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Cheese is one of the most popular milk products and is available in various forms throughout the world. Different types of cheese are prepared that have their own flavor, texture, color and taste. Cheese is primarily made by coagulating casein (a type of milk protein). Generally, cow, goat, buffalo or sheep milk is used for making various types of cheese. It is one of the most valued milk products, with an extended shelf life and enriched nutrition facts. Cheese contains high amounts of protein, calcium, fats and phosphorous, making it really healthy for us. However, it is often avoided by those who are suffering with lactose intolerance and dairy allergy. Lactose is made of simple sugar forms galactose and glucose and hence it is a carbohydrate and disaccharide composite. The only natural source of lactose is milk and of course milk products. People who are suffering with lactose intolerance, find it hard to digest lactose, because their digestive system lacks lactase enzyme, which is required for lactose digestion. Such people cannot consume regular cheese and need to have lactose-free cheese.

Need for Lactose-free Cheese

As the name suggests, lactose-free cheese does not contain lactose. People who are lactose intolerant, allergic to milk and dairy products and those who follow veganism, cannot consume regular types of cheese. Most of the time, lactose intolerance is confused with dairy or milk allergies. While lactose intolerance is related with your inability to digest lactose, dairy allergy is often caused due to reaction of whey protein and/or casein, both of which are present in milk. Hence, unlike dairy allergic people lactose intolerant people can enjoy several types of cheese in moderation. When it comes to choosing non-dairy cheese or cheese with less or no lactose for the rest of the people though, there is a diversity of opinions. While some say that hard cheese types contain less amount of lactose, some say that goat milk cheese and aged cheese contain less lactose. Whatever the case may be, you need to search for the best types of cheese with none or low lactose levels. Such cheese play a huge role in creating correct lactose intolerance diet and enjoying some delicious recipes that heavily rely upon cheese. Lastly, no dairy cheese is also marketed as a healthy cheese type, since it maintains cholesterol levels of the body.

Believe it or not, there are a few kinds of cheese that are lactose-free. Most of these types are made by replacing animal milk with other plant-based milk options. Let's get to know more about them.

Yogurt Cheese
Contradictory to what I just said, yogurt cheese is made of animal milk. However, it is made by using some live yogurt cultures like bifidus and acidophilus. These cultures remove all milk sugar during the aging process of cheese. It has almost the same flavor and texture of that of the regular cheese and it is a convenient option for the people who are suffering with lactose intolerance. This is one of the best tasting cheese, amongst the different types of cheese that are lactose-free. The Cultured Way is one of the best yogurt cheese brands that you may like to try. It is low on fat, cholesterol and lactose.

Soy Cheese
Soybeans and soy products are commonly consumed by us. Soy cheese is one of the popular types of lactose-free cheese. It is available in both vegan and non-vegan varieties. The main ingredient in vegan soy cheese are soy protein and soy oil. Vegan type of soy cheese does not contain milk protein (dried or liquid) or casein. Interestingly, soy cheese is available in various types of regular cheese like Parmesan, nacho, mozzarella and cheddar. It is the reason why people who are suffering with lactose intolerance can consume it in moderation.

Almond Cheese
Almond cheese is incurred from almond milk. However, it is important to remember that almond cheese contains traces of dried casein and hence it is not suitable for vegans as well as for people who suffer with dairy allergy symptoms. Apart from that, almond cheese contains crushed almonds, water, brown rice flour and canola oil. Popular flavors of almond cheese are, jalapeƱo, mozzarella and cheddar. Almond cheese shares more of a resemblance with regular cheese, than soy cheese or other lactose-free cheese types.

Rice Cheese
Rice cheese is also obtained from rice flour and rice bran oil. Rice cheese can be included in your dairy free-diet. It is available in both vegan and non-vegan varieties. You can either buy grated rice cheese or rice cheese slices and chunks. Some popular flavors of rice cheese are, cheddar, American and pepper jack. Rice cheese may not resemble in taste or flavor, with the regular cheese types, but it is suitable for the people who show lactose intolerance symptoms, vegans and those who suffer from dairy allergies.

In order to make healthy choices, you need to check the label of that product and make sure that it is really lactose-free, before you actually purchase it. Lactose-free or no dairy cheese should not contain any kind of milk product, milk protein, milk sugar or milk fats. Well, go through the list below and get to know about some cheese brands that are lactose-free:
  • Tofutti Cheese
  • Veggie Cheese
  • Rice Vegan
  • Galaxy Food
  • Vegan Perfection
  • Lifetime Specialty
  • Cashew Nut Cream Cheese
  • Dr. Cow Dairy-free Aged Cheese
  • Follow Your Heart Cream Cheese Alternative
  • Daiya Cheddar Cheese
  • Daiya Mozzarella Cheese
  • Parmazano Vegan Parmesan Cheese
  • Road's End Organics Cheese Sauce Mixes
  • Road's End Organics Nacho Cheese Dips
  • Sunergia Soyfoods Soy Feta Cheeses
  • Teese Cheese
  • Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
  • Tofutti Mozzarella Soy Slices
  • Vegan Rella Soy Cheeses
  • Cabot Lactose-free Cheese
Now that you have gone through the list, you can easily replace regular cheese with any one of these, to make a sumptuous lactose-free cheesecake or numerous other dairy-free recipes, that are otherwise incomplete without cheese. Enjoy!