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The Benefits of Low-Fat Milk
Find out why low-fat milk is loaded with health benefits.
What You’re Drinking
The same thing mama cows feed their young – almost. In Canada, it’s usually pasteurized and homogenized. Homogenization breaks up and disperses milk fat globules, making the liquid smoother; otherwise, the fat would rise to the top of the milk like oil lying on top of water. (Although milk is an excellent source of protein, it’s 87 percent water.) Pasteurization destroys bacteria and disables certain natural enzymes. Until the 1950s, you could get your milk only one way – full fat, with 3.25 percent milk fat in 250 ml (8 ounces). Today you can get milk with less than 0.5 percent fat (skim). Removing the fat also removes vitamins A and D, which are later added back.
If you left milk behind with your childhood, you’re missing out on one of the best sources of calcium. Skim milk actually has more calcium than whole milk because calcium is found in milk solids, not milk fat. Milk is also fortified with vitamin D, making it one of the only dietary sources of this nutrient, which is emerging as an anti-cancer vitamin. Dairy products are excellent sources of potassium and magnesium, which naturally reduce blood pressure. A daily glass of milk can also reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by 15 percent.
Skin forms on heated milk when water evaporates and calcium and protein combine. If you skim it off, you lose valuable nutrients. Heat milk in a covered pan to reduce evaporation.