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Common Dairy Substitutions Guide

Welcome to Lactose Free Life, the place where your stomach and you are friends. ? My goal is to help you understand a few easy and common dairy substitutions.  I’ll stick to items that are available in major grocery stores.  Now let’s talk about dairy substitutions.


This used to be one of the hardest things to replace but not anymore. My number one go-to replacement is Fairlife Milk. My number one go-to replacement is Fairlife Milk. You can use this as a 1to 1 replacement for milk. Fairlife Milk is regular milk that is ultra-pasteurized so the lactose content is removed.

The only thing bad about it is the price. My wife uses it all the time for cooking. I can attest to this being truly lactose free because I can drink a full glass with no symptoms. Hell, I could drink a whole bottle with no symptoms.

Another commonly used milk substitute is Lactose Free Milk. These are the milks with lactase enzymes added to them to lower the lactose content. Lactaid Milk is the most popular brand name.

These are so popular there are store brand versions. The good thing about these is they’re cheap and work for most people. The bad thing about it is, its regular milk with enzymes added it so it may still give you LI symptoms.


I lived half my life thinking I could not eat butter. I was wrong. Plain regular butter has very little lactose content. However I avoid all reduced fat or light butters because each brands lactose content varies too much for me to feel safe. I feel the same way about margarine, too much lactose content variation for me to feel safe.

“Plain ole regular butter has very little lactose content.”

The only other butter I would use and have used is Earth Balance Buttery Spread (any variety). Their butters have no lactose content and taste similar to butter. The only bad part about this is the price. So why buy that for more when I can just eat butter.


Cheese is yet another food I lived half my life thinking I could not eat. I was wrong. I can’t eat every cheese but there are a lot I can eat. The cheeses below are low in lactose content so I can eat them.

  • Cheddar Cheese (Mild, Medium, Sharp, Extra Sharp)
  • Gouda
  • Muenster
  • Parmesan
  • Provolone
  • Swiss Cheese

Sharp cheddar is my go to cheese. I use it on everything from nachos to burgers. I’ve eaten the other cheddar cheeses with no problems, but I have to admit I’m too scared to order it at a restaurant ?. Even so I do order Swiss cheese and provolone at restaurants because most brands keep those natural.

More Substitutions

There are many more substitutions including more substitutions for milk, butter, cheese, and a variety of dairy products like coffee cream, ice cream, heavy cream, etc. This guide was limited to the most common and easiest substitutions. You can learn more about substitutions in the articles below. If you need specific help don’t hesitate to reach out to me.