1 What does lactose intolerance mean?
Wie Laktoseintoleranz festgestellt wird Wie kann man sich bei Laktoseintoleranz ernähren?
2 List of lactose-free foods
Alternative zur Milch Ein Ernährungsplan kann weiterhelfen
3 Lactose-free dairy products
4 Conclusion

Lactose intolerance has existed for as long as humans have existed. Due to the ubiquity of dairy products in our society, it seems to have been forgotten. Find out here how a lactose intolerant diet is still possible.

The most important facts at a glance:

  • Lactose intolerance means that milk sugar cannot be metabolized correctly by the body.
  • Lactose is in all animal milk and in many foods processed from it - such as yogurt or soft cheese.
  • The majority of the world's adult population is lactose intolerant, only people in Central Europe have developed a tolerance over time.[1]
  • Even people who are not affected by lactose intolerance can eat without dairy products without any problems.
  • Plant-based drinks are an ideal lactose-free alternative to conventional milk.

The right diet for lactose intolerance is not always so easy to implement in everyday life. Especially with processed foods, the question of lactose content often cannot be answered immediately.

This article provides clarity and answers all your unanswered questions about lactose intolerance and how difficult or easy it actually is with the diet.

If you are lactose intolerant, you cannot process the milk sugar (lactose) contained in milk and dairy products. Lactose intolerance is therefore often referred to colloquially as lactose intolerance.

The cause of this is the missing enzyme "lactase". Lactase breaks down lactose so that it can be absorbed into the blood in individual parts. If the enzyme is not present or is not produced in sufficient quantities, the consumption of foods containing lactose can lead to symptoms such as Abdominal pain, diarrhea or nausea nausea.

The majority of the world's adult population is affected by lactose intolerance. Only people with European roots have developed a tolerance to lactose due to the domestication of cows and a long dependence on dairy products.

It is therefore a widespread misconception that lactose intolerance is a disease or an exceptional case. It is rather the people without lactose intolerancewho are the exception.

Wie Laktoseintoleranz festgestellt wird

In den allermeisten Fällen merken die Betroffenen von alleine, ob sie laktoseintolerant sind. Sie leiden immer nach dem Verzehr von milchzuckerhaltigen Lebensmitteln an den beschriebenen Symptome bzw. bekommen sie nicht, wenn keine Milchprodukte verspeist werden.

In diesen Fällen kann stark von einer Laktoseintoleranz ausgegangen werden und man sollte die Ernährung dementsprechend anpassen.

Um ganz sicherzugehen, kann ein medizinischer Test - ein sogenannter “oraler Milchzuckerbelastungstest” - durchgeführt werden. Dafür werden 50 g reine Laktose verschluckt und anschließend der Wasserstoffgehalt in der Atemluft sowie der Anstieg des Blutzuckerspiegels gemessen.

Wenn der Milchzucker nicht schon von der Laktase im Dünndarm gespalten wird, gelangt er in den Dickdarm, wo er von Bakterien verstoffwechselt wird. Während diesem Vorgang wird Wasserstoff freigesetzt.

Steigt der Wasserstoffanteil in der Atemluft über 20 ppm, aber der Blutzuckerspiegel bleibt unter 20 mg/dl, kann man von einer Laktoseunverträglichkeit sprechen.

Die gemeine Laktoseintoleranz hat übrigens nichts mit einer Allergie zu tun. Allergien sind Reaktionen des Immunsystems auf körperfremde bzw. potenziell gefährliche Stoffe.

Wie kann man sich bei Laktoseintoleranz ernähren?

Eine laktosefreie Ernährung schließt alle Milcherzeugnisse aus, in denen der Milchzucker noch vorhanden ist. Dazu gehören insbesondere Milch (egal, ob Kuhmilch, Ziegenmilch oder von anderen Tieren), Joghurt und manche Käsesorten.

Hartkäse und Butter enthalten nur noch sehr geringe Mengen an Laktose, weshalb diese für intolerante Menschen verträglich sind.2

Sämtliche andere Lebensmittel - tierisch oder pflanzlich - sind für die 3

Eine Studie aus dem Jahr 2017, bei der über 1900 Frauen untersucht wurden, deutet darauf hin, dass der Konsum von bestimmten Milchprodukten das Risiko, an Brustkrebs zu erkranken, deutlich erhöhen kann.4

Das U.S. Department of Agriculture empfiehlt täglich 3 Portionen (z.B. 3 Gläser Milch) an Milchprodukten.5 Das muss allerdings nicht automatisch bedeuten, dass man bei einer laktosefreien Ernährung benachteiligt ist oder, dass eine Ernährung ohne Milchprodukte ungesund wäre.

