Skim Milk: The Bad, The Terrible, The Truly Ugly

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Skim Milk: The Bad, The Terrible, The Truly Ugly
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Skim Milk: The Bad, The Terrible, The Truly Ugly

Check out this slideshow to find out the truth about skim milk.

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What Exactly Is Skim Milk?

Skim milk is the leftover substance once cream is skimmed off the top. At first, it doesn't look as pretty, white and pure as it does when you purchase it in the store. Prior to processing, skim milk has a slightly blueish tint, chalky taste and watery texture. To thicken it, make it white and taste better, powdered milk solids are often added.

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What Are Powdered Milk Solids?

Powdered milk solids are made from an industrial process where milk is forced through tiny holes at extremely high pressures, causing the cholesterol in the milk to oxidize* and toxic nitrates to form.

*Oxidized cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries. The FDA is not legally required to list powdered milk as a separate ingredient.

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Additional Defects in Skim Milk

Often, cows are not on a standard healthy diet (grass-fed) and are fed corn, causing some cows to become sick. Cows are then treated with antibiotics to ward off disease and infections. Unfortunately, due to mass-production and the inability to make sure every cow is tended to and completely disease- and infection-free, blood and pus from open sores can potentially make their way into finished milk product.

Did you know that the USDA's allowable U.S. standard of pus cells per liter of milk is 750 million? Milk must also be consumed in the state in which it was produced.

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The Pros

Milk provides us with healthy vitamins, namely D, A, E and K. These vitamins stem from the cow's diet of (hopefully) grass.

However, it may not be as beneficial a source as we thought. These vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning, they need actual fat in order for the body to absorb them.

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The Cons

Confined dairy cows--those that are not freely roaming the open fields and grazing-- are bred for extremely high and unnatural levels of milk production. Due to this, the vitamins within their milk can be severely diluted.

When milk is severely diluted, synthesized vitamin D is added. More specifically, vitamin D2, not D3 (which the body absorbs from exposure to the sun).

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Does Skim Milk Make You Skinny?

This can be a common misconception. While skim milk is popularly known to be a better option for those watching their weight or looking to cut back on fat and calories, there is a tiny issue: a little natural fat is actually good for you!

Natural and healthy fats are essential parts of our daily diet. Healthy fats help curb your appetite and trigger production of hormones, which in effect, tell your body that you're full. This can help prevent excessive eating and weight gain.

Skim milk is also has quite a lot of carbohydrates. In fact, it has more carbs than fattier milks and creams like half and half!

Image Credit: Jupiterimages

More On Skim Milk

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of skim milk contains around 83 calories. Whole milk rings in at about 150 calories.

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More On Skim Milk

There is essentially no fat content in skim milk. Whole milk has about 8 g of fat per cup, 4.5 g which is saturated fat.

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More On Skim Milk

Skim milk is low in cholesterol. One cup contributes 5 mg, while one cup of whole milk has almost five times as much, at 24 mg.

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More On Skim Milk

According to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, Americans consumed over 667 million lbs. of skim milk in 2010.

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More On Skim Milk

Milk has to be less than 0.5% fat to earn the title of fat-free.

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More On Skim Milk

According to Livestrong.com, switching from one cup of whole milk to skim milk can save you 0.5 lbs. in 30 days!

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These days, there are no milkmen strolling up to each door with a container of milk in hand. It's all about selling in mass which means many of our dairy products are cultivated by machines, not by natural processes.

Many cows, chickens and other animals who play integral roles in the creation of cheese, yogurt, butter, milk and eggs (to name a few) are cooped up rather than roaming free on the farm. Is there reason to be concerned about this, especially when it comes to our food and health?

Check out our slideshow above to find out why one of these products, skim milk, should be on our health radar.

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