Can you eat butter if you are lactose intolerant?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat butter if you are lactose intolerant?” We will also discuss what lactose intolerance is, how it causes effects in our body and will do an in-depth analysis of butter intake whether it is safe to eat if we are suffering from lactose intolerance or not.

Can you eat butter if you are lactose intolerant?

Yes, it is safe to eat butter even if we are suffering from lactose intolerance. Butter is a dairy product extracted from milk, which is a high-fat compound that consists of a minor amount of lactose. 

Butter is a healthy compound that can be a part of our diet almost in all circumstances such as during lactose intolerance and also in the weight loss journey due to fewer carbs.

What is Lactose?

Lactose is a form of sugar that is present in dairy products such as milk and cream.

What is Lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerant is a common digestive syndrome that is defined as improper digestion of lactose, the body does not accept lactose properly and causes problems in normal digestion.

Symptoms of Lactose intolerance

Its symptoms begin to appear after a few hours of ingesting food or drink that consists of lactose.

Symptoms include:

  • Cramps and pains in the stomach
  • Growling inside the stomach
  • Stomach Inflation
  • Weakness and sickness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Farting

The extreme or mild appearance of these symptoms all depends on the intake of lactose.

Some people can take a glass of milk containing lactose without showing any severe symptoms of illness but some cannot even take milk in a cup of coffee or tea. 

What causes lactose intolerance?

Lactase is an enzyme that digests lactose. Lactase splits the lactose molecule into two compounds, glucose and galactose that is easily soaked up into the gastrointestinal tract.

People with lactose intolerance have enough lactase in their digestive tract due to the absence of lactase enzyme for its decomposition, where lactose is fermented by bacteria that causes severe issues of syndromes along with the production of gases.

Butter consumption

Butter is considered one of the heavy fat compounds that are extracted by swirling milk or cream in a pot to separate solid and liquid parts of butter.

After churning the milk, whole fat butter is obtained that is separated from the liquid part of milk. All the lactose part is in the liquid which is removed during the butter formation procedure.

This relieves that butter has a very short amount of lactose. It is stated that 3.5 ounces or grams of butter contain 0.1 grams of lactose.

This minor level of butter does not cause any serious issue in the body even if you have lactose intolerance.

It is also good to know that butter content from fermented and regular milk is different. Fermented milk has less lactose than regular milk.

So, break this rumour to avoid butter due to lactose.

Complication regarding lactose intolerance

Dairy products such as milk contain calcium, protein and vitamins such as A, D and B12.

Lactose is also beneficial to make absorbance for some other minerals like zinc and magnesium.

Vitamins and minerals play a significant role in the strengthening of bones and their development.

But due to lactose intolerance, it is difficult to get more vitamins and minerals that will lead to losing weight to an unhealthy level and it can cause the following conditions

  1. Osteopenia

It is termed as the low bone-mineral density that can be transformed into osteoporosis.

  1. Osteoporosis

It enhances the risk of bone-breaking because in this condition bones become more weak and thin.

  1. Malnutrition

When the edibles which we take do not provide essential nutrients, they delay wound healing and body functioning. This will cause the sensation of stress and depression.

If the dietary intake creates complications for you, then consult a dietitian that would recommend you to change your food according to your condition of illness.

How is butter beneficial to health?

Butter is enriched with a lot of nutrients and compounds that are beneficial to our health, for example, butyrate and conjugated linoleic acid. Butter is a high-fat compound that minimizes the risk of heart diseases, obesity and diabetes.

Butter’s one tablespoon has the following nutritional components

  • Total Calories are 102
  • Total fat is 11.5 grams
  • Vitamin A are 11 per cent of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin are 2 per cent of RDI
  • Vitamin B12 are 1 per cent of the RDI
  • Vitamin K are 1 per cent of RDI

These all are healthy nutrients that are boosters of the immune system, antioxidants and improve health.

Other FAQs about Butter that you may be interested in.

What Can You Substitute For Butter?

Substitute butter for vegetable oil in cake mix

Substitute butter for margarine in cookies


In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “ Can you eat butter if you are lactose intolerant?”. We have also discussed butter intake and how it can be ingested in a person with lactose tolerance, which symptoms can appear due to butter intake while having lactose intolerance, and complications regarding lactose intolerance.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.