Is Skimmed Milk Really Healthy? We Asked The Experts And Here’s What They Said

shutterstock_372493624 Captioning any food “healthy” or “unhealthy” requires a detailed discussion on each aspect. We will be discussing the following points before reaching to any conclusion.
  • What is skimmed milk?
  • How it is produced?
  • Nutritional facts of skimmed milk
  • In which health condition skimmed milk is advisable?
  • Skimmed Milk is advisable to which age group?
What is Skimmed Milk? Skimmed Milk is produced from whole milk wherein the fats are removed. As per the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), milk which has less than 0.5 % of fat and 8.7% of milk solids not fat can be termed as “Skimmed Milk In the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada it is pronounced as “Skimmed Milk” whereas in United States of America, Australia it is pronounced as “Skim Milk.” It is also marketed as fat-free milk as it provides less than 0.5 % of fat which is a negligible amount of fat. In the Indian market, skimmed milk is available in tetra packs. Many renowned companies produce skimmed milk. How it is produced? 1. Creaming In this process, milk is kept in a container which facilitates the accumulation of fat on milk surface by the action of gravity. Some manufacturers use heat treatment for creaming process. Heat causes easy accumulation of fats at the surface. 2. Centrifugal The creamed milk undergoes centrifugal treatment by which fat is separated from milk. Fat and milk undergo different processing. The Centrifugal treatment also removes bacteria and harmful compounds from milk. During this treatment, milk is forced to pass through tiny holes at very high pressure which leads to oxidation of cholesterol present in milk. Cholesterol has double bonds in its structure making it susceptible to oxidation.  Cholesterol oxidation produces a compound called as “oxysterol”. 3. Fortification Skimmed milk is fortified with Vitamin A and D lost during the manufacturing process. 4. Homogenization This process withholds the further splitting of milk solids and milk imparting a homogenised structure to milk. 5. Packaging The skimmed milk is packed in tetra paks which assure protection of vitamins and also increases shelf life by avoiding contamination and spoilage. shutterstock_188776784 Nutritional Facts of Skimmed Milk According to FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), skimmed milk should not have fat more than 0.5% and milk solids which are not fat should be 8.7%.
Nutritional Information*
Amount per 100 ml
Energy, kcal 35
Total Fat, g 0.1
Saturated fat,g 0
Mono Unsaturated Fat, g 0
Poly Unsaturated Fat, g 0
Trans Fat, g 0
Cholesterol, mg 0
Total Carbohydrate, g 5
Added Sugar, g 0
Protein, g 3.5
Calcium, mg 150
Added Vitamin A, mcg 75
Added Vitamin D, mcg 0.5
*Approx. values
  Carbohydrates: The carbohydrate in skimmed milk is a disaccharide called “lactose” (milk sugar) which on digestion produces glucose and galactose. The galactose gets converted to glucose in the liver and then absorbed. Milk is the only source of galactose (monosaccharide). Around 5 gm of carbohydrates are obtained by drinking 100 ml of skimmed. Protein: Casein and Whey are the proteins present in milk. Skimmed milk provides around 3.5 gm of protein per 100 ml which promotes synthesis of essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are not produced by body hence a protein source must be included in a daily diet. Essential amino acids are vital for growth and development, increase of muscle mass and building up of immunity. So the proteins in milk are called as “first class protein or High biological value protein. Fat: The biggest advantage of consuming skimmed milk is it provides very less amount of fat. The whole milk is predominant in saturated fat whereas skimmed milk provides with just 0.5 % of fat and cholesterol. Merits of skimmed Milk A research published in Journal of American College of Nutrition (1992) showed results of reduced serum cholesterol, blood pressure and triglyceride when supplemented the subjects with Skimmed Milk. Demerits of Skimmed Milk Research conducted in the year 2003 published in Biological Research provides recent information on oxysterol.
  • The cholesterol in milk gets oxidised during the manufacturing process which leads to the formation of oxysterol.
  • Processed milk and its product are the sources of oxysterol. It is potential cytotoxic (toxic to body cells), promotes the formation of atherosclerosis (blockage in blood vessels of the heart) and carcinogenic.
  • Unoxidised cholesterol present in food is actually an antioxidant.
Vitamin and Minerals Primarily there are two causative agents for the deficiency of vitamin A and D.
  • The manufacturing process: Removal of fats from whole milk.
  • Deficiency of fat: As vitamin A and D are fat-soluble. They require fat for its absorption. On consuming vitamin A and D in absence of fat. They are not made available to body cells leading to deficiencies.
Secondly, researchers have revealed consuming fat in any meal of a day helps in absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Skimmed milk also provides with minerals like calcium and phosphorus which are very vital for good bone health. Vitamin D and milk sugar lactose promote prompt absorption of calcium making it an excellent source. Antioxidants Antioxidants are the substances which inhibit oxidation and production of free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive and damaging to the human body. Antioxidants like tocopherol, rosemary oleoresin extract, and the flavonoid quercetin avoid oxidation and free radical generation. Antioxidant rich food sources should be included like
  • Apples, Citrus Fruits (orange, sweet lime, pineapple)
  • Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower/ Tomatoes
  • Green tea
  • Nuts like Almonds, Walnut. Sunflower and Safflower seeds
Click on the next page for the conclusions on whether skimmed milk is healthy or not! shutterstock_528282730 Health Conditions and Skimmed Milk It provides a good amount of protein, calcium, vitamin A and D with fewer calories. So, it is advisable to consume skimmed milk under health conditions like
  • BMI: More than 30
  • Blood Pressure
  • Elevated Cholesterol Levels
  • Elevated Triglyceride levels
  • PCOD
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Morbid Obesity
Age Group and Skimmed Milk
  • Children and Adolescents: Use of Skimmed milk should be avoided in this age group. As fats are essential during the growth periods. As fats make up our hormones, helps in absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Whole milk is advisable to children and adolescents. Instead, fats from junk foods and ready to eat food must be avoided. As they provide trans- fats and high amount of sodium which are very dangerous to the human body.
  • Adults with above-mentioned health conditions can consume skimmed milk for a stipulated period of time under the guidance of the nutritionist.
Take Home Message 1. Skimmed milk should be consumed for a short period of time and diet should be planned by the Nutritionist to avoid deficiency and free radical generation. 2. Antioxidants must be included. 3. Inclusion of foods rich in Vitamin A and D. 4. Avoidance of fat-free diet when on skimmed milk as it leads to a deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins A and D, compromising the quality of life. Download the Grow Fit app on Google Play or App Store today for a free consultation with our specialists.

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