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Simply put, skimmed milk is a lower-calorie, lower-fat version of whole or 'full-fat' milk. When it was first made, skimmed milk was made by allowing regular milk to separate and the cream to rise to the top. It was then 'skimmed' off the top and removed leaving a naturally lower-fat version.
Today, skimmed milk is made by centrifugal separation, in which most or all of the fat molecules are separated from the remainder of the milk.
The biggest difference between whole milk and skimmed milk is the fat content. Typically, whole milk contains around 3.25 per cent fat (8g of per glass), whereas skimmed milk contains less than 0.5 per cent (0.3g) per glass.
Here's how a typical serving (200ml) of whole and skimmed milk compare:
|200ml whole milk||200ml skimmed milk|
|130 kcal||71 kcal|
|7.4g fat||0.6g fat|
|...of which saturates: 4.7g||...of which saturates: 0.2g|
|9.5g carbohydrates||10g carbohydrates|
|...of which sugars: 9.5g||...of which sugars: 10g|
|7g protein||7.3g protein|
|240mg calcium||260mg calcium|
|323mg potassium||337mg potassium|
|0.12mg vitamin B6||0.12mg vitamin B6|
|1.9μg vitamin B12||1.7μg vitamin B12|
|23mg magnesium||23mg magnesium|
|198mg phosphorus||200mg phosphorus|
|64μg iodine||62 μg iodine|
Contrary to popular belief, skimmed milk provides the same nutrients as whole milk and only a fraction more natural sugar than whole milk. Skimmed milk also contains more calcium and more protein than whole milk - both vital nutrients for the development and protection of teeth, bones and muscle function.
The high levels of potassium found in skimmed milk contributes to normal muscle and nerve function and is important for healthy blood pressure, while magnesium helps your heart, muscles and immune system to function properly.
Fortified varieties of skimmed milk containing vitamin D and vitamin A are also available.
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Because skimmed milk contains less than 1g of fat and saturated fat per serving, it is a fantastic option for those with high cholesterol who need to reduce their cholesterol levels, as well as those who wish to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.
High cholesterol is a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CVD), which can cause stroke, heart attack, heart failure and high blood pressure.
Skimmed milk contains two types of protein: casein and whey. Both of these protein types are beneficial in helping to build and repair muscle, as well as maintain muscle function. Skimmed milk also contains a total of 18 amino acids, including all nine of the essential amino acids. Amino acids are known as the 'building blocks of protein' and are responsible for building and maintain lean muscles.
Some research has indicated that the protein found in skimmed milk helps to build muscle more quickly than alternative protein sources, such as soy protein.
Did you know? In order to consume the same amount of calcium found in a glass of skimmed milk, you would need to eat 63 Brussels sprouts, 11 servings of spinach or four servings of broccoli.
Milk is the best food source of calcium, with skimmed milk providing more calcium than whole milk or semi-skimmed milk varieties. As well as being necessary for the growth of healthy bones and teeth, calcium is essential for normal blood clotting and muscle function.
Skimmed calories contains around half the calories of whole milk, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy drinking milk on a daily basis.
A typical serving (one glass) whole contains around 150 calories, whereas a glass of skimmed milk only contains around 80, making it the perfect choice for anyone actively trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible, supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.