May 12, 2021

The difference between 1% and 2% milk

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118536496_8833feaf64_o 2540431589_c6b0dd84f0_o dairy_cowBy Dan Gentile, Thrillist From Business Insider

If you’re one of those weirdos who likes to drink milk with every meal including Chinese food, carry on, we’re not here to judge. But we would like to enlighten you about what it is you’re actually drinking, what it’s doing to your body, and if there’s really a difference between 1% and 2%.

To get the skinny, we spoke to two experts: Craig Miller, a third-generation dairy farmer from Mill-King in McGregor, TX, and Dr. Greg Miller (you can’t make this stuff up, people), a nutritional biochemistry Ph.D. who has spent 20 years working for the National Dairy Council and literally wrote the Handbook of Dairy Food and Nutrition. Read on!

1% milk exists because of consumer taste, not nutrition
Skim and 2% were already on the market, but finicky and demanding consumers still wanted that rich, rich fatty milk mouthfeel, without the calories. There are absolutely no specific health benefits that happen at the sweet spot between skim and 2%. Milk companies complied.

All milk is technically skimmed
Cow’s milk is naturally between 3.5%-4.5% butterfat, but unless you’re buying from a specialty raw milk supplier like Mill-King, it’s been stripped of all the fat during processing, then recharged with cream in order to reach specific fat levels, be it whole (roughly 3%), 2%, 1%, or skim.

dairy_cowSkim milk might be missing some important chemicals
The studies aren’t in yet, and Greg isn’t jumping on the raw milk bandwagon here, but he did hypothesize that completely fat-free milk could lack important biochemicals that help your body absorb other nutrients.

Fat in milk isn’t linked to heart disease
Much of the original scare behind saturated fats and heart disease came from a study in the 1950s at the University of Minnesota that has since been discredited. The latest meta-analysis of a host of scientific studies has concluded that there isn’t a correlation between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease!

Some people actually blame fat-free milk for the obesity epidemic
Oddly, full-fat milk makes you less hungry, while unsatisfying fat-free milk makes your body want more calories. This means you’re likely to find them from other, less healthy sources.

Depending on who you ask, raw milk is either incredible or incredibly dangerous
This is where our two experts staunchly disagreed. Craig asserted that conventional pasteurization processes take away some of the nutritional value, and many of the enzymes that help people digest lactose are lost. He also blamed homogenization for the restructuring milk’s sugars and proteins that make them harder for the body to accept.

Greg disagreed, and didn’t know of any studies to support the theory that sugar is restructured, or that lactose was harder to digest after milk had been pasteurized. He equated both to urban legends. He also expressed concern over raw milk’s susceptibility to viruses, and warned that it could put young children, pregnant woman, and the elderly at a serious health risk.

The calcium content in alternative milks is misleading
Data from the NDC concedes that alternative milks like soy, almond, and coconut often pack more calcium than traditional cow’s milk, but the bioavailability of those nutrients is usually significantly lower. This means your body has a hard time absorbing them, which cancels out the benefits of higher concentrations.

Rice, coconut, and almond milk won’t deliver protein
Cow’s milk and soy milk clock in at 8% of your daily protein intake, while the others only contain 1% of your recommended protein. Also, these alternatives aren’t complete proteins so they’re harder for your body to utilize.

Read the original article on Thrillist at:

milk cartonsliz west/flickr
Milk at Whole FoodsFlickr/ Stephanie Booth Different types of milk at Whole Foods
dairy cowWikimedia Commons Where your milk comes from

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  1. Here’s a small extract from a blog-post of mine from a year ago, relating to the above article on unpasteurised milk. It was part of a reminiscence about my boyhood on an Australian sheep farm back in the 1940s. (The blog-post is called “Tough as old boots”, which is at the link below. Or, it can be found in the blog’s Archives of December 2014.)

    “For the first fifteen years of my life I was brought up on home-grown mutton, and raw milk that Dad coaxed out of his Jersey cows first thing in the morning, every morning. We never drank sheep’s milk, for some reason; and Dad never kept goats. I’ll have to ask my brother; he will know why. Our meat always came from the skinniest old wether Dad could find. Tough as old boots, it was; all the fat and tender sheep went off to the markets in Toowoomba, to be bought at auction by the butchers.
    “We had a low-tech separator machine that separated the cream from the milk. Dad or Mum (I forget) churned some of the cream into butter – with more salt than was good for us, I’m sure. All that full-fat cream we guzzled… I wonder we three boys are still alive to remember it.”

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