The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

How do the carbohydrates (sugar) in cow’s milk and plant-based milk alternatives compare?

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The carbohydrate content of cow’s milk (about 4,7%) consists of the naturally occurring milk sugar, lactose, while plant-based beverages have different contents of different types of carbohydrates, for example unsweetened soy milk contains only 2,8% carbohydrate, while rice milk has a high 11,5% carbohydrate content. Plant-based beverages are mostly sweetened with added sucrose to make them more palatable, with the carbohydrate and sugar contents varying considerably, e.g. by 3 to 11 g of sugar/100 g.

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