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Does Feta Contain Lactose or Is It Lactose-Free?

Can feta cause food poisoning?

Summary: Eating Feta cheese made from raw milk in small seaside tavernas when you are on holiday in Greece could be a good way to combat food poisoning, according to researchers. Listeria is one of the most dangerous food poisoning bacteria because it can survive in places and conditions that other bacteria cannot.

Is ricotta cheese healthy?

Ricotta is an Italian curd cheese made from whey left over from the production of other cheese. Compared to most cheeses, ricotta is a healthier choice because it contains less salt and fat – 10 per cent fat, of which 6 per cent is saturated.


Is feta cheese lactose gluten free?

Lactose is a natural sugar that is found in dairy products and because feta cheese is obtained from milk, it is not lactose free. However it does have less lactose than a lot of other dairy products.

When lactose is consumed, it is broken down by the enzyme lactase into glucose and galactose, which is then digested by the body. If you are lactose intolerant, your body is deficient in lactase and consuming lactose can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain and cramps.

Most feta cheese that you come across will be gluten free. However some types of processed feta cheese may not be, because they may have wheat containing ingredients added to them. It is therefore a good idea to read nutrition labels before making a purchase, especially if you are gluten intolerant.

Protein content in feta

Cheese like other dairy products is a source of pr

Cheese like other dairy products is a source of protein.  Cheese can make up an important protein source for lacto vegetarians.

Eating foods higher in protein can help increase satiety at meal times as protein sits in your stomach the longest for digestion.

Eating protein foods at meals can help keep you feeling full and less likely to feel hungry shortly after eating.

While feta is lower in overall calories and fat content compared to some other cheeses, the protein content in feta is also slightly lower compared to other cheeses.

An ounce of feta provides about 4 grams of protein, but an ounce of Swiss cheese can provide 8 grams of protein.

An ounce of cheddar or mozzarella cheese provides about 7 grams of protein.

So, if you are looking for a concentrated protein cheese source, feta isn’t at the top of the list.

However, it is lower in calories and fat content.

Nutritional content comparison

The nutritional content comparison will be covering the amounts of carbohydrates, glycemic index, calories, proteins, fats, including saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and cholesterol of both feta and goat cheese, based on 100g.


Feta and goat cheese have low amounts of carbohydrates. Feta has 4.1g of carbohydrates, whereas goat cheese has negligible amounts of carbohydrates which is 0.1g.

Glycemic index

The glycemic index of feta is 27, which is considered low. However, for goat cheese, due to the lack of carbohydrates, the glycemic index is negligible.


Feta has 264 calories, which is lower than the calories in goat cheese, 364 calories per 100g.


The protein content of feta is 14.21g compared to goat cheese which is 21.58g. Goat cheese has higher amounts of protein relative to feta.


Feta contains 21.28g of fat, whereas goat cheese contains 29.8g of fat, which means feta has lower fat.

The distribution of fat content for both kinds of cheese is in the following way:

Saturated fat

Feta contains 14.9g of saturated fat in comparison to goat cheese which has 20.6g. Thus, feta contains lower amounts of saturated fat compared to goat cheese.

Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat

Both contain similar amounts of monounsaturated fats, for feta 4.6g and goat cheese 6.8g.

The polyunsaturated fat is similar, with 0.6g for feta and 0.7g for goat cheese.

We can say that goat cheese is richer in unsaturated fats.


The cholesterol content present in feta is 89mg compared to goat cheese which contains 79mg. The daily recommendation of cholesterol is about 300mg.

What to do if the Dog Ate Feta Cheese?

It’s definitely not healthy if your dog ate feta cheese. But now that the deed has been done, what should be the next step?

A small amount of feta cheese is harmless. The few crumbles that your dog licked from the floor won’t have any noticeable effects. But, if it more like a bite of feta cheese than just an accidental taste, the situation may be more serious.


If your dog is lactose intolerant, expect all the aforementioned side effects. Now, most of the serious harms of feta cheese are long-term. Unless your dog is habitual of eating feta cheese, you shouldn’t be so concerned.

As for the short-term effects, start by booking an appointment with your vet. If the dog is showing the symptoms, instantly head to an emergency vet. But if the dog seems calm, you can try a few home remedies before going to the professional. Make sure to offer lots of water since a dry mouth is expected after eating cheese.

Keep your dog as calm as possible. Vomiting and diarrhea could lead to lethargy too. Use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. If the dog seems to be in a very sensitive condition, try to talk to a vet on the phone. You’ll be able to get some professional advice on how to help your buddy while you get to the pet hospital. You can find more preventative steps here.

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Lower in Sugar
Lower in Sodium
Lower in Cholesterol
Lower in glycemic index
Lower in price
Lower in Saturated Fat
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

Storage and Food Safety

Like most other cheeses, feta cheese should be stored in the refrigerator to preserve freshness. It is often stored in a sealed container as well, to prevent molding or loss of moisture. There is often a “use by” date written on the container, however, a good rule of thumb is to throw it away one week after it has been opened.

How Long Do Leftovers Last In the Fridge?

How much should you eat?

The Dairy Council of California (5) states a serving of hard cheese is 1.5 ounce, grated cheese is one third cup and processed cheese is two ounces.

Each of these sizes represents a serving to reach the 3 recommended daily intake of dairy foods.

Eating an ounce to an ounce and a half of feta per day can fit into a healthy meal plan.

Remember, each food group should be eaten in balance, and you should aim to eat a variety of foods.  Feta is very flavorful, so a little can go a long way.

Therefore, if you are following a low sodium diet, use a small amount of feta as a flavor enhancer to dishes.

Cut back on adding salt to a dish that already has feta in it.

If you have specific questions if feta is right for you, ask your doctor.

5. Or, Histamine?

If none of it above is the cause for your feta allergy, it could be due to histamine intolerance.

As we discussed earlier here, histamine intolerance is a rare disorder that occurs in 1% of the population where it caused by lacking of certain enzymes produced in our body to digest excessive histamine.

And unfortunately, fermentation of milk product such as cheese or yogurt containing a good amount of histamine, which will cause a surge in the histamine level.

In feta, there is a considerable 4.99 mg per 100g of histamine. So, it’s not really recommended for people with histamine intolerance.

The signs and symptoms include:

  • Migraines
  • Nasal congestion
  • Hives
  • Digestive issues
  • Vomiting

Learn more about histamine intolerance.

2. Perhaps, Gluten?

Gluten is a group of protein that can normally be found in grains, such as wheat, rye, barley, and oats.

Although gluten do not naturally present in the milk, some processed cheese products such as mozzarella sticks, or cheese additive with added ingredients (such as vinegar or cellulose) will have a certain amount of gluten. Read more.

Your feta cheese might not be just feta in it, especially the flavoured feta.

This data is from the USDA food database. Look at
This data is from the USDA food database. Look at the ingredients used. Some of them are containing a trace amount of hidden gluten.

If you allergic to gluten, make sure to check the label before you buy. Choose the feta cheese that only contain milk, starter cultures, enzyme, and salt. That’s it.

The symptoms for gluten allergy including:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache and feeling tired
  • Weight loss

Learn more about gluten intolerance here.

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