If you’re lactose intolerant but you love cheese, you’re not alone. In fact, about 75 percent of the world is considered lactose intolerant, yet a good number of those people seem to like cheese. Of course, if your symptoms are pretty severe after you eat any type of cheese that has lactose, you probably avoid it. But you don’t have to, because it turns out there is such a thing as lactose-free cheese. Let the rejoicing begin.
Lactose is essentially the sugar found in milk, so when looking for low-lactose cheese alternatives, pay attention to the nutrition facts on the label and the sugar content. If the sugar is listed as zero, that’s the cheese you’re looking for! Those cheeses with trace levels of lactose (defined as less than 0.5 grams) of lactose, are a great option and include natural, aged cheese like Cheddar, Parmesan, and Swiss.
Lactose-Free Cheese? How is this Possible?
Well, while I know that lactose-free cheese sounds a little too good to be true, especially if you love cheese but are lactose intolerant. Here’s the thing, though. There’s a surprisingly simple way cheese can be free of lactose. As cheese ages, it loses some of its moisture. As the moisture is reduced, the lactose is reduced as well, making it tolerable for people who can’t have much lactose.
Of course, not all cheese is the same. Certain cheeses are more aged than others, so even the digestive system that traditionally can’t handle lactose very well can usually tolerate them fairly well. As mentioned above, some of the best types of cheese for lactose-intolerant people include Cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan, Colby, and Monterey Jack. These kinds of cheese only have trace levels of lactose, which equals about 0.5 grams or less.
Young cheeses, like Mozzarella, cream cheese, and ricotta are fresh and unripened, but also have a somewhat low level of lactose (less than 5 grams). Cottage Cheese is also a fresh, unripened cheese, but it’s often mixed with milk or cream, which means it contains more lactose than the others. Processed cheeses usually are a mix of natural cheese with additional ingredients like milk or whey, so they have a higher percentage of lactose. Compare all of these options with the 12 grams of lactose in an 8-oz glass of milk and you’ll see the difference.
Why It’s So Nice to Have Lactose-Free or Low-Lactose Cheese
Some people who are lactose intolerant might assume they simply can’t eat cheese, because it’s a dairy product, which is a shame because this food delivers some major benefits for the body. Milk is the best form of calcium and vitamin D, and of course cheese is a great source of calcium as well. So if you want some important nutrients for your body—along with the great taste of cheese—don’t stop eating cheese just because you’re intolerant to lactose. Instead, pick up some lactose-free or low lactose content cheese, and rejoice that this is an option.
Check Out Cabot Creamery
While you’re on your cheese exploration journey, check out Cabot Creamery Co-operative, a cheese brand I’ve fallen in love with over the years. Not only are they a co-op comprised of an awesome group of some 1,100 dairy farmers, they are just all around amazing people, even better, their selection of lactose-free cheese is awesome. The folks at Cabot brand make it easy to ensure what you’re eating is okay for your body, thanks to the Lactose-Free icon on the packaging. Regularly winning recognition from the likes of the American Cheese Society and winning US Championship Contests, clearly, I’m not the only person who thinks Cabot’s cheese is pretty great. If you’ve not yet experienced the goodness of Cabot, give it a shot.
Calcium is Muy Importante
If you like (and can eat) cheese, it’s a great thing to have in your diet. Cheese is just plain good for your body, mainly because it’s one of the easiest ways to get more calcium and vitamin D in your diet on a daily basis. But if you don’t like the lactose-free cheese options that are out there, or just flat out don’t like cheese, you have other options. One of them involves taking calcium supplements, such as FitFormula’s Cal-EZ, which is a flavorless (yes, it really is flavorless!), made from all-natural ingredients. Our calcium supplement includes vitamin D, which is important to help your body absorb the calcium. So, do check out the many options for lactose free cheese. Definitely look for Cabot Cheese in your local grocery story. But, if you’re not getting the recommended amount of calcium and vitamin D on a daily basis, add a supplement to your daily routine. If you want to make sure you’re getting the calcium and vitamin D you need, eat cheese AND try FitFormula’s Cal-EZ at 50% off your first order.
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