat.

    • I have been knowingly lactose intolerant for 20 years and it just gets worse. more and more sensitive.
      I found the lactose free diary products and thought i had an answer to my really boring diet. Sadly even these give me diareah as does fresh olive oil, soya altenative diary products like custard and cream. Does anyone know why i can’t digest all these other products too?!
      i don’t go shopping any more as it depresses me. i eat what my husband buys. Help!

      • You need a good gastroenterologist. Also try whole foods. I wonder if you’re low in a certain vitamin
        don’t panic! Cause there’s a reason the la tosd free foods don’t work for you.
        maybe you need some fiber? The people at the WF where I live are great.
        For me fatty foods & too much sugar isn’t good either.
        I feel your pain. Go to WF yourself & you’ll get some advice and the dr. AND that dreaded word
        colonoscopy! It’s not bad. Do it!!!
        Feel better. You’re smart. You’ll figure it out.

  27. I just was told after many years of problems with my bowels,that im lactose and frutose intolerant.Can you suggest a cookbook for me?

  28. Hello…just weighing in on the L.I. lifestyle. I was recently diagnosed with this and told not to eat ANYTHING with lactose, casein or lactaid in it. I have been told to drink Almond Milk and watch my labels as most contains at least one of the above. I have been a month and a half without it and feel GREAT, have lost 15 lbs. and am going strong. This holiday season has been tough though, is it really true that you can have OREOS??? I have found lactose free chocolate chips, but, they are so tiny and expensive. .. As are most lactose free products. I am definately missing cheese though…any ideas on that front?? It is hard to read EVERY label on EVERYTHING. Ideas would be helpful. Thank you!

  29. Hi, I recently found out that I am Lactose intolerant and am having a hard time knowing what I can or cannot eat. It seems that everything I like and use to eat I can no longer have, like soft ice cream (Dairy Queen), cheddar cheese and yogurt but are now finding out that I can eat certain kinds. Not always sure if the all ingredients are listed on the labels. This is a real struggle to someone new at this, I am so afraid to eat things because I most certainly do not want to encounter the results that can and do happen.

    • Cabot cheese is a lactose free cheese. Wegmans carries a variety. I have also recently seen Swiss and mozzarella of different brands. Check around. Anything vegan is lactose free as there are no dairy products used in them as told to me from a vegan who worked at Trader Joe’s. They also have a variety pak of lactose free cheeses including a shredded variety which included cheddar mozzarella and another I can’t remember.

  30. Hi, whenever I eat anything that contains cows milk, whether it is yogurt, cheese, butter, and so forth, I get very severe headaches which lasts for days. Is that also a form of lactose intolerance? I do not get diarrhoea or irritated bowel, just very bad had aches.

  31. Hate to break this to you all… You are not lactose intolerant, you are pasteurization intolerant. Lactase naturally occurs in milk and helps your body digest it. Once the milk is “cooked” all the good stuff is killed… And “lactose intolerance” is born. Find a source for raw milk and drink the stuff that God intended for us to drink. Man keeps trying to improve on what is naturally heathy and we screw it all up.

  32. I too am lactose intolerant and have discovered that it is COW’s milk that I can’t have. However-goat cheese and other milk products derived from anything but a cow is totally consumable!

    • Cooked cheese is no more lactose-friendly than uncooked cheese, so better to choose small amounts of hard/aged cheeses, which are low in lactose no matter how they’re served.

  33. Thank you so much for this information. I’ve been lactose intolerant since I was born. I’m going to try to eat yogurt since I’ve stayed away from it because feared I would react badly hopefully I can eat it.

  34. I may be lactose intolerant. Cheese i’m fine with but i just drank some milk and my stomach hurts. Just wondering if i could make protein shakes using lactose free/soy/almond milk? I’m fine with the whey powder. It just seems to be milk thats hard for me, not all dairy.

  35. I am hosting a visitor who is lactose intolerent. Can she eat cake or biscuits that contain butter?

    • Baked goods made with butter are probably just fine and unlikely to irritate someone with lactose intolerance. But since it really depends on the person, I would just ask her to be sure.

  36. I don’t think the author is lactose intolerant. I have been lactose intolerant for for about 17 years. Lactase pills are to be taken WITH the food, not 30-60 minutes before. And I have always found them to be extremely effective. For me, the example given of ice cream v. milk is exactly backwards. I’m more likely to suffer for a small amount of milk, even taken with a pill, than any amount of ice cream taken with a pill. For my grandmother, ice cream was the one thing she could eat with no trouble, for my Mom, ice cream is the one thing she has to take a pill for. Go figure. Since I live most of the year in a country where lactose-free milk isn’t available, I rely heavily on lactase drops to treat my milk before I drink it. I find the drops to be very effective.

