- Skimmed milk has lesser calories than full-fat milk
- It has other nutrients like calcium and protein
- Full-fat milk is important for pregnant women and children
Milk is undoubtedly one of the most nutritious beverages that there could exist. And of the many varieties of milk that are available today, skimmed milk is the one most popular for facilitating weight loss. This is because skimmed milk contains much lesser fat than whole milk or full-cream milk as it is popularly called. Skimmed milk is much less creamy than whole milk and is lighter and thinner in consistency. What people commonly do is ditch full-fat milk and switch to skimmed milk as it has lesser fat content and calories and may aid weight loss. But, what about the nutrition content of skimmed milk?
The truth about skimmed milk
Clinical nutritionist Dr Rupali Dutta says that skimmed milk in India contains 0.2% fat. "Skimmed milk is recommended in a weight loss regime is because it requires keeping a control on calorie intake. Calories in skimmed milk are removed by simply removing the fat, but not hampering its calcium or protein content," she says.
Dr Rupali specifies that nutritional value of skimmed milk is not compromised apart from the removal of its fat content. "The amount of fat in full-fat milk is not required by a heart patient or a person who wants to lose weight," she explains.
According to her, pregnant and lactating women and children should consume full-fat milk. This is because fat is an important macronutrient required by the body. Numerous fad diets today suggest getting of fats and carbs in the name of weight loss. Such restrictive diets cannot be sustained in the long run and may even have adverse effects on health.
Moreover, fats and fatty acids are required by the body for assimilation of vitamins. There are some vitamins which are fat soluble: means that they can be assimilated by the body in the presence of some essential fats. Vitamins A, D, E and K are examples of fat soluble vitamins. Fats also the play role of regulating body temperature, providing the body with energy, protecting nerve tissue and improving brain health.
People with cardiovascular diseases or those who are at risk of cardiovascular diseases can refrain from full-fat milk, suggests Dr Rupali. However, even they need omega 3 fatty acids as they are good for heart health.
Why is it recommended to refrain from full-fat milk for weight loss?
When you want to lose weight, it is recommended to reduce your calorie intake, but only for a while. This calorie control, according to Dr Rupali, is more about portion control than restricting yourself from certain food groups. It is important to understand how much food your body really needs and to do this, a negative balance is created.
"From the nutrition point of view, we always help people make shift towards a healthier lifestyle. Removing whole food groups like fats or carbs are never recommended for a healthy living," she says while asking, "Imagine for an entire life you are asked to avoid milk and milk products. Will you be able to sustain that?"
Thus, people who want to lose weight can switch to skimmed milk for a while. But in the long run, you can have full-fat milk and it will provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals.
(Dr Rupali Dutta is consultant nutritionist at Fortis Escorts)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.