Robrt L. Pela

Got milk?

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What other products contain lactose?

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


Salad dressings

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.

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