The Power of Positive Drinking
By Gary Picariello
Like most kids growing up we were told to drink our milk for strong bones and teeth! It seemed to work for generations of kids and then we find out maybe whole milk isn't the best beverage out there in terms of fat and calories! So what to do other than switch to low fat or no fat milk. Fat-free milk represents the “Power of Positive Drinking” because the calorie and fat content is little to none. Of course all things being equal, once you go to low or no fat, a glass of milk isn't too much different from a glass of opaque water. Nothing wrong with that except the lack of flavor and any other redeeming qualities a glass of whole milk used to bring to our childhood! Which means we need to look elsewhere for protein content and calcium.
The Nitty Gritty
Until someone creates a low-fat cow, cow's milk provides a hardy vitamin balance consisting of 8 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbohydrates and about 300 milligrams of calcium. Not only that, but whole milk is stock full of vitamins and minerals. So assuming ol' Bessie isn't mainlining steroids, a glass of whole milk also provides potassium, phosphorous and B vitamins in addition to Vitamin D. This is all well and good but these particular beneifts are buried in the milk's fat content. Which is why skim milk or low fat milk might be a healthy alternative.
Good News, Bad News?
When low-fat and fat-free milk is produced, all the things I just mentioned are eliminated because the cream from whole milk is skimmed out. Removing the fat also removes fat-soluble Vitamins D, A, E and K. On the plus side, Vitamin D is added to most milk, which helps to facilitate the absorption of calcium.
Cut the Fat Out
Whole milk, according to an article on Fitday.com, is made up of about 3.25 percent fat, while reduced-fat milk contains about 2 percent fat, low-fat milk has about 1 percent fat and fat-free or skim milk has no fat (0 percent) so there is nothing to remove from the heavy cream. This reduction in fat results in an equal reduction in calories. One cup of whole milk contains about 150 calories while one cup of fat-free milks has about half as many.
So drink up! Low fat or no fat milk may be just what your body needs to maintain healthy levels of vitamins and mineral without the fat!