What are the various products that contain lactose?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Lactose is not just in milk. Lactose is used as a bulking agent in pills and as a flavoring product in foods such as hot dogs, cereals, salad dressings, and potato chips.  Surprisingly, there is not much lactose in dairy products like butter and yogurt, because enzymes in them help digest it. To find out if a product contains lactose, look for whey, curds, milk products, or milk powders in the ingredient list.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

Milk and milk products are often added to processed foods-foods that have been altered to prolong their shelf life. People with lactose intolerance should be aware that the following food products contain small amounts of lactose:

Bread and other baked goods Waffles, pancakes, biscuits, cookies, and mixes to make them Processed breakfast foods, such as doughnuts, frozen waffles and pancakes, toaster pastries, and sweet rolls Processed breakfast cereals Instant potatoes, soups, and breakfast drinks Potato chips, corn chips, and other processed snacks Processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and lunch meats Margarine Salad dressings Liquid and powdered milk-based meal replacements Protein powders and bars Candies Non-dairy liquid and powdered coffee creamers Non-dairy whipped toppings

Checking the ingredients on food labels is helpful in finding possible sources of lactose in food products. If any of the following words are listed on a food label, the product contains lactose:

Milk Lactose Whey Curds Milk by-products Dry milk solids Non-fat dry milk powder

Lactose is also used in some prescription medicines, including birth control pills and over-the-counter medicines like products to treat stomach acid and gas. These medicines most often cause symptoms in people with severe lactose intolerance.

This answer is based on source information from National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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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.