As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am compensated for referring traffic to Amazon.
Is kefir high in sugar? In this post, I am going to be sharing with you how much sugar is in kefir drinks and what are some lower sugar brands of kefir available. I will also answer some frequently asked questions when it comes to sugar content and kefir drinks. Traditionally, kefir is a fermented style of milk drink high in probiotics. There are many brands of kefir available but how much sugar do they contain and what are some lower sugar kefirs available?
How Much Sugar is there in Kefir?
As a general rule, plain unsweetened kefirs tend to contain the least sugar. Plain unsweetened kefirs tend to contain 8g-12g of total sugar per 240ml serving and 0g of added sugar per serving. Some added sugar free kefirs include Desert Farms, Lifeway, maple Hill, 385, and Green Valley plain kefirs.
Flavored kefirs tend to be higher in sugar content. On average, flavored kefirs tend to contain 18g-19g of total sugar per 240ml serving.
Ranking Sugar Content of Kefir Drinks
To answer the question as to how much sugar kefir contains, I randomly picked 9 kefirs and analyzed the sugar content per 240ml serving. I will go through these kefirs in ascending order of total sugar content.
Before we dig in, if you are interested in the sugar content of all things probiotic-related then you can check out these two related posts, I wrote on the sugar content of kombuchas and probiotic drinks here:
Ranking Kefir Drinks by Sugar Content – item-by-item
In this section, I will go through each of the 9 kefir drinks item by item in ascending order of sugar content.
1. Desert Farms Camel Milk Kefir – 8g of Total Sugar
The lowest sugar kefir I found on my search is quite an unusual kefir. It is in fact a kefir made from camel’s milk! Yes, you read that correctly – camels’ milk. This organic camel’s milk kefir is not sweetened and only contains 8g of total sugar per 240ml serving, which is all naturally occurring.
This milk is also Paleo and Keto. You can find this low-sugar unusual kefir on Amazon here.
2. Lifeway Organic Plain Whole Milk Kefir – 9g of Total Sugar
The second lowest sugar kefir I came across is Lifeway organic whole milk kefir smoothie. This kefir is also not sweetened, and it contains 9g of total sugar per serving and 0g of added sugar. You can see for yourself on Amazon here. If you are looking for a low sugar plain cow’s milk kefir then Lifeway organic plain whole milk kefir is your best option.
3. Maple Hill Creamery 100% Grass Fed Organic Plain Kefir – 11g of Total Sugar
Another low sugar plain kefir comes from Maple Hill. Maple Hill kefir is also unsweetened and contains 11g of total sugar per serving and 0g of added sugar. You can check Maple Hill Creamery plain kefir out on Amazon here.
4. 365 by Whole Foods Market Plain Whole Milk Kefir – 12g of Total Sugar
365 by Whole Food Market’s plain whole milk kefir is yet another added sugar free plain kefir. Have you noticed that plain kefirs are usually added sugar free yet? This kefir by 365 contains 12g of total sugar per serving and of course 0g of added.
You can see it for yourself on Amazon here.
5. Green Valley Creamery Lactose Free Kefir – 12g of Total Sugar
The final plain kefir I will present you with before going into some flavored kefirs, is from Green Valley. Green Valley kefir also contains 12g of total sugar per serving. What is unique about this kefir is that is lactose-free. If you are looking for an added sugar free and lactose-free kefir, then this is the one for you.
You can find it on Amazon here.
6. 365 by Whole Foods Market Blueberry Kefir – 18g of Total Sugar
So, we have looked at the sugar content of plain kefirs and they tend to range from 8g-12g of total sugar per 240ml serving and 0g of added sugar. But how about flavored kefirs? How much sugar do flavored kefirs contain? Let’s have a look at this blueberry kefir from 365 by Whole Foods Market. Well, this kefir is sweetened with cane sugar, and it contains 18g of sugar per 240 ml serving. 6g of this sugar is added and the rest is naturally occurring from the dairy.
7. 365 by Whole Foods Market Strawberry Kefir – 18g of Total Sugar
365’s strawberry kefir also contains 18g of sugar per 240 ml serving. Sweetened with cane sugar, this kefir contains 7g of added sugar.
8. Lifeway Mango Kefir – 18g of Total Sugar
I established above that Lifeway plain kefir is one of the lowest sugar plain kefirs out there at 9g of total sugar and 0g of added but how about their mango kefir? How much sugar does this contain? Lifeway’s mango kefir is sweetened with organic cane sugar and contains 18g of total sugar per serving – 8g of which are added.
9. 365 by Whole Foods Market Raspberry Kefir – 19g of Total Sugar
The final and highest total sugar kefir I looked at is 365’s raspberry kefir. 365’s raspberry kefir contains 19g of total sugar and 7g of this is added.
Summary Table – Sugar Content of Kefir
Below is a summary table of 9 different kefir drink brands ranked based on sugar content. For each entry, I have listed the sweetener used, the total sugar per serving, and the total added sugars per serving. As you can see from the table the sugar content varies from 8g to 19g of sugar per serving.
|Total Sugar Content Per 240ml Serving
|Added Sugar Content Per 240ml Serving
|1. Desert Farms Camel Milk Kefir
|2. Lifeway Organic Plain Whole Milk Kefir
|3. Maple Hill Creamery 100% Grass Fed Organic Plain Kefir
|4. 365 by Whole Foods Market Plain Whole Milk Kefir
|5. Green Valley Creamery Lactose Free Kefir
|6. 365 by Whole Foods Market Blueberry Kefir
|7. 365 by Whole Foods Market Strawberry Kefir
|8. Lifeway Mango Kefir
|Organic cane sugar
|9. 365 by Whole Foods Market Raspberry Kefir
Sugar in Kefir F&Q
Which Kefir Has the Least Sugar?
Lifeway Organic Plain Whole Milk Kefir is a lower sugar kefir. There are 9g of total sugar and 0g of added sugar.
Does Kefir Have Less Sugar Than Milk?
Plain unsweetened kefir tends to contain less sugar than milk. As a general rule, there are 8g-12g of total sugar per 240ml serving of plain unsweetened kefir and 12g-13g of total sugar in milk. There tends to be more sugar in flavored kefir than milk as flavored kefir tends to contain 18g-19g of sugar per 240ml serving.
Why Does Plain Kefir Have Sugar?
As a general rule, most plain kefirs do not contain added sugar. Plain kefirs do, however, tend to contain 8g-12g of total sugar per 240ml serving. This is because milk is high in naturally occurring sugar. Some 0g of added sugar kefirs include:
- Desert Farms Camel Milk Kefir
- Lifeway Organic Plain Kefir
- Maple Hill Creamery Plain Kefir
- 365 by Whole Foods Market Plain Kefir
- Green Valley Creamery Lactose Free Kefir
Is Kefir High in Sugar? – The Final Bite
Is kefir high in sugar? What have we learned from the above? Well, to conclude if you love kefir but want to limit your sugar intake then plain unsweetened kefir is your best option. Plain unsweetened kefirs are lower in sugar coming in at 8g-12g of naturally occurring sugar per serving. Flavored kefirs, on the flip side, contain considerably more sugar at 18g-19g of sugar per serving. This means if you want the lowest sugar kefir drinks avoid any flavored versions.
Ingredients and/or manufacturing processes may change. Always double-check ingredient lists and nutritional information before purchasing any food items.
WANT TO FIND MORE LOW SUGAR OPTIONS?
Do you want to learn about some other low-sugar options at your favorite coffee chains, fast food, or restaurant joints, or just while you are shopping for groceries? If you do, then check out some of my other articles below: