Can You Eat Yogurt If You Are Lactose Intolerant?

Lactose intolerance indicates a digestive disorder caused from inability of one’s body to digest sugary or main carbohydrate component i.e. lactose found often in milk and other dairy products. It causes different symptoms, which include diarrhea, bloating and cramps/pain in abdominal areas. Major cause of the problem is that small intestines of people suffering from lactose intolerance are unable to make the enzyme of lactase in adequate amounts, which is essential for the digestion of lactose.

Lactose Intolerance and Dairy Products Intake

Suffering from lactose intolerance never implies that you have to stop having dairy products for your entire life. Instead, you may easily find a few dairy foods, which you can digest easily than other ones, especially cheese and yogurt. Even though the amount of lactose tolerated by any lactose intolerant individual varies to some extent, most of the people may digest aged cheese and dairy products easily, because such items break down some content of the lactose during the processing phase.

Moreover, if you intake the necessary supplemental lactase i.e. an enzyme responsible to break down the sugary component of dairy products i.e. lactose, you may enjoy milk as well as other dairy products without dealing with any unpleasant side effect.

Can You Eat Yogurt If You Are Lactose Intolerant?

Can You Eat Yogurt If You Are Lactose Intolerant?

According to the latest research study, a majority of people dealing with lactose intolerance are able to handle lactose in small amounts. Yogurt contains a liquid part called whey, which contains lactose in higher amounts. Hence, when manufacturers strain the yogurt, they remove maximum amount of whey from it and thereby, create thick yogurt with lactose in less amounts. Indeed, foods incorporating lactose in lesser amounts often cause few symptoms.

Greek Yogurt is Preferable Among Lactose Intolerants

If you are one of the lactose intolerant individuals, but fond of having yogurt, you should definitely choose for Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt variant contains whey i.e. watery portion of the milk in limited amounts. Reason for this is that manufacturers strain out a major portion approximately 95% of the whey and in turn, the lactose during the processing phase. Hence, Greek yogurt supplies from minimum 2 grams to maximum 6 grams or 6.8 grams of lactose in a single 6-ounce serving as compared to whole-fat yogurt supplying 8.5 grams lactose or non-fat yogurt incorporating 11grams to 14grams lactose.

Yogurts Containing Live Cultures Are Recommendable

Yogurts containing live cultures are recommendable among lactose intolerance individuals. This is because; these yogurts give additional benefit because they contain bacteria in liver cultures to predigest a major percentage of lactose present in yogurt before you have it. On the other side, you should make sure avoiding flavored, style or Greek yogurts, which contain concentrated whey contents or added sugar.

Go With Yogurts Containing Fats in High Amounts

Yogurts containing fats in higher amounts are of tolerable in a better way as compared to those containing fats in relatively lower amounts. Reason for this is that fatty yogurt requires long time to digest and during the respective period, lactase formed in the small intestine gets enough time for the digestion of lactose present in yogurt.

However, you should strictly avoid the consumption of frozen yogurt, as it does not contain any healthy bacterium to make yogurt easy to tolerate for lactose intolerant patients.


Based on key aspects and research study on different forms of yogurt and its component i.e. whey/lactose and fat, we should say that yogurt is not completely avoidable among lactose intolerant individuals. However, it is the prime responsibility of the patient to check the whey percentage in yogurt and prefer for the one, which incorporate live cultures and fat.

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 19, 2018

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