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Cheeses for the lactose intolerant

Lots of people turn vegan because they are lactose intolerant, and need to avoid milk-based products. Did you know that if you're lactose intolerant, that doesn't mean necessarily that you have to avoid cheeses and other dairy products altogether?

Lactose is the sugar found in milk, so the fewer grams of sugar on the label, the better.

Some cheeses have low lactose levels that are tolerable to many people. Cheese with trace levels (less than 0.5 gram lactose) can often be tolerated. If the sugar is listed as zero, then the cheese contains no more than half a gram of lactose per ounce.

Aged cheese (such as Cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss) often has low lactose levels and can be digested by many people with lactose intolerance. During the cheese making process, most of the lactose is drained off with the whey (a liquid portion). The small amount that remains in the curd is changed to lactic acid during ripening (ageing) of cheese. Only trace amounts of lactose remain.

Another tip is to look for cheeses with a higher fat content as they tend to have lower lactose levels.

Compare, for example, the 0.2 grams in cheddar cheese, versus the 6 grams in feta and 12 grams of lactose in an 8 ounce glass of milk. It may be that you can find a cheese to suit you!

This insight comes from an interesting article by '' where it also says you should look for aged (such as Cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss), rather than younger cheeses; and cheeses with a sugar content running under 0.5 grams per serving. Dairy guru Steve Carper also suggests another rule of thumb: The higher the fat content, usually the lower the lactose levels.

If in doubt, check with your nutritionist or doctor.

For further facts go to:

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