The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

What is the difference between full-cream, medium-fat, low-fat and fat-free milk?

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These milks contain different amounts of fat. High-fat milk (4.5 g fat/100 ml); full-cream or full-fat milk (3.5 g fat/100 ml); medium-fat milk (1.6–3.3 g fat/100 ml); low-fat milk/yoghurt (>1.5 g fat/100 ml); fat-free/skimmed milk (<0.5 g fat/100 ml).

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These milks differ from one another with regard to fat content. Milk with a lower fat content provides less energy and a smaller amount of the fat-soluble vitamins A and E, but otherwise the composition of nutrients is the same for all of them.

  • High-fat milk or double-cream yoghurt contains more than 4.5 g fat per 100 ml.
  • Full-cream milk (also known as full-fat milk) typically contains 3.5 g fat per 100 ml, of which 1.9 g is saturated fat.
  • Medium-fat milk typically contains 1.6–3.3 g fat per 100 ml, of which approximately 1.3 g is saturated fat.
  • Low-fat milk or yoghurt contains no more than 1.5 g fat per 100 ml.
  • Fat-free milk (also known as skimmed milk) contains less than 0.5 g fat per 100 ml, with only traces of saturated fat.
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