Over the years, since skim milk (“skimmed” milk,” as it’s referred to in the United Kingdom) was introduced, there’s been a lot of talk about it. A lot of factual talk, yes, but also a lot of “myth talk,” too.
For the most part, the talk reverberates around – is skim milk lower in saturated fat – the less harmful fat – than whole milk? Is skim milk really more healthy for us than whole milk?
In this article, we look at skim milk’s nutrition profile, we consider its health benefits, and we talk about health concerns.
What Is Skim Milk?
Skim milk is merely normal milk – whole milk – where the butterfat has been removed.
Typically, skim milk has around 0-0.1 percent fat content.
And, because the fat content is so low or zero, it contains extremely low or zero fat content.
In turn, the amount of calories in skim milk is also far lower than whole milk.
Nutritional values of skim milk per 100 g (100 ml)
Calories: 24 kcal
Carbohydrate: 5.1 g
Fat: 0.1 g
Protein: 3.4 g
With respect to the protein content of skim milk, it’s the “complete” source.
What that means is that it has all of the essential amino acids, which is the same as all animal products.
What about the amount of vitamins in skim milk?
Skim milk vitamin content (in terms of % RDA)
Vitamin B2: 11%
Vitamin D: 10%
Vitamin B12: 9%
Vitamin A: 4%
Vitamin B5: 4%
Vitamin B1: 3%
Vitamin B6: 2%
Skim milk has a very similar vitamin profile to whole milk.
Nevertheless, there is a key difference.
It has synthetic vitamin D, and this synthetic vitamin D is mandated.
Skim milk may also consist of fortified vitamin A. Though vitamin A is not mandatory.
The fortification exists since, when fat is removed from whole milk, the natural fat-soluble vitamin content is lost.
Skim milk – what about the health benefits?
While any type of milk has a high protein content, skim milk affords the best density of protein.
This is because skim milk is far lower in terms of the total amount of calories.
As an example, for every 100 ml of skim milk, there’s 34 calories. That 34 calories consists of 3.4 grams of protein.
In terms of calories, 100 ml of whole milk consists of around 65 calories.
Skim milk has a total protein density of 40 percent.
In contrast, whole milk affords a protein density of 22.7 percent.
Further, just like other milk, skim milk has a high calcium content.
Is there anything to be concerned about when consuming skim milk?
It’s not all good when it comes to skim milk.
Skim milk loses natural fat-soluble vitamins during the manufacturing process.
It also has a higher sugar density than whole milk.
Plus, for many people, the taste isn’t as good as whole milk.
By law, manufacturers of skim milk in the U.S. must fortify it with synthetic vitamin D.
And while there’s no law with regards to fortifying with vitamin A, some manufacturers still do so.
The emphasis here is on “some” because not all manufacturers do.
As such, any non-fortified skim milk will have no where near as much vitamin A content as whole milk.
What about the sugar density in skim milk?
The density of milk sugar (lactose) in skim milk is far higher than in whole milk.
In whole milk, you can expect to find around 33 percent of the total amount of calories is from lactose – sugar.
In skim milk, you can expect fo find around 57 percent of the calories comes from lactose.
Nevertheless, this far higher lactose content in skim milk does not seem to cause a higher glycemic response.
There are no saturated fats in skim milk
For decades, whole milk has received bad press because of the high amount of saturated fat content.
In recent times, this bad press has tapered off because it is now thought to be healthy to consume saturated fats.
So, this benefit of skim milk over whole milk was only previously a conceived benefit, but it can no longer be seen as a benefit at all.
Skim milk or whole milk: Which is the healthier option?
Much recent scientific research has been conducted, and overall, the following has been found:
* Drinking whole milk does not raise your cholesterol level.
* A relatively high dairy fat diet does not equate to a high cardiovascular risk. As such, it’s perfectly safe to frequently consume whole milk.
* It is thought that whole milk and skim milk consumption may offer additional long-term benefits in terms of preventing type 2 diabetes.
What are the Advantages of Consuming Skim Milk Rather than Whole Milk?
1 Not so much an advantage, but rather, it’s on an equal footing: The range of vitamins and minerals in skim milk are fairly similar to what you find in whole milk. There is, though, plenty more protein in skim milk on a per-calorie basis than there is in whole milk.
2 Skim milk is better if you wish to lose weight, given that skim milk contains 34 calories per 100 ml, where whole milk contains around 65 calories per 100 ml serving.
What are the Disadvantages of Consuming Skim Milk Rather than Whole Milk?
1 It seems to be, from relatively recent studies, that the regular consumption of dairy fat helps to protect against metabolic disorders.
2 There’s a lower concentration of fat-soluble vitamins in skim milk. Whole milk is a better choice in terms of fat-soluble vitamin content.
3 The nutrients in whole milk are provided in their natural ratios. Not so in skim milk.
4 Whole milk, for most of us, tastes a lot better than skim milk.
While there are no adverse health effects from consuming skim milk often, in comparison to whole milk, there are few benefits on offer.
Skim milk is certainly not a terrible choice, though. Particularly so if you are aiming to lose weight. Skim milk comes with less calories than whole milk.
Final note is that dairy fat should not be feared; rather, there are many benefits to be had from regularly consuming dairy fat.