A Lactose Intolerant’s Guide to Cheese


Feta is a white cheese that originates from Greece. Feta cheesemaking uses sheep’s milk. It is used as a “refreshing type of cheese,” meaning it is not melted and not used for baking or cooking. Feta cheese usage in salads is widespread, and it is associated with olive oil and lemon dressing. It is also used in dips and as a condiment in sandwiches or pizzas. It is considered a cultural food for Greeks and is common in Greek gastronomy. Feta cheesemaking dates back to the 8th century BC.

On the other hand, we have goat cheese to compare with feta. As the name suggests, goat cheese comes from goat milk, and it can be soft, semisolid, and hard. Goat cheese can sometimes have a tart flavor due to the nutrients and compounds present in goat’s milk. Goat cheese is most prevalent in France, as it is part of the French gastronomy and is famously known as “Fromage de chèvre.” It is usually considered a delicacy and can be consumed raw, baked in a pie, added as a topping on pizza, or baked separately. It is used as a spread on bread and pairs it with something sweet such as honey.

This article will discuss the difference between feta cheese and goat cheese according to the nutritional content, vitamin content, mineral content, health impacts, and variations and usages.


Can Vegans eat feta cheese?

No, of course not. Traditional feta cheese is a dairy-based product. But we’ll make our plant-based version from tofu so it’s 100% vegan friendly! It’s a perfect vegan substitute for feta cheese.

All nutrients comparison – raw data values

Nutrient Opinion Opinion
Net carbs 4.09g 0.12g
Protein 14.21g 21.58g
Fats 21.28g 29.84g
Carbs 4.09g 0.12g
Calories 264kcal 364kcal
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar 4.09g 0.12g
Fiber 0g 0g
Calcium 493mg 298mg
Iron 0.65mg 1.62mg
Magnesium 19mg 29mg
Phosphorus 337mg 375mg
Potassium 62mg 158mg
Sodium 917mg 415mg
Zinc 2.88mg 0.66mg
Copper 0.032mg 0.564mg
Vitamin A 422IU 1464IU
Vitamin E 0.18mg 0.26mg
Vitamin D 16IU 22IU
Vitamin D 0.4µg 0.5µg
Vitamin C 0mg 0mg
Vitamin B1 0.154mg 0.072mg
Vitamin B2 0.844mg 0.676mg
Vitamin B3 0.991mg 1.148mg
Vitamin B5 0.967mg 0.19mg
Vitamin B6 0.424mg 0.06mg
Folate 32µg 2µg
Vitamin B12 1.69µg 0.22µg
Vitamin K 1.8µg 2.5µg
Tryptophan 0.2mg 0.227mg
Threonine 0.637mg 0.805mg
Isoleucine 0.803mg 0.893mg
Leucine 1.395mg 1.861mg
Lysine 1.219mg 1.549mg
Methionine 0.368mg 0.575mg
Phenylalanine 0.675mg 0.859mg
Valine 1.065mg 1.485mg
Histidine 0.397mg 0.589mg
Cholesterol 89mg 79mg
Trans Fat g g
Saturated Fat 14.946g 20.639g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.623g 6.808g
Polyunsaturated fat 0.591g 0.709g

Why is goat milk good for you?

Goat’s milk is high in medium-chain fatty acids. This is important because these are not stored as body fat and provide an energy boost. They are linked to the prevention of heart disease and the treatment of many intestinal conditions while lowering your cholesterol and increasing levels of good cholesterol.

Frequently Asked Questions About Substitutes For Feta Cheese

If you have any inquiries about feta cheese substitutes, you will find the answer in the following section.

What Is The Difference Between Feta Cheese And Cheddar Cheese?

Compared to sharp cheddar cheese, feta cheese contains less fat and calories. Specifically, 1 ounce (28 grams) of feta cheese offers 6 grams of fat and 74 calories. On the other hand, 1 ounce of cheddar cheese has approximately 7 grams of fat and 110 calories.

Does Feta Cheese Contain Cholesterol?

Yes, feta cheese does contain cholesterol and other saturated fat, besides its nutritious sources of calcium and protein.

Can You Melt Feta Cheese On Pizza?

Although feta cheese melts, using it on pizza is not advised. In fact, mozzarella is considered the best cheese to melt on pizza, owing to its texture and flavor when combined with the dish.

Can I Substitute Cream Cheese For Feta? Yes, you can use cream cheese as an alternative to feta, as cream cheese melts and spreads better. Feta cheese is preferred because it crumbles beautifully.

Potential Drawbacks Of Feta Cheese

Despite containing various beneficial nutrients, feta cheese has certain drawbacks stemming from the milk type and the production method employed.

1. Contain High Lactose Content

Being an unripened cheese, feta contains a very high level of lactose compared to other aged cheeses. Thus, people that are lactose intolerant should stay away from consuming feta cheese.

