Question: Does half and half have sugar?
Answer: Take a look at the nutrition facts of any milk, cream, or dairy product and you will notice some sugar listed in the nutrition facts. Depending on the type of half and half that you buy, the sugar in half and half will either be natural sugar or both natural sugar and added sugar. The natural sugar found in dairy products like half and half is known as lactose. The sugar added by the manufacturer is typically corn syrup.
Full-fat or regular half and half does have sugar, however, the sugar is usually just from the lactose. You can tell if sugar has been add to half and half by looking at the ingredients. For example, take a look at the below nutrition facts and ingredients for Land O Lakes half and half (full-fat). Notice that there is 1 gram of sugar listed in the nutrition facts, however, if you look at the ingredients, sugar is not an ingredient. This means that the sugar is naturally occurring in the milk from lactose and not added as an ingredient. If it were added sugar, it would be listed as an ingredient.
Land O Lakes Half & Half (Regular)
Ingredients: milk, cream, less than 0.5% of: sodium citrate, and disodium phosphate.
In contrast, look at the below nutrition facts and ingredients for Land O Lakes fat-free half and half. Notice the product has 2 grams of sugar or double that of full-fat half and half. Also, notice that the ingredients reflect corn syrup (a form sugar) as an ingredient. Corn syrup and thickeners are common ingredients of fat-free half and half because they are used to replace the texture and taste that is lost from removing the fat.
Land O Lakes Half & Half (Fat-Free)
Ingredients: Skim milk, corn syrup, cream, less than 0.5% of the following: carrageenan, sodium citrate, dipotassium phosphate, mono and diglycerides, vitamin A palmitate, color added.
In conclusion, half and half does have sugar but the type of sugar it contains usually depends on the type of half and half that you buy. Regular (full-fat) half and half will routinely just have natural sugar or lactose. Fat-free will have a combination of natural sugar and added sugar like corn syrup to make up for the fat removal.