If you are lactose intolerant, can you eat yogurt?

In this article we are going to answer if you are lactose intolerant, can you eat yogurt? What is lactose intolerant? What is yogurt? What can lactose intolerants eat? and what food should lactose intolerant people avoid. 

If you are lactose intolerant, can you eat yogurt?

Yes, if you are lactose intolerant you can eat yogurt. Yogurt does contain lactose but because yogurt is fermented lactose is found in lower quantities. Good bacteria added to milk to create yogurt use lactose as their source of food and reduce the quantity of lactose. 

Even if yogurt has a low quantity of lactose there are some lactose-free yogurts on the market.

What is lactose intolerant?

Lactose intolerance is when a person can’t digest sugar that is found in milk or lactose. When you are lactose intolerant, when you eat or drink anything with whole milk you might have some symptoms such as

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Gas

Symptoms and discomfort might appear as soon as 30 minutes or two hours after you have ingested something with whole milk. 

Lactose intolerance occurs because there is an enzyme missing called lactase that digests lactose. When lactase works correctly, it breaks lactose into two sugars known as glucose and galactose which are then absorbed by the intestine into the blood. 

When lactase doesn’t work correctly, lactose isn’t broken into two and it moves to the colon where it is undigested and symptoms occur. There are 3 types of lactose intolerance which are caused for different factors such as

Primary lactose intolerance

This is the most common type of lactose intolerance. When we are all born, we have a certain amount of lactase to digest milk. With time, we drink less milk and produce less lactase so we become lactose intolerant.

Secondary lactose intolerance

In this case, your intestine reduces the production of lactose because of an illness, injury, or surgery that involves the small intestine. Some common diseases that can cause this are Crohn’s disease or celiac disease.

Congenital lactose intolerance

It is very uncommon but in this case, people are born without lactase enzymes and it is passed from generation to generation. 

Some risk factors for lactose intolerance include:

  • Age, as we get older we are more at risk of being lactose intolerance
  • Ethnicity is most common in African, Asian, and Hispanic people
  • Premature birth, babies born prematurely have an intestine that didn’t develop correctly
  • A disease affecting the small intestine
  • Cancer treatments

What is yogurt?

According to the Codex Alimentarius, yogurt is a milk product obtained by fermentation of milk-specific organisms such as Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus.

Probiotics can be added in different ways, one way is to add to a premade live yogurt dry bacteria or probiotic powder. Basics ingredients of yogurt include

  • Raw milk
  • Fermentation culture
  • Might include fruits, sugar, and other ingredients. 

What can lactose intolerants eat?

Lactose intolerant people can eat everything that does not contain lactose or products that contain lactose in very small amounts such as:

  • Yogurt: especially lactose-free yogurt, greek yogurt, or high-quality yogurts
  • Kefir
  • Aged cheese
  • Lactose-free cheese
  • Lactose-free milk
  • Milk substitute products 

Follow this link for high-quality yogurt that is low in lactose. 

What food should lactose intolerant people avoid?

Lactose intolerant people should avoid food that contains lactose to prevent having side effects. Some food that contains lactose and should be avoided include

  • Whole milk
  • Cream
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream 
  • Butter

The quantity of lactose in these products depends so there are some you can tolerate. Other food that might need to be avoided if done with products high in lactose include

  • Salad cream, salad dressing, and mayonnaise
  • Biscuits
  • Chocolate
  • Cakes
  • Some bread and baked goods
  • Some breakfast cereals
  • Processed meats
  • Instant potatoes and instant soups
  • Some packs of pancakes and biscuits

Follow this link for lactose intolerance products. 


This article answered if you are lactose intolerant, can you eat yogurt, what is lactose intolerant, what yogurt is, what can lactose intolerants eat, and what food should lactose intolerant people avoid. 





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