Low fat milk is an extremely popular commodity in the United States, offering many of the same benefits of regular milk with less calories and fat content. But, how do you know you are getting the same nutrients in low fat milk as other kinds of milk? Does low fat milk offer less calcium than than regular milk? Is low fat milk more suitable for adults than children?
Low Fat Overview
Generally, low fat milk differs very little from other kinds of milk. It offers the same binding consistency in baking and cooking, it has the same refreshing sensation and goes great with many of the same foods. In a normal serving (about 1 cup) of low fat milk, there is approximately 122 calories, 43 calories from fat and about 286 mg of calcium, which equals about 29% of your daily value of calcium. Low fat milk is often thinner than whole milk because there is less fat per ounce of milk, but it offers many vitamins and nutrients like vitamins D and B12, among others.
Differences in Calcium
As surprising as it may seem to some, low fat milk actually contains more calcium than whole milk. Many people may find this surprising because usually when foods are advertised as “less fat” or “low fat,” it means that things are missing from the original recipe and often, those things include vitamins and nutrients. The important thing to remember is that although low fat milk has less fat than regular milk, it still offers a great amount of calcium.
Low Fat Milk for Children and Adults
Children have bodies that are constantly growing and changing and need to be fed foods that directly manage those changes. Children’s bones grow at exponential rates, so drinking a milk that is heavy in calcium to help build those bones is essential. Low fat milk is an excellent source of calcium for children and because of its low calorie amount, can help prevent childhood obesity.
As for adults, there are many that believe they do not need as much calcium as children because adult bones are not growing as rapidly as children’s (or that they require other nutrients to flourish). This is untrue; adult bones, much like children’s, require calcium to function properly and to stay strong. Low fat milk is a perfect dietary supplement for adults who wish to maintain their healthy bones and help their bodies continue to function strong. What’s more, low fat milk provides adults with less calories than other milks, which helps them maintain a healthy weight.
Low fat milk is pumped full of good nutrients and vitamins such as protein, vitamin B12 and phosphorus, as well as vitamin D and riboflavin. Although it tends to be high in saturated fats, low fat milk is one of the best sources for calcium in any dairy product, especially in comparison to other types of milk. It helps build strong bones in children and can be a dietary aid in adults who wish to keep their body (and their bones) healthy.