Which dairy products contain (almost) no casein and lactose?

by 361 · June 30, 2014 at 04:05 PM

I need a refresher, because I thought cheese I was perfectly safe until just now. Also, please give me some advice on butters and yogurts, like greek yogurts. I have found that lactose and casein explode my acne production so I want to stay away from them as much as I can.

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19504 · January 18, 2012 at 04:43 AM

Cream and butter. With ghee being an even cleaner version of butter...

Medium avatar
19355 · January 18, 2012 at 08:11 PM

If you're looking to avoid both casein (the primary milk protein in addition to whey) and lactose (milk sugar) you can simply focus on cream only (milk fat) products.

This would include sour cream, cream cheese, heavy cream, butter, ghee, etc.

Yogurt and cheese have less lactose because the bacterial cultures use it up as food while it ages/ferments. The bacteria do not consume the milk proteins, however, so it remains intact in the final product.

As other noted, there is a difference between the type of casein found in different types/species of ruminants. Alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactoglobulin are the two main types found in cows milk and it is thought that the beta-lactoglobulin form is primarily to blame for milk allergies.

Going even further, the problem is thought to be the result in a mutation in cows (this mutation has not been detected in goats or sheep) that causes some to produce a type of beta-lactoglobulin that is particularly problematic (a proline molecule is replaced by a histidine molecule).

This difference is sometimes designated as A1 vs A2 (with A1 being the "bad" kind). As you can probably guess, most U.S. dairy cows (primarily Holsteins) are the A1 kind. This is because they produce prodigious quantities of milk. In countries where milk quality is the prime concern, you will still find A2 breeds such as Jerseys.

(You can find more information about A1 vs A2 milk here)

"Beware, Bad Cow"


"Ignore the horns, this is a good cow!"


18794 · January 18, 2012 at 04:37 AM

I'm fairly lactose intolerant, and I use ghee for cooking very frequently. The clarifying process also removes casein. I'm sure there are trace amounts of both in ghee, but you may find you handle it rather well.

2412 · January 18, 2012 at 04:46 AM

You might do better with dairy products from sheep or goats. But if casein and lactose are exploding your acne, why not avoid dairy altogether?

943 · January 18, 2012 at 04:54 PM

Agree with Wozza - goat's and sheep's milk are much better from a casein perspective.

However, I don't agree about having to cut dairy altogether. My n=1 experiment showed that as long as you're consuming the dairy as homemade fermented yogurt, the acne stayed away. The minute it was consumed without friendly bacteria, the acne returned. If you ferment the yogurt for long enough, the bacteria consume all of the lactose and multiply to great numbers, increasing the potency of the yogurt exponentially.

Diets like GAPS propose that these types of dairy shouldn't be a problem for most people after allowing your gut to heal for some period of time and Chris Kresser even points to a study that shows fermented dairy w/ L. Acidophilus cleared up the skin even further:


10 · August 15, 2012 at 03:18 PM

Lactose is a sugar, so read the label. If there's no sugar, there's no lactose. Many cheeses (like cheddar) are "naturally" lactose free because it's removed by the standard method to make that cheese. Some cheese-making procedures, especially for softer cheeses, do not remove the lactose, but it's still pretty low because lactose is turned into lactic acid to make any cheese.

10 · July 14, 2012 at 02:11 AM

The Mayo Clinic states the following dairy contain casein: All milk, butter (which means cream, heavy or half and half, yogurt, kefir, cheese, etc. Only ghee (clarified butter) has had the casein protein removed. The Mayo clinic adds that mothers who breast feed (nurse) their babies who drink milk may pass on the allergy or sensitivity to their baby and even cause the baby to refuse to nurse or become ill from the bleed off of cow's milk from the mother's diet. The problem here, in the answers, it's largely anecdotal and opinion, in fact, I looked up the USDA, Dairy science at the UW (University of Wisconsin) and typed in casein cream connection. Nothing came up, so, the Mayo cllinic will have to do. The Mayo Clinic, once the Mayo Foundation used raw milk in the early part of the last century to cure ills, specifically, Dr. Crewe, a Mayo Foundation founder.

6218 · January 18, 2012 at 10:08 PM

In the past year experimenting with Lacto-Paleo (including 30 days of dairy elimination), this is what I found for the hubby and I:

We can consume any type of raw dairy - milk, butter, cheese, cream, sour cream, cream cheese, ice cream, heavy cream, yogurt with NO symptoms. We feel great in fact.

I've only experimented up to 3 raw dairy servings/day - haven't tried more then that because then I'd have to reduce the nutrition of other foods I like such as meat, veggies, starches, etc.

We can consume any amount of pasteurized grass-fed dairy of cream, butter, and ghee with NO symptoms. These are minimal to no lactose/casein foods.

Now milk, cheese, and yogurt if we have more then 2 servings of milk, cheese, or yogurt per day as pasteurized then acne flairs up.

I now understand why WAPF are obsessed with raw dairy.

Medium avatar
0 · June 30, 2014 at 03:58 PM

I began LCHF in Feb with GREAT success but now slipping back a little. Not recovering well from exercise, joint pain, non restorative sleep. A previous test displayed a sensitivity to casein, so avoid daily, but do consume full fat butter and cream, lots, and not the grass fed variety. I assumed full fat means no protein and no casein. Perhaps I'm wrong? Do you think the cream and butter could be causing these issues?

Medium avatar
0 · April 08, 2014 at 04:36 AM

Ghee Butter

0 · August 01, 2013 at 12:31 PM

They also now make a Greek almond milk yogurt that's high in protein....tastes great!!!

0 · July 22, 2013 at 06:57 PM

I found cocnut milk yogurt at whole foods, plain and flavored...very good! I am allergic to casein, and typically do not do well with other yogurts.

692 · June 07, 2013 at 05:25 PM

Just a share here: I can't do lactose, casein OR whey. When, in fact, gives me a strong primary allergic response. The others cause inflammation (including cystic acne within about 12 hours of consumption) and later, digestive distress.

Whey may not be safe for you, too. I only found out the specifics by testing each.

0 · June 07, 2013 at 03:53 PM

There is a soy yogurt here in California--it's delicious and contains the acidophilus -good- bacteria that we eat yogurt for ( as well as the delicious taste and satisfaction factor)

0 · April 28, 2013 at 12:29 PM

I love yogurt but I'm allergic to casein I'm not lactose intolerant.Is there any yogurt that don't contain casein?

14507 · August 15, 2012 at 03:24 PM

Ricotta cheese is 100% or nearly 100% whey protein based.

Whey protein powder is 100% whey protein based.

cream and butter have very little casein as well.

594 · January 18, 2012 at 06:51 AM

I eat greek yogurt and a good amount of butter and it causes no problems.

85 · January 18, 2012 at 05:58 AM

Dairy gives me horrible acne too. Even butter breaks me out. Clarified butter (also called ghee) seems to be fine for me though. It is free of both casein and lactose, according to the label.

2859 · January 18, 2012 at 05:39 AM

Whey, butter...

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