Food and Diet


At present the main treatment for galactosaemia is diet based. Since galactosaemics cannot breakdown galactose, the treatment focuses on reducing galactose from the diet as far as possible.

The following foods (and foods that contain the following) should be avoided:

  1. All animal milks (human breast milk, cow’s milk, goats milk) *Please note: some hard mature cheeses are allowed.
  2. Lactose free products (lactose free milk, cream, yoghurt and custard still contain galactose)
  3. Chickpeas (besan flour, chickpea dahl, hummous, felafal)
  4. Legumes (dried peas, beans, lentils)
  5. Fermented soybean products (miso, tempeh, natto, soy sauce)
  6. Offal meat (liver, kidney, brains, pate)

In some countries (particularly in some US States) the recommended diet is far stricter than that recommended in Australia. The reason for this difference is that almost all foods contain traces of bound galactose and the strict diet attempts to eliminate or reduce intake of these foods in addition to the foods listed above. However, authorities in Australia and New Zealand are of the view that including or excluding bound galactose makes no difference in terms of prognosis. It is unbound galactose (which is found in the restricted foods listed above) that is of concern and should be avoided.

Please refer to the ASIEM Galactosaemia handbook via the link below for more detailed information:

Shopping & Galactosaemia

When grocery shopping it is very important to check labelling carefully for ingredients that are sources of galactose. It is sometimes surprising what does and doesn’t include galactose. It is also important to keep an eye out for recipe changes as it is also surprising how readily some manufacturers will all of a sudden change a recipe for no apparent reason to include milk products.

The following ingredients list contains items made from milk. Please check for these ingredients when reading food labels. They are sources of galactose and should be avoided as part of the galactosaemia diet.

  • Butter, butter fat
  • Buttermilk
  • Casein, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate
  • Cheese, cheese powder
  • Cream, sour cream
  • Fruche, fromage frais
  • Ghee
  • Hydrolysed protein (if derived from milk protein)
  • Ice cream
  • Lactose
  • Margarine (containing whey or milk products)
  • Milk, non fat milk, skim milk milk protein
  • Milk solids, non fat milk solids, skim milk solids
  • Milk sugar, sugar of milk
  • Skim milk powder
  • Whey solids, whey syrup sweetener, hydrolysed whey sugar, whey powder
  • Yoghurt

Dairy free foods that are also gluten free are sometimes made with besan flour. Besan flour is made from chickpeas, which are high in galactose, and is therefore not recommended for galactosaemics.

Galactosaemia Friendly Recipes

Please send us your favourite dairy free/low galactose recipes to share with the AGSN community.

Chocolate Cake (ASIEM Galactosaemia Handbook)


  1. 3/4 cup Sugar
  2. 1 1/2 cups Flour
  3. 1 tsp Baking Powder
  4. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 3 Tbsp Cocoa
  7. 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  8. 1 Tbsp Malt Vinegar
  9. 5 Tbsp Oil
  10. 1 cup lukewarm Water


  1. Sieve together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Add sugar and mix. Add the vanilla essence, malt vinegar, oil and water. Mix until just combined.
  2. Bake at 180*C for approximately 25-30 minutes in a lined and greased 20cm square or round cake tin.
  3. Spread chocolate icing over cake once cooled.

Vanilla Cake (AGSN)


  1. 3/4 cup Sugar
  2. 1 1/2 cups Self-Raising Flour
  3. 1/2 cup Plain Flour
  4. 2 Eggs (beaten)
  5. 5 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  7. 1/2 cup Soy Milk
  8. 1/2 cup Water


  1. Preheat oven to 180*C, grease a 20cm cake tin.
  2. Sift dry ingredients in to a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. Add the wet ingredients and mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 mins or until golden brown.
  5. Once cake has cooled top with your favourite icing.

Quick Banana Muffins (AGSN)


  1. 2 1/2 cups Self-Raising Flour
  2. 1/4 cup Raw Sugar
  3. 2 tsp Baking Powder
  4. 2 eggs (beaten)
  5. 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  6. 1 cup Soy Milk
  7. 2 Bananas (mashed)
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla Essence


  1. Preheat oven to 190*C, grease a 12-hole muffin tin.
  2. Sift dry ingredients in to a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and combined until all ingredients are moist.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin and bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown.