Some of the most common dietary advice when it comes to weight loss and eating healthy is to consume only low-fat or non-fat dairy. I’ve talked to many people who say they drink skim milk because they think it’s healthier. If you do an internet search for healthy recipes you will find many recipes claiming to be healthy simply because they call for low-fat milk and no butter.
So, is skim milk really healthier?
The composition of milk
Milk in its whole form has three parts to it; the protein portion (casein), the aqueous portion (where most of the sugars are found), and the fat portion. Milk has a significant profile of natural sugars, particularly lactose, a disaccharide sugar. Left unpasteurized, milk has a perfect balance of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, K, and E, along with minerals and beneficial bacteria and enzymes.
Is skim milk a health food?
Skim milk is what you get when the fat portion is taken out of the milk. Skim milk naturally has an unappetizing bluish color and watery texture, so to make it appear more like milk highly processed powdered milk is added in. The manufacturing process used to make powdered milk causes the cholesterol to oxidize and form toxic nitrates to form. It’s actually this type of oxidized cholesterol that leads to the build up of plaque in the arteries. You won’t see powdered milk on the ingredients label though. Since it’s technically still milk it’s not required to be listed.
When you take out the fat portion of the milk you’re left with mostly the sugar portion. Skim milk is basically water and sugar with some protein. And after being pasteurized and homogenized there sadly aren't many nutrients left. Also, when the fat is not there to act as a buffer the milk sugar enters the blood stream more quickly causing a spike in blood sugar. So, someone with blood sugar issues, drinking skim milk thinking it will help them manage their weight, is actually doing more harm than good.
Does drinking skim milk help with weight management?
Sugars are a very fast burning source of energy, fats on the other hand are slow burning, so when there is adequate fat in the diet you will feel fuller longer and eat less often. Also, excess sugars will get converted into fat and stored on the body. Did you know some farmers actually feed their hogs skim milk products to help fatten them up? So, if you are drinking skim milk to help you lose weight you may want to rethink that.
Why your milk needs fat.
There are several reasons to choose full fat dairy products. Not only is the fat in dairy products very nourishing and keeps you feeling fuller longer, it’s also necessary for the absorption and utilization of the vitamins and minerals, such as calcium. Also, the butter fat in milk contains glycosphingolipids, a fat that protects against gastrointestinal infections. The fat is there for a reason.
The benefits of raw milk.
Why choose raw milk? Pasteurized milk has been processed at high temperatures that denature the proteins and destroy the natural enzymes that help us digest the milk. Many people who are lactose intolerant, meaning they lack the digestive enzymes necessary to digest the lactose in dairy products, can consume raw milk without issues because the enzymes that help digest the milk are still present. Also, since many nutrients are lost during pasteurization, pasteurized milk will often times have synthetic vitamins added to replace the real nutrients that were lost. Raw milk on the other hand has all the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, along with the beneficial bacteria and enzymes still intact making it a balanced food that nourishes the body.