Thursday, March 11, 2010

Is Skim Milk Good for You?

Ms. Beebe,
I have heard that fat free foods may just not be good for you because they replace the fat with something else. My question is about skim milk, which is also called fat free milk. Is there something they add to this to replace the fat being skimmed out, should I stay away from this skim/fat free milk? Is it missing any nutrients that you should be getting from milk? I am interested in all you have to say about skim/fat free milk. Thanks, Bob.

Dear Bob,

That's a great question because lots of products do replace the fat with some other substance. Usually it's either artificial or it's something with sugars in it. I know I used to buy low fat peanut butter until I looked at the label and saw I wasn't saving too many calories (170 versus 180 in the regular) and it just had added sugars!
Milk is a different story. As a matter of fact, many dairy products (including yogurt, ice cream, sour cream) can be purchased "low fat" and you'll be getting the same product minus the fat. Period.

It's always a good idea to read the ingredient label to see what you're getting. It's especially helpful to compare the low-fat product to the standard product (like I eventually did with the peanut butter).

Furthermore, with the fat removed, a glass of skim milk actually has a slightly higher content of vitamins and minerals because there is about an extra ounce of milk replacing the fat that's in a glass of whole milk.
Drink up and enjoy!

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