What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose is the sugar found naturally in milk. Lactose intolerance happens when your body does not make enough lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose). Signs of lactose intolerance are:

  • Stomach cramping
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea

If you are lactose intolerant, you might still be able to have some lactose. Talk with your doctor to learn more about lactose intolerance.

How do I read a food label?

Food labels change, so it is important to always check the label, even on foods you eat regularly. When reading a food label, make sure it does not have these ingredients:

  • Milk, skim milk and non-fat milk solids
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Lactose
  • Whey
Food group Food allowed Foods to avoid
  • Soy, rice and oat milk
  • Lactaid® 100 milk
  • Soy cheese and Lactaid® cheese
  • Soy yogurt
  • Yogurt, sour cream, cheese or buttermilk if some lactose is tolerated
  • All milk, milk drinks including whole, skim, low fat, dried, evaporated and condensed
  • Any type of yogurt, sour cream, frappes, shakes and ice cream
  • All cheese and cheese dishes
  • Powdered and fruit-flavored drinks
  • Tonics, sodas, juice and water
  • Any beverages made with milk
  • Eggnog and hot chocolate
Eggs As desired
  • Any eggs made with milk
  • Do not prepare with butter or margarine that contain milk products
Meat, Poultry, Fish Any baked, broiled, roasted or boiled meat, poultry or fish
  • Creamed or breaded meat, fish or poultry.
  • Prepared meats may contain dried milk solids including bologna, cold cuts, frankfurters, salami, commercially prepared fish sticks and some sausage.
Breads Breads made without milk, such as French bread, Italian bread, bagels or “parve” breads. Any baked products made with milk, such as muffins, biscuits, waffles, donuts, pancakes, sweet rolls and loaf breads
Cereal Any cereal made without milk, macaroni, spaghetti, pasta and rice prepared without milk Any prepared cereal that contains dry milk solids

Rev. 8/2012. This document is intended to provide health related information so that you may be better informed. It is not a substitute for a doctor's medical advice and should not be relied upon for treatment for specific medical conditions.