What precautions are advised for eating cheese?

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Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
Even though many people find milk and cheeses hard to digest, there are variations among these foods. Although a cup of cow's milk contains approximately 10 to 12 grams of lactose, the bacteria and fermenting process that accompany cheese production tends to decrease lactose levels in the final cheese product. In general, soft cheeses contain more lactose than hard cheeses. Aged cheeses, such as cheddar and Swiss, contain little or no lactose. While a cup of soft cheese may be nearly identical to a cup of cow's milk in terms of lactose content, 1 ounce of hard cheese typically contains much less (6 to 12 grams versus 0 to 3 grams, respectively). The more a hard cheese ages, the lower the lactose content. As a result, many people with lactose intolerance can eat modest amounts of harder cheeses without suffering intestinal distress.

Cheese and other dairy products are among the foods most commonly associated with allergic reactions, particularly in children. Aged cheeses are also associated with tension and migraine headaches.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.