Is Cheese Lactose-Free? Understanding Lactose-Intolerance and Cheese Consumption


The love for cheese is universal. Whether it’s a slice on a burger or a fancy cheese board at a party, cheese is a staple in many people’s diets. However, for those with lactose intolerance, cheese can pose a challenge. Lactose intolerance affects over 65% of the world’s population, making it difficult to enjoy dairy products without experiencing unpleasant symptoms. This has led to many people seeking lactose-free cheese options to satisfy their cravings for this delicious food.

Therefore, the purpose of this article is to provide information on lactose-free cheese options. We explore the connection between cheese and lactose intolerance, highlight the lactose-free cheese types available, and share strategies for lactose-intolerant individuals to still enjoy cheese.

Cheese and Lactose Intolerance: Understanding the Connection

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose – a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. When lactose enters the intestines undigested, it can cause gas, bloating, cramps, and diarrhea. For lactose-intolerant people, consuming dairy products triggers these symptoms.

Cheese is a dairy product that can contain varying levels of lactose. Hard, aged cheeses like cheddar and parmesan have lower lactose content (less than 2% per serving) compared to soft cheeses like brie and cream cheese. However, lactose content can still vary within cheese types, making it important for individuals with lactose intolerance to understand the lactose content of the cheese they consume.

10 Types of Cheese That are Surprisingly Lactose-Free

Fortunately for cheese lovers, there are lactose-free cheese options available. Here are ten types of cheese that are surprisingly lactose-free:

  1. Cheddar (aged for at least 12 months)
  2. Swiss
  3. Colby Jack
  4. Provolone
  5. Brie (aged for at least 2 months)
  6. Gouda (aged for at least 2 months)
  7. Muenster
  8. Parmesan
  9. Romano
  10. Blue Cheese

These cheese types have low lactose content, making them suitable for people with lactose intolerance.

The Best Lactose-Free Cheese Brands for People with Dairy Sensitivity

Aside from lactose-free cheese types, there are also specific lactose-free cheese brands. Below are some popular lactose-free cheese brands, along with their features and benefits:

  1. Green Valley Creamery: This brand offers lactose-free yogurts, butters, and cream cheese. Their products are organic and contain prebiotic fiber, which aids digestion.
  2. Daiya: This brand is known for its plant-based cheese alternatives. Their lactose-free cheese shreds, slices, and blocks are made from cassava and arrowroot and come in a variety of flavors.
  3. LOVE GOOD FATS: This brand offers lactose-free and keto-friendly cheese bars made from a blend of cheese and nuts. Their cheese bars come in unique flavors like Pizza and Spicy Cheddar.
  4. Go Veggie: This brand offers plant-based cheese alternatives like lactose-free cream cheese, shredded cheese, and slices. They also have lactose-free cheese options made from dairy for those who prefer it.
  5. Violife: This brand offers a wide range of dairy-free and lactose-free cheese alternatives made from coconut oil. Their products come in a variety of flavors and are suitable for vegans and those with lactose intolerance.

These brands offer delicious and nutritious lactose-free cheese options for people with dairy sensitivity.

Breaking the Myths: Is Cheese Really Lactose Free?

There is a common misconception that all cheese is lactose-free. However, this is not entirely true. Cheese contains lactose, but the amount can vary depending on the cheese type, age, and how it is made.

For example, hard, aged cheeses like cheddar and parmesan have lower lactose content compared to soft cheeses like brie and ricotta. Additionally, the lactose content decreases as the cheese ages because bacteria in the cheese break down the lactose. However, lactose content can still vary within cheese types, which is why it’s essential for people with lactose intolerance to understand the lactose content of the cheese they consume.

Some cheeses that are safe for lactose-intolerant individuals include aged cheddar, parmesan, and gouda. These cheeses have less than 2% lactose per serving and are generally well-tolerated by those with dairy sensitivity.

Can Lactose-Intolerant People Still Enjoy Cheese? The Answer Might Surprise You

While lactose intolerant individuals must be cautious when consuming cheese, there are strategies to enjoy cheese while avoiding lactose. Here are some tips:

  • Choose low lactose cheeses like aged cheddar, parmesan, and gouda.
  • Test your tolerance for certain cheeses by starting with small servings and gradually increasing the portion size.
  • Pair cheese with lactase enzyme supplements, which help break down lactose and prevent symptoms.
  • Consume dairy products with other foods to slow down the absorption of lactose.
  • Choose lactose-free cheese options like those listed above.

These strategies help lactose-intolerant individuals enjoy cheese without experiencing symptoms

How to Make Lactose-Free Cheese at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try making lactose-free cheese at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 gallon of lactose-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar
  • Cheesecloth

Here are the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Heat the milk in a large pot to 180°F.
  2. Stir in the salt and lemon juice or vinegar.
  3. Turn off the heat and let the milk sit for 10-15 minutes until it curdles.
  4. Line a colander with cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.
  5. Pour the curdled milk into the cheesecloth and let it drain for 1-2 hours.
  6. Remove the cheese from the cheesecloth and place it in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days to allow it to firm up.
  7. Store the lactose-free cheese in the fridge for up to a week.

Following these instructions will give you a simple and delicious lactose-free cheese that you can enjoy at home.

Going Lactose-Free? Don’t Give Up Cheese! Here’s What You Need to Know.

Transitioning to a lactose-free diet can be challenging, especially for those who love cheese. However, it doesn’t mean you have to give up cheese entirely. By understanding lactose content and choosing lactose-free cheese options, you can still enjoy the deliciousness and health benefits of cheese.

Furthermore, lactose-free cheese options offer additional benefits, including being easier to digest and higher in protein and calcium. Making the switch to lactose-free cheese is easy and beneficial for people with dairy sensitivity.


In conclusion, enjoying cheese is still possible, even for lactose-intolerant individuals. This article has addressed the connection between cheese and lactose intolerance, shared ten lactose-free cheese types, and highlighted popular lactose-free cheese brands. We’ve also provided strategies to consume cheese while avoiding lactose and even a recipe for making lactose-free cheese at home. Lactose-free cheese options provide a delicious and nutritious alternative for those with dairy sensitivity, and we encourage readers to give them a try and share their experiences.

Webben Editor

Hello! I'm Webben, your guide to intriguing insights about our diverse world. I strive to share knowledge, ignite curiosity, and promote understanding across various fields. Join me on this enlightening journey as we explore and grow together.

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