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Lactose Restricted Diet


Lactose, or milk sugar, is produced exclusively by the bovine (cow) mammary gland. It is a sugar composed of glucose and galactose which has been shown to be hard to digest by Orientals, Blacks, Hispanics and some Caucasians. The inability to properly digest this is a consequence of a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the sugar. If it is not broken down, bacteria in the intestines ferment the lactose resulting in flatulence and diarrhea. Culturing a milk product to make yogurt, kefir, buttermilk or cheese will eliminate the lactose. A lactose restricted diet is designed for those who cannot tolerate lactose.

According to the RDA’s a lactose restricted diet is adequate for all nutrients except calcium unless fermenter (cultured) dairy products are used. In these cases, a calcium supplement of 800 to 1,000 mg per day would be considered desirable.



1 orange 1 egg (poached or egg substitute)
1/2 cup oatmeal 1 cup soybean milk
10 whole, shelled, unsalted almonds 1 slice whole wheat bread (toasted)
1 teaspoon margarine Hot, non-caloric beverage


1/2 cup tomato juice 8 ounces soup, vegetable
1/4 cup canned red salmon 2 slices whole wheat bread
2 teaspoons oil and vinegar dressing 1 apple
1 cup salad: romaine or Boston lettuce, sliced carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, green pepper, celery


4 ounces broiled chicken breast 1/2 cup cooked lentils
2/3 cup steamed string beans 1 slice whole wheat bread
1 teaspoon margarine 4 apricot halves (low sugar)
8 ounces soybean milk Hot, non-caloric beverage

Nutrient Content

  • Calories: 1665
  • Protein: 15%
  • Carbohydrates: 59%
  • Fat: 26%
  • Cholesterol: 200 mg
  • Fiber: 17 g


Bread & Cereal Exchange List:

4 or more servings per day


• Whole wheat bread • White bread (enr.) • Cereals • Pastas

• Potatoes • Popcorn • Brown rice • Beans (dried)

• Green peas • Lentils

Avoid: Breads or cereals prepared with milk or milk products

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Fat Exchange List


• Fortified margarine prepared without milk • Vegetable oils

• Cream (non-dairy, pwd) • Salad dressing without milk products

Avoid: All others

Fruit Exchange List:

2 or more servings per day

Recommended: All

Avoid: None

Meat and Meat Substitute Exchange List:

6 or more servings per day


• Meat • Fish

• Peanut butter • Eggs

• Soybeans • Shellfish

• Poultry • Tofu

Avoid: Any meats prepared or processed with milk products such as:

• Luncheon meats • Cheese

Milk Exchange List:

2 or more servings per day


• Soybean milk and other lactose-free supplements

• Yogurt and buttermilk may be tolerated by some

Avoid: All milks and milk products which are not recommended

Vegetable Exchange List:

2 or more servings per day


Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables, both whole and juice

Avoid: Vegetables which are prepared or processed with milk or milk products

Miscellaneous Exchange List


All beverages and soups prepared or processed without milk

Avoid: All beverages and soups containing milk or milk products


Include six to eight cups of fluids, such as water, per day.

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