5 Reasons to Skip the Skim Milk

Organic Milk

From skinny lattes to fat free frozen yogurt, skim milk is seen everywhere as the milk of choice for health conscious people – but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is skim milk the opposite of delicious, it’s actually not a healthy choice at all. Here’s why you should ignore the skim milk advertising, get off the fat-free bandwagon, and forget everything you think you know about skim milk.

1) Skim milk about has twice the amount of sugar as full fat cream. When you take out the fat, you add sugar to make up for it, and don’t we all know by now that fat doesn’t make you fat…sugar does? This means if you’re buying skim milk to manage your weight, you’re making a mistake.

2) Skim milk is totally devoid of nutritional value. The vitamins (A, D, E and K) in milk are fat soluble, which means they need fat in order to be absorbed by the body. Also, calcium absorption is enhanced by Vitamin D, but the Vitamin D needs fat, so skim milk breaks the entire chain of absorption and becomes nutritionally empty. It’s basically like drinking sugar water.

3) Saturated fat (which is removed to create skim milk) has satiating, blood sugar stabilizing effects. Fats slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream. Eating a low-fat diet that makes up for the fat by adding more sugar can lead to blood sugar issues like diabetes and hypoglycemia. Contrary to popular belief, lowfat does NOT mean healthier!

4) The dairy industry often adds skim milk powder to skim milk. Skim milk powder processing causes the cholesterol in the milk to be oxidized – and oxidized cholesterol can lead to buildup of plaque in the arteries. Cholesterol that naturally occurs in food is not something to worry about, but oxidized cholesterol can cause inflammation in the body and contribute to heart disease.

5) Because skim milk is a highly processed, “altered” food, it can leave you feeling unsatisfied and experiencing cravings for something more. Our bodies thrive on whole foods, the way they are found in nature. Eating a diet full of high quality protein and healthy fats from whole foods can prevent the ups and downs and cravings that come from eating fat-free foods that are “missing something.

While we’re not advocates of dairy as a health food in general, if you are going to choose to eat or drink dairy products it’s important to choose full fat, organic dairy that comes from grass-fed cows that haven’t been treated with hormones. Either way, do not to be tricked by skim milk marketing. Skim milk is not a health food!

  • Sundari

    I always drink whole milk, given a choice. However, is 2% a far better option to skim milk?

  • Point #1 claims that skim milk has twice the sugar as whole milk. However, no sugar is added to plain skim milk – there are 13 grams of sugars in whole milk, and 13 grams in skim milk. Please explain…

    Point #2 is not accurate. The vitamins are there. You are claiming they won’t be absorbed because there is no fat in the milk. But this approach is inaccurate, as it assumes that a person is only consuming the skim milk and there is nothing else in the digestive tract. This would require a person not to eat for hours before or after drinking the skim milk. This is not how people usually eat. In most cases, there will be some fat consumed in conjunction with the skim milk.

  • th C

    too bad that such erroneous stuff likenthis gets putnon the internet. Read the label, palin and simple this is not true

  • Jennifer

    Read labels! Totally disproves this hogwash. Fooducate is spot on!

  • Bluebonnet67

    Point 1 compares sugar in skim vs. cream, not whole milk.

    Other vitamins are there because they are added artificially after being removed along with the fat. There are lots of foods that combine well (you can always eat a peanut butter sandwich with your skim milk), but that doesn’t necessarily refute Point 2, which states accurately that skim milk by itself is not as nutritionally complete as higher fat milk products that are less processed.

    There have been some studies in reputable medical journals showing that children drinking higher fat milk products tended to be less overweight than kids who drank skim or 1% milk. Time magazine did a story on this last year.

  • Curious

    Could you reference these findings? Thanks!

  • Andrea White

    My Dr. will argue that its good for you because it has less fat even though it has more sugar labeled. . I asked her, ” So, fat makes you fat?” and guess what this genious said.

