What type of milk should you be having?
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What Type of Milk should You be Having?

Milk is that one staple food which we start having in infancy and never really give up. Whether in the form of lattes, milk tea or a full glass of plain milk, life will just not be as enjoyable without milk. Read about soy milk.

There are various types of milk available in the market and we often find ourselves wondering which one would be the best for us? With a plethora of options available in the market we often think back after buying what if that other one was better? We ponder over which pack will fulfil the health needs of our family to the maximum.

The common types of milk available in the market are full cream, single toned, double toned and skimmed milk. The questions like which one is healthier, single toned milk or double toned milk? Does skimmed milk contain any nutrients? How much fat does full cream milk contain? Does the milk that I am buying, meeting my family’s health requirements? Pop up in your head every time the vendor asks you which one you would like to buy.

Worry not! This article will attempt to answer most of your queries regarding different types of milk and their health benefits. So first let’s widely look at the nutrients which milk contains:

Fat: Fat is essential for many functions in the body including but not limited to storage and provision of energy, production of hormones, protection, warmth and provision of fat soluble vitamins amongst many others. Read about good fat vs. Bad fat.

Carbohydrates: They provide the body with energy required for most functions. The form of carbohydrate present in milk is called as lactose and is the least damaging sugar with regards to tooth decay and other health dangers.

Protein: Play an active role in building immunity by helping in creation of antibodies, they also help in conducting all major bodily processes which culminate in building and repair of all tissues present in the body. It helps strengthen muscles and bones. Read how much protein do you need?

Vitamin A: Strengthens eye muscles and vision. Also helps in tooth and bone development. It keeps deficiency diseases like night blindness at bay. Also helps maintain healthy skin.

Vitamin B12: Helps in the normal functioning of brain and nervous system, thus prevents memory loss. Also helps in formation of red blood cells. It helps in maintaining a healthy heart, curing sleeping disorders, diabetes and mental disorders.

Vitamin B6: Contributes in the formation of red blood cells, helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates, helps in the healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system, and helps in liver detoxification process of the body.

Riboflavin (B2): Helps in iron absorption thereby keeping anaemia at bay. It helps in recycling body’s own antioxidants which eliminate free radicals from the body.

Niacin (B3): maintains heart health, lowers bad cholesterol in the body, it also helps keep the nervous system, digestive system, skin, hair and eyes healthy.
Thiamine (B1): Helps in maintain digestive health.

Vitamin K: It helps in clotting of blood..

Pantothenic acid (B5): Strengthens bones and joints, helps in maintaining heart health. Also helps in smooth brain functions by helping in the production of neurotransmitters.

Folate: Prevents anaemia, helps in development of a healthy foetus, especially useful for pregnant women.

Vitamin D: Improves absorption of calcium by the body. It regulates minerals like calcium and phosphorous in the body, it helps in preventing autoimmune diseases. Also helps in maintaining a healthy and normal blood pressure and heart health. Read about it’s benefit in losing weight.

Calcium: Helps in the formation and maintenance of strong bones and healthy teeth. Read more about benefits of calcium.

Magnesium: It aids in bone and teeth health, conversion of food into energy and tissue formation.
Phosphorus: Factor in the strengthening of bones and keeps teeth healthy. It improves kidney health as well.

Potassium: Aids in maintenance of proper blood pressure and ensures a healthy heart.

Zinc: Helps in building immunity in the body, growth and repair of cells, wound healing, metabolism of carbohydrates.

Selenium: It helps in normal functioning of the thyroid gland, also factors in the correct functioning of the immune system, due to its antioxidant effect.

Choline: It is an important nutrient which helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.

Now that you are aware of all the nutrients and minerals that milk has to offer, all there is left to point out is the difference in these nutrients in the different types of milks.

Full cream milk: Full cream milk, also called whole milk is usually given to children, teenagers and body builders. This milk is called so because it contains all the milk fat without adding or removing anything. It is collected from the dairy herd and it undergoes various processing techniques like pasteurisation to kill potential harmful bacteria before it reaches the general public. One glass would generally contain 3.5% milk fat, which provides about 150 calories. Full cream milk is also creamier and full of flavour. This further can be divided into two parts:

  1. Whole standardised milk: In this milk the fat has been contained to a minimum of 3.5%.
  2. Whole homogenised milk: In this the fat globules are made to breakdown and are made to spread throughout the milk to prevent formation of the creamy layer at the top.

Single toned milk: Single toned milk is made by adding skimmed milk powder and water to whole milk. It has about 3.0% fat and toned milk prevents the body from absorbing cholesterol from the milk to a minimum. It contains almost the same nutrition as whole milk except the fat soluble vitamins. One glass of toned milk provides around 120 calories.

Double toned milk: This milk is obtained by adding skimmed milk powder to whole milk and has about 1.5% fat content. Double toned milk is ideal for those trying to maintain weight as it keeps the calorie intake under control and also helps in weight loss.

Skimmed milk: Skimmed milk has almost zero fat content – 0.3% to 0.1%. Though skimmed milk contains all the nutrients found in whole milk like the vitamins and minerals, it gives you just half the calories of full cream milk, around 80 calories per glass of milk. It contains slightly more calcium than whole milk and even lower levels of fat soluble vitamins, particularly vitamin A, as this is lost when the fat is removed.

The low level of fat in skimmed milk reduces its calorie content which reduces the energy it provides to the person having it. For exactly this reason it is not appropriate for children under the age of 5 years to have skimmed milk as they need the extra energy for growth and development.   It is ideal for adults who wish to limit their fat or calorie intake.

Skimmed milk has a slightly more watery appearance than other types of milk and has a less creamy taste due to the removal of fat.

The calorie and nutrition breakdown of the different types of milk* is given below:

 Type of MilkEnergyFatCarbohydrateProteinCalcium
Full Cream896.253.3134
Toned Milk593.14.73.1127
Double Toned Milk471.553.3134
Skimmed Milk330.14.93.2134

*The reference milk taken here is Mother Dairy.

Now to further aid your understanding lets list down the fat soluble and the water soluble vitamins and nutrients.

Water Soluble NutrientsFat Soluble Nutrients
Vitamin BVitamin A
Vitamin CVitamin E
CalciumVitamin D
PhosphateVitamin K

Although when the fat is being removed all the fat soluble vitamins also get removed but in most cases these vitamins are re-added to the milk to ensure they do not lose out on their nutrients. Vitamin D is another such vitamin which is added to milk separately, a process called fortification.

Health benefits of milk:

So, we hope now you well aware of all the health benefits that milk has to offer and also the difference between the different types of milk. All we can suggest to you now is that surely include milk in your daily diet to live a healthy and prosperous life.

Found that interesting? You might also find these helpful.

Is this childhood habit leading to obesity?, Calorie count for weight loss, 7 foods that melt away flab, Role of beans and lentils in your diet.

- Articles, data, text, image or video content posted on this site is checked by the Fitho team of nutritionists & fitness experts, or by research/studies, and opinions are based on our wide experience in helping thousands of people get fit, lose weight & manage their health.
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