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Goat Cheese Good for Lactose Intolerance

I wasn’t surprised when I noticed that I had become lactose-intolerant when I was 21. After all, my sister had been lactose-intolerant since birth and my mother had been off of milk since she made the connection in her years ago that milk products made her quite uncomfortable.

Bloating, gassiness, explosive diarreah, constipation, headache… these can all be symptoms of lactose intolerance, particularly if they show up within 1- 12 hours of ingesting a dairy product.

Lactose intolerance is not fun, to say the least. It’s particularly common among Mediterranean, Asian, African and other dark-skinned people, but can affect almost anyone.

It’s worth noting that mammals didn’t evolve to digest dairy products after weaning, and the human mammal is the only one to continue to drink milk as an adult. Really, lactose intolerance should be no surprise to any of us.

Still, life without cheese makes me feel deprived. Evolution didn’t account for the development of cheese.

Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy

Most lactose intolerant people simply avoid dairy products whenever possible. We can also take the lactase enzyme to help digest milk products on a food-by-food basis, but for me, even though lactase will ease the discomfort of digestion, I don’t believe it does everything it needs to because I notice a direct  correlation between when I consume cow’s milk products and weight gain in my own body.

Not so with goat milk products. Go figure.

Although goat’s milk has only slightly less lactose then cow’s milk (4.1% to 4.7%), something is different enough that many lactose-intolerant people don’t have a problem digesting it. Hooray! This discovery has opened up a whole new world for me and my family because we can have cheese again!

Some cheeses from Mt. Sterling Co-Op Creamery

The coolest part is finding how many products are now made with goat milk. Besides the typical soft Chevre log, we’ve found excellent Cheddar, Country Jack, and Mozzarella. Even our local Costco carries slices of unnamed goat cheese. Look for yogurt made from goat’s milk, too.

Colorado alone has more than 50 goat farms, dairies, and creameries. One of my favorites is the Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy — their cheeses are so delicious and special. Here’s a fun article about a program that puts prisoners to work on goat farms and then the goat milk goes to Haystack.

Mt. Sterling Creamery out of Wisconsin has wonderful harder goat cheeses, too.

(Do you get my newsletter? I send out a new Glorious One-Pot Meal recipe every other week exclusively to subscribers, and today’s recipe includes goat cheese!)

27 Comments on “Goat Cheese Good for Lactose Intolerance

  1. I don’t know about all this. I have been drinking cow’s milk and eating cow’s cheese since I was a kid. (I am now 65). I have never had any problem with them.
    Last night a had a little bit of goat cheese and it gave me abdominal cramps and today I still having a gnawing in my belly. It’ll probably all go away within 24 hrs. But, if goat’s cheese is supposed to more digestible, why the discomfort? I have never had cramps with cow’s milk.

    1. Lucky you that you obviously don’t have any problems digesting cow’s milk dairy products!

      However, it does sound like you are sensitive to goat’s milk, so staying away from goat cheese would be a good idea for you.

      Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Nice. Yeah I heard Goats milk has alkaline properties in it, with more protein and calcium. They say the structure of Goats milk is more similar to human’s milk than a cows milk is. Cows milk is absolutely horrible for you, even if you aren’t lactose sensitive. For those of you who are wondering why they are effected by certain cheeses as that still has no lactose in it. That is because most people who think they have a lactose problem actually have a milk allergy. So what happens is the milk itself irritates your digestive tract. It also can cause diabetes and high blood pressure. If cows milk isn’t settling well with you, try goat milk or soy milk. And if none of those work try rice milk, which unfortunately isn’t nearly as high in protein and calcium as the above.

  4. I became lactose intolerant around 14, since then if I have anything even made with milk ingredients I get bad symptoms. If I am that intolerant, am I still able to have goats milk without hurting me?

  5. I’m also lactose-intolerant. What a lof of people don’t know is that Dutch cheese doesn’t contain any lactose! I’m lucky because I’m from Holland, but I’m sure that everyone can get “gouda” somewhere close to them.

  6. Hey, there is no lactose in cheese, whether from cow milk or goat milk or any other. The whole point of making cheese is to separate the curd (= cheese-to-be) from the whey, and all the lactose goes with the whey.

    Enjoy your Cheddar.

    1. Your logic seems valid, however if you were a lactose-intolerant person and ate some cow’s milk cheese, you’d soon feel otherwise. For me, melted cow’s milk cheese is the worst and will guarantee me at least 4 hours of pain and discomfort.

    2. That’s the traditional way to make cheese. Most big companies don’t separate the curd from the whey anymore, they just add stuff to the milk, that causes it to form whatever end product they’re after (I can’t remember what they add, a google search would tell you. The additive is different for each type of cheese- ricotta, cheddar, mozzarella, etc…)

  7. Try Daiya(sp?) cheese or earth balance butter! I can NOT eat any dairy products and these two products have made my diet much more enjoyable…and easier!
    Soy cheese is the worst for me hands down.

    1. I’m glad to learn I’m not the only one who found soy cheese so intolerable too. I have had great success with fresh mozzarella – can’t locate where i first read about it, but it’s a lifesaver for making pizza!

    1. with celiac, you are lluaatcy at an advantage b/c you’re forced to eat they way we are all supposed to. bread products are not natural. even whole grain’ bread doesn’t come from a tree. it’s processed and our body doesn’t know how to digest it correctly. you learn that you don’t have to have cereal and pancakes for breakfast .eggs, bacon, vegetables, fruit, proteins . it’s also a lot cheaper. those gluten free products are expensive!!

    1. Hi CarolineI have been on a gluten free diet for 7 years and befroe I went gluten free I had a lot of stomach pain and it was even uncomfortable walking. The relief I felt going gluten free was amazing and free of discomfortness. I have also gone lactose free in last 6 months and the change has been brilliant. I have so much more energy. I had blood tests and nothing showed up. If you feel better on a gluten and dairy free diet then go with it and there are so many options available now that it is so much easier. Weatherspoons are excellent for understanding special diets and do a wonderful gluten free apple and raspberry crumble. Stick with it.Jane

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