Bedenke, dass diese Behörden immer die Bedürfnisse der Milchindustrie auf der einen Seite und die der Milchbauern auf der anderen Seite berücksichtigen müssen. Am Endprodukt Milch hängen viele Arbeitsplätze und Milchprodukte nicht mehr zu empfehlen, wäre ein herber Einschnitt in das Leben der Gesellschaft und der Wirtschaft.

List of lactose-free foods

The following list will give you a better overview of what you can still eat if you are lactose intolerant:

  • Bread and baked goods
    It doesn't matter whether it is cereals containing gluten or not. As long as no dairy products have been processed in it, it cannot contain lactose.
  • Fruit and vegetables
    All purely plant-based foods are naturally lactose-free. However, we recommend taking a close look at the ingredients of processed ready meals with fruit or vegetables.
  • Eggs
    Chicken eggs, just like eggs from other animals, do not contain lactose. Some breakfast cafés stir cream into their scrambled eggs, which means they are no longer lactose-free. However, this must be indicated on the menu so that there is no danger for lactose-intolerant guests.
  • Meat and fish
    Meat, fish and poultry are always lactose-free in their raw form and are completely safe to eat if you are intolerant. This can no longer be guaranteed for processed sausage products and baked meat with breading - although the lactose content is usually very low in these cases.
  • Beverages
    You can drink everything from juices to tea and coffee despite being lactose intolerant. Milk (also in tea or coffee) and buttermilk clearly make no sense unless they are lactose-free.
  • Wine and beer
    Wine and beer can be consumed safely.
  • Alcoholic beverages
    Other alcoholic drinks (such as vodka or schnapps) do not contain lactose either. The situation is different with mixed cocktails that contain cream or similar dairy products according to the recipe - Piña Colada would be a classic example of this.

As a rule, it is not too difficult to find the foods containing lactose from lactose-free food. Let's remember that lactose is the "milk sugar". This means that anything that does not contain milk or dairy products can be eaten without worry.

It gets a little tricky with processed dairy products such as butter, clarified butter or ghee. These foods contain little to no no lactose which is why they can usually still be eaten by lactose intolerant people without causing discomfort.

The plant-based alternative to butter would be margarine. This is always lactose-free, but as butter is also unproblematic, you have a free choice here.

Alternative to milk

If you don't want to give up your muesli for breakfast or your daily cappuccino, you can use plant-based milk as an alternative. The best-known plant-based drinks are...

  • Soy milk
  • Almond milk
  • Oat milk
  • Rice milk
  • Coconut milk

Depending on which flavor you prefer, one of these options is ideal alternative to milk. There are now also plant-based yogurts made from these plant-based drinks.

With Saturo for example, we also use soy as the basis for our drinkable meals. So that they are also suitable for vegans without any problems.

Another reason why more and more people prefer plant-based milk alternatives is that they are much more climate-friendly are. According to a study conducted by Oatly in 2017, oat milk even consumes 80% less greenhouse gases and 80% less land area than would be the case with cow's milk.[6]

In the case of soy milk, the cycle is even partially counterproductive. Soybeans are mainly grown to feed cattle. In other words, the cow must first be fed with a considerable amount of soy - which requires a lot of water - in order to produce milk.

By way of comparison, a glass (250 ml) of cow's milk requires around 120 liters of water. A glass of soy milk requires only 5-10 liters.[7]

The detour and thus the waste of resources if we were to consume plant-based milk from soybeans directly.

A nutrition plan can help

The right diet plan can help with lactose intolerance. With a clearly defined plan, it is almost impossible to eat the wrong foods.

As long as you stick to the foods on the list above, you are always on the safe side. It doesn't matter whether you follow the lactose-free diet with intermittent fasting, a gluten-free diet or other diets.

Many people who would like to lactose-free diet even though they are not affected by an intolerance, only start on a daily basis. This has the great advantage that you can test how well or badly lactose-free foods affect your well-being.

Laktosefreie Milchprodukte

Mittlerweile bieten viele Hersteller von Molkereiprodukten zusätzlich laktosefreie Varianten ihrer Lebensmittel an. Laktosefreie Milch und laktosefreier Joghurt gehören dabei zu den bekanntesten Produkten.

An dieser Stelle kommt die Frage auf, wie laktosefreie Milch hergestellt wird?

