Whole vs. Fat-Free Milk

Whole vs. Fat-Free Milk

Whole milk and fat-free milk are very similar in their nutrient content but they have two main differences.

HOLY COW: Both contain the same amount of vitamins and minerals. Whole milk and fat-free milk also contain the same amount of carbohydrates, protein, fiber and sugar. The main difference between the two types of milk are the fat content. Fat-Free milk contains no fat whereas whole milk contains 8 grams of total fat with 5 of those grams coming from saturated fat. Saturated fat can lead to a rise in bad cholesterol, which has been shown to contribute to an increase risk of heart disease or stroke. Lastly, the calorie content of whole milk is quite a bit higher than fat-free milk due to the additional fat.

Two other types of milk are 1% and 2% milk. Both of these contain the same amount of nutrients as whole and fat-free milk. The difference is 2% milk contains 5 grams of fat and 1% milk contains 2.5 grams of fat, resulting in less calories than whole milk.

Chocolate milk contains some of the nutrients that other types of milk have, but it also contains 10 grams of added sugar not found in the other types of milk, therefore it is not a recommended choice.

The Verdict: It depends! Fat-free, whole, 2% and 1% milk contain the same amount of good nutrients. However, to lower your overall saturated fat intake, fat-free milk is the preferred choice. 

Tip: You might want to also consider other dairy free alternatives to help you obtain the calcium you need, such as almond milk, cashew milk, soymilk or lactose-free milk. Be sure to check out the links attached to each type of milk for more on the nutrient content! If you do not like the taste of milk or these alternatives, there is no need to worry because you can still have a healthy diet and obtain your calcium through a variety of different vegetables such as kale, collard greens, broccoli, spinach or soybeans.

Megan Farr, Weight of the Fox Valley Intern