Which are better: whole or skim milk?

For years, it has been said that skimmed dairy products were better because the whole fattened and produced cardiovascular diseases due to the amount of fat. However, there are more and more studies that deny this fact. In this article we will explain if whole or skimmed dairy products are better.

Whole or skim milk?

Whole dairy have always had a bad reputation by the general population due to:

  • Calories: Whole dairy products have more calories than skimmed ones, since fat is the macronutrient that provides the most calories. In dairy products it is easy to eliminate that fat. So it seems logical, lower calories, lower risk of obesity.
  • Saturated fat: Saturated fats have always been known as ‘bad’ fats because they could cause diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, eliminating them was an added advantage.

But nevertheless, by eliminating fat, we eliminate much of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E. As well as a part of minerals.

You have to read also: Vitamin preservation: everything you need to know

Numerous studies have been carried out to see if whole dairy fattens or improves overall health. Here we show you different studies:

Weight and dairy

In a study published in The American Journal of Nutrition, They observed the differences in weight between those who consumed whole and skimmed dairy products. The results were that The group that consumed the most whole dairy products reduced their risk of being overweight or obese by 8%.

This article verifies that high fat consumption from dairy products is associated with a lower risk of central obesity and cardiovascular risk; in the same way that a low intake of dairy fats was associated with an increased risk of central obesity.

Health and dairy

Most studies they do not find differences between whole or skimmed dairy products, or they reach better results when taken whole. In fact, whole dairy can improve some diseases such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Cardiovascular diseases.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Hypertension.
  • Colorectal cancer.

It is interesting: Legumes: how do they protect against diabetes?

Children, whole or skim milk?

It is important that children consume whole dairy products, since, as we have said before, in the skimmed milk an important proportion of vitamins and minerals is lost. In a study involving 2745 children, it was observed that including whole milk was associated with higher concentrations of vitamin D in the blood and lower muscle mass index.

We must point out that these Whole dairy should be without added sugars, since for the children there is a wide range of dairy products to which they add a large amount of sugar and preservatives, which are counterproductive.


In general, each case must be customized, since dairy products are not the main cause of overweight or obesity. If whole milk seems very heavy, you can opt for semi-skimmed milk. Also if you consume several glasses of milk throughout the day.

Instead, If you have to follow a low-fat diet for some reason, skim milk may be better for you. Also if you are going to do sports later. After all, some key concepts must be taken into account:

  • Not all fats are ‘bad’, but you have to know its origin. As we have seen, saturated milk fats do not contribute to obesity or cardiovascular disease.
  • Whole dairy, due to fat, helps to be more satiated, what can make us eat less throughout the day.
  • Skimmed dairy products tend to be more tasteless and, having less flavor, add sugars and refined cereals. That is, they remove fat to incorporate other components that are more harmful to health.

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