Taste Test: Lactose-Free Cow’s Milk

Taste Test: Lactose-Free Cow’s Milk

Milk Taste Test
By Alexandra Orlan, Guest Blogger

At the age of seven, my doctor administered a hydrogen breath test to check me for lactose intolerance. He told me my results were the highest he had ever seen. Not something I was hoping to hear at that young age. I didn’t want to stop eating pizza, ice cream or drinking my delicious milk. I wanted to enjoy the same treats as my friends. I began taking Lactaid pills every time I wanted to consume a small amount of dairy, and even so, sometimes I would still feel sick. I struggled finding a suitable replacement, and for many years I didn’t know lactose-free cow’s milk is comparable to milk (which it is!). As it turns out, there are many lactose-free cow’s milk widely available. Here are my top 5 favorites.

What is Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose is the natural sugar found in cow’s milk, which is made from two sugars called glucose and galactose. When someone with lactose intolerance takes in more lactose than the body is able to handle at one time, symptoms like belly aches, flatulence, and loose stool can result. Studies have found that those diagnosed with lactose intolerance can build their way up to tolerating up to 12 grams of lactose (which is equivalent to 1 cup of milk or yogurt) in one sitting. Lactose-free dairy foods like milk, yogurt and cheese are also available. Lactose free dairy foods like milk are made from cow’s milk and contain the same 9 essentials nutrients that milk does. It has an enzyme called lactase added to it, which helps break down those two sugars so your body can easily absorb them.

My Top 5 Lactose-Free Milks

Skim Plus 100% Lactose-Free 100% Fat-Free Milk
This was my absolute favorite milk out of all five.  It was creamy, sweet and very rich in flavor.  It did not taste fat-free, and is comparable regular cow’s milk.

Per serving (1 cup): 110 calories, 17 g carbohydrates, 16 g sugars, 11 g protein, 40% calcium

Organic Valley Lactose-Free 0% Milk Fat Milk
This is the milk I drink most often because it doesn’t cause any discomfort, is very flavorful and doesn’t have any aftertaste!

Per serving (1 cup): 90 calories, 14 g carbohydrates, 13 g sugars, 8 g protein, 30% calcium

Smart Balance Lactose-Free, Fat-Free and Omega-3 Milk
This milk was very creamy with a rich and satisfying flavor.  If you were given this product side-by-side with regular cow’s milk, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Per serving (1 cup): 100 calories, 14 g carbohydrates, 14 g sugars, 0 g total fat, 10 g protein, 35% calcium

Horizon Lactose-Free Organic Fat-Free Milk
The mouth-feel of this milk was on the thinner side, and had a full flavor with no after taste.

Per serving (1 cup): 90 calories, 13 g carbohydrates, 12 g sugars, 0 g total fat, 8 g protein, 30% calcium

Lactaid Fat-Free Milk 100% Lactose-Free
This milk was more water-like in mouth feel and was not as sweet as the others.

Per serving (1 cup): 90 calories, 13 g carbohydrates, 12 g sugars, 0 g total fat, 8 g protein, 30% calcium


No matter your preference, there is a lactose-free cow’s milk out there for everyone. The best thing about it is that it can be directly substituted for regular cow’s milk in any recipe. Use the same amount of lactose-free cow’s milk to regular cow’s milk in the recipes (a 1:1 ratio).  I love using lactose-free cow’s milk in my morning breakfast cereal as well as my favorite chocolate cake recipe! It is very versatile and will not alter the taste or texture of your recipes.


Alexandra Orlan will be a junior dietetics major this fall at the University of Delaware.  She hopes to become a registered dietitian and use her passion for food and health to better others’ lives.

  • Amol
    Posted at 02:04h, 23 February Reply

    Lactose free milk is one of the best alternative for lactose intolerant people. I have never seen brands that you mentioned at out place. But. Amul lactos.e free milk is some thing well known for lactose intolerant.

  • Nancy Cornell
    Posted at 14:48h, 19 April Reply

    I have tried all brands of lactose free milk, they are awful and do not taste anything like real milk

  • Larry Molter
    Posted at 15:31h, 14 October Reply

    Only Fairlife (Red bottle) has reduced sugar and tastes like real milk. All the others are too sweet.

  • urbanfarmsmilk
    Posted at 00:52h, 28 January Reply

    great content, I didn’t get proper information on lactose-free cow’s milk anywhere else.

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