6 Proven Benefits of Skim Milk

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

 Likes  Comments

Skim milk is one of the most popular varieties of milk on the market, but many people don’t understand the specific benefits of skim milk versus other forms of this popular beverage.

What is Skim Milk?

Skim milk, also known as fat-free milk or nonfat milk, is a lower calorie and low-fat version of traditional full-fat milk. The majority of low-fat milk is fortified with vitamin A and vitamin D since these fat-soluble vitamins are often lost when the fat is extracted from whole milk.

Unlike what many people believe, skim milk contains the majority of nutrients of regular milk and is not “watered down”. While it does lack some of the flavors of whole milk, it can be an important alternative for people who are struggling with obesity. In the past, nonfat milk was made by allowing regular milk to sit and separate – allowing the high-fat cream to rise to the top, where it could be “skimmed” off the top and removed. Today, it is typically made through a process of centrifugal separation, in which most or all of the fat molecules are separated from the remainder of the milk. The milk is then homogenized, preventing any additional separation between the molecules, as they are all made of the same size.

Skim Milk Nutrition

There are many critical nutrients in skim milk, including a significant amount of protein, calciummagnesium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, and potassium. In vitamins, it is rich in vitamins A, B2, B3, B6, B12, and D,  as well as thiamine and folate. A cup of skim milk has 8 grams of high-quality, complete protein, which contains all essential 9 amino acids required for the growth and development.  It is low in calories and has a very low level of cholesterol and fat.

Skim Milk Calories

According to the USDA, 100 g of skim milk contains about 37 calories.

2 bottles fresh skimmed milk with orange striped straws and a slice of lime kept on a wooden table

Health Benefits

The most important benefits of skim milk include its ability to build and maintain lean muscle, lower risk of osteoporosis, strengthen teeth, boost weight loss, improve cholesterol levels, among others.

Lean Muscles

It is a rich source of complete protein containing all essential amino acids, which is responsible for building and maintaining lean muscle mass.

Muscle Function

Calcium, which is found in high levels in this milk, is integral to muscle and overall nervous system function. This critical electrolyte level must be maintained for normal activity.

Weight Loss

The skimmed version has roughly half the calories of whole milk, so for those who are trying to watch their overall calorie intake, it can help aid weight loss efforts.

Growth & Development

Low-fat milk contains a good amount of protein, which helps in the proper growth and development of bones, muscles, cells, and tissues.

Heart Health

With its lack of cholesterol levels, skim milk can lower your risk of atherosclerosis, and thus protect against other cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Bone Mineral Density

The rich density of minerals is ideal for boosting bone strength and reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis at a young age, helping you feel strong as you age.

Blood Pressure

There is a good amount of potassium in skim milk, which can help to control blood pressure by relieving strain and tension in blood vessels and arteries.

Cholesterol Levels

People who switched from whole milk to non-fat milk lowered their cholesterol levels by 7% and the LDL (bad) cholesterol by 11% after six weeks.

Blood Sugar Levels

The proteins such as whey and casein, present in skim milk, are responsible for its relatively mild effect on blood sugar as compared to alternative options such as rice milk.

Types of Skim Milk

The different types of skim milk are:

  • Nonfat dry milk: It is a powdered form of skim milk that lacks water and cream
  • Concentrated skim milk: It is nonfat milk from which a certain amount of water has been removed. This gives the milk a thicker consistency. It is also a more concentrated source of protein, natural sugar, vitamins, and minerals
  • Reconstituted skim milk: It is non-fat dry milk with water added to it, forming the consistency of regular milk
  • Organic skim milk: This is made from milk that comes from cows which are not treated with synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics, and given only organic feed.

Skim Milk Vs Fat-Free Milk Vs Whole Milk

  • Fat content: Most skim milk has 0-0.5% fat, whereas whole milk has roughly 3.25% fat (roughly 8 grams per cup) and none of the fat is removed before it is pasteurized and homogenized.
  • Cholesterol: There is about 24 mg of cholesterol per cup in whole milk, whereas skim milk has about 5 mg of cholesterol.

The other nutrients found in these milk varieties remain basically the same, although vitamin A and vitamin D in low-fat milk tend to be synthetic, rather than natural. The other types of milk available in the dairy aisle include reduced-fat milk which has 2% fat and low-fat milk which has 1% fat. They are also known as 2% reduced-fat milk and 1% low-fat milk respectively.

Disadvantages of Skim Milk

Despite the obvious reduction in fat, calories, and cholesterol, there are some disadvantages to drinking this milk, which include:

  • Lowered nutrient absorption: Although low-fat milk is often fortified with vitamin A and vitamin D, synthetic vitamins are not always as readily absorbed by our body, which means that you may not be getting the full benefit of these vitamins when you choose to use skim milk over whole milk.
  • OvereatingOne of the best things about whole milk is its ability to satiate your hunger, thanks to the fat content it possesses. Without that, low-fat milk is unable to quell your hunger pangs, which could lead you to eat less healthy snacks or overeat.
DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 3.9 out of 5.0 based on 151 user(s).

Latest Health News:

Words 'deja vu' highlighted in printed text

Déjà Vu Followed By A Postdictive Bias, Not Premonition

Most of us have been through the feelings of déjà vu, the feelings of having gone through this before. Some of us might also feel that we gain a sense of the…

An adult polar bear sitting with the arctic snow in the background

Virtual Reality Could Help With Chronic Pain Therapy

What sort of distractions can work when trying to deal with pain? A team of researchers now concludes that scenes from the Arctic on a virtual reality headset…

A hospital bed

Copper ICU Beds Could Reduce Hospital-Based Infections

Despite following strict hygiene standards, the risk of microbial infection in patient care facilities often exceeds risk levels. Hence, the focus on…