Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk and most milk products.

Foods high in lactose include:

  • milk
  • hot chocolate
  • goat’s milk
  • buttermilk
  • ice milk
  • ice cream
  • pudding

Foods lower in lactose include:

  • evaporated milk
  • frozen yogurt
  • sherbet, cheese
  • yogurt
  • sour cream
  • whipping cream
  • half and half cream.

Prepared foods made with milk or milk products may include lactose including:    

  • commercial gravy or sauce mixes
  • vegetable or chip dips
  • soups
  • chips or snack crackers (e.g. cheese or ranch flavored)
  • sugar substitutes made with lactose (e.g. equal®)
  • artificial whipped toppings
  • powdered meal replacement supplements


 What about milk free?

If avoiding milk all together, look for and avoid the following on labels:

  • whey
  • whey solids
  • dried milk solids
  • non-fat dry milk
  • casein
  • caseinate
  • butter
  • margarine,
  • cheese
  • cheese food
  • curds
  • lactose
  • latalbumin
  • lactate solids.

What are some milk substitutes?

Soy milk is the most popular substitute for milk. However, many people are sensitive to soy and it can cause migraines, skin issues, and abdominal discomfort in these people whom are sensitive. Other milk substitutes are rice milk, coconut milk, hemp milk or almond milk. Soy, rice and almond milk can be found in any supermarket. Also these milk substitutes can be used in any baking/cooking recipe (use same amount as would milk), or even water can be used instead of milk or milk substitute (will have to add a few tablespoons of oil to recipe if using water instead of milk).


 What about calcium?

Some believe that milk is the best source of calcium and that not drinking milk can lead to calcium deficiency. Although milk is a good source of calcium, calcium can also be found in high amounts in green leafy vegetables such as spinach (also contains high iron), kale, and collard greens.


 What about butter?

Butter contains a minute amount of lactose and can be tolerate in small amounts in individuals with milk sensitivity. One way to make butter lactose free is to make clarified butter, or “ghee”. Ghee is made by simmering (low setting, to prevent butter burning) unsalted butter in a cooking vessel until all water has boiled off, the milk solids have settled to the bottom, and a froth has floated on top. After removing the froth, the cooked and clarified butter is then spooned off or tipped out carefully to avoid disturbing the milk solids on the bottom of the pan. Ghee can be stored for extended periods without refrigeration, provided that it is kept in an airtight container.