  • AKP

    If you read the label for Danone Slim Milk, you will note that it has 0 sugars. It’s also a great source of calcium and protein. It’s been widely documented that a diet high in saturated fat leads to an elevation in LDL, particularly in people prone to high blood cholesterol. This article is gobbledygook.

  • Russell Moverley

    Can you provide any literature to support the claim that skim milk is higher in sugar? No packaging i’ve seen supports this. And I have yet to find any reliable literature to support it either.

  • Nathan Rice

    Why are there so many wing-nuts trying to push full fat milk?

  • cardog

    Fat is good for you. Sugar is not. Period end of story.

  • RoyBaty

    If you look at the 1950s and 60s, very few obese people, everyone drank “full fat” milk. Its only since skim milk, margarine, diet foods (high carb / low fat) have become popular that obesity has soared. Tests have shown that a high fat / low carb diet will not make you fat. Don’t be a low fat wing nut yourself.

  • Jaax

    ♪Macrooooooooos and calorie intake♪ plus fat is 7 kcals a gram compared with 4 from carbs. Check the stats of what you eat and relate it to your macro goals = weight control.

  • Nick

    Labels can lie… have you ever thought of that? If the food industries put all that crap on their labels do you think anyone would buy it? Therefor, they would have to lie to stay in business.

  • Linton Steps

    if you think processing milk makes it any better for you I think a little trip to a modern dairy will enlighten you. It’s about profit not quality of the product. The majority of people don’t even know what milk is suppose to taste of. A local farm that bottles their own milk from one herd fed mainly grass would make you wonder what is in the super market milk. If you think it’s OK from the supermarket and semi-skimmed is so much healthier go ahead. But please don’t for one minute think you are drinking real milk, you are drinking yet another processed fluid from another corporate business that is trying to maximise their profits. Semi-skimmed is a made up name because they are taking all the high value solids -cream to me and you- and putting it into higher value goods such as cheese and butter.
    A bit like the starch waste from potatoes that they make into fancy shapes add an artificial flavour and sell them to us through a marketing campaign.
    A more extreme taste test is raw milk compare to the supermarket. I know raw milk is banned in the USA, why I don’t really know but may be the dairies don’t want people to know what milk actually tastes like. Just a thought.
    If you are fat don’t blame any food, it’s the quantities that are to blame. If you keep moving up a trouser size perhaps that’s a signal that quantities need to be adjusted and if you can’t do it alone get some professional help, but don’t open the fridge and blame it on the white stuff.
    It is true you need vitamin D to help absorb calcium. Ask any recovering breast cancer sufferer and they’ll tell you they are on prescribed calcium tablets with added vitamin D to combat the effects of the medication they have to take. The medication side effect reduces their calcium levels. My wife in point.
    Eat fresh fruit and veg and unprocessed foods and you’ll be fine.
    Don’t put too much faith in labels, they are there under duress. Given the choice you’d get a fancy graphic and a logo followed by blurb saying how it will turn you into a super-hero. A bit like cigarettes in the old days.
    And yes, I buy local milk from a local farmer. The taste is lovely and creamy, and I have a 32″ waist, because I don’t drink it excessively.

  • India

    The nutrition facts on the back of milk cartons for skim milk, and whole milk both read 12g of sugar. Dr. Lipman says that there is twice the amount of sugar in skim. Is the milk industry lying on the nutritions fact label? Can someone explain this to me, with real references to back it up?

  • Christopher Gibbons

    Ah I can clear up a lot of confusion here. The author is comparing skim milk to cream. Technically a serving a cream is healthier than a serving of skimmed milk. That said, enjoy your cereal with one tablespoon of cream in it.

  • Sean Ikon

    Dairy producers aren’t required to list grams of milk sugar on the nutrition facts label. They only have to put down the total grams of sugar. It can be tricky to figure out exactly how much of the sugar is from lactose and how much is from added sugar. Some of the added sugars you might see are sucrose, dextrose, maltose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey and of course sugar.

