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 of the many food products that may contain even small amounts of lactose, such as:
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
Liquid- and powdered-milk-based meal replacements
Protein powders and bars
Non-dairy liquid and powdered coffee creamers
Non-dairy whipped toppings
Checking the ingredients on food labels is helpful for 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 and 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.