How Much Sugar Is In Milk? Chocolate, Whole, Skim and More

  • Article
  • November 16, 2017

There are about 12 grams of natural sugar (lactose) in each 8-ounce glass, which is about the same amount of natural sugar you would find in one small banana. Flavored milk, like chocolate, does contain added sugar for flavor.

Exactly How Much Sugar Is in a Glass of Milk?

Type of Milk

Milk Sugar Content (per 8 oz. serving)

Fat-Free (Skim) Milk

12 grams natural sugar

Low-Fat (1%) Milk

12 grams natural sugar

Reduced Fat (2%) Milk

12 grams natural sugar

Whole Milk

12 grams natural sugar

Chocolate Milk (Whole)

24 grams sugar (12 grams natural sugar, 12 grams added sugar)

Lactose-Free Milk

12 grams natural sugar


So is the sugar in milk bad for you?

When looking at your diet as a whole, it is important to consider a food’s 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.

Have more questions on milk sugar content?You can find answers here.