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Skim or Whole: Does It Really Matter in Your Milk?

By Genevieve Cunningham

Milk is one of the hottest and most oft-debated topics in the diet world. One week it’s the next best thing since sliced bread, and the next we’re not supposed to touch it with a 10-foot pole. But for most of us, milk is a staple in our lives. If you’re a milk drinker, you may be more concerned with which milk is right for you. Skim, whole … does it really make a difference? Take a look at this breakdown of each kind of milk so that you can make an informed decision about your guilty pleasure.

Where Does the Fat Come From?

Milk is fatty when it’s in a raw state. Through the pasteurization process, fat is often removed. The milk and the cream are separated, and a certain percentage of fat is removed from the cream for each particular kind of milk.

How Much Fat is in Each?

Milk generally comes in four forms: Skim, Low-Fat, Reduced Fat, and Whole. The difference in fat? Take a look:

  • Skim - This has the least amount of fat because it has zero percent. It’s this low percentage that makes it taste watered down in many’s opinion.

  • Low-Fat - This is also commonly known as 1 percent, and it has exactly that much fat … 1 percent.

  • Reduced Fat - Most people just call this milk 2 percent. But even with that tiny difference in fat content, many find the taste more palatable than its lower fat counterparts.

  • Whole - This is the fattiest milk by far, but even with that, it only contains a little over 3 percent … 3.25 percent to be exact.

Should I Worry With It?

When you break it down, the fattiest and lowest fat milk only differ by a little over 3 percent. Is this enough to worry about? Maybe. This small percentile may not seem like much, but it can cause weight gain for those who are on calorie restriction. Why? Though the percentage of fat is only 3 percent, the overall calorie comparison between skim and whole may be as much as a 45 percent difference. Dieters may opt for the lower calorie option, while children need the extra fat of whole milk for brain development. Since the milk debate is in an almost constant back and forth state, the best advice is to do your research, ask your doctor, and choose what works for your body and ultimate goals.

We often get incredibly wrapped up in anything that is fat-free or low-fat, and we forget that the other options may be valuable as well. When it comes to milk, it’s important to learn the difference and choose what works for your health. Strengthen your nutrition and overall diet with some knowledge, and you’ll be taking a step in the right direction.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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