  37. Hi there
    Over the last fews weeks I started experiencing symptoms similar to lactose intolerance. I was talking to a friend and she described her new diagnosis of LI and how she got better with diet. I have tried some tablets but didn’t get any response. I am thinking giving dietary change a try. I am sure that would make a great impact on my dietary arrangements. I am just wondering what are the foot materials that I need to cut down completely

    • If your feeling yucky when your eating lactose then just nip to your doctors for a blood test that’s what I did. He told me what to eat and what not to eat, nip to the store and have a look at the products and just try them for a few days and cut out anything to do with lactose eg checking labels. Just try a lactose free couple of days and just see if you feel icky in them few days 🙂 x

  38. I wasn’t always lactose-intolerant, I’ve just developed it since I’m about 18 years old or so. I will definitely be trying the Greek yogurt to see if my tummy declares war on me but so far I’m doing pretty good with the Yoplait Lactose-Free yogurt. I also read above that hard cheeses should be okay to eat but those seem to destroy me the worst; especially Parmesan cheese. I’m not supposed to eat gluten either, nor can I have caffeine. It gets frustrating sometimes, especially when you weren’t born this way and you have certain foods that you like to eat that you used to be able to eat in the past that you know you can’t have now. Good Luck everyone! I hope your tummies stay nice and calm. 🙂

  39. I recently was told I’m lactose intolerant and im already starting to struggle. I can’t eat anything that contains lactose in as I either throw up or i get a lot of tummy pain, I love curries,casseroles,chocolates and all the usual stuff but I can’t seem to find anything to eat. I know Doritos are okay the chilli ones but I can’t find anything to eat anymore, I have lacto free milk and things but when it’s comes to set meals I find it hard what to eat. Another thing if I go to a restaurant and eat out I can never really find anything I can eat and I get funny looks when I ask:( please help me I find it quite hard

  40. Last week I thought I was going to pass out due to what I assumed was a gallbladder attack . All my tests came back normal so, could I be lactose intolerant? Since my attack I cut out all dairy and so far no more pain. Are the symptoms the same as a gallbladder attack?

  41. Im not sure if Im lactose intolerant or not, but I have been sick alot here lately and I have noticed that when I eat cheese, milk or something that is dairy I get sick to my stomach, and a really really bad taste in my mouth… What could this be?

  42. hi i have had some suspitions that my 2 year old daughter is lactose intolerant i tookk her to the doctor to make the test but instead they told me to keep her off milk for 8 weeks. i have tried that but it seems when i give any kind of product with dairy in it, no matter how small the amount, she gets sick. does anyone have any advice

  43. I am also lactose intolerant. I found a great milk it is called Fairlife. It is really filtered milk and then they add the lactose enzyme back in this product doesn’t bother me, I only use it for cereal once in a while. Also, the Food for Life products are dairy free and vegan. The bread is pretty good. It is hard to know what to eat. I can’t have any yogurt, but am still experimenting.

  44. My husband has started making his own yogurt and we have a lot of whey left over; we’re trying to think of things to do with it, like cooking with it. Does anyone know if that whey is high in lactose? I’m lactose intolerant.

  45. Most Cabot brand cheeses contain no lactose! Make your own pizzas by shredding Cabot cheddar-jack or monterey jack – delicious!

    • Interesting! I know that most aged cheeses don’t have much lactose (if any) because there is so little liquid in the cheese (and the lactose lives in the watery part of cheese, not the solids).

  46. Hi my son was diagnosed with lactose intolerance at the age of 6 months. From then on he’s been having everything dairy free. Milk, butter, chocolate etc. But now and again he has an unset tummy like he use to with diarrhoea. I’m now thinking it could be bread. Could this be possible? Will he ever out grow this? He’s nearly 3.

    • Hi Jade,
      I think it’d be best to talk to your pediatrician about this, as it could be anything. Hopefully he/she can provide some guidance so your son can get some relief soon. Good luck!

  47. Hi I’m Danielle I have been lactose intolerant for a year. I became lactose intolerant during pregnancy. I was wondering if powdered cheese has any lactose in it. For ex. nacho cheese chips, or cheese flavored pringles. I seem to have a reaction to most of the dairy products I eat.

  48. This was very interesting read. I knew that people have differing levels of intolerance but I always wondered why I was ok with yogurt and cheese but not cream sauces and other heavy milk products. My lactose problem was a little wobbly growing up too. Had to have soy formula as a baby but from 2 until about 22 I was fine with all milk products. Even New England clam chowder. Then the lactose problem came back full force with milk and cream. I know most children have the lactase enzyme for breastfeeding which is why intolerance usually shows up later in life. And fun fact: a large amount of people from Slavic and I believe African ethnicities, as well, are lactose intolerant. I’m Polish, so this wonderful trait got passed to me. Now that fact replaced something useful and someone forgot how to drive a car lol.

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