6 Reasons Why Skim Milk Is a Total Scam

Say What!? 57

skim milkWhen was the last time you poured yourself a tall glass of ice-cold whole milk? If you're like most of us, it's probably been since you were a kid. Nowadays it's all about skim milk, even for kids. Cartons of whole milk in school cafeterias have been swapped out for skim. Good luck finding full-fat yogurt. Everywhere you look, dairy products have gone skinny. And you know what? It's a double tragedy. Not only is skim less delicious than whole milk, it's not even better for you. In fact, switching from whole to skim can be an unhealthy choice.

I've known this for a long time -- I just mentioned it in a post on foods we thought are unhealthy but are actually good for us. But it turns out I didn't even know the half of it. Study after study, it is slowly dawning on doctors and nutritionists that skim milk may not be the best choice for us after all.

1. You absorb less of the nutrients without the fat. The nutrients in milk, vitamins D, E, and A, are fat-soluble, which means your body absorbs them better when they're delivered via fat. What's more, the vitamin K found naturally in butterfat gets left behind altogether.

2. Skim and low-fat milk contain powdered milk, which is made with oxidized cholesterol, a carcinogen. Oxidized cholesterol can contribute to the buildup of plaque in your arteries. On the other hand, untreated cholesterol in whole milk is an antioxidant.

3. Milk producers have started adding sugary flavoring to skim and low-fat milk to encourage kids to drink more of it. This means more empty calories in milk that releases fewer nutrients into your body. So that doesn't make a whole lotta sense.

4. Skim can leave you feeling unsatisfied, which leads many people to fill up on less-healthy "non-fat" foods. This is because saturated fats like those found in whole milk trigger the release of the hormone cholecystokinin, which makes you feel full. 

5. Skim milk has been linked with "transient" weight loss in studies. This means you may lose some weight from cutting out whole milk at first, but then you're likely to gain back that weight.

6. Fats slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream, reducing the amount that can be stored as fat. This is an argument for letting some "healthy" fats into your daily diet overall, and they don't have to come from milk. They can come from olive oil and nuts, for example.

So as counter-intuitive as it sounds, it sounds like skim milk is only going to exacerbate the so-called obesity epidemic. But you know what? I think we need to stop obsessing over obesity and slimming waistlines. If we would shift that focus from NO/LESS to YES/MORE -- as in more nutrients -- I think we'd be a lot healthier. And that should be the goal anyway, getting healthier, not necessarily getting skinnier.

If there's anything we should care about when it comes to milk, besides its fat content, it's making sure it comes from cows not treated with hormones like rbST. And if you can get milk from cows with a diet rich in grass and hay as opposed to corn, you're going to get even more benefits from it.

Do you drink whole milk or skim/low-fat milk -- or none at all? Why?


Image via Jeanne Sager

healthy choices, one ingredient


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Paws84 Paws84

We drink almond and coconut milk. We haven't had skim or any type of dairy milk in the household in about 2 years. Grosses my husband and I out. I'll make an exception and get 1% milk to make holiday meals! but that's about it.

nonmember avatar Monica

Milk and dairy products are unhealthy.

nonmember avatar andie

@Monica, that's an absurd statement. All pediatricians ask if your child has been drinking enough milk, and GPs for adults will ask how much milk/yogurt/cheese you consume, and for good reason. They are vitally important in a balanced, healthy diet.

nonmember avatar Kristan

@andie not totally absurd comment, they ask because of the nutrients those foods provide, and those are the generally acceptable and taught sources of calcium, vitamin d, etc. However, dairy products are not all they're cracked up to be in terms of over-all healthiness.

I would read more about it and make the best choice for you and your family though...we were all raised on cow's milk and we're fine, right? :)

kckcm2 kckcm2


Actually not all that far off, milk and dairy are certainly unnecessary. Did you know milk actually leaches calcium from the bones, and that we don't absorb nearly enough of what is in the milk to replace what it takes to simply digest it. So considering you can get everything that milk gives you with natural supplements, without leaching calcium from your body, one could though it would be grasping at straws a little, that milk can be potentially dangerous.

nekoy... nekoyukidoll

I drink 2% organic everyone else in my family drinks 1%.  to me, it tastes more like regular whole milk

Brain... BrainyMommy

I like whole milk. Give me the fat stuff.

nonmember avatar Melissa

We only drink Soy milk...it tastes better, and is better for you! I'm sorry, I see no reason to drink something that is intented to turn a little calf into a MASSIVE cow.

nonmember avatar Melissa

Also, my GP and my son's doctor have never asked about milk intake...but to say that maybe my son was getting too much...

Stell... StellarsMommy

I've drank whole milk my entire life. I hate when people say that it makes you fat and unhealthy since I have never broken 125 pounds at 5'5", except when I was pregnant of course, as well as never had any health issues. Now that I have my own family we drink organic whole milk. The hormones terrify me mostly so we switched to all organic meat and dairy a few years ago. Once I started hearing girls hitting puberty at 9 I knew all of the growth hormones were the cause.

1-10 of 57 comments 12345 Last