  • Sean Ikon

    Dairy producers aren’t required to list grams of milk sugar on the nutrition facts label. They only have to put down the total grams of sugar. It can be tricky to figure out exactly how much of the sugar is from lactose and how much is from added sugar. All you can do is read through the ingredients list. Some of the added sugars you might see are sucrose, dextrose, maltose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey and of course sugar.

  • Jakub

    Fact, fat is good for you! You need it to live
    Fact, Carbs are good for you! You need it to live
    Fact, Calories are good for you! You need it to live.

    Carbs and Calories are found virtually in every food. The fact is you need all of these in moderation for your body to function normally and for your brain to process information.

    The type of sugars you should be consuming are complex carbs found in whole foods.
    So yes! Skim milk is bad for you as it contains simple processed white sugar! If you drink skim milk chances are you are overweight and not health concious. Now ask yourself this are you loosing weight?

    I personally don’t know anyone who drinks skim milk. I also personally don’t know anyone who is obese. The few people that I do know that are overweight struggle with simple carbs and not high fat.
    A doctor might tell you to stay away from high fat food due to high cholesterol. But otherwise you should be consuming them regularly and we are talking about grains, avocados and fish.

    And there are plenty of medical journals on Pub Med to back up these claims. I can’t even believe that anyone is disputing it? The information is right in front of you. You have the internet, just research some journals on Pub Med and you will get your answers. Or don’t, you will see how you look and feel in 10 years.

    Than again , we as humans should not be consuming milk or more than that of a bowl of cereal.

    Again everything should be consumed in moderation and don’t forget alcohol, which some people enjoy way too much.

  • jakub

    Just a side note the added sugar in regular skim milk only comprises of a small percentage of the overall carbs. Meaning that not all the carbs on the label come from simple sugar only a small portion due to the process. Also Lactose free milk is something you should also be aware of.

  • Linton Steps

    don’t buy the cheap supermarket milk in any form it’s milk that is wrecked. Source local, buy local, support local.

  • pink Rayn

    Taking whole milk is not recommended for people having blood pressure problems as it’s rich in fats which clogs the arteries leading in increasing of the BP! So they take this so called skim milk low/no at fat and Calcium rich. BUT now after reading thos article iam like WHAT!!!!!!!
    What was proven to be good is again not recommended by some other somewher -Not only about milk. NOW we don’t knw what is GOOD FOR OURSELVES ! :-(

  • funkyflights

    Depends which kind of fat cardog …. Too much saturated fat is not good for you…

  • Joni Rampolla

    The protein and carbohydrate are the same regardless of skim vs whole milk! The only difference is the fat grams and calorie content. The only added sugar would be if it were a flavored milk such as chocolate! There is no trickery there. It is a simple choice or preference. Both also contain the vitamins and the body is able to use the vitamins because we generally eat fat throughout our day that would help you utilize the fat soluble vitamins.

  • Gonçalves Alves

    Wrong. How long do you think a fat-soluble vitamin stay in your body… without ingesting fat? It just goes away in your urine, as if you have drunk a glass of water. Please, don’t be deluded by the food industry: nothing that has been previously processed and loaded with chemicals can be good for you.

  • Gonçalves Alves

    Nothing in excess is good for you.
    That being said, saturated fat is not the Bowser Koopa that you may think. Do some research on PubMed.

  • John

    WOW ! Thanks for the update ! I’ve been a skimmer for most of my life . That ends today! Dr Lipman it’s great that the finger is finally being pointed at tha real culprit. BIG SUGAR

  • Kashi2626

    I have found other websites that indicate they do not add sugar to skim milk and the nutritional facts for both skim milk and whole milk are the same of 12g per 1 cup serving. Can someone clarify please if sugar is in fact added to skim milk and why hey would have the same nutritional informations for sugars?

  • Brian

    It sounds like you live in the wrong country, if they add sugar to your milk where you are.

  • alanrlow

    Read it again. When you remove the fat you must increase the lactose ratio.

