How many carbs are in 250ml of semi skimmed milk?

Milk is a nutritious dairy product that contains a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. The amount of carbohydrates in milk can vary depending on the type – whole milk generally contains more carbs than lower fat versions like semi skimmed milk.

A Quick Answer

250ml of semi skimmed milk contains around 12.5g of carbohydrates.

Calculating the Carbs in Milk

To work out how many carbs are in 250ml of semi skimmed milk, we first need to know the concentration of carbs in 100ml:

  • 100ml of semi skimmed milk contains around 5g of carbs

Next, we can calculate the carbs in 250ml:

  • 250ml is 2.5 times 100ml
  • 2.5 x 5g of carbs = 12.5g of carbs

So in total, 250ml of semi skimmed milk contains approximately 12.5g of carbohydrates.

Breaking Down the Carbs in Milk

The main carbohydrates found in milk are lactose (milk sugar), glucose and galactose.


Lactose is the predominant carb and sugar in most types of milk. It makes up around 2–8% of the total weight of milk.

During digestion, lactase enzymes break lactose down into glucose and galactose which can then be absorbed into the bloodstream.


Glucose is a simple sugar and carb that makes up a small part of the carb composition of milk.

It can be directly absorbed into the bloodstream without needing to be broken down.


Galactose is another simple sugar molecule that makes up part of the lactose in milk.

Once lactose is broken down, the galactose component can also be directly absorbed into the bloodstream.

Factors That Affect Carb Content

Several factors can alter the carbohydrate composition in different types of milk:

Fat content

Lower fat milk like skimmed and semi skimmed milk have slightly higher carb content. Whole milk contains less carbs per 100ml since some of the carb composition is replaced by fat.


Processing methods like homogenization and pasteurization do not significantly impact the carbohydrate content of milk.


Added ingredients like chocolate or flavorings will increase the carbohydrate and sugar content compared to plain milk.

Cow diet

Small variations in the carb content of milk can occur depending on the diet and breed of the dairy cows.

Time of year

Milk produced during warmer summer months may contain slightly higher carbs than winter milk.

Daily Intake Recommendations

Here are some guidelines for milk and carb consumption per day:

  • The recommended daily allowance of carbs is around 130g for adults and children.
  • As part of a healthy balanced diet, milk and dairy products provide around 12% of carbohydrate intake.
  • The maximum recommended amount of milk per day is around 3 cups or 750ml.
  • 250ml of milk would provide around 15% of the recommended daily carb intake from dairy.

Consuming 250ml of semi skimmed milk can be part of a healthy diet. It provides a good source of carbs and nutrition without exceeding daily recommended amounts.

Nutritional Profile Per 250ml

Here is the full nutritional breakdown for 250ml of semi skimmed cow’s milk:

Nutrient Amount
Carbs 12.5g
Protein 8.5g
Fat 4.5g
Calcium 300mg
Vitamin B12 1.2μg
Potassium 360mg
Phosphorus 200mg

Carb and Calorie Comparison With Other Milks

The carbohydrate content can vary across different types of milk:

Milk Type Carbs per 250ml Calories per 250ml
Whole milk 11g 175kcal
Semi skimmed 12.5g 130kcal
Skimmed 13.5g 90kcal
Soy milk 9g 100kcal
Almond milk 2g 45kcal

As shown, lower fat cow’s milk contains slightly more carbs but fewer calories than whole milk. Plant-based milk alternatives like almond and soy milk are generally lower in both carbs and calories.

Carb Content of Other Dairy Products

Here’s how the carb content of semi skimmed milk compares to other dairy products:

  • 250ml semi skimmed milk: 12.5g carbs
  • 30g cheddar cheese: 0g carbs
  • 1 large egg: 0.6g carbs
  • 150g yogurt: 10-15g carbs
  • 50g feta cheese: 2g carbs

Milk and yogurt contain more carbs than hard cheeses and eggs. However, milk and yogurt also provide more protein and other nutrients.

Tips for Lower Carb Options

Some tips for reducing carb and calorie intake from milk include:

  • Choose skimmed or semi skimmed – lower fat than whole milk
  • Opt for smaller serving sizes like 200ml
  • Use milk alternatives like unsweetened almond milk
  • Add milk to smoothies or cereal rather than drinking straight
  • Pair milk with low carb foods like eggs or avocado
  • Choose plain milk rather than sweetened flavored milks

Making simple substitutions like using skimmed rather than whole milk and having smaller servings can help reduce carb intake while still getting the nutritional benefits.

Sample Low Carb Recipes With Milk

Here are some ideas for low carb recipes using semi skimmed milk:

Berry Protein Smoothie

  • 250ml semi skimmed milk
  • 1 scoop (25g) vanilla protein powder
  • 100g mixed frozen berries

Blend all ingredients together for a high protein, low carb breakfast or snack.

Ham and Cheese Omelette

  • 2 large eggs
  • 25ml semi skimmed milk
  • 1 slice lean ham
  • 1⁄4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Beat the eggs with a splash of milk then cook the omelette filled with ham and cheese.

Post-Workout Recovery Drink

  • 250ml chocolate milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter

Blend all ingredients for a tasty low sugar recovery drink.

The Bottom Line

250ml of semi skimmed milk contains around 12.5g total carbs.

Choosing semi skimmed or skimmed milk, rather than whole milk, can help reduce overall carb and calorie intake.

Milk still provides important nutrients as part of a low carb diet. But you can combine it with low carb foods or opt for smaller servings to keep carb consumption in check.

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