Does Fat-Free Milk Have More Sugar Than Whole Milk?


7 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I think to answer this question, it needs to be slightly rephrased. According to my girlfriend - who is wrong, by the way - skim milk should be avoided because when there is less fat, there is more sugar, and sugar metabolises faster than fat, so it becomes more fattening than fat (strangely enough). So the implied question is not so much whether skim milk has more sugar than whole milk, but rather, is skim milk more fattening because it has more sugar than whole milk? While the concept of sugar being more fattening than fat may be true in general, we will see that this argument doesn't hold true for whole and skim milk.
First, the question that was asked, in its original form: Is there more sugar in skim milk? Think of it like this: Put a glass of whole milk on the table; now skim out the fat. Since you have removed a part of the milk, there is not only less fat in the glass, but also less milk overall in the glass. There is still the same amount of sugar in the glass (remember, I didn't tell you to add any sugar).
Now consider the following analogy: Imagine you are in school, and your final grade is determined by five assignments, each worth 20% of the final grade; then your teacher tells you that the class won't have time to do the final assignment, so your grade will only be based on the first four assignments. Now, all of a sudden, each assignment is worth 25%; even though there is no more work involved in those assignments, they are worth proportionally more than they had been.
The same is true in our milk problem. Because the amount of milk has decrease, but the amount of sugar has stayed the same, it becomes proportionally bigger than it had been when there was more milk. If you drink that glass of milk, you will drink the same amount of sugar you would have drunk had you drunk the original glass of whole milk; on the other hand, if you top up the glass with skim milk until it is full again, you will have added a little bit of sugar. However, when dealing with proportions, we have to know what the original proportion is to know just how much we have increased. A quick look over some nutritional labels of whole milk and skim milk tells me that skim milk has about 1.1 times as much sugar (since there is relatively low sugar, this extra 0.1x of sugar is also extremely low - almost insignificant). On the other hand, whole milk has about 1.9 times as many calories as skim milk, and has about 30 times as much fat (most of which is saturated fat - the bad kind).
Another thing to consider is that you shouldn't confuse table sugar (properly called sucrose, which is added to recipes to make them sweeter, digests quickly, and is very fattening) with the sugar in milk (called lactose, which is a natural sugar similar to the natural sugars in fruit, which is so hard to digest that many people who do not drink milk on a regular basis develop lactose intolerance - the inability to digest the sugar in milk at all because their bodies no longer produce the necessary enzymes, which incidentally applies to most of the non-western world - and hence lactose does not digest quickly, and is far less fattening than table sugar).
As a result, we can conclude that skim milk has marginally more sugar than whole milk, but since there is relatively little sugar in milk to begin with, this tiny little bit of added sugar is almost insignificant; this sugar is also far less fattening than most of the sugars we are used to discussing; and skim milk is also far less fattening due to a much more significant drop in both fat (especially saturated fat) and calories.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Contrary to the idiot who claims that lactose spontaneously creates in the absence of fat within a glass of milk, that fat is not stored as fat, and that sugar is the source of all fat on your body, NOT the fact that you have ingested more calories than you have burned......well, it turns out that skim milk is indeed healthier for you than whole milk. The response I mentioned at the beginning is completely unfounded and devoid of any education on the subject of nutrition.

To answer the original question, yes, skim milk does have slightly more sugar per glass than whole milk. To answer the secondary question of why, it is a simple matter of proportions. This was already explained in an earlier post, but I will reiterate to make it clear. All milk begins as whole milk. It must be processed and "skimmed" of fat in order to become "skim" milk; that is where the name originates. Now, when the fat is "skimmed" or removed from the milk, nothing replaces it. That means that now there is less total liquid because the fat content has been removed and nothing has filled in its place. There is no increase in sugar or any other change after the fat has been removed. So, we have gone from whole milk to skim milk, have removed all fat and have reduced the total liquid by removing the fat and NOT replacing it with anything else. For example, say we started with 8 fl. Oz. Of whole milk, and after we changed it to skim milk there was only 6 fl. Oz. (not exact, just for the purpose of the example). In order to get a serving size of 8 fl. Oz. (or 1 cup) we have to add 2 more fl.oz. Of skim milk. Now, we have added more skim milk. With this extra addition of skim milk, there is the extra addition of the sugar naturally present in the 2 fl. Oz. We added. So, we now have 2 fl. Oz. More sugar, but not 2 fl.oz. More fat because it is skim. So, in the end, there is slightly more sugar in 1 cup of skim milk than whole milk because it takes more skim milk (and therefore more sugar) to fill 1 cup than it does whole milk.

However, the idea that skim milk is more fattening than whole milk is just as ridiculous as it sounds. Fat is not changed directly into cholesterol; that is nonsense. Fat is easily stored as fat. Sugar is an easily broken down source of energy. Because it is such a powerful source of energy, our body responds to sugar intake by increasing insulin. Insulin prevents the burning of fat present in the body. This is a primitive reaction to prevent the body from burning precious fat stores when easily broken down energy (sugar) is present. If sugar, or any other form of energy is not used up, the body stores it as fat for a later time. Different sugars also break down and store at different rates. Lactose (the sugar in milk) is more complex than other sugars such as sucrose and is therefore harder to break down and harder to store as fat. It is a "healthier" sugar to ingest if fat loss is your goal. If you wish to lose weight you should ingest less fat, less sugar, and fewer total calories than you burn each day. If anyone tells you differently, I suggest you research it carefully and make sure you understand how and why, because to my knowledge there is no other way; this is how the body operates.
Mathew Leonard Profile
Mathew Leonard answered
Some people still think that yes, whole milk is more fattening, but it has more calcium and nutrients than skim milk. That is wrong!
Chinno Profile
Chinno answered
Yes the fat-free milk has more sugar then the regular milk.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Fat-free milk has more sugar than whole milk simply because when you remove fat from milk, what will replace it? Lactose, of course..and it is not said that fat-free milk has less sugar but has less fat..if you will calculate whole milk from fat-free milk, you will notice that fat-free milk had higher sugar density than whole milk...

And why do farmers make their cows drink fat-free milk when they want their cows to be fat?..because sugar makes you fat..fat does not..fat, when ingested, turns into cholesterol not fat, which goes to the bloodstream and not in our bellies..

Simply put... :p
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
As long as I know about it is that whole milk has more sugar in as compare to fat free milk. There are almost 3.25% fats are in whole milk while there are 2% fats removed in fats free milk. This lowers the amount of sugar. One the other hand the calcium is high in fat free milk and it is about 300 milligrams in fat free milk as compare to 276 milligrams in eight ounces of whole milk.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
All milk has just about the same amount of carbs and sugars... Fat free, skim, whole, etc...

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