You should avoid lactose

Lactose Intolerance: These are the foods you can enjoy

In Germany around 14 million people suffer from milk sugar intolerance, the so-called lactose intolerance. No wonder that the sale of lactose-free special products is booming. But which foods do those affected really have to do without and what can they still enjoy?

What is lactose intolerance?

People with lactose intolerance lack the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the milk sugar from dairy products into digestible components. If this does not happen, the lactose reaches the large intestine unchanged and is broken down by bacteria into acetic and lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The result is severe stomach pain, diarrhea and flatulence. To prevent this, many of those affected resort to lactose-free special products. The assortment ranges from sausage and cheese to bread and biscuits.

Sour natural yoghurts are usually well tolerated

Many dairy products only contain small amounts of lactose. These include hard and semi-hard cheeses such as Gouda, Edam and Parmesan. Gorgonzola, feta and camembert are also almost lactose-free. According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), sour milk products such as yogurt or kefir that have not been heat-treated are often well tolerated. Often these contain the reference "with living yoghurt cultures". The lactic acid bacteria present in it largely break down the lactose in the food.

However, caution is advised with fruit yoghurts. As a rule, they have been heated to a high temperature so that the remaining bacteria are no longer sufficiently effective. According to the Hamburg Consumer Center, sour natural yoghurts are best tolerated.

Often no special butter is necessary

Butter contains around 0.6 grams of lactose per 100 grams. Since it is only consumed in small quantities, it usually does not cause any symptoms. According to the Hamburg Consumer Center, the same applies to flavors and flavor enhancers. They often contain lactose, but are only present in so small quantities in many products that they are hardly of any significance.

However, the situation is different with whey or milk powder. Like flavors, they are mainly used in ready meals, often in large quantities. The following applies: the higher up the list of ingredients whey, milk sugar or milk powder, the greater the risk of discomfort after consumption.

Consumption of ham and salami is usually safe

Products such as salami, ham, jam and bread generally do not contain lactose. Those affected should also not be confused by allergy information. If a product says "may contain traces of milk", this is a sure sign, according to the Hamburg Consumer Center, that the quantities are extremely small and harmless.

You can enjoy these products if you are lactose intolerant:

Suitable foods
Dairy productsLactose-free milk or milk products, such as rice milk, rice drink, rice cream, almond milk, soy milk products, oat milk, coconut milk, hard and semi-hard cheese, butter, clarified butter, vegetable margarine without milk
Bakery productsBread & baked goods without milk or milk powder
Spreads and MusVegan spreads, honey, jams, almond puree, plum puree, applesauce, sesame and nut puree
beveragesFresh fruit juices, mineral water, herbal tea (not flavored), coffee
meat and fishLactose-free sausage, cold roast, roast beef, corned beef, fish, seafood
Further productsTofu, fruit and vegetables fresh or frozen, nuts, legumes, cereals, cereal flakes, natural vegetable oils, rice, corn, millet, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, potatoes, noodles, herbs, spices, eggs, binders such as locust bean gum, guar gum, corn and potato starch

The following products are not suitable for people with lactose intolerance:

Unsuitable foods
Dairy productsMilk, powdered milk, creamer, cheese, dry milk, drinking cocoa, condensed milk, cream, curd milk, yoghurt, whey, quark, cottage cheese, processed cheese, cheese preparations
Bakery productsBread and cake mixes, milk rolls, waffles, cakes and frozen cakes, biscuits, crispbreads, crackers, breadcrumbs, baked goods, types of bread and pastries baked with milk, milk powder, buttermilk or other dairy products
Ready mealsPizza, canned fish, canned vegetables, frozen ready meals, frozen preparations, fast food
confectioneryIce cream, chocolate, cream and caramel candies, sweet bars, pralines, soft liquorice products, ready-made desserts
SausagesSausages, liver sausage, canned sausages
Instant productsSoups, sauces, mashed potatoes, dumpling powder, patty mixes, croquettes
Ready-made saucesBarbecue sauces, salad sauces or dressings, mayonnaise, pesto, ketchup and mustard
Further productsMuesli mixes, margarine, spreads, sweetener tablets, spreads, thickeners, binders, food supplements, cream liqueurs, spice mixes and flavorings, sprinkling spices

Tolerance limit is individually different

Determining lactose intolerance is often not easy. Because stomach problems do not always indicate an intolerance. Sometimes this is triggered by a bowel disease and is only temporary. Those affected should therefore always have their lactose intolerance diagnosed by a specialist. In addition, they should individually check the amounts in which they can also eat ordinary foods. Because everyone has a personal tolerance limit.

According to the German Nutrition Society, this can best be determined as follows: First, avoid all lactose-containing foods for two weeks. Once the stomach complaints have subsided, milk and dairy products are gradually returned to the menu. The DGE advises dividing them into several servings a day and consuming them with a meal in order to slowly get used to the lactose again.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.

more on the subject

  • Subjects:
  • Health,
  • Lactose,
  • Dairy products,
  • Cheese,
  • Milk,
  • Yogurt,
  • Lactose intolerance,
  • Food,
  • Stomach pain,
  • Flatulence,
  • diarrhea