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Calories in Milk: A Nutritional Comparison of Milks With Different Percentages of Fat

Whole vs. Reduced vs. Low-Fat vs. Nonfat Milk

When you are doctoring up your coffee or tea at the sugar and milk stand, do you know how much of a difference those tall silver canisters can make in your hot drink? Some reach for the skim while others feel free to douse the cup with the heavier cream. And when it comes to choosing milk for cereals or as a beverage, it can make even more of a difference. If you're curious to see how the various types of milk compare, just


One cup Whole Milk

One cup Reduced Fat (2%) Milk

One cup Low-Fat (1%) Milk

One cup Nonfat (Skim) Milk

Total Fat (g)
Carbs (g)
Fiber (g)
Sugar (g)
Protein (g)

When it comes to pouring a tablespoon or two of the white stuff in your daily brew, it probably doesn't make much of a difference, as the amount is nominal. However, if it's more than that, as in a bowl of cereal or a glass with your breakfast, it may be worth considering the lower fat options.

While the calories only drop by 20 per milk variety, the fat content is fairly significant across the board. Whole milk has the most at 8 grams per cup. The reduced fat option fares better at 5 grams, while the low-fat choice cuts it in half. And as you may have guessed from the obvious, the nonfat version offers the least amount with a big, fat zero in the fat column. As for the rest of the comparison, carbs and protein stay the same, and the sugar levels are nearly consistent across the grid. No matter which one you choose, your body will benefit from the high levels of potassium, calcium, and vitamin D. Now that's something I'll drink to. So the next time you belly up to the dairy section, consider which milk will keep that, ahem, belly a bit trimmer. Cheers!

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ojodeazul ojodeazul 6 years
2% has always been my milk of choice for drinking and in cereal. But in tea, I can use skim. Could never drink it with dinner....I guess I am backwards.
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