Is Tillamook Cheese Lactose Free? Find Out


The most widely consumed cheese worldwide is cheddar. The most popular cheddar in America is Tillamook! The Tillamook Cheese Factory, which is based in Oregon, makes around 77,000 kg (170,000 lbs) of cheese every day and packages about 450,000 kg (1 million lbs) of cheese there every week.

is tillamook cheese lactose free

However, is Tillamook cheese lactose free? Is it healthy? Continue reading to learn more about Tillamook Cheddar’s nutritional profile.

Is Tillamook Cheese Lactose Free?

Tillamook Cheddar is an excellent choice for ketogenic diets due to its high fat and low carbohydrate composition. Tillamook Cheddar, like other pressed raw cheeses, contains low to no detectable lactose.

So, even the most sensitive lactose-intolerant cheese aficionados should be able to stomach this American cheese comfortably.

Tillamook Cheddar is prepared from pasteurized cow’s milk. This characteristic, together with its low moisture level and lack of rind, makes this Cheddar suitable for consumption during pregnancy. Indeed, if you’re pregnant, you can eat this cheese fresh or use it to make a beautiful dish.

Tillamook Cheddar, like most aged cheeses, is an excellent source of calcium. As a result, it is advised for persons at high risk of osteoporosis.


Is Cheddar Lactose-free?

First and foremost, cheddar cheese is a daily product created from cow’s milk, which will inevitably contain some lactose. Similar to other hard cheeses such as parmesan, cheddar is generally considered a low-lactose meal, with lactose levels ranging from 0-2%.

For example, one cup of whole milk (240 g or 8 oz) contains approximately 12 grams of lactose, whereas one cup of cheddar cheese (105 g or 3.7 oz) contains approximately 0.2 grams of lactose.

As a result, you should be able to eat the entire 9-month Tillamook sharp cheddar block without having any adverse reactions. There are only 8 grams of carbs in the entire pack. According to Healthline, most lactose-intolerant persons can only consume 18 grams per day.

This is because the cheddaring process reduces the lactose level in cheddar cheese. Also, when cheese ages, more lactose is broken down by lactic acid bacteria, thus reducing its overall lactose level.

And when the cheddar cheese ages, it loses lactose. This means that aged or extra-aged cheddar cheeses are thought to be nearly lactose-free.

Is Tillamook Good for Lactose Intolerance?

Whether Tillamook cheese is “good” for lactose intolerance depends on two key factors: the specific cheese and your individual level of sensitivity.

Most Tillamook cheddars, particularly aged varieties, are generally well-tolerated by lactose intolerant individuals. This is because the aging process naturally reduces lactose content.

Hard, aged cheeses like sharp cheddar contain less than 0.1 grams of lactose per serving, which falls within the range considered “lactose-free” by many experts.


What are the Best Lactose-free Cheddars?

The brand, together with the ingredients, production process, and aging duration of the cheese, all affect how much lactose is present. Although not all cheddar cheeses are completely lactose-free, the following is a list of some well-known brands that often have less lactose:

  • Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese
  • Sargento Sharp Natural Cheddar Cheese
  • Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar
  • Kerrygold Aged Cheddar
  • Organic Valley Grassmilk Raw Sharp Cheddar
  • 365 Whole Food Market Sharp Cheddar
  • Great Value Sharp Cheddar


While Tillamook Cheese has been reported to be very low or virtually lactose-free, it is crucial to note that some sensitive persons with lower tolerance may still have uncomfortable sensations. If this is the case, they should avoid all types of cheese and instead go for dairy alternatives such as vegan cheddar; see my vegan cheddar review here.