For people with GI problems, it’s a headache when heard of FODMAP. But thankfully, cheeses are quite low in FODMAP. FODMAP sometimes refer to the amount of lactose present in the cheese. Not exactly right, but close enough. That’s because lactose, as we know, is only one of the FODMAP carbohydrate. So, it is depending on the milk source and the cheesemaking process after all.
According to the data (by ALOUETTE CHEESE USA LLC ) from the USDA, for every 100 grams of crumbled gorgonzola cheese, there is 25g of protein, 28g of fat, and 3.57g of sugar & carbs. And that 3.57g includes a large portion of lactose, which is also a FODMAP. Even if we assumed that all carbs are FODMAP, the number is still in the range of your daily recommendation of 15-30g intake in low FODMAP diet (1).
For that reason, gorgonzola is considered low in FODMAP. That said, the lactose level also depends on a number of factors. See below.
Before we get into detail, you have to know where exactly the lactose from.
With the help of rennet and acid, most of the water gets drained away leaving a huge chunk of solid mass curd. It comprises fat, lactose, casein protein, whey protein, and ash.
Along with it, there is usually a starter culture of thermophilic bacteria added into the milk before forming the curd. As the aging period goes, these bacteria help to convert lactose (FODMAP) into lactic acid, which then dramatically reduces the lactose level in cheese.
Therefore, that’s why fresh cheeses are higher in FODMAP than the aged hard cheese such as parmesan or cheddar. For the same reason, Parmigiano Reggiano (the real parmesan) which takes years to age is said to have little to none lactose in it. See FODMAP in Parmigiano Reggiano.
What about the FODMAP in other cheeses?
For those with IBS and concerning about the FODMAP, you are fine to go with Monterey Jack, blue cheese, feta, brie,
You can check out our previous article for more.
An easy way to identify low FODMAP cheese next time when you go to a grocery store is to look for a nutrition label with no/low lactose (go for carbs if can’t find lactose) — below than 5g.
With that in mind, do not confuse dairy-free cheese with FODMAP. It literally means the cheese is made of other ingredients but not dairy, those ingredients (such as nuts) could still be high in FODMAP.
Read Gorgonzola vs Parmesan.