MilkI am a milk person. I can easily drink half a gallon of milk a day. The problem with half a gallon of milk a day is that it is about half of my target calorie intake. That is why I switched to the reduced-fat milk. It didn’t taste good, but I was very proud of myself. That is, I was proud for about a year until I finally decided to read the labels. One serving of whole milk is 150 calories, while one serving of reduced-fat milk is 130 calories. All this year-long suffering saved me an insignificant 13%. Not to mention that the amount of sugar is the same.

I decided to look into this more closely. I went to my nearest super-market and checked the milk. The low-fat milk is 110 calories per serving, while non-fat milk is 90 calories.

If I had just reduced my milk intake by half, I would have consumed fewer calories than by replacing whole milk with non-fat milk, but I would have enjoyed it so much more. The lesson? Read the labels and do the math!



  1. Sue VanHattum:

    You can only get it in a few states, but raw milk is amazingly delicious. I only have milk with cereal or cookies, so I don’t notice nearly as much as you would.

    And it’s really expensive, so that would cut your consumption. ;^)

    Also, I heard that the milk fat helps you digest the other stuff in the milk, so whole milk is way better for you.

  2. misha:

    You can also get a bike and ride it to your office when the weather is nice. More fun than counting calories.

  3. Felipe Pait:

    You can digest milk. You are an European mutant!

    So besides the fat, you get all the calories from the milk sugars. Cutting the fat won’t cut the calories significantly, because for you most of the milk energy is in the form of sugar – which non-mutants can’t digest.

    You should read Michael Pollan. His 3 rules for enjoying food are more sensible than the pseudo-science of nutritionism.
    1) Eat food.
    2) Mostly plants.
    3) Not too much.
    That is, don’t eat for the chemical ingredients; animal products to supplement and add taste, that was what we were built for; and in America, do not stock up inside your belly – the store won’t run out of bread, or be burnt by the cossacks.

  4. colorblind:

    Interestingly, one of my first interesting memories of going to college was drinking whole milk for the first time.

    I didn’t really like milk (not the taste so much as I had seen every kind of defective milk possible), so growing up I only drank it on the farm and never when I was out to eat. Our cows, mostly Holsteins, produced milk with a milk fat content ranging from 4.3% to 4.6% (this was somewhat high for Holsteins, but we were paid a bonus for having higher fat content, so we naturally selected for that trait). In some cases we would save milk in the refrigerator from cows who had been given antibiotics while they ran a test to see if the milk was antibiotic free; if it was, we would use that milk and the extra would go back in the milk tank. In those cases where the milk was from a single cow it was not uncommon to have milk up to 5.5% which was extremely rich. I concur with Sue, you really haven’t had milk with your cereal until you’ve had raw milk.

    As you may expect, the first time I drank whole milk (only 3.5%!) it seemed very watered down. Fat free milk wasn’t even milk. I ate cheese and yogurt and ice cream to make sure I was getting my calcium. Between that and college partying(beer/pizza), I gained 30+ lbs. my freshman year, most of which I lost by having to bike 7.5 miles to my job (and back) every day the following summer.

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