The Low-Fat Milk Lie

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In response to the body of research that’s grown in the last century demonstrating a diet high in animal fat to be a precursor for many preventable diseases, the dairy industry began marketing varieties of “low-fat” milk. Walk into any commercial grocery store and you will commonly find 3 types of milk: 1%, 2%, and Whole.

Although it isn’t currently illegal, these titles can be very misleading because, unless you are buying skim milk, there isn’t a low-fat milk (only less-fat milks).

Countless people have undoubtedly bought a carton of 1% or 2% milk over the years, only walk out of the store believing that the percentage being marketed is in reference to the amount of calories from fat contained in the product. This is actually very far from the truth.

1% Milk = 20% Fat
Here is a label for 1% milk:

1% Milk

A basic understanding of math reveals the misrepresentation of dairy industry marketing:

21 Fat Calories / 102 Total Calories = ~20% Fat

If the milk is really 20% fat, how can they market it as being 1% and get away with it? Because the 1% is in reference to the fat’s weight (2g Fat/244g Per Serving = ~1% Weight). (I have little doubt that this is the result of lobbying). Of course, your body doesn’t care how much your food weighs, only how many calories it contains. So, however the dairy industry chooses to market their products doesn’t change their effect on the human body.

2% Milk = 35% Fat
2% Milk

Repeating the process for 2% milk, we find it contains 35% fat:

43 Fat Calories / 122 Total Calories = ~35% Fat

In Comparison to Whole Milk
Everybody knows whole milk is high-fat, but how do the “low-fat” milks compare to their unrefined counterpart…

Whole Milk

71 Fat Calories / 146 Total Calories = ~48% Fat

And just for curiosity, let’s see how much that fat weighs:

8g Fat/ 244g Per Serving = ~3% Weight

There are a lot of ways food products can be legally marketed to give you a false impression as a consumer. The road to health begins with an understanding of what exactly you’re body is dealing with on a daily basis. Educate yourself so you can make good decisions for a lifetime.

Until next time…

Keep it strong, keep it vegan.
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  1. Ani
    October 29, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Huh very interesting! While I grew up on 2%, I made the switch to skim entering college. Now I am an almond-milk only kind of person :)

  2. November 5, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Like Ani, I’m also an Almond Milk drinker these days. I have to say, this was an awesome post Luke. It’s great when you can leave something, somewhere, or someone feeling like you truly invested your time, and didn’t just waste your time. Thanks for being a true resource!

    • November 5, 2013 at 10:18 am

      Thank you for the kind words Nicolas.

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