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Just Ask Jase: All Milk Is Created Equal… Isn’t It?

Hi Jase,

I love following a “whole foods” approach to nutrition and really try my best to avoid processed foods, including skim milk. I have always heard that the low fat varieties are highly processed and full of sugar, which is a big part of why I exclude them. Am I on the right track, or have I been misled?

Wholey Confused



Hi Wholey Confused, thank you for sending this question through!

I would just like to say what great questions have been coming through to Just Ask Jase, as these really have been hitting some of the most widely publicised and controversial topics within the population at present.

Using a “wholefoods” approach to nutrition is fantastic. As a general rule the less processing a food undergoes the more nutrient-packed it remains. But see here how I have said “the general rule” and not “absolute rule” as there has been a number of areas this mindset has been applied to that are just not true.

So just to confirm that yes, there are a number of reduced fat dairy products that have had their sugar content increased to compensate for the fact the fat content has been removed (as we know the old adage used by Chefs – ‘fat equals flavour’). However this rule has now been taken and incorrectly applied to all dairy foods, specifically milks, some Greek yoghurts, and cheeses.

In the case of cow’s milks, let’s see how these compare for you:

Full cream milk vs Lite Milk (2% fat) vs Skim Milk


To summarise:


I hope that the above information will guide the way for those that have been misled in the full fat vs reduced fat milk saga. I would much prefer to see you consuming reduced fat milk for the following reasons:

  1. Lower calorie/kilojoule content can assist in weight management/weight loss as the primary consideration here is calorie balance.
  2. Higher protein content will enhance satiety after meals and promote lean muscle mass retention and development, also speeding recovery after activity.
  3. Lower total fat content (which is primarily saturated fat) which despite what popular belief currently says still increases your total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Population statistics still demonstrate that you want to keep your total and LDL cholesterol levels lower given the increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
  4. High calcium content, essential for supporting your bone mineral density and warding off the threats of osteoporosis. Keep in mind ladies, your calcium requirements are 30% higher than men, so even more reason to focus on good sources of this nutrient, such as reduced fat milk.

If you would like to learn what your nutrient requirements are for your goals, and how you can achieve them with real foods be sure to contact us at Enliven Nutrition today at


— Jase


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Jason is the owner, resident sports dietitian and strength and conditioning coach at Enliven Nutrition. He specialises in sports performance, nutrition, weight management and strength conditioning training, and established Enliven Nutrition with the vision of providing nutrition and training programs that achieve any health or performance goal.




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