Milk – it’s a staple in many people’s diets and one we began drinking around 7500 years ago!
And for good reason too, milk carries a host of nutritional benefits, including calcium which can help maintain strong and healthy bones and protein for muscle growth.
Up until the 1940s milk came in one way only – full-fat. However, when dietitians and medical institutes began warning people of the potential dangers of saturated fat in their diets, full-fat milk fell out of favour in a big way. In fact, between 1975 and 2014, sales of whole fat milk fell by 61% and skimmed milk sales increased by a huge 156%.
Sales are back on the up now due to the reconsidered risks of saturated fats but pop by any popular coffee chain and you’ll often hear people still ordering “skinny” coffees. So which milk should we be consuming? We look at both milks in detail and let you know the facts.
- Saturated Fat As expected, skimmed milk has a lower level of saturated fat than whole milk.
- Calories Probably the biggest difference between the 2 milks is the calorie content. As skimmed milk contains less fat, it has less calories – 69 calories in a 200ml serving, compared to 128 calories in the same amount of whole milk.
- Calcium One of the biggest benefits of milk is the amount of calcium it provides – you’ll find 248.0mg in a 200ml serving of skimmed milk.
- Saturated Fat Although whole milk contains more saturated fat than skimmed, studies have found that the kind of saturated fat found in whole milk doesn’t appear to increase the risk of heart disease – some have actually shown that drinking it can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Calories Although whole milk has more calories than skimmed milk, a 2014 study has found that consuming whole fat product as opposed to “low-fat” foods can actually decrease your risk of obesity.
- Calcium Whole milk has a slightly lower level of calcium than skimmed milk, but at 240.0mg per 200ml it still packs a pretty good punch.
Milk: The Takeaway
Milk is a great product to include as part of your daily diet. However, unless you are very overweight and drastically need to decrease your calorie consumption than there are very few benefits of switching to skimmed milk – but lots for drinking whole milk!
As with everything, practice moderation, buy the best quality you can and enjoy whole milk as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.