5 Reasons Allergic To Feta Cheese

Allergic to feta, but not 100% sure?

Below i covered 5 reasons why you could be allergy to feta (or other cheeses).

Feta is quite similar to many other cheeses, except for the milk. Feta either made from 100% sheep milk, or sheep milk mixes with not more than 30% of goat milk.

Any different? Anything to do with allergy?

let’s dive in.

1. Sheep/Goat Milk in Feta

Unlike cows, sheep spent the day eating a huge variety of greens. For that reason, sheep milk has more solid content and is normally richer than both cow and goat milk.

To be exact, the milk produced has higher fat, protein, calcium and minerals than the cow or goat milk (1). That’s also why 1 gallon of cow milk or goat milk can only produce ~1 pound of cheese, but a gallon of sheep milk can make 2-3 pound of cheese.

Yet, it doesn’t have a strong “goat” taste as in goat milk. Also to note that the goat or sheep milk lacks a substance called agglutinin, thus easier for our body to absorb.

Reason why allergic to sheep/goat milk

Since feta is made from sheep/goat milk, some people’s immune system may react to milk protein (casein) of sheep or goat, but not to the cow’s. To be exact, their antibody IgE recognized the sheep casein as the foreign object then initiate the body immune response (2)

That’s why some people/children/even dogs will get some ill after eaten feta. For instance, their lung, throat, nose, or even skin become swollen, rash or itch.

To solve that, you may want to go for dairy-free alternative to feta cheese.

2. Perhaps, Gluten?

Gluten is a group of protein that can normally be found in grains, such as wheat, rye, barley, and oats.

Although gluten do not naturally present in the milk, some processed cheese products such as mozzarella sticks, or cheese additive and added ingredients (such as vinegar or cellulose) will have a certain amount of gluten. Read more.

Your feta cheese is not just feta cheese, especially the flavoured feta.

This data is from the USDA food database. Look at the ingredients used. Some of them are containing a trace amount of hidden gluten.

If you allergic to gluten, make sure to check the label before you buy. Choose the feta cheese that only contain milk, starter cultures, enzyme, and salt. That’s it.

The symptoms for gluten allergy including:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache and feeling tired
  • Weight loss
  • More

3. Or the Dairy Product in general?

The reason for allergic to dairy product is similar to the one I explained above for sheep/goat milk. Except for this time your IgE antibodies are sensitive to more kind of casein (milk protein), including the cow’s. This happens to 2-3% of children in the US younger than 3 years old.

The symptoms include:

Better yet, you can learn how to make your own delicious dairy-free feta here. Click for more.
  • Hives
  • Vomiting
  • Blood stools
  • Shortness of breath
  • More

If this is the case, you may want to consider stop eating dairy cheese.

Some suggesting to do a skin test before eating a dairy-free or non-dairy cheese. Alternatively, use soy’s milk or nuts to replace the milk, and make your own cheese instead, watch how.

4. Could it be the Lactose in feta?

Feta containing only a little amount of lactose.

Thanks to the lactic acid bacteria in the starter culture which converts lactose into the lactic acid, learn more.

In the case of people with lactose intolerance, their body does not produce enough enzyme to digest lactose. In severe cases, even with a little amount of lactose, the sufferers might show the symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, nausea, and gurgling sound in the stomach.

The good news is that the feta, camembert, and brie were all containing less than 0.0024 g of lactose in per 100g of respective cheese (3).

According to the recommendation, most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate up to 1-2 cups of milk which is equivalent to 24 grams of lactose daily.

To clear things up, some believed that the “sugar” under the Nutrition Facts on the packaging label is the lactose, which is not exactly right. Lactose is one of the disaccharide sugar, but not all. It could be inclusive of other sugars, such as galactose and mono-saccharides (4, 5).

So, if the label says the sugar is 6 gram, it doesn’t necessarily mean the lactose is 6 gram.

See how much lactose in Mozzarella vs Gouda.

5. Or, Histamine?

If none of the above is the cause for allergy after eating feta cheese, you could also be histamine intolerance.

As we discussed earlier here, It is a rare disorder that occurs in 1% of the population where a lack of enzymes produced in the body to digest excess histamine.

And unfortunately, fermentation of milk product such as cheese or yogurt containing a good amount of histamine, which will cause a surge in the histamine level.

In feta, there is a considerable 4.99 mg per 100g of histamine. So, it’s not really recommended for people with histamine intolerance.

The signs and symptoms include:

  • Migraines
  • Nasal congestion
  • Hives
  • Digestive issues
  • Vomiting
  • More

Thanks for reading. Hey a second before you go, you may also be interested to this article i guess? I think so.