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Thread: Raw Milk *actual* carbohydrate/lactose content question page

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    mmmpork's Avatar
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    Raw Milk *actual* carbohydrate/lactose content question

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    I drink raw milk. According to the nutritional information of what is in raw milk, there are 12g of carbohydrates per 8oz serving. This is in the form of lactose. Lactobaccilli exist in raw milk that actually digest most of the lactose, leaving behind lactic acid. If the Lactobaccilli are digesting the lactose in the raw milk, how much lactose am I realistically absorbing? What is their rate of digestion? Obviously there will be less lactose if I let the raw milk sit out all day to sour, which I don't mind, in fact I like the flavor. I'm just trying to figure out how many carbs I should be attributing to this so that I stay in ketosis. Oh, that's another question, how does raw milk affect ketosis? Have others that have been in ketosis found they have gone out of it on consumption of raw milk, fresh or soured?

    There is some talk that in Japan raw milk is recommended for diabetics because it doesn't cause insulin spikes. If Lactobaccilli were digesting most of the lactose, that would explain why.

    The reason I bring this up is raw milk is my main source of calcium. I also eat cheese and yogurt, but I want to know how much I should realistically sour my milk to reduce the carb content, or if I even really need to.

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    Lactose is a dissacharide (two-chain combination) of two different sugars: 1 each of glucose and galactose. So there are 6g of each in that serving of raw milk. If your body doesn't have the enzyme that separates those two sugars in your intestine (lactase, common in persons of European descent, not so much in Asians) then you will depend on lactobaccilli to do it for you, and of course digest it for you. The same action occurs in yogurt and kefir - the bacteria do the splitting for you. So basically, your body never ever absorbs lactose directly, its split up either via your own enzymes (early in the digestive tract) or by bacterial enzymes (later in the digestive tract).

    But I don't see how the presence of that bacteria in fresh raw milk could be responsible for the lack of insulin spikes via their own digestion, the sugars need more digestion time than that I believe - the fat and protein in the milk alone will moderate the rate of digestion, and lactose digestion will likely be delayed depending on whether is split up by enzymes or bacteria or both. Finally, half of the sugars are galactose, which must be processed through the liver which also turns it into glucose, again a delay that moderates the impact to your blood glucose levels.

    So the lack of spikes of insulin can be entirely attributed to all of those above factors that moderate how quickly the sugars enter the blood.

    In general, you will likely know if your body can't do it on its own via lactase - you will have symptoms of lactose intolerance from drinking milk.

    I actually have been managing to stay somewhat in ketosis from drinking 3-4 servings of raw milk a day, but I haven't been checking very hard (just checked a couple of times) - I don't know how much I stay in or fall out over the course of the day or week.
    Last edited by wildwabbit; 09-29-2011 at 01:31 PM.

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    I found an article that talked about lactose consumption in fermented milk products:
    Yogurt on a Low-Carb Diet - Counting the Carbs in Yogurt

    [Dr. Jack Goldberg] found that up to 8 grams of carbohydrate are consumed by the bacteria in a cup of yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk that contains live cultures. Under ideal circumstances, this would reduce the 12 grams of carb in a cup of milk to 4 or so grams of carb.
    They didn't give a time estimate but for yogurt cultivation it's typically 24 hours. So for carb estimate, I think it's fair to say if I was to let my raw milk sit out for 12 hours, the lactose would be reduced by 4 grams. This doesn't include the time it's been spent being broken down since it came out of the cow as these bacteria are active even when the milk is refrigerated, it's just a much slower process. Just based on my experiences with yogurt making I'd very conservatively guess it's at about a 1/8 rate, so if it's 8 grams per 24 hrs at room temp, it's probably about 1 gram per 24 hour period refrigerated. I think for carb counting if I just average about half the amount of carbs as the same amount of whole pasteurized milk, I'll probably be pretty close and likely a little over.

    BTW I'm also in the process of reconstituting some Kefir grains right now and may just switch over to that for my milk consumption since you don't need to keep a pasteurized mother culture going like you do with yogurt.

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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    Start eating creme bulgare. 0 carbs, LOL
    It's super easy to make. Starter culture + heavy cream + incubation. It's, like, the best cross between yogurt & custard you ever had! *dies happy*
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    Thanks for the tip! Where did you get your starter? I get my stuff from Cultures for Health -- Cultures for Health: Yogurt Starter, Sourdough Starter, Kombucha, Kefir Grains, Cheese Making and more | Supplies for a Real Food Lifestyle

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmpork View Post
    They didn't give a time estimate but for yogurt cultivation it's typically 24 hours.
    The point is drinking raw milk straight its not going to sit in your colon for 24 hours as the means for slowing down digestion. I already described the mechanisms by which straight raw milk would have slow digestion. If you want more complete digestion of the lactose than that, if your body isn't able to do it on its own, you need to ferment it in advance. So yes by all means ferment it into kefir or yogurt or something else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
    Start eating creme bulgare. 0 carbs, LOL
    It's super easy to make. Starter culture + heavy cream + incubation. It's, like, the best cross between yogurt & custard you ever had! *dies happy*
    Haha, good God. I bet that's delicious, but I think you'd gain a lot more weight off that massive caloric bomb than you would off of a couple grams of lactose I have one for you: last weekend, I took a quarter cup of spiced rum, simmered Dunkin Donuts coffee beans in it and slowly reduced it into 3/4 of a shot and chilled it. I then froze a can of coconut milk for two hours, drained the water and scooped out all the cream and mixed it with heavy cream and whipped it into whipped cream. Then, I mixed it with the 3/4 shot of rum/coffee extract and a teaspoon of stevia. I made chocolate truffles the night before and some chocolate covered strawberries and I ate them with COCONUT COFFEE WHIPPED CREAM. Holy crap...foodgasm X10.
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 10-05-2011 at 06:49 AM.
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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    Haha, good God. I bet that's delicious, but I think you'd gain a lot more weight off that massive caloric bomb than you would off of a couple grams of lactose I have one for you: last weekend, I took a quarter cup of spiced rum, simmered Dunkin Donuts coffee beans in it and slowly reduced it into 3/4 of a shot and chilled it. I then froze a can of coconut milk for two hours, drained the water and scooped out all the cream and mixed it with heavy cream and whipped it into whipped cream. Then, I mixed it with the 3/4 shot of rum/coffee extract and a teaspoon of stevia. I made chocolate truffles the night before and some chocolate covered strawberries and I ate them with COCONUT COFFEE WHIPPED CREAM. Holy crap...foodgasm X10.
    I only have 3/4c servings so that's just over 50 cals on the creme bulgare. Foodgasm on both counts
    --Trish (Bork)
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    Good God, indeed!

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