MooScience: the science of milk



Lactose Content of Dairy Products (Source USDA Database):


Lactose Content of Milk (per 1 cup or 8 oz serving)

  • Milk, regular: 12 gram
  • Milk, low-fat: 13 grams
  • Goat milk: 9-11 grams


Lactose Content of Yogurts and Kefir (per 1 cup or 8 oz serving)

  • Greek yogurt, regular: 8-9 grams
  • Yogurt, regular: 10-12 grams
  • Yogurt, low-fat: 13-17 grams
  • Kefir, plain: 2 grams

The live culture (probiotics) in yogurt and Greek yogurt may help digest some of the lactose. Many people find that they can digest yogurts and kefirs better than milk. However, it it is best to experiment to see what works best for you.


Lactose Content of Cheeses (per 1 oz serving)

  • American cheese: 1.0 grams
  • Cheddar cheese: 0.07 grams (depends on age)
  • Swiss cheese: 0.02 grams
  • Brie cheese: 0.13 grams
  • Goat cheese: 0.7 grams
  • Cottage Cheese, low fat: 0.8 grams

Really aged cheeses; such as Gouda, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Swiss, Romano, and very sharp Cheddars; have less lactose. The lactose is digested by bacteria and turned into lactic acid as the cheese ages. Most cheese aged for over 1 year contain very little lactose.

Another good rule of thumb is that very hard cheeses, which have had most of the liquid whey and lactose drained from them, contain less lactose. Fresh and soft cheeses; such as Mozzarella, Cottage Cheese and Queso Fresco; contain more lactose.


Lactose Content of Miscellaneous and Tasty Dairy Products

  • Butter (1 tablespoon): 0.01 grams
  • Whipping cream (1 tablespoon): 0.07 grams
  • Sour cream, whole (2 tablespoons): 0.7 grams