Can You Eat Chocolate If You Are Lactose Intolerant?

Lactose categorizes itself as a sugar from milk, milk derivative products and other dairy products. Individuals with lactose intolerance face difficult time associated with processing of lactose. Because of this, it has become essential for such individuals to assess each ingredient in chocolate properly to determine whether he or she is able to eat chocolate without any health problem and negative symptom or not.

Can You Eat Chocolate If You Are Lactose Intolerant?

Ingredients Present in Chocolate and Types of Chocolate

Cocoa Powder – Chocolate is a derivative of cocoa powder and it comes from beans of cocoa. Individually, neither cocoa beans nor cocoa powder contains lactose. Because of this, it has become essential for us to analyze various types of chocolates available in the market, which include the following-

Milk Chocolate – As the name highlights, milk chocolate comes with lactose, as it has milk-based proteins. However, the recipes of different chocolate manufacturers are different, because of which percentage or amount of lactose present in various milk chocolates varies among products. Based on this, you may find a few specific products do not cause any effect, while others may result in lactose intolerance symptoms. If you are fond of milk chocolates but often deal with negative symptoms, you should make sure taking medicines before you eat them. Doctors in this situation recommend for over-the-counter medicines, which come with enzymes to help your body in breaking down milk/lactose proteins easily.

Dark Chocolate – Alternatively, you may go with a better option i.e. dark chocolate if you face difficulty in digesting the milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is relatively pure chocolate form and it contains no or minimum possible lactose. Moreover, dark chocolates have antioxidants and flavonoids, both of which are helpful in the prevention of cardiac problems by creating blockage in the accumulation of cholesterol.

Antioxidants play a major role in protecting one’s body cells from negative effects of free radicals and thereby, avoid any scope associated with cancer development.

Moreover, dark chocolate contains relatively low fat as compared to its counterpart milk chocolate. However, serving size of dark chocolates for lactose intolerant individuals should definitely be as recommended by the doctors.

Can You Eat Chocolate If You Are Lactose Intolerant?

There are chocolate restrictions as per signs of lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance refers to a condition, during which people experience various symptoms because of their reduced abilities to digest the sugar compound i.e. lactose found in milk and dairy products. Affected individuals may tolerate varying amounts of lactose before symptoms related to the problem develop.

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Individuals may experience signs and symptoms related to the problem of lactose intolerance often after about 30 minutes to up to 2 hours period once they have any food or liquid containing lactose. These signs and symptoms are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and abdominal cramps, gas and bloating.

Based on this fact, we should say that to determine which chocolate variants are of safe to have and which to avoid depend on your ability to identify the symptoms of lactose intolerance problem. Reason for this is that in case you are a lactose tolerant person, you will notice gas, bloating or nausea/vomiting problems. Moreover, in moderate as well as severe cases, individuals may experience diarrhea and abdominal cramps or pain.


Therefore, you may have chocolates (both dark and milk chocolates) only if you do not deal with any of the symptoms related to lactose intolerance problem. Moreover, if you are a patient of lactose intolerance, you should go with the safe side i.e. have dark chocolate only and take medicines, as recommended by your doctor before having it. Along with this, you should make sure limiting the serving size of dark chocolate.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 14, 2018

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