Lactose Intolerance and Provolone: How Much Lactose is in Provolone?

Lactose intolerance is a condition that affects many people. If you are lactose intolerant, you may be wondering how much lactose is in provolone cheese.

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Luckily, provolone is low in lactose and should not cause problems for most people who are intolerant to lactose. But how low is low? any scientific proof?

In this blog post, we will explore why provolone is low in lactose and discuss the USDA source that confirms this information.

How much lactose per day is for lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is a condition where a person may have decreased ability to digest lactose, the sugar found in dairy products.

The recommended amount of lactose for a person with lactose intolerance is less than 12-24 grams per day (1, 2), which is equivalent to about 1-2 cups (250-500 ml) of milk.

So, how much lactose is in provolone?

As lactose is one of the carbohydrates in milk, you can simply just look at the label of provolone cheese for its carbohydrate content.

If you do a quick Google search for “provolone”, under the Nutrition Data tab, you will likely see its carbohydrate by difference for 1 oz is 0.6 g, which is equivalent to 2.1 g for 100 grams of provolone.

Say if you ate 5 slices of provolone, you will get about 3g of lactose. It’s far from the daily intake limit.

What about lactose in popular brands of provolone?

Research showed PDO Provolone Valpadana dolce (younger provolone aged 60-90 days) has lesser than 1g of lactose in 100g of cheese (3).

The USDA FoodData Central shows the lactose content (by difference) for the 100g of provolone cheese sold under the brands:

  • HEINEN’S Provolone – 0 gram (usda)
  • TILLAMOOK Provolone – 3.57 grams (usda)
  • APPLEGATE Provolone – 0 gram (usda)
  • ORGANIC VALLEY Provolone – 3.57 grams (usda)

Several other brands also give a similar number. The data confirmed that most of the provolone brands in the US market are acceptable for lactose-intolerant people.

What about aged provolone?

As provolone ages, the lactose will be converted to lactic acid by bacteria, where the bacteria was intentionally added during the early step in cheesemaking as the “starter culture”.

That’s why aged cheese like provolone is naturally low in lactose. Conversely, the higher lactose cheeses are those younger, fresh cheese, aren’t cultured, and also those that use the whey back. One example is ricotta.

Reference:

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