Milk

 

 
There are a lot of beverage options out there. And a lot of them claim to be healthy. But did you know they can also have added artifical ingredients? Milk is all natural. Nothing artificial. And when you think of all that's in it—protein, calcium, vitamins and more—it's quite a value. Milk truly is nature's original nutrition drink.

 

Varieties

  • Whole White Milk
    Whole milk or vitamin D milk is a nutrient-rich beverage that provides nine essential nutrients that children and adults need as part of healthy diet. Naturally rich in bone-building calcium and fortified with vitamin D, milk also contains a natural source of sugar, lactose, which makes up milk's total carbohydrate content. Whole milk contains 8 grams of fat per serving
  • 2% Reduced-Fat White Milk
    Reduced-fat milk is a nutrient-rich beverage that provides nine essential nutrients that children and adults need as part as a healthy diet. Naturally rich in bone-building calcium and fortified with vitamin D, milk also contains a natural source of sugar, lactose, which makes up milk's total carbohydrate content. Reduced-fat milk contains 5 grams of fat per serving
  • 1% Low-Fat White Milk
    Low-fat milk is a nutrient-rich, low-fat beverage that provides nine essential nutrients that children and adults need as part of a healthy diet. Naturally rich in bone-building calcium and fortified with vitamin D, milk also contains a natural source of sugar, lactose, which makes up milk's total carbohydrate content. Low-fat milk contains 3 grams of fat per serving
  • Fat-Free White Milk (also called Skim Milk) Fat-free milk is a nutrient-rich, fat-free beverage that provides nine essential nutrients that children and adults need as part of a healthy diet. Naturally rich in bone-building calcium and fortified with vitamin D, milk also contains a natural form of sugar, lactose, which makes up milk's total carbohydrate content. Fat-free milk has the lowest amount of fat content containing less than .5 grams of fat per serving
  • Chocolate and Flavored Milk
    Available in fat-free, 1% low-fat, 2% reduced-fat and whole milk options, chocolate and flavored milk have chocolate, cocoa or other flavoring and a sweetener added. This milk is just as nutritious as its unflavored counterpart. See the link for more details on chocolate and flavored milk.
  • Cream
    Cream must contain at least 18% milk fat. All cream products are pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized. See the link for specific details on sour cream, whipping cream and half-and-half.
  • Evaporated Milk
    Evaporated milk is made by removing about 60% of the water from whole milk. The milk is then homogenized, fortified with vitamin D to a level of 25 IU per 1 fluid ounce, canned and heat sterilized. The addition of vitamin A is optional. If added, each fluid ounce must contain not less than 125 IU of vitamin A. Evaporated Milk contains 6.5% fat, while Fat-Free Evaporated Milk has no more than 0.5% milk fat.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
    Sweetened condensed milk is a canned milk concentrate of whole milk to which sugar has been added and contains 8% fat or less. The sweetener used (usually sucrose) prevents spoilage. Sweetened Condensed Fat-Free Milk contains no more than 0.5% milk fat.
 

Milk and Beverage Comparison

Click a Drink to Compare >

Chocolate Milk
Fat-Free (Skim) Chocolate Milk
Fat-Free (Skim) White Milk
Low-Fat (1%) White Milk
Reduced-fat (2%) White Milk
Whole Milk-White
Apple Juice
Sports Drinks
Soda
Diet Soda
Energy Drinks
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Compare Drinks

Low-Fat (1%) Chocolate Milk       Fat-Free (Skim) Chocolate Milk
150 Calories 130
2.5 Fat (g) 0
8 Protein (g) 8
24 Carbohydrate (g) 24
190 Sodium (mg) 200
430 Potassium (g) 440
300 Calcium (mg) 300
3.0:1 Carbs to Protein 3.0:1
Per 8 oz serving
Fat-Free (Skim) Chocolate Milk : Like low-fat chocolate milk, skim or fat-free chocolate milk provides the same unique combination of nutrients as low-fat chocolate milk that an athlete needs to refuel after a workout. The fat content does not change the carbohydrate to protein ratio. Fat-free milk contains less than .5 grams of fat per serving.
Chocolate Milk
Low-Fat (1%) Chocolate Milk       Fat-Free (Skim) White Milk
150 Calories 127
2.5 Fat (g) 5
8 Protein (g) 8
24 Carbohydrate (g) 12
190 Sodium (mg) 122
430 Potassium (g) 376
300 Calcium (mg) 300
3.0:1 Carbs to Protein 1.5:1
Per 8 oz serving
Fat-Free (Skim) White Milk: Fat-free milk is a nutrient-rich, fat-free beverage that provides nine essential nutrients that children and adults need as part of a healthy diet. Naturally rich in bone-building calcium and fortified with vitamin D, milk also contains a natural form of sugar, lactose, which makes up milk’s total carbohydrate content. Fat-free milk has the lowest amount of fat content containing less than .5 grams of fat per serving.
Chocolate Milk
Low-Fat (1%) Chocolate Milk       Low-Fat (1%) White Milk
150 Calories 110
2.5 Fat (g) 2.5
8 Protein (g) 8
24 Carbohydrate (g) 13
190 Sodium (mg) 135
430 Potassium (g) 381
300 Calcium (mg) 300
3.0:1 Carbs to Protein 1.5:1
Per 8 oz serving
Low-Fat (1%) White Milk : White milk or unflavored milk is a natural form of milk that contains nine essential nutrients which include: high quality protein, carbohydrate, and electrolytes that can be part of a healthy diet and can be used for sports recovery. The main difference between white milk and chocolate milk is the total carbohydrate (natural and added sugar) which impacts the carbohydrate