The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

Is milk fattening?

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No. The term ‘full-cream’ when used to describe milk may contribute to the idea that milk is fattening. Standard fat contents are as follows:
  • full-cream milk = 3.4% fat
  • low-fat milk = 1.5%
  • fat-free (skimmed) milk = <1% fat.

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The perception that milk is fattening may be due to the use of the term ‘full-cream’ in relation to milk. However, full-cream milk is standardised to have approximately 3.4% fat, low-fat milk has 1.5% and fat-free (skimmed) milk contains less than 1% fat.

Milk is, in fact, considered to be a nutritious component of a healthy, balanced diet. Research indicates that the mix of nutrients naturally found in dairy products (referred to as the dairy matrix), especially calcium and protein, may have an important role in weight management, although the precise mechanism governing the positive link between dairy and weight management is still uncertain. As dairy products naturally contain calcium, protein and other essential nutrients, consuming three servings of dairy daily may not only contribute to weight management but will also improve the overall nutritional quality of the diet.

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