Lactose Free Food List

Lactose intolerance, or dairy intolerance, is a digestive problem that means the body cannot digest sugars mainly found in milk called lactose. People with a lactose intolerance find they can be flatulent, have bouts of diarrhoea, get a lot of bloating and stomach cramps. The difference between lactose intolerance and a dairy allergy is that most people find they are able to tolerate some level of lactose whereas an allergy can cause an adverse reaction to even a small amount of dairy.

Research has shown that most people with lactose intolerance should be able to tolerate 12 to 15g of lactose a day which is roughly 200 - 250ml of whole milk. If this is spread throughout the day the amount could be up to 30g of lactose, which is roughly 500ml of whole milk.

Below is a list of foods that contain lactose. Be sure to always check ingredient lists as all kinds of products can have milk derived ingredients in them. This list can offer help for lactose intolerance and dairy allergies. If you find some relief with the diet then be sure to talk to your doctor to get a firm diagnosis.

Foods with lactose

  • Brioche
  • Butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Cheese, all types – see footnote 1 below
  • Cheese powder
  • Cream
  • Custard
  • Fromage frais
  • Ghee
  • Ice cream
  • Margarine
  • Milk, all types including skimmed and semi skimmed
  • Naan bread
  • Sour cream
  • Whey
  • Yoghurt


Processed foods that require attention to ingredients lists

  • Breakfast cereals
  • Baby food
  • Batter
  • Biscuits
  • Bread
  • Buns and rolls
  • Cakes
  • Chocolate, milk
  • Crackers
  • Crisps / Chips
  • Pancakes
  • Pizza
  • Processed meats, deli meats
  • Ready meals
  • Soups


Pay extra attention to the following which may be hidden in ingredients lists:

  • Casein
  • Caseinates
  • Lactose
  • Sodium caseinates
  • Hydrolysed casein
  • Milk powder
  • Milk solids
  • Milk sugar solids

Footnote 1: Cheeses such as cheddar, feta cheese, brie and camembert have very low amounts of lactose so can often be tolerated well by most.


Dairy free alternatives can be found in most supermarkets, below is a list of common dairy free alternatives:

Dairy free alternatives


  • Almond milk
  • Brown rice milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Goat milk
  • Oat milk
  • Soy milk / soya milk


Other dairy free

  • Butter, dairy free varieties
  • Coconut cream
  • Oatly, cream alternative
  • Soy, cheese alternative
  • Spreads, dairy free varieties
  • Vegan labeled products
  • Yoghurt, lactose free varieties