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Does Lactose Free Milk Have More Sugar

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Why Some People Can Consume Dairy

Does lactose free milk have more sugar?

Some people are lucky because they can consume dairy. Their body continues to make lactase. Hence, these people are called lactase persistent. Their bodies learned to continue making lactase.

The likely explanation is their ancestors continued to consume dairy. Sometimes they may have done so out of need. Back then, sometimes milk was one of the few foods available, like in harsh winters when crops cant grow.

During those harsh times, food was scarce. But the people probably had farm animals like goats and cows. These animals dont need to eat fresh grass. They can eat hay. Since hay is dried, it can be gathered so it can last through winters.

Besides providing meat, these animals can provide milk to the people. So these people drank milk and ate dairy foods. Eventually, these peoples bodies learned to continue making lactase.

Most people of European descent are lactose persistent. Meanwhile, most people of African and Asian descent are lactose intolerant.

And The Secret Ingredient Is

Do you ever feel like almost no one drinks regular milk anymore? It makes sense since more than half of the world’s population is thought to be lactose intolerant. We’ve already broken down the popular types of plant-based milks, but what about Lactaid? Lactaid is considered a milk alternative, but it’s not vegan or dairy-free. If that’s the case, how can it be good for anyone who’s lactose intolerant? If you’re wondering, ‘what is Lactaid,’ you’re not alone. Here’s what sets this milk alternative apart.

How To Make Lactose

Lactose-free milk costs more than regular milk because of the additional steps required to make it. However, you can save most of the expense if you turn regular milk into lactose-free milk yourself. The easiest way to do this is to add lactase to the milk. Lactase drops are available at many stores or from online retailers, such as Amazon.

The amount of lactose removed from the milk depends on how much lactase you add and how long you give the enzyme to react . If you are less sensitive to the effects of lactose, you don’t need to wait as long, or you can save more money and add less lactase. Aside from saving money, one advantage to making your own lactose-free milk is that you won’t get that “cooked” flavor of ultrapasteurized milk.

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How Much Lactose Is In Medications

What does this mean for those who are lactose intolerant? Not as much as you might think. Only a tiny amount of lactose is present in any one pill. One study I read estimated that the average pill had 25 mg of lactose. Youd need to take 12,000 such pills to equal the lactose in an eight-ounce glass of milk at that rate.

Some people might still have symptoms from this tiny amount, especially if they have to take many such pills each day, as the elderly or those with serious illnesses must do. If you must take the medication, your doctor might suggest taking a lactase pill along with the medication to see if that helps.

Contains The Same Nutrients As Milk


Even though lactose-free milk contains lactase to aid the digestion of lactose, it boasts the same impressive nutrient profile as regular milk.

Like normal milk, the lactose-free alternative is a great source of protein, supplying about 8 grams in a 1-cup serving (

2 ).

Plus, many types are enriched with vitamin D, an important vitamin involved in various aspects of your health but found in only a few food sources .

Therefore, you can switch out regular milk for lactose-free milk without missing out on any of the key nutrients that regular milk provides.


Like regular milk, lactose-free milk is a good source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, riboflavin and vitamin D.

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What To Do When You Have Mild Symptoms

If thesymptoms are only mild, you can try to reduce the dairy products for a periodof at least two weeks or at best leave them out completely. If the symptomsdisappear, you can assume that you are lactose intolerant. In order to find outhow severe your intolerance is, you can start to gradually increase yourlactose intake again. If the symptoms reoccur, you will know that it was toomuch and you can use this as a guide.

What Makes Lactaid Special

If you’re paying attention, you probably noticed that the ingredients in Lactaid are exactly the same as those in regular milk, except for onethe lactase enzyme.

The lactase enzyme is naturally produced in our small intestines. It facilitates the breakdown of lactose, the sugar found in dairy. It breaks lactose down into glucose and galactose, which allow our body to fully digest the sugar.

People who are lactose intolerant lack this enzyme that allows them to digest lactose. Without it, the sugars go undigested and can actually ferment in the stomach, thus producing the uncomfortable side effects the condition is associated with .

In comes Lactaid, which includes the enzyme mixed in with the milk. This means the breakdown of lactose that usually happens in your stomach has already happened in Lactaid products. Your body doesn’t need to break down the lactose, because the milk has already done the hard work for you.

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Does Butter Yogurt And Cheese Have Lactose

Some dairy products are naturally low in lactose. This is because some of the lactose is drained from the product or used by lactic acid bacteria during the fermentation process. Some people with lactose intolerance are able to digestthese products without problems.

Lactose in butter and cream

Butter is made from churned cream and contains very little lactose. Regular cream contains some lactose.

Arla offers lactose free cream, for example as part of our UK lactose free range Arla LactoFree.

Lactose in yogurt, skyr and kefir

Some people with lactose intolerance can enjoy fresh yogurt and other fermented products such as skyr or kefir without problems. One reason might be due to the live cultures of lactic acid bacteria that are added to ferment these products.

Arla offers lactose free yogurt and other fermented products. Read more about our UK lactose free yogurt range.

