There is no added sugar in unflavoured milk (skim, 1%, 2%, whole). The sugars listed on the Nutrition Facts Table refer to the naturally-occurring sugar (lactose) found in milk. Naturally-occurring sugar is also found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
There is no reason to avoid foods that naturally contain sugars as there are no harmful effects of eating them. Moreover, these sugars are present in nutrient-rich foods that are part of a healthy diet.
In March 2015, the World Health Organization released their guidelines on sugar, and this is the most evidence-based advice available at present.
The new WHO guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of added or free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake (roughly 12 teaspoons per day). Added sugars are sugars that have been added by a food manufacturer, cook or consumer to a food and include those sugars naturally found in fruit juice, honey and syrups.
To decrease your intake of added sugars:
- Choose minimally-processed, nutrient-rich foods as the foundation of your diet, and do not worry about the naturally-occurring sugars in whole fruit and milk.
- Limit all added sugars (white table sugar, honey, agave, etc.)
- Read ingredient lists to know what is in your food. Look for all sources of sugar such as agave nectar, cane sugar and molasses.
- Buy the plain version of healthful foods, such as cereal and yogurt, and add the sweetener yourself.
- Limit or avoid sugary beverages, such as pop and specialty coffee drinks.