Lactose In Condensed Milk: What You Need To Know

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Condensed milk is a staple ingredient in many Indonesian dishes, from traditional desserts like es teler to popular drinks like Teh Botol. However, not everyone can enjoy condensed milk as it contains lactose, a type of sugar that some people cannot digest properly. In this article, we will explore what lactose is, how it affects our bodies, and what alternatives are available for those who are lactose intolerant.

What is Lactose?

Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products. It is made up of two smaller sugar molecules, glucose and galactose, which are linked together. In order for our bodies to digest lactose, we need an enzyme called lactase, which breaks down lactose into these two smaller molecules. However, some people do not produce enough lactase, which means they cannot digest lactose properly.

What Happens When You Consume Lactose?

If you are lactose intolerant and consume lactose, it can cause a range of digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. These symptoms usually occur within 30 minutes to two hours after consuming lactose. The severity of symptoms can vary depending on the amount of lactose consumed and the individual’s level of lactase deficiency.

How Much Lactose is in Condensed Milk?

Condensed milk contains a high amount of lactose, as it is made by removing water from milk and concentrating the sugar and protein content. A 100-gram serving of condensed milk contains around 11 grams of lactose, which is equivalent to the amount of lactose in a glass of milk.

Alternatives to Condensed Milk

If you are lactose intolerant or trying to avoid lactose for other reasons, there are several alternatives to condensed milk that you can use in your cooking and baking. Some options include: – Coconut milk: This creamy and flavorful milk is a popular alternative to dairy milk and can be used in many of the same ways as condensed milk. – Soy milk: Made from soybeans, this milk has a mild flavor and can be used in baking and cooking. – Almond milk: This nutty and slightly sweet milk is a great option for those who are allergic to soy or coconut. – Lactose-free dairy products: Some dairy products, such as lactose-free milk and cream, are available for those who want to enjoy the taste of dairy without the lactose.


In conclusion, lactose intolerance is a common condition that affects many people around the world. If you are lactose intolerant, it is important to be aware of the lactose content in the foods and drinks you consume, including condensed milk. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to condensed milk that you can use in your cooking and baking to achieve a similar taste and texture. By making small adjustments to your diet, you can still enjoy your favorite foods without the discomfort of lactose intolerance.