It’s nature that put the sugar in milk—just like it did in strawberries, peaches and corn on the cob. But what all these delicious foods don’t have is added sugar. Real milk’s sugar comes from naturally occurring lactose. This is true whether you are buying whole, low-fat or skim milk. In fact, milk is one of the simplest foods you can buy—it’s just milk, vitamin A and vitamin D. That’s it.
The same can’t be said of plant-based alternatives where almond or soy beverages are often flavored or sweetened with added sugar—sometimes quite a lot. Just look at the ingredient list; besides plain old sugar, you may also find cane sugar or cane juice, both of which are simply added sugar by a different name. Wherever it comes from, or whatever name it goes by, the Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting added sugar in your diet. But when it comes to health, the reasons to choose real milk don’t stop there. Foods like milk whose sugar is naturally occurring are also typically full of other good stuff, like fiber (in fruit), protein (in dairy products), and vitamins and minerals (in both fruit and dairy products). Our recommendation? Get your sugar where nature left it for you.