Lactose in cheese

People with lactose intolerance can enjoy the large variety of hard or semi-hard yellow cheeses such as Cheddar, Havarti, Gouda or Emmental. Because of the way that these cheeses are produced, most of the milk water that contains the lactose is drained from the milk and the lactic acid bacteria that is added digests most of the remaining lactose. This makes many hard or semi-hard yellow cheeses practically lactose free with less than 0,05 grams of lactose per 100 grams of cheese.

Condensed And Evaporated Milk

Lactose intolerant? Pros and cons of milk substitutes

These milks are used to sweeten hot and cold drinks, and have traditionally been added to desserts instead of cream or custard. Where 50ml of semi-skimmed milk would contain only 25kcal and 0.85g fat, regular condensed milk offers 161kcal and 4g fat. Choosing a semi-skimmed version could therefore provide an impressive saving.

Both are high in calories, and the original versions are high in fat.

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How Does Milk Become Lactose

To remove lactose, we add the lactase enzyme to our premium, certified organic, pasture-raised milk. After slow mixing for 24 hours, the enzyme breaks down the lactose into the simple sugars glucose and galactose, which are easier to digest.

We test our lactose-free milk to ensure the lactose is undetectable, so most people with lactose intolerance can enjoy Organic Valley Lactose-Free Milk with confidence.

Exactly How Much Sugar Is In A Glass Of Milk

Type of Milk

So is the sugar in milk bad for you?

When looking at your diet as a whole, it is important to consider a foods full nutrient package, including differentiating natural and added sugars occurring in all foods like milk, yogurt and fruits. Many foods and beverages with naturally occurring sugars, like milk or fruit, also contain vitamins and minerals, protein or fiber we need to be healthy. So yes, while milk does have natural sugar, it also offers up 13 essential nutrients including 8 grams of high-quality protein in every 8-ounce serving.

What about those with lactose intolerance?

People who have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance are less able to digest lactose due to decreased amounts of the lactase enzyme, which breaks down lactose. As a result, some may experience abdominal discomfort and other unpleasant symptoms. However, many people with lactose intolerance are likely able to tolerate varying degrees of lactose. This is especially important, since those who think they have lactose intolerance may cut dairy out of their diet, which means they may not be getting key nutrients their bodies need. Here are some helpful hints that can help you add dairy back into your diet.

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Chemical And Physical Properties Of Lactose

Lactose is a reducing sugar and occurs as both the -anomer and -anomer . Crystallization of lactose from saturated solutions below 93.5 °C yields crystals of -lactose monohydrate while crystallization of lactose solutions at temperatures higher than 93.5 °C yields anhydrous crystals of -lactose. The solubility of lactose is relatively low when compared to other disaccharides at 25, 40, 60, and 80 °C, 22, 32, 59 and 99 g anhydrous lactose, respectively, are soluble in 100 g water . Upon solubilization of -lactose or -lactose, a process termed mutarotation interchanges the anomeric forms until, at 25 °C, an equilibrium of 37% -lactose 63% -lactose is reached. The sweetness of lactose is about 30% of the sweetness of sucrose .

J.M. Johnson, F.D. Conforti, in, 2003

Where Does Lactase Come From


It is located in the brush border of the small intestine and is needed for the sugars to be absorbed. If lactose doesnt get broken down then it wont get absorbed. This is where lactose intolerance comes in.

Now that we understand a bit more about the process in the body we can talk about the process of lactose free milk.

As you can see from the above diagram with normal lactose digestion, lactose being a double sugar is broken down into two single sugars glucose and galactose which are both then absorbed.

Here is the process undertaken in the manufacturing of lactose free milk as explained on the website of Liddells lactose free milk which is available in supermarkets.

The dairy milk manufacturers simply add lactase to their milk so that your body doesnt have to break it down into simple sugars, it is already done for you.

As you can see the sugar is still there in the form of glucose and galactose.

Here are some nutrition panels for you to see that per 100mls

Pauls Zymil full cream milk

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Tastes Sweeter Than Regular Milk

A notable difference between lactose-free milk and regular milk is the flavor.

Lactase, the enzyme added to lactose-free milk, breaks lactose down into two simple sugars: glucose and galactose .

Because your taste buds perceive these simple sugars as sweeter than complex sugars, the final lactose-free product has a sweeter flavor than regular milk .

Though this doesnt change the nutritional value of the milk and the difference in flavor is mild, it may be worth keeping in mind when using lactose-free milk in place of regular milk for recipes.


In lactose-free milk, lactose is broken down into glucose and galactose, two simple sugars that give lactose-free milk a sweeter flavor than regular milk.

Do You Need To Be Worried About The Sugar In Milk

The 22 teaspoons of added sugar most Americans get per day is well above the recommended intake of limiting added sugars to 6 teaspoons per day . Pure foods that naturally have sugar in them, like fruits, whole grains or dairy, are not considered sources of added sugar.

Does this mean you dont need to worry about this sugar? Most healthy people dont have to as long as they are eating a balanced diet.

