Foods containing lactose: Which foods contain lactose?

Do you often have diffuse abdominal pain, do you feel unwell or do you suffer from inexplicable symptoms, especially after eating? Maybe you have a lactose intolerance . Once you are aware of this, you should know lactose-containing foods. But how are you supposed to know where lactose is in? We at Löwenshare have written a list of typical lactose foods - there are a few surprises in there. Drugs, food, cosmetics, industry. Milk sugar also hides where you don't expect it.

What is lactose?

Lactose is only found in mammalian milk. Lactose is also called milk sugar - this is due to its composition. Various sugars are used in nature and lactose is one of the double sugars, which are divided into galactose and glucose. Glucose is actually grape sugar and galactose is a mucous sugar. The term lactose itself comes from Latin, where milk is called "lac" or "lactis".

Lactose intolerance: what happens in the body?

If we now eat this milk sugar, the body has to separate the sugars. This is done with the help of the body's own enzyme lactase, which is produced in the small intestine. If this enzyme production is insufficient, the lactose cannot be broken down or can only be broken down poorly and thus cannot be digested. Problems such as a feeling of fullness, diarrhea, nausea and other symptoms occur. Now one speaks generally of a lactose intolerance.

Foods containing lactose: What are lactose values?

There are so-called lactose values ​​for foods containing lactose, which range from "well tolerated" to "individually tolerated". These values ​​are to be understood as an average and can vary depending on where your personal lactose limit is. 0 to 0.1 g lactose per 100 g product is considered to be well tolerated. Lactose intolerance is usually present with up to 1 g per 100 g. Many people have an intolerance to 1 to 5 g per 100 g of product.

Foods containing lactose

In principle, the list of foods containing lactose is manageable, but wait a minute: there are pitfalls. In a figurative sense, the glass of milk is often hidden. In this overview you can read what you should pay attention to if you suffer from lactose intolerance:

Dairy products

Dairy products contain lactose - it is in their nature. But some products contain less lactose and are therefore better tolerated. These include primarily mature dairy products such as kefir, mature cheese and yoghurt with certain cultures. Also, butter contains very little lactose. So, among other things, not much stands in the way of a buttered cheese sandwich. Quark and cream, on the other hand, should be avoided because these are typically lactose-containing foods.


There is lactose in many sweets - while milk chocolate is one of the top items, ingredients containing lactose are also hidden in biscuits and pastries again and again. Ice cream is also part of it, as well as various desserts. And if you now think that's it, no. Because lactose can also hide in various sweeteners, creams, liqueurs and spreads.

Note: The food additive E966 (lactitol) is a sweetener made from lactose.

finished products

Everything that comes from the industry is more or less processed and preserved. Lactose is often added to achieve a creamy taste. Lactose is also found in muesli mixtures, canned vegetables, salad dressings, mashed potatoes, soups, cold cuts, breadcrumbs, flavorings and many other finished products. Often only one thing helps: cook and prepare the food yourself.


The pharmaceutical industry also uses milk sugar. Lactose is not only contained in many medicines, but also as an auxiliary substance in various inhalations. The package insert provides information on how much lactose is in the products. If intake cannot be prevented or there is no alternative product, any intolerance can be alleviated by taking small doses of the medication throughout the day.


Lactose is also used in some cosmetics. This usually applies to toothpastes and also to mouthwash. If you are very sensitive, you can also check the lactose content of these products and, if in doubt, avoid them. You don't swallow the toothpaste, but leftovers can still get into your gastrointestinal tract.

Foods containing lactose: industrial lactose

In many cases, lactose is a waste product of industry. This is obtained from whey, it is left over from cheese production, for example. But: This lactose is well suited as a filler and carrier for, among other things, medicines or ready-made dough. A “creamy” feeling is sought here. Snacks, sausages or bread: lactose is a popular carrier here. Appetizing-looking tan with fries? Lactose is the food industry's answer.

The Löwenanteil: protein instead of lactose

We offer you organic ready meals that taste like you have cooked them yourself and that you can enjoy carefree despite lactose intolerance. We want to offer everyone a tasty alternative with our recipes developed by organic chefs. So vegans, vegetarians and also omnivores can be satisfied. Packed with high-quality organic ingredients, our fillers are not only particularly tasty, they are freshly cooked for you and particularly nutritious - and they are completely lactose-free. Enjoy your meal!

Rely on our lactose-free organic dishes!

Diet for lactose intolerance, lactose-free diet


FAQ on foods containing lactose

Foods containing lactose: Which foods contain lactose?

Lactose is a double sugar that is only found in dairy products. The longer a product has matured (e.g. mountain cheese), the less lactose there is in the food. But be careful: Lactose can also be found in medicines, cosmetics, sweets and various other finished products.

What should I watch out for if I have lactose intolerance?

Depending on the severity of your intolerance, you should take a close look at the ingredients in your food. Because the body is not set in stone, various ailments can also change over time. You don't necessarily need the calcium or the other things from milk, there are plenty of plant-based alternatives available to you and your health.

Which foods are lactose-free?

Basically everything that is of plant origin. That's why we also process selected legumes from Löwenportion. Oils also contain no lactose, as do honey, pasta, cereals, natural sausages, fish and other meat products. When buying your food, make sure it is of excellent quality and naturalness - you can cook many delicious lactose-free recipes yourself at home - or order them from us!

Can I lose weight with lactose intolerance?

Yes. For example, you can try a 5:2 diet - this involves fasting twice a week or cutting calories. You should not take the two days in a row and reduce your calorie intake to around 500 - 600 kcal. You can get those calories from healthy legumes. The rest of the week you eat normally.