6 Dairy Foods Naturally Low in Lactose
By Helen West
People with lactose intolerance often avoid eating dairy products.
This is usually because they are concerned that dairy may cause unwanted and potentially embarrassing side effects.
However, dairy foods are very nutritious and not all of them are high in lactose.
This article explores six dairy foods that are low in lactose.
What Is Lactose Intolerance?
Interestingly, it's most prevalent in Asia and South America, but much less common in parts of the Western world like North America, Europe and Australia (2).
Those who have it don't have enough of an enzyme called lactase. Produced in your gut, lactase is needed to break down lactose, the main sugar found in milk.
Without lactase, lactose can pass through your gut undigested and cause unpleasant symptoms like nausea, pain, gas, bloating and diarrhea (1).
Fear of developing these symptoms can lead people with this condition to avoid foods that contain lactose, such as dairy products.
However, this isn't always necessary, as not all dairy foods contain enough lactose to cause problems for people with an intolerance.
In fact, it's thought that many people with an intolerance can eat up to 12 grams of lactose at a time without experiencing any symptoms (3).
To put that in perspective, 12 grams is the amount found in 1 cup (230 ml) of milk.
Additionally, some dairy foods are naturally low in lactose. Below are six of them.
Butter is a very high-fat dairy product that's made by churning milk to separate its solid fat and liquid components.
The final product is around 80 percent fat, as the liquid part of milk, which contains all the lactose, is removed during processing (4).
This means that the lactose content of butter is really low. In fact, 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of butter contain only 0.1 grams (4).
Levels this low are unlikely to cause problems, even if you have an intolerance (1).
If you are concerned, it's worth knowing that butter made from fermented milk products and clarified butter contain even less lactose than regular butter.
So unless you have another reason to avoid butter, ditch the dairy-free spread.
Summary: Butter is a very high-fat dairy product that contains only trace amounts of lactose. This means it's usually fine to include in your diet if you have a lactose intolerance.
2. Hard Cheese
Cheese is made by adding bacteria to milk and then separating the cheese curds that form from the whey.
Given that the lactose in milk is found in the whey, a lot of it is removed when cheese is being made.
However, the amount found in cheese can vary and cheeses with the lowest amounts are the ones that have been aged the longest.
This is because the bacteria in cheese are able to break down some of the remaining lactose, lowering its content. The longer a cheese is aged, the more lactose is broken down by the bacteria in it (5).
This means that aged, hard cheeses are often very low in lactose. For example, 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cheddar cheese contain only trace amounts of it (6).
Cheeses that tend to be higher in lactose include cheese spreads, soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert, cottage cheese and mozzarella.
What's more, even some higher-lactose cheeses may not cause symptoms in small portions, as they tend to still contain less than 12 grams of lactose.
Summary: The amount of lactose can vary between different types of cheese. In general, cheeses that have been aged longer, such as cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss, have low levels.
3. Probiotic Yogurt
It found that when people with lactose intolerance ate the yogurt, they were able to digest 66 percent more lactose than when they drank the milk.
The yogurt also caused fewer symptoms, with only 20 percent of people reporting digestive distress after eating the yogurt, compared to 80 percent after drinking the milk (10).
Additionally, full-fat and strained yogurts like Greek and Greek-style yogurt could be an even better choice for people with lactose intolerance.
This is because full-fat yogurts contain more fat and less whey than low-fat yogurts.
Greek and Greek-style yogurts are also lower in lactose because they are strained during processing. This removes even more of the whey, making them naturally much lower in lactose.
Summary: Lactose intolerant people often find yogurt much easier to digest than milk. The best yogurt for people with lactose intolerance is a full-fat, probiotic yogurt that contains live bacterial cultures.
4. Some Dairy Protein Powders
Choosing a protein powder can be tricky for those who are lactose intolerant.
This is because protein powders are usually made from the proteins in milk whey, which is the lactose-containing, liquid part of milk.
Whey protein is a popular choice for athletes, especially those who are trying to build muscle.
However, the amount found in whey protein powders can vary, depending on how the whey is processed. There are three main types of whey protein powder:
- Whey concentrate: Contains around 79–80 percent protein and a small amount of lactose (16).
- Whey isolate: Contains around 90 percent protein and less lactose than whey protein concentrate (17).
- Whey hydrolysate: Contains a similar amount of lactose as whey concentrate, but some of the proteins in this powder have already been partially digested (18).
The best choice for lactose-sensitive individuals is probably whey isolate, which contains the lowest levels.
Nevertheless, the lactose content can vary considerably between brands and most people have to experiment to see which protein powder brand works best for them.
Summary: Diary protein powders have been processed to remove a lot of their lactose. However, whey protein concentrate contains more of it than whey isolates, which may be a better choice for sensitive individuals.
Like yogurt, kefir grains contain live cultures of bacteria that help break down and digest the lactose in milk.
This means kefir may be better tolerated by people with lactose intolerance, when consumed in moderate quantities.
In fact, one study found that compared to milk, fermented dairy products like yogurt or kefir could reduce symptoms of intolerance by 54–71 percent (20).
Summary: Kefir is a fermented milk beverage. Like yogurt, the bacteria in kefir break down lactose, making it more digestible.
6. Heavy Cream
Cream is made by skimming off the fatty liquid that rises to the top of milk.
Different creams can have different amounts of fat, depending on the ratio of fat to milk in the product.
Heavy cream is a high-fat product that contains around 37 percent fat. This is a higher percentage than that of other creams like half and half and light cream (21).
It also contains almost no sugar, which means its lactose content is very low. In fact, a half ounce (15 ml) of heavy cream only contains around 0.5 grams.
Therefore, small amounts of heavy cream in your coffee or with your dessert shouldn't cause you any problems.
Summary: Heavy cream is a high-fat product that contains almost no lactose. Using small amounts of heavy cream should be tolerable for most people who are lactose intolerant.
The Bottom Line
Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary for lactose-intolerant individuals to avoid all dairy products.
In fact, some dairy products—such as the six discussed in this article—are naturally low in lactose.
In moderate amounts, they're usually well tolerated by lactose-intolerant people.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Authority Nutrition.
Typhoon Molave is expected to make landfall in Vietnam on Wednesday with 90 mph winds and heavy rainfall that could lead to flooding and landslides, according to the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. To prepare for the powerful storm that already tore through the Philippines, Vietnam is making plans to evacuate nearly 1.3 million people along the central coast, as Reuters reported.
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A stretch of coastline in the Philippine capital, Manila has received backlash from environmentalists. The heavily polluted Manila Bay area, which had been slated for cleanup, has become the site of a controversial 500-meter (1,600-foot) stretch of white sand beach.
Sand Makeup Crucial for Ecosystems<p>While UNEP/GRID-Geneva generally supports finding <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/not-enough-sand-for-construction-industry-despite-abundance/a-49342942" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">alternative sources of sand</a> so as not to disrupt ecosystems in rivers and oceans when extracting them, Vander Velpen stressed it was vital to use sand which closely matches the makeup of the native sand to protect beach fauna.</p><p>"If you change the core characteristics of the native sand, the original sand, you need to do an environmental impact assessment (EIA) to find out how it's going to impact the ecosystem and nearby ecosystems," he told DW.</p><p>But according to Torres, such an assessment was not done in Manila.</p>
Beautification Stunt Instead of Proper Cleanup?<p>Manila Bay's waters are heavily polluted by oil and trash from nearby residential areas and ports. A huge "No swimming" sign warns visitors to stay away from the ocean.</p><p>Philippines' <a href="https://denr.gov.ph/index.php/priority-programs/manila-bay-clean-up/25-priority-programs/1825-frequently-ask-questions-faqs-on-the-dolomite-and-the-beach-nourishment-project" target="_blank">Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)</a> has denied dolomite sand poses any risk to human health and the ecosystem.</p><p>However, scientists of the University of the Philippines have come forward disputing the DENR's claims. A <a href="https://biology.science.upd.edu.ph/index.php/ib-statement-regarding-dolomite-in-manila-bay/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">statement by the Institute of Biology</a> said that using crushed dolomite did not address any of the rehabilitation phases and instead was "even more detrimental to the existing biodiversity as well as the communities in the area," pointing to the case of water birds. "The dumping of dolomite in Manila Bay has effectively covered part of the intertidal area used by the birds thereby reducing their habitat."</p><p>At peak migration season, Manila Bay is home to 90 aquatic bird species, including species of international conservation concern that are facing a very high extinction risk in the wild. </p><p>Authorities should focus on protecting and conserving biodiversity, the Institute of Biology added. "Rehabilitating mangroves is an example of a nature-based solution that is cheaper and more cost-effective than the dolomite dumping project," the scientists said.</p><p>Moreover, <a href="http://www.msi.upd.edu.ph/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the Marine Science Institute</a> has warned that prolonged inhalation of finer dust particles of dolomite could "cause chronic health effects," leading to discomfort in the chest, shortness of breath and coughing.</p><p>They also warned dolomite sand grains would erode during storms and be carried out to sea, essentially being washed away.</p>