If someone has diabetes or pre-diabetes and is using insulin pumps or injections, they need to count the carbohydrates from milk as part of their total carbohydrate intake.

Drinking milk can be part of a healthy diet for diabetics, but make sure you speak with your health care team if you have any questions about using milk as part of your meal plan with insulin.

If someone has lactose intolerance, the lactose sugar in milk can be problematic for the digestive system. This can be fixed by drinking lactose free milk or dairy alternative milks. Flavored milks can have much more sugar than regular milk and can be a source of added sugars.

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How Do I Know If Im Lactose Intolerant

Our bodies react to milk in ways that are easily measured. Two common tests for adults are:

  • Breath test. This will show if you have high levels of hydrogen when you exhale. If you do, you might be lactose intolerant. Thatâs because hydrogen is given off when lactose is broken down in the colon. The hydrogen gets taken by the blood up to your lungs, and then you exhale it.
  • Blood test. This can show how your body reacts after you drink something with a lot of lactose. However, this test is usually not done.

Doctors can also take a stool sample from babies and young children.

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Is There Any Sugar In Milk And Is It Bad For You

Making milk lactose free

By Holly Klamer, RDResearched Based Article

According to Harvard Health, the average American eats about 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Sugar is a common additive in many packaged foods: sweets, breads, frozen entrees, frozen pizzas, soups, sauces and condiments. It is recommended to cut back on added sugars to lower risk of obesity and heart disease.

Even if you cut back on added sugars, there are foods that naturally have sugars. Fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains and legumes are all natural sources of carbohydrates which are broken down to glucose once absorbed from the digestive tract.

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What Does Lactose Free Actually Mean

As part of our commitment to radical honesty and sharing everything we know with you, we want to provide answers to some of the smaller questions, as well as the big ones

Its a term that we hear a lot – but what does lactose free actually mean? If youve ever felt overwhelmed in the supermarket dairy aisle, youre not alone. We want to help you navigate these labels and jargon and support you in making the right choices for your diet. Knowledge is power, Rebels!

Lets start from the beginning: what is lactose? Hold up a minute whilst we intro Jamie, our Head Technical Rebel: Lactose is a sugar found in milk that can be difficult to digest. The enzyme lactase breaks lactose down into two sugars called glucose and galactose which are easily absorbed by the bloodstream. Lactose free products are made from real dairy that has had lactase added to break down the lactose before it enters the body, doing the hard work for us. Often with this method, the milk is pasteurised after the lactose has been removed, to deactivate the lactase. Simple, huh?

For many, lactose can be problematic if their body doesn’t produce enough lactase to digest the sugars properly, meaning the lactose stays in the digestive system. It then ferments with bacteria in the gut causing all sorts of unpleasant symptoms and discomfort. Its not the same as a milk or dairy allergy.

Whats the difference between lactose free and dairy free?

Does lactose free milk taste different?

What Are The Causes Of Lactose Intolerance

Anintolerance can have various causes. However, the reason for the complaints isthe same. As we have heard, lactose is broken down in the small intestine butif this does not happen, or not sufficiently, the lactose reaches the largeintestine undigested and is only broken down there. This produces so-calledintestinal gases, which subsequently leads to complaints.

The reasonfor the discomfort happens thus due to faulty digestion more precisely, thebody of the person concerned lacks the enzyme lactase.

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Other Products Of Fermentation

Lactose is a readily fermentable carbohydrate, so its use as a carbon and energy source for the production of metabolites by fermentation is certainly an option. Being metabolized more slowly than glucose or sucrose, lactose may be a good choice to reduce catabolite repression effect. Actually, lactose was the substrate of choice for penicillin production in the early 1950s but was soon replaced by cheaper and more readily available sugars once fed-batch fermentation was established . Only some of the most relevant or promising products obtainable from whey or whey permeate fermentation will be analyzed.

Lactic acid is a valuable compound used extensively in the food, chemical, textile, and pharmaceutical industries, which is mostly produced by bacterial fermentation . Production by fermentation has the advantage over chemical synthesis of producing optically pure lactic acid, whose demand as raw material for the production of the biodegradable polymer polylactic acid has increased considerably . Whey is one of the raw materials of choice for producing lactic acid, and several strains of Lactobacillus have been used for lactic acid production, among which Lactobacillus helveticus is outstanding for producing the higher titers however, several agro-industrial by-products and residues are competing sources so that the use of whey for such purposes is globally marginal .

P.F. Fox, in, 2011

How Lactose Is Removed From Milk


There are a few ways to remove lactose from milk. As youd guess, the more involved the process, the more the milk costs at the store. These methods include:

  • Adding the enzyme lactase to milk, which essentially predigests the sugar into glucose and galactose. The resulting milk still contains the enzyme, so it is ultrapasteurized to deactivate the enzyme and extend the shelf life of the milk.
  • Passing milk over lactase that is bound to a carrier. Using this procedure, the milk still contains the sugars glucose and galactose but not the enzyme.
  • Membrane fractionation and other ultrafiltration techniques that mechanically separate lactose from milk. These methods completely remove the sugar, which better preserves milks normal flavor.

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