Does Mozzarella Have Lactose? – Eating Mozzarella When You’re Lactose Intolerant


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It is estimated that 68% of the world’s population struggles with lactose intolerance. So, if you love mozzarella cheese, you may be wondering, “Does mozzarella have lactose?”

The answer to this is yes, but with caveats. Want to know more? Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

mozzarella and tomatoes

Does Mozzarella Contain Lactose or Is It Lactose-Free?

Mozzarella isn’t lactose-free (unlike lactose-free milk). But it doesn’t contain as much lactose as other cheese varieties. Still, if you’re lactose intolerant and you think you’re off the hook, think again! Though mozzarella doesn’t contain a lot of lactose, its lactose content is enough that it may still cause you some trouble.

Mozzarella contains less than one gram of lactose per ounce. The same is true of many other cheeses such as provolone, cheddar, Swiss, and blue cheese. Aged cheese tends to contain even less lactose.

Still, even cheeses with the least amount of lactose can give those that are lactose intolerant a hard time if they eat too much of it. You may think that you can eat a bit, but sprinkle too much mozzarella on your pizza and it might be unpleasant!

Why Does Mozzarella Have Very Little Lactose?

The reason that mozzarella has little lactose is due to the way it is made. Before going into detail about the manufacturing process, it’s important to note two things.

First, mozzarella will differ in lactose content depending on the type you buy. Secondly, it is important to know that all cheeses, not just the kind mentioned here, tend to contain less lactose than straight milk.

With that out of the way, let’s consider the manufacturing process for mozzarella. When cheese of any type is made, it goes through a process where excess whey is drained off. This whey contains much of the lactose found in dairy products. It is because of this that most cheeses actually don’t cause people who are lactose intolerant many issues.

Does Mozzarella Have a lot of Lactose?

If you love mozzarella cheese but are afraid it may cause you digestive discomfort, it may be encouraging to know that mozzarella does not have a lot of lactose.

This isn’t to say you can eat as much as you want and not get sick! Though this cheese is lower in lactose than other dairy products, people with lactose intolerance should steer clear of eating too much of it.

Anything with cow’s milk can cause lactose intolerant people trouble, even if most of the lactose has been drained off.

To be safe, we recommend that you listen to your body and consume mozzarella only to the degree to which you can handle.

How Much Lactose Does Mozzarella Cheese Have?

Mozzarella cheese, in general, has less than 1 gram of lactose per ounce. But the exact amount of lactose in your mozzarella will vary depending on the type that you buy. Certain types of this cheese may contain more lactose than others.

Does Buffalo Mozzarella Have Lactose?

Yes, buffalo mozzarella has lactose.

Buffalo cheese is the second most consumed milk derived from animals next to cow’s milk. It is also much higher in fat, protein, and you guessed it, lactose.

Therefore, consuming buffalo milk may produce more problems for those with sensitivities than cow’s milk. On the bright side, you’ll find many dairy-free buffalo cheese varieties available for you to eat if you do the research- you may even be able to make it at home!

mozzarella salad

Does Fresh Mozzarella Have Lactose?

You know those little white cheese balls suspended in liquid that you see in the store? That’s likely fresh mozzarella. And you may be wondering, “Does mozzarella balls have lactose?”

The answer is yes! Fresh cheese like this can often have more lactose than shredded varieties. This is because less of the whey is drained in fresh mozzarella than other types.

Does Vegan Mozzarella Have Lactose?

Non-dairy cheeses that contain casein may not be safe options for those who have lactose intolerance. Therefore, always be sure to check the label of your vegan cheese to make sure.

However, many people with lactose intolerance are able to tolerate vegan mozzarella cheese just fine.

Can You Eat Mozzarella When Lactose Intolerant?

Most lactose intolerant people are able to endure small amounts of lactose in their diet, but too much will almost always cause issues. Therefore, it is best to know your body and only indulge a little at a time.

As you might assume, the less lactose your body comes in contact with, the better. If this means you need to avoid lactose on most occasions to keep your gut and bowels healthy, then so be it!

Note: If you really can’t go without dairy products in your life, research your options. There are plenty of lactose-free milk and cheese types out there that can suit your fancy. You can even choose from plant-based milk, cheeses, butter, and yogurts.

Mooliss Vegan Cheese (8oz) Mozzarella Flavor Bag (2 PACK)
Buy Moolis Vegan Cheese on Amazon

Why Does Mozzarella Hurt My Stomach?

Mozzarella likely hurts your stomach because there isn’t enough of an enzyme called lactase in your small intestine to break down the lactose. The result is that bacteria in your colon work to break down the lactose which produces excess flatulence and other unsavory symptoms.

Is There a Lactose Free Mozzarella?

These days it is much easier for people who struggle with lactose to find milk and cheeses made without lactose. If you wish to eat mozzarella, it is best to select a lactose-free version of it. Thankfully, there are a few brands out there that offer lactose-free mozzarella.

Violife, Just Like Mozzarella Cheese Shreds, Vegan, Dairy Free & NON-GMO, 8 Oz. Packages, (Pack of 8)
Buy Violife Vegan Cheese on Amazon

How Much Lactose Is in Mozzarella Cheese? Not Much, But Enough!

Though there isn’t much lactose in mozzarella cheese, there is certainly enough in it to cause a person with sensitivities issues. Because lactose intolerant people don’t produce enough lactase enzymes they often experience digestive issues despite a lesser amount of lactose present.

Therefore, it is important to know exactly how much lactose you can tolerate and adjust accordingly.

Don’t let lactose intolerance (and not being able to eat mozzarella cheese) get you down.


Does mozzarella have cows milk?

Yes, most mozzarella contains cow’s milk unless it is labeled otherwise. 

Why does mozzarella cheese give me diarrhea?

Mozzarella cheese contains lactose which can cause diarrhea for people sensitive to dairy. 

Does shredded cheddar have more lactose than mozzarella?

Lactose content will vary between cheese types, but you may sometimes find mozzarella to have a bit more lactose than cheddar.

Does feta cheese have less lactose than mozzarella?

Feta cheese can contain higher amounts of lactose than mozzarella. 

Is mozzarella cheese dairy-free?

You may find some mozzarella cheeses that were manufactured to be dairy-free. However, it is not naturally this way. That said, you can find non-dairy alternatives to mozzarella!

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