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Low Fat Milk vs Whole Milk

Submitted by Sharon Hopkins on October 18, 2010

Low Fat Soy Milk 

Several doctors, nutritionists and fitness experts state that drinking at least one glass of milk a day is important for everyone, because it is high in calcium, Vitamin D as well as protein. While it is a well known fact that milk is a must for children or even teenagers, there are many adults who shy away from the consumption of milk, because dairy products are believed to be very fattening. However, milk, especially skim milk and low fat milk, are an important part of many weight loss diet plans. Since there are so many types of milk available in the market, it is quite natural for people to evaluate the benefits of whole milk vs low fat milk, especially when it comes to children who are older, or overweight. Therefore, it is important to get whole milk, as well as low fat milk nutrition facts before deciding to add either one to a diet.

Low fat milk, refers to the type of milk, in which the fat content has been reduced. This is done by removing some of the cream from whole milk. Therefore, low fat milk is thinner than regular milk and its taste is not as rich.

Regular milk or whole milk refers to the milk, the way it is, which contains 3.5% milk fat. Low fat milk on the other hands contains either 2% or 1% milk fat. One glass (8 ounces) of 1% milk usually contains 100 calories, with 2.5g of fat, while a glass of 2% milk contains 120 calories with 4.5g fat.

If milk contains less than 0.5% milk fat, then it is referred to as skim milk or non fat milk. One glass of skim milk contains 80 calories with 0g of fat. People who are suffering from diabetes, cholesterol problems or other cardiovascular diseases are usually asked to drink around 2 glasses of low fat or skim milk a day.

Studies indicate that the consumption of low fat milk every day can reduce the risks of heart problems, kidney problems and so on. For people who are lactose intolerant and cannot consume milk in any form, doctors could recommend the consumption of low fat soy milk, which contains the same amount of protein as cow’s milk.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children, who are over the age of two, should drink low fat milk or even skim milk. However every child’s system is different and this decision can only be taken, after consulting a pediatrician, who has been observing the child’s digestive system for a while. Adults on the other hand may be better off with low fat of skim milk. Again, it is best to consult a doctor, before switching over.

Milk forms the basis of a child’s diet and is also a very important part of nutrition in adults. Whole milk is not only a good source of protein, calcium, vitamin D, but is also a very good source of fat. If a person is not overweight, a picky eater and is not taking adequate calories through healthy diet, whole milk is a good option for him. But keep in mind not to get all the fat though only from whole milk.

  1. Whole milk when compared with low fat milk, a large difference is seen that cannot be ignored. Let’s have a quick look at the difference –
  2. Whole milk – 8.5 g fat and 155 calories
  3. 2% milk – 4.5 g fat and 120 calories
  4. 1% milk – 2.5 g fat and 100 calories
  5. Skim milk – 0 g fat and 80 calories
The fat in whole milk is important to young children especially below 2 years for growth and brain development. Whole milk is thus a very good choice for toddlers and people who have trouble in getting the fats and calories from the normal diet. But people who need to trim that extra fat from the body; skim milk is a healthy option as it contains negligible amounts of fat. Whole milk is also eliminated from many children diet, whose chances for childhood obesity are high. Making the switch from whole milk to low fat or non fat milk is much easier for a young child than doing it in older years where the child might be more resistant and unwilling to accept the change. This change can be a gradual process, first introduce 2% fat milk for 15 days, then switch to 1% fat milk and then ultimately switch to skim milk. This early change will help a child to develop healthy eating habits especially in his teens and adulthood where he will tend to choose low fat milk options over whole milk.

Whole milk is the first choice for many people because of its more creamy taste, but about 8.5 g fat and 155 calories is not a good choice for most adults who consume more fats and calories from other food sources also. Higher the level of whole milk intake, higher is the difference as the fat from whole milk is a very good source of saturated fats, which is an undesired component of diet and may pose health risks related to heart diseases and cancer. If a person consumed about 3 eight ounce glasses of whole milk in a day, it will exceed the recommended levels of saturated fatty acids per day just from milk (without taking in to account other sources of saturated fatty acids).

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