Grocery shopping for someone who is not lactose intolerant may seem easy. Skip the butter, cheeses, creams, ice cream, and milk. Piece of cake… right? What about other products? Do those contain lactose in them? This post will guide you through reading food labels to find lactose in foods.
When buying processed foods, one should be careful about the ingredients that some processed foods may have. Although some products may not have a label that clearly states “may contain lactose” or “does not contain lactose.” The first thing to do when you encounter a food label, look for the amount of sugar it contains. If it has less than 0.5 grams of sugar then it should be fine. If the label reads that more than 1 gram of sugar then it could potentially have some lactose in it. But the initial problem with looking at the sugar in a label to see if it contains any lactose is which sugar does the product contain? Lactase or regular sugar?
There is a way to double check this however. First, look at the ingredients list on a product. Some ingredients that are in products could potentially have hidden sources of lactose. These ingredients include casein, caseinates, whey protein, malted milk, dry milk solids, curds, milk byproducts, nougat, and malted milk. If any of these ingredients is one of the first five ingredients on a label then there is a very high chance that the food you are buying has a hidden source of lactose.