Managing lactose intolerance

Most people who are lactose intolerant can tolerate lactose in small amounts. However, it is best to stick to a diet that is low in lactose.

  • Cheese and yoghurt tend to be better tolerated than drinking milk.
  • Full fat milk contains slightly less lactose than reduced fat or non-fat milk.
  • Try not to remove dairy products from your diet entirely as they are very good for you.
  • Drink milk in moderate quantities. Most people with this condition can tolerate 240ml of milk per day, but you need to be work out your own tolerance level. You can buy milk that has had the lactose broken down, which makes it lactose free.
  • Fermented milk products usually don’t cause problems. Look for mature or ripened cheeses (like cheddar, fetta and mozzarella), some types of yoghurt and butter.
  • Heat breaks down some of the lactose in milk into other sugars (glucose and galactose) so using UHT and evaporated milk shouldn’t cause problems.
  • Don’t eat a lot of foods containing lactose at one – instead try to spread your consumption of lactose over the day.
  • Soy products are lactose free so consider substituting dairy products for soy milk, yoghurt and cheese.

Always check the list of ingredients on the packaging of processed foods for:

  • Milk solids
  • Non-fat milk solids
  • Whey
  • Milk sugar

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This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot – New Zealand’s parenting resource for newborns and baby. Sources include Vic. Govt’s Better Health Channel.

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