Das ist schnell erklärt: Um laktosefreie Milch zu erhalten, wird der “normalen” Milch das Enzym Laktase hinzugefügt. Dieses Enzym spaltet den Milchzucker in zwei verschiedene Einfachzucker - Glukose und Galaktose - auf.

In diesem Prozess passiert quasi genau das, was im Dünndarm laktosetoleranter Menschen geschieht. Laktosefreie Milch schmeckt deswegen etwas süßlicher, als herkömmliche Milch, weil die beiden Einfachzucker süßer sind als der Milchzucker.

Andere laktosefreie Milchprodukte wie Joghurt oder verschiedene Käsesorten werden entweder aus dieser vorher bearbeiteten Milch hergestellt oder es wird das Enzym Laktase während ihres Herstellungsprozesses zugefügt.


Die richtige Ernährung mit einer Laktoseintoleranz ist grundsätzlich keine große Hürde. Sofern du alle Milchprodukte aus deinem Ernährungsplan streichst, musst du dir keine Sorgen mehr um die Laktoseunverträglichkeit machen.

Jede Person kann sich von laktosefreier Kost ernähren, unabhängig davon, ob eine Unverträglichkeit vorliegt oder nicht. Die in diesem Artikel enthaltene Liste mit laktosefreien Lebensmitteln hilft dir dabei, die korrekte Wahl zu treffen und die Ernährungsumstellung leichter zu bewältigen.

Wer an einer Laktoseintoleranz leidet, aber gar nicht auf tierische Milch verzichten möchte, dem ist mit laktosefreien Milchprodukten geholfen. Die Molkereien gehen immer mehr auf die Bedürfnisse der Konsumenten ein, um eine “normale” Ernährung trotz Laktoseintoleranz zu ermöglichen.

Besser für das Klima wären allerdings die pflanzlichen Alternativen wie Sojamilch oder Hafermilch.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions about a lactose-free diet

What is lactose intolerance?

People with lactose intolerance cannot properly digest the milk sugar (lactose) contained in animal milk. Complaints such as abdominal pain, nausea or diarrhea are often the result.

Where is lactose found everywhere?

Lactose is found in all animal milk. Lactose is also found in processed dairy products.
Lactose is contained in...

  • Milk
  • Buttermilk
  • Yogurt
  • Cream
  • Cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Curd cheese
  • Soft cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • Créme fraiche
  • Butter (only in small quantities)
  • kefir

What can you eat if you are lactose intolerant?

In principle, all foods that do not contain milk products are safe.
This includes, for example

  • Fruit
  • vegetables
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Bread
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Coffee
  • Tea

Which type of cheese is lactose-free?

Hard cheeses - such as Parmesan, Emmental or mountain cheese - contain hardly any lactose because most of the lactose is already broken down during processing. With soft cheeses, this is only the case if the enzyme lactase is added during processing.

Is bread allowed with lactose intolerance?

Yes, as long as the dough does not contain milk, bread is safe to eat. The situation is different for milk rolls and other baked goods that contain dairy products, which is why they should be consumed with caution.

How can lactose intolerance be diagnosed?

On the one hand, those affected notice themselves when the usual symptoms appear after consuming dairy products. Clinically, lactose intolerance can be detected with a "lactose load test". The patient has to swallow about 50 grams of lactose. If the hydrogen content in the breath rises above 20 ppm and the blood sugar level remains below 20 mg/dl, lactose intolerance is present.

Collapsible content


  1. MedlinePlus, Lactose intolerance. Retrieved November 13, 2020 from
  2. Consumer advice center, Lactose-free foods: not for everyone. Retrieved November 13, 2020 from
  3. Feskanich, D., Bischoff-Ferrari, H.A., Frazier, A.L., & Willett, W.C. (2014) Milk consumption during teenage years and risk of hip fractures in older adults. JAMA Pediatr. 168(1):54-60.
  4. McCann, S.E., Hays, J., Baumgart, C.W., Weiss, E.H., Yao, S., & Ambrosone, C.B. (2017) Usual Consumption of Specific Dairy Foods Is Associated with Breast Cancer in the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Data Bank and BioRepository. Curr Dev Nutr. 1(3):e000422.
  5. USDA, All about the dairy group. Retrieved November 13, 2020 from
  6. Oatly, Sustainability Report 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2020 from
  7. TED-Ed (20.10.2020) Which type of milk is best for you? - Jonathan J. O'Sullivan & Grace E. Cunningham. Retrieved November 13 from