Lactose in Processed Food

How to Avoid Hidden Lactose

Check Food Labels For Lactose

Lactose is sometimes added to prepared foods/meals, so if you can tolerate only very small amounts of lactose, it’s important to check food labels and lists of ingredients. Look not only for milk and lactose among the contents, but also for such words as “whey”, “curds”, “milk by-products”, “dry milk solids”, and “non-fat dry milk powder.” These words denote that the food contains lactose.

Sample Foods That May Contain Lactose

  • Bread and other bakery foods
  • Candies
  • Pancake, biscuit, or cookie mixes
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Breakfast drinks, instant potatoes, soups
  • Non-dairy powdered coffee creamers
  • Non-dairy whipped toppings
  • Margarine
  • Lunch meats
  • Salad dressings

Drugs That May Contain Lactose

More than 20 percent of prescription drugs and about 6 percent of over-the-counter medicines contain lactose. For example, some types of birth pills, as well as tablets for stomach acid and gas may contain lactose.


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