How To Tell if a Cheese Contains Lactose

Great tip from Redditor Dibblah “I have read that hard cheeses can be ok – if you read the labels and they have 0g sugar, that means no lactose so they ought to be fine.”

So I looked into it and it does seem to be true! If you want to know if a cheese is lactose free then you need to check the nutritional label and see how much sugar is listed. Lactose is a sugar so if it has none – then it has no lactose either. Legally it can have up to half a gram of sugar and still be “Sugar Free” so it will depend on your tolerance it may also say “trace”. If you can handle a little you should be fine. But in general it should be fine with most people. This is especially good if you need to know if a Feta Cheese or Halloumi Cheese contains lactose. A lot of goat’s cheeses are lower in lactose so this is a great way to check how little it contains.

How to tell if a cheese contains lactose?

  1. Check the sugar content of the cheese on the nutrition label.
  2. If the sugar content is labelled as Nil or Trace the cheese is lactose free, or should be low enough to not trigger symptoms.
  3. If it has a sugar count it contains lactose and you will need to weigh this against the severity of your intolerance.
  4. As a guide – Most aged hard cheeses are more likely to be lactose free. Mozarella may also be lactose free.

I bet you can’t wait to get out there and see which cheeses don’t contain lactose!

One other word of warning I noticed around the web – if it doesn’t list the sugar content – don’t trust it.

But wait. There’s more!

Your best bet here is to actually go for branded cheeses. Artisan cheeses and anything without a nutrition label you’ll have to avoid. If it doesn’t mention sugars, or if it doesn’t have any nutrition label for the cheese then, but as we said before, certain cheeses are known for containing less lactose anyway.

Enjoy your new world of cheese!

English: Grilled Halloumi Cheese Français : Tr...
English: Grilled Halloumi Cheese Français : Tranches de halloumi grillées (Photo credit: Wikipedia)