Food Recipe Collections & Favorites Popular Ingredients 9 Cheeses You Can Eat Even If You're Lactose-Intolerant Not all dairy is created equal. By Betty Gold, Betty Gold Betty Gold is the former senior digital food editor at Real Simple. Real Simple's Editorial Guidelines Arielle Tschinkel, Arielle Tschinkel Twitter Website Arielle Tschinkel is a pop culture and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared on Shape.com, Women's Health, Apartment Therapy, USA Today, Scary Mommy, and many others. She specializes in health/wellness content, parenting content, and celebrity/pop culture news, always aiming to provide educational insight from an intersectional, non-judgmental lens. She tackles all topics with sensitivity and care, and enjoys getting insight from doctors about the latest TikTok health trends just as much as chatting with A-listers like Drew Barrymore and Mindy Kaling about their lives as busy working moms. Real Simple's Editorial Guidelines and Samantha Leffler Samantha Leffler Instagram Website Samantha is the senior food editor at RealSimple and previously launched the US Weekly food vertical, where she wrote about the intersection of food and pop culture. Real Simple's Editorial Guidelines Updated on February 9, 2023 Medically reviewed by Kristy Del Coro, MS, RDN, LDN Medically reviewed by Kristy Del Coro, MS, RDN, LDN Instagram Website Kristy Del Coro is a registered dietitian nutritionist, RDN, and professionally trained chef with more than 10 years of experience in the field of culinary nutrition. Her strong background in nutrition science, sustainable food systems, and culinary education makes her exceptionally qualified to write about food that is good for us and the planet—while not sacrificing flavor. Learn More Fact checked by Isaac Winter Fact checked by Isaac Winter Isaac Winter is a fact-checker and writer for Real Simple, ensuring the accuracy of content published by rigorously researching content before publication and periodically when content needs to be updated. Highlights: Helped establish a food pantry in West Garfield Park as an AmeriCorps employee at Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center. Interviewed Heartland Alliance employees for oral history project conducted by the Lake Forest College History Department. Editorial Head of Lake Forest College's literary magazine, Tusitala, for two years. Our Fact-Checking Process Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Vikif/Getty Images For those who are lactose-intolerant, eating ingredients that have high levels of lactose can cause some very uncomfortable digestive woes, from bloating and gas to cramping and serious stomach pain. Fortunately, not all cheeses are forbidden on a low-lactose diet. In fact, there are several types of cheeses that those sensitive to lactose can still enjoy in moderation. As a general rule, keep this in mind: the fresher the cheese, the more lactose it contains. So those with particularly sensitive stomachs will want to avoid creamier varieties such as ricotta or cottage cheese at all costs. Sugar is the primary component of lactose that makes it difficult to digest, which means that aged, hard cheeses—which have a lower sugar content—are easier on the stomach. We Found the Most Delicious (and Surprising) Ingredient Swap for Dairy According to lactose intolerance expert Steve Carper, author of Milk Is Not For Every Body: Living With Lactose Intolerance, there are nine cheeses that contain less than 5 grams of sugar per serving, clocking in at about 2 to 3 percent lactose. For reference, whole milk has around 4.8 percent lactose, making it one of the worst offenders for sensitive tummies. Muenster Muenster has a 0-1.1% lactose range. The semi-soft cheese from the United States is mild, slightly nutty, and is typically made with cow's milk. Use it sliced on a sandwich, or in cubes as part of a cheese platter. Camembert This popular French cheese has a 0-1.8% lactose range. Camembert is known for its soft, creamy, texture and milky, grassy taste. The cheese's white mold rind is edible, which makes it a popular charcuterie board choice. Brie Though Brie is very similar to Camembert, it has a slightly higher lactose range of 0-2%. The soft cow's-milk cheese with a creamy taste has plenty of uses, including baked in a pastry, paired with apple slices, and the star of a charcuterie board. 20+ Cheese Types You Should Know—and What to Pair Them With Cheddar (mild and sharp varieties) The cheese with English origins boasts a 0-2.1% lactose range. Cheddar is a nutty, crumbly cheese that works well in macaroni and cheese, as a cheese sauce, or nestled inside a cheese puff. Provolone Use buttery provolone in sandwiches, casseroles, and on homemade pizza. With a 0-2.1% lactose range, it's suitable for people who are lactose-intolerant. Gouda This cheese, which is often sold smoked, has a 0-2.2% lactose range. Gouda, which can be slightly sweet, is great in a grilled cheese, as part of a cheese platter or in a cheese puff. Blue Blue cheese has a 0-2.5% lactose range. Crumbled, the pungent, salty cheese is great in a salad or grain bowl, and can be used to make a cheesy dipping sauce. Parmesan Pasta lovers, rejoice! Parm has a 0-3.2% lactose range. The popular cheese adds tanginess to a bowl of spaghetti and is also great on pizza, mixed into scrambled eggs, or blanketed over a breaded chicken cutlet to make chicken Parm. Swiss Swiss boasts a 0-3.4% lactose range. The yellow, medium-hard cheese originated in Switzerland and shines in a sandwich or wrap, in an omelet, and in a chicken bake. Of course, some people with lactose intolerance simply cannot tolerate any milk products without discomfort. It's always best to err on the side of caution, so if that sounds like you, avoid cheese entirely and go for one of the varieties of non-dairy options instead. Curious About Nutritional Yeast? Here's Why Vegans Love It Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Real Simple is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy. Gille D, Walther B, Badertscher R, et al. Detection of lactose in products with low lactose content. Int Dairy J. 2018;83:17-19. doi:10.1016/j.idairyj.2018.03.003 Facioni MS, Dominici S, Marescotti F, et al. Lactose residual content in PDO cheeses: novel inclusions for consumers with lactose intolerance. Foods. 2021;10(9):2236. doi:10.3390/foods10092236 Food Standards Australia New Zealand. F002405: Cheese, blue vein. Accessed February 9, 2023.