why does milk have so much sugar in it

One cup of white milk (250 ml) contains 12 grams of naturally-occurring sugar called lactose. It gives milk a slightly sweet taste. The body breaks lactose down into glucose and galactose (most of which is later converted to glucose). This process is important because glucose is the primary source of energy in the body and the sole energy source for the brain. Determining if a food has naturally-occurring sugars or added sugars is important. As part of their nutrient-rich package, foods such as fruit, white milk and plain yogurt contain naturally-occurring sugars. These are all healthy foods to include in your diet. In contrast, added sugars are concentrated sources of calories with no nutritional benefit. Thus, limiting added sugars is wise since extra calories can lead to weight gain and increased risk for health problems.


Lactose, also known as milk sugar, makes up around 0-8 per cent of milk, by weight. Extracted from sweet or sour whey, lactose can be separated from milk, to create lactose free dairy products, and can be marketed and sold separately. Pure lactose is about 20 per cent the sweetness of cane sugar and is used in unique food applications and as a sweet addition to flavoured milk. Lactose is also a good way to support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria such as acidophilus. Learn more about sugar in your diet.
Maybe my friend was mixing up the natural sugar of milk, known as lactose, with added sugar, known as sucrose? Lactose is a disaccharide (double-sugar) but is analysed under the blanket term БsugarsБ on the food label.


So is ordinary sugar. WhatБs more, all sugars ARE in fact carbohydrates. I decided to investigate. I compared two milks from the same company Б one a skim milk at almost no fat and one a regular full-fat milk at 3. 4 per cent fat. HereБs what I found. Source: Row 2 for Energy: Skim milk has had almost all its fat skimmed off, so it has fewer kilojoules or Calories. Fat contributes the most kilojoules - double that of protein or lactose. Its energy has dropped from 266 to only 147. Row 7 for Sugars: When you remove the fat from whole milk, you concentrate what remains. So the sugars go from 4. 8 to 4. 9 per cent, plus the protein, sodium and calcium go up. In other words, if you start with 100 mLs of full-fat milk, then remove the 5 per cent fat to create a fat-free skim milk, you end up with only 95 mLs of final skim milk.


That 95 mLs turned into a percentage magnifies what was there. Take a look at my diagram in order to see this at a glance. The yellow section is the Fat content which drops from 3. 4 per cent to almost zero in skim milk. The dark blue (lactose) and red (protein) increase slightly. There is more pale blue (water) in skim milk. Skim milk sometimes tastes slightly sweeter, thanks to this higher content of natural lactose and because the fat isn't there any more to round out the flavour. However, this doesnБt mean youБre consuming any added sugar (which is extracted and purified from cane sugar). This natural sugar is the problem in lactose intolerance, which is caused by an inability to digest the lactose in milk.


Most people can tolerate small amounts of milk, say in tea or coffee and over cereal. But not a large milk shake on an empty stomach. Lactose is better managed if eaten with other foods (say milk in porridge) or spread out over the day, rather than being eaten in large amounts at once. In fact, people with lactose intolerance are better off drinking full-fat milk with its natural fat - which helps slow down the digestion of the milk. Plain skim milk (or low-fat or light milk) doesnБt have any sugar added to it. Drink full-fat milk if you like the taste or seek a Бless processedБ milk, but not because you take in LESS sugar Б you donБt.

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