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Almost Lactose-Free Real Cheese

Almost Lactose-Free Real Cheese

Ask my lactose-intolerant daughter what she misses eating most, and she speaks for many of the individuals who lack the ability to process most dairy products (roughly 65 percent of all people, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine): cheese.  As in mac and cheese.  As in lasagna, baked ziti, stuffed shells, and just about every other yummy Italian dish loved by kids young and old.  While ice cream runs a close second, if you are a true cheese lover, it is sorely missed when you’re told you can’t have it.

Well, here’s some news that might surprise you.  Did you know that hard, naturally and well-aged cheeses such as sharp cheddar and mature Parmesan, contain low, trace amounts of lactose – generally less than 1 gram of lactose per ounce?  In fact, the majority of the lactose found in cheeses is removed with the whey during the manufacturing process.  This means you might be able to enjoy a consequence-free, happy little cheesy nosh if you choose an aged cheese and quell that very specific hunger pang.  But remember we’re only talking one to a few ounces, not a feast, or else the end result can be an ugly bout of bloating, diarrhea, painful gas, or constipation.

Which cheeses contain the most lactose?  Number 1: processed cheeses (think Velveeta) can contain as much lactose as whole milk.  Next, unripened and fresh cheeses such as farmer’s cheese, cream cheese, and queso fresco have very high quantities of lactose and are best avoided by lactose-intolerant folk.

If the nutritional label on the back of a package of cheese or cheese product says it contains zero sugar, this suggests that the product is lactose-free, since lactose is a sugar.

Regardless of being diagnosed as lactose-intolerant or not, the ability to digest lactose varies individual to individual, so the key to enjoying low level lactose products is knowing your own body and moderating amounts consumed.

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Read more: All recipes, Appetizers & Snacks, Babies, Basics, Children, Conditions, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Family, Food, General Health, Health, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.


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8:20AM PDT on Apr 15, 2013


9:13PM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

I'm avoiding daily products because of allergies. Specially now, I better stay away from all of this.

8:55PM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

Velveeta isn't cheese- its yellow/orange dyed glue.

8:46PM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

Interesting. I have a friend with this problem who is always interested in different options. This may appeal to him.

Kathleen J.says that we must "quit sucking the tits of another species please." Intriguing. A few YouTube videos out there on a boy who did but most of us get dairy in other ways. If you as a vegan refuse to eat/drink dairy, fine. Not all of us are vegan and we like organic sources of milk, cheese, honey. Agree with Reade H. However, some vegans are out to stop anyone from eating dairy, not matter how we obtain it, even if it is from organic, non-factory farmed sources. Tumeria L, if you wish to be vegan, fine but vegan cheese is not even remotely cheese. Our hearts are just as compassionate as a vegan's heart and vegetarians along with omnivores will continue to eat dairy as there are organic non-cruel sources out there if one does the work looking for them. You don't have to eat dairy if you have made that choice.

12:45PM PST on Jan 26, 2013

Yes, but still full of misery and dead baby calves. Quit sucking the tits of other species please.

11:00AM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

good to know

10:19AM PDT on Oct 20, 2012


3:19AM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

Thank you

4:14AM PDT on Sep 6, 2012


12:09PM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

thanks :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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