Top 10 Foods Highest in Lactose

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN

Lactose is a sugar created by the combination of galactose and glucose, it is found primarily in milk (dairy) foods.

At an early age almost everyone has the ability to digest lactose since it is an important source of energy from nursing milk. Later on in life some people lose the ability to digest lactose and suffer from lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance can lead to cramps, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and even nausea.

Foods high in lactose are typically those which contain milk, cheese, butter, or cream. These include infant formula, candies, chocolates, cakes, pies, eggnog, ice-cream, and macaroni and cheese. Below are the top 10 foods highest in lactose, for more, see the extended list of lactose food sources.


#1: Infant Formulas
Up to 56% Lactose
Lactose in 100g 1 scoop (8g)
56g (14 tsp) 4.6g (1.2 tsp)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#2: Candies (Kit Kat Bar)
Up to 8.2% Lactose
Lactose in 100g 1 bar (1.625 oz) (46g)1 bar (3.375 oz) (96g)
8.2g (2.1 tsp) 3.8g (0.9 tsp)7.9g (2 tsp)
Other candies high in lactose include Tootsie Rolls, and Milk Chocolate. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#3: Eggnog
Up to 7.8% Lactose
Lactose in 100g 1 cup (254g)1 fl oz (32g)
7.8g (2 tsp) 19.9g (5 tsp)2.5g (0.6 tsp)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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#4: Ice Cream (Soft Serve)
Up to 6.2% Lactose
Lactose in 100g 12 fl oz cup (348g)
6.2g (1.6 tsp) 21.7g (5.4 tsp)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#5: Cheese (Low Fat Cream Cheese)
Up to 5.8% Lactose
Lactose in 100g 1 cup (240g)1 tbsp (15g)
5.8g (1.5 tsp) 14g (3.5 tsp)0.9g (0.2 tsp)
Other Cheeses high in Lactose include Mozzarella, American, and Cottage.Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#6: Milk
Up to 5.2% Lactose
Lactose in 100g 1 cup (244g)1 fl oz (31g)
5.2g (1.3 tsp) 12.7g (3.2 tsp)1.6g (0.4 tsp)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#7: Pudding (Dulce de Leche)
Up to 4.9% Lactose
Lactose in 100g 1 tbsp (19g)
4.9g (1.2 tsp) 0.9g (0.2 tsp)
Other puddings high in lactose include rice, tapioca, vanilla, and chocolate pudding.Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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#8: Cream (Half and Half)
Up to 4.1% Lactose
Lactose in 100g 1 cup (242g)1 fl oz (30g)
4.1g (1 tsp) 10g (2.5 tsp)1.2g (0.3 tsp)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#9: Yogurt (Lowfat Greek Yogurt)
Up to 2.9% Lactose
Lactose in 100g 1 container (7 oz) (200g)
2.9g (0.7 tsp) 5.8g (1.5 tsp)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#10: Macaroni and Cheese
Up to 4.1% Lactose
Lactose in 100g 1 cup (134g)1 serving (180g)
4.1g (1 tsp) 5.5g (1.4 tsp)7.3g (1.8 tsp)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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Click each heading below for more information from HealthAliciousNess.com

Cracker Cheese Sandwhiches 7.7g (1.9tsp) per 100 gram serving3g (0.8tsp) per 6 cracker 1 cracker = 6.5g (39 grams)0.5g (0.1tsp) per 1 sandwich (7 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cracker Cheese Sandwich
Pesto (Made with Dairy) 5.9g (1.5tsp) per 100 gram serving3.7g (0.9tsp) per 1/4 cup (63 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Pesto
McDonald's McFlurry with M&Ms 6.2g (1.6tsp) per 100 gram serving21.7g (5.4tsp) per 1 regular (12 fl oz) (348 grams)31.4g (7.8tsp) per 1 large (16 fl oz) (504 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for McDonald's McFlurry with M&Ms
Wendy's Frosty Dairy Dessert 5.4g (1.4tsp) per 100 gram serving12.3g (3.1tsp) per 1 small 12 oz. cup (227 grams)16.2g (4.1tsp) per 1 medium 16 oz. cup (298 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Wendy's Frosty Dairy Dessert
Gluten Free Chocolate Wafers 3.9g (1tsp) per 100 gram serving0.9g (0.2tsp) per 3 cookies (23 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Gluten Free Chocolate Wafers
Cheese Ravioli with Marinara Sauce 2.8g (0.7tsp) per 100 gram serving12.6g (3.1tsp) per 1 serving varied from 7-9 ravioli per serving (454 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cheese Ravioli with Marinara Sauce
Iced Mocha (Milk Based) 2.8g (0.7tsp) per 100 gram serving7.3g (1.8tsp) per 1 cup (265 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Milk Based Iced Mocha
Canned Tomato Soup prepared with Milk 2.6g (0.7tsp) per 100 gram serving6.6g (1.6tsp) per 1 serving 1 cup (252 grams)0.8g (0.2tsp) per 1 fl oz (32 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Canned Tomato soup prepared with equal volume low fat (2%) milk
McDondald's Hotcakes (with 2 pats margarine & syrup) 2.4g (0.6tsp) per 100 gram serving5.3g (1.3tsp) per 1 item (221 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for McDondald's Hotcakes (with 2 pats margarine & syrup)
Sugar Wafers with Creme Filling 2.3g (0.6tsp) per 100 gram serving0.8g (0.2tsp) per 3 cookies (36 grams)0.2g (0.1tsp) per 1 cookie (10 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sugar Wafers with Creme Filling

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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.