2. Have Rich Amounts Of Sodium

As mentioned in the making process above, the curds are salted. Also, during the storing process, the feta cheese blocks must be soaked in salty brine with around 7 percent of salt.

Therefore, the final product is full of sodium. It contains over 300 mg of sodium in just one ounce of serving. This sodium amount is equivalent to around 13 percent of your recommended daily intake.

In short, if you are sensitive to salt and sodium, refrain from using feta cheese. Or, if you must use it, try to reduce the salt level of feta cheese by rinsing it with water carefully before eating.

3. Not Suitable For Pregnant Women

Pregnant women are recommended to stay away from having unpasteurized dairy items to avoid consuming harmful bacteria.

Therefore, feta cheese made from raw and unpasteurized milk should not be on the food list of pregnant women. It also has a higher moisture level, making it riskier to consume than other aged cheeses.

Cheese Is Still OK for Some Lactose-Intolerant

For some people who have determined they are only lactose intolerant, cheese can be eaten. This is because lactose is primarily in the whey, not the curds. When cheese is being made (with the exception of some soft cheeses that contain whey, like ricotta) the whey (liquid) is discarded and the lactose goes with it.

Is feta cheese fattening?

The consumption of excess calories over time is what leads to weight gain.

This is because calories that are not used by your body as a source of energy are stored as fat.

The more excess calories you eat, the more weight you gain, and these calories can come from any type of food.

The number of calories found in different foods varies largely.

Those that are mainly made up of water (which has 0 calories), like fruits and vegetables tend to be low in calories.

Conversely, foods that are high in fat, such as nuts, seeds and cheese tend to be high in calories.

Indeed, feta cheese is a high calorie food. For example, a one cup serving has almost 400 calories. As a comparison, one cup of spinach has only 7 calories! It is therefore much easier to gain weight by eating feta cheese than it is spinach.

The number of calories that a person needs to consume in order to gain weight depends on their age, gender, weight, height and how active they are.

You can use the calculator below to get a rough estimation of how many calories you should be consuming.

Gender Age Weight Switch to lbs Height Switch to feet and inches Activity Level

This calculator will never show a number below 1000 calories per day. Please speak to a qualified health professional before attempting to eat less than that.

For example, a 35 year old lady who weighs 65 kg, is 170 cm tall and exercises 4 times a week will need to consume upwards of 2200 calories in order to start gaining weight.

Provided that feta cheese is eaten in small amounts, it will not result in weight gain. Eating one or two wedges a day is perfectly fine. However eating two cups daily, on top of your other meals will most likely lead to weight gain.

The Lactose Intolerance Diet

In the past, it's been standard practice for people with lactose intolerance to avoid all dairy products.

But experts now recommend that you keep some cheese, yogurt, and even milk in your diet.

If you do consume a dairy product, try to do so with other foods, as this helps to slow down digestion, giving your body more time to break down the lactose.

It's also very important to make sure you maintain a nutritionally well-balanced diet.

Milk contains numerous vital nutrients, including calcium, protein, and vitamins A, B12, and D.

Therefore, you should make sure to supplement your diet with foods enriched with these nutrients — especially calcium and vitamin D — if you're on a lactose free-diet.

Without enough calcium or vitamin D, you may develop osteoporosis late in life, a medical condition in which your bones become brittle and fragile.

To maintain healthy bones, children and adults require 1000 to 1300 milligrams of calcium and 600 to 800 international units of vitamin D each day, depending on age and sex.

There are several "lactose-free" products that are sources of calcium and/or vitamin D:

  • Soy, almond, rice, and coconut milk
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, and salmon)
  • Fish liver oil
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice
  • Almonds

Vitamin D can also be obtained through sun exposure.

If you’re concerned you are not getting adequate amounts of calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients found in dairy, talk to your doctor or work with a registered dietitian.

Dietary supplements can also help you obtain the recommended amount of nutrients you may be missing while on a lactose-free diet.

The amount of lactose you can tolerate is often determined by trial and error, but almost everyone — regardless of whether or not they are lactose intolerant — needs to keep dairy proteins in check.

These strategies can help you manage dairy in your diet:

  • Try dividing your daily lactose intake into four-ounce to eight-ounce servings and spacing them out during the day.
  • Solid food slows down emptying of the stomach and allows extra time for lactase to break down lactose. For example, have a small glass of milk along with a full lunch.
  • Lactase tablets help digest lactose and are available over-the-counter. You can also opt to drink a brand of milk that contains pre-digested lactose, such as Lactaid.
  • Yogurt with live and active cultures is low in lactose and may not give you any problems. The bacterial cultures in yogurt pre-digest lactose, making it a suitable food for many people with lactose intolerance.

The more dairy protein you eliminate, the more you need to add in dairy-free foods that are rich in calcium and other nutrients.

Receive Our Nutrition Updates


Receive notification each time we publish a new article, and get exclusive guides direct to your inbox.

Invalid email address No thanks.