Enjoy dairy without a lot of lactose

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – February is lactose intolerance month and Milk Means More has excellent tips on how to enjoy dairy products without large amounts of lactose. Consuming dairy products is important to get nine essential nutrients needed for growth and development, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin, and niacin.

Consuming 12 grams of lactose, which is equivalent to one glass of milk, is generally tolerated with little to no difficulties. There are also dairy-rich foods that contain very little lactose. Let’s take a closer look at some of these options.

Kefir: Fermented Milk Fast Facts:

Kefir has microorganisms that consume almost all of the lactose, therefore it typically does not bother those with lactose intolerance. Kefir produces the enzyme lactase which digests any remaining lactose. Kefir provides microorganisms that help coat the GI tract which increase healthy gut bacteria


Overnight Kefir Oats Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups blueberry kefir
  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup toasted slivered almonds


  • Combine kefir, oats, and blueberries in a air-tight container.
  • Refrigerate overnight, at least 12 hours.
  • Toast almonds by placing them in a dry sauté pan. Move the almonds frequently in the pan being careful to not burn.
  • Divide kefir oats into two bowls and top with toasted almonds.
  • Enjoy!

Tip: Kefir must be kept cold as the microorganisms are sensitive to heat. Cooking with kefir will kill the microorganisms.

Aged hard cheeses Fast Facts:

Hard cheeses have very little lactose since the enzymes used in the cheese-making process break down the lactose over time. Since aged cheeses sit for long periods of time before they are able to be consumed, very little of the lactose is left. Some examples of low lactose cheeses are Parmesan, Cheddar, and Swiss.


  • Parmesan Crisps Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Optional: marinara sauce for dipping


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spread 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese into 2-inch rounds on a greased aluminum-foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Bake parmesan rounds for 6-8 minutes or until lightly brown.
  • Let cool slightly on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Yogurt Fast Facts:

Great source of probiotics which help build up good bacteria in the GI tract. The good bacteria in yogurt eat up the lactose in yogurt. Probiotic yogurt tends to be more tart since the bacteria are eating up all the sugar (lactose). Full-fat yogurt has less lactose at less than 8 grams per serving while non-fat yogurt has 14 grams of lactose.


  • Breakfast Toast Ingredients:
  • 1 piece of whole grain bread, toasted to preferred doneness
  • 2 TBSP Greek yogurt (plain of vanilla)
  • ¼ cup chopped strawberries 2 TBSP chopped pistachios


  • Toast bread to preferred doneness
  • Spread yogurt on toast
  • Top with chopped strawberries and pistachios

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