  • Brian

    True, but by a very small amount. http://foodwatch.com.au/blog/carbs-sugars-and-fibres/item/does-skim-milk-have-more-sugar-than-full-fat-milk.html for example gives a value of 4.9g compared with 4.8g, per 100ml of milk. There’s no way it can be twice as much, as the article asserts, without adding sugar. Reason #2 looks pretty flaky to me also, as no-one is suggesting you stop eating fat altogether just because you are taking fat-free milk. I accept though the point that you might want to look on the bottle and check how your skim(med) milk is produced.

  • Amanda Rose Gilbert

    But as a “weight-loss” substitue for whole milk or 2% is bogus. It leaves you feeling un satisfied and as the article states, all of the vitamins and minerals you need are fat soluble. A glass of whole milk can be a meal substitute, but a glass of skim milk will leave your body wanting more.

  • izzy

    Sugar is NOT added to regular skim or 2% milk in most places in the US. This claim is so silly and so easily debunked by just glancing at the ingredient list. And the internet is awash with opinion pieces stating that skim milk has more sugar than whole milk in general, while (as you noted) in most cases it does not if you just look at the label, or the difference is less than half a gram, apparently. The satiation argument is fine but has NOTHING to do with the sugar content argument. The only explanation I’ve seen that sort-of makes sense is that, per calorie, there is more sugar in nonfat/lowfat milk. This is true IF YOU DRINK LESS of the whole milk. I just did the calculations, and you’d need to drink almost 40% less whole milk in order to end up with the same calories as skim. If you did this, then, yes, you’d intake less sugar. But I kind of doubt people are reducing their serving size that much (if at all). Now, I think any all-natural milk is just fine – I have nothing against whole milk or the fat in it – but to claim it has less sugar is bogus because everyone thinks that means less sugar PER SERVING. It doesn’t, and nutrition by serving size IS how we compare foods. Also, btw, lower-fat milk has a bit more protein than full-fat milk.

    As of now, I’m splitting the difference and sticking to 2% (except for cappuccinos, of course…mmm) just ’cause I do need to watch my calories but also want the protein.

    Hopefully this helped. Glad you are being observant!!

  • izzy

    Please see my reply to Kashi2626 above. The milk industry is not the one who is lying. These sorts of things are actually regulated, and the nutritional content of a staple like milk is not some proprietary thing that could be kept secret around the world for generations or something!

  • izzy

    You really think that MILK is the reason people are obese now? And your reasoning is…because that is one of a gazillion food (and job, and overall activity) trends that are different now than before? You do know the difference between correlation and causation, right? And that correlation with 100 different factors doesn’t mean that this ONE you are harping on is at all related, right?

    Oh yeah. Minor detail: skim milk doesn’t have more sugar than whole milk per serving. I agree that sugar is bad, but you’ve set up a straw man argument here.

  • Roy Baty

    Just one of many factors pushed by the knowitalls, Dizzy. Another factor is corn syrup (much worse than sugar), diet foods, fat free foods, egg whites, sugar substitutes,….all contribute to the new obesity.

  • izzy

    You made it sound like the #1 reason, though, along with other contributions. And your argument is that high carb is the main problem is right, like I said – but *milk* has no place in that argument because each kind has the same amount of carbs. There’s no need to mislead people by saying one has more sugar than another. I’m not trying to fight, but I do care about facts.

  • Roy Baty

    I never said that Dizzy, about more sugar in milk.

  • izzy

    I already agree that many fats are good. But nonfat and lowfat milks are not BAD, either, as long as people are getting enough fat elsewhere in their diets (which all or almost all do). Yes, carbs make you fat. That’s why type of milk has no place in this discussion one way or another…because the carb levels don’t vary. :)

    PS – my name isn’t Dizzy, just fyi…

  • Charlie27

    Skimmed milk tastes much better than whole, just my opinion. I spent 3 weeks drinking about a pint of skimmed milk a day and a meagre amount of fruit n veg to get my bowels moving (drinking just milk for weeks gives you bad constipation), plus an hour’s walk a day, and I lost 3 stones (42 pounds)! So, believe everything you read on the NET. Don’t have to believe me , of course, but just follow my example and you’ll lose lots of fat.