Rehabilitation vs. Reclamation<p>Environmentalists say covering up the beach doesn't address the real issues of the bay. Torres and others believe the best way to clean up Manila Bay is not to add anything, but rather remove trash and pollution.</p><p>"There have been studies saying much of the waste comes from already collected waste — so these are open dump sites along the coast that get washed up because of the rain," Torres said.</p><p>She criticized the authorities for continuing to push reclamation projects she says are at odds with each other. These projects will affect large areas of mangrove forests, she said, and experts warn that this, in turn, exacerbates coastal erosion.</p><p>"If you've removed the areas that helped trap the sand, like mangrove forests, then the likelihood increases that you will have to nourish a beach. Same as building right up to the waterfront," said Vander Velpen of UNEP/GRID-Geneva.</p>
Plenty of Sand in the Sea?<p>The question of Manila's contentious white beach echoes larger questions about sand mining worldwide. <a href="https://unepgrid.ch/storage/app/media/documents/Sand_and_sustainability_UNEP_2019.pdf" target="_blank">Global sand consumption has tripled</a> over the past two decades, UNEP/GRID-Geneva has found. A huge chunk of it is now taken up by construction.</p><p>"Many operate on the assumption that natural sand is endless in its supply," said Vander Velpen.</p><p>Sand scarcity is a concern shared by Stefan Schimmels of <a href="https://www.fzk.uni-hannover.de/fzk_start.html?&L=1" target="_blank">Forschungszentrum Küste</a> who's done extensive research on shore nourishment to stop coastal erosion. And as climate change and rising sea levels are threatening coasts, demand for sand will grow even more.</p><p>A large study, the <a href="http://www.stencil-project.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/STENCIL_SWOT_Analyse_191026.pdf" target="_blank">Strategies and Tools for Environment-Friendly Shore Nourishments as Climate Change Impact Low-Regret Measures (STENCIL project)</a>, focused on the German island of Sylt, a popular vacation spot.</p><p>About 1 million cubic meter of sand per year is used to maintain the coastal area of Sylt, STENCIL project head Schimmels said. That's about 100 million 10-liter buckets of sand.</p><p>When sand was extracted off the coast of Sylt, underwater craters were formed. "You can still detect these craters even decades later," Schimmels told DW.</p><p>"Also when you add a couple of meters sand onto the beach — you essentially bury all things that do creep and fly," he said. "How quickly will they recover?" Schimmels said more research was needed as there was still too little known about long-term effects on the environment. </p>
Criticism Piling Up<p>As for Manila's artificial white sand, it looks like some might have already been blown away by a recent storm. DENR claims it wasn't washed away, but said that grayish sand, stones and other material had simply piled up over the dolomite sand. People in Manila have tweeted photos showing how the storm has ravaged the beach. </p>
<div id="adc0b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="98f9390db6bb81cb421aaf0bb9d9a6fb"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1318816633280851969" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Exactly one month after giving excited netizen a glimpse of Manila Bay white sands, look what happened now after ju… https://t.co/X0Z9i0bPB0</div> — M*A*S*H (@M*A*S*H)<a href="https://twitter.com/Magtira_Matibay/statuses/1318816633280851969">1603265362.0</a></blockquote></div><p>Authorities have been called tone-deaf for spending around 389 million pesos ($8 million) on a beach nourishment project in the middle of a raging pandemic.</p><p>An image of cake iced with the words "It really hurts - that's [worth] 389 million pesos?" has since gone viral.</p>
<div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4387aad52ea316e4db7330052318ca2f"><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/theweekendpatisserie/posts/144564207350008"></div></div><p>"It's just a waste of precious resources," Torres said. </p><p>The environmental activist now also worries that she might be labeled a terrorist for speaking out under the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/philippine-anti-terrorism-law-triggers-fear-of-massive-rights-abuses/a-53732140" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Philippines' controversial new anti-terrorism law</a>. She says she could be arrested for inciting fear when talking about environmental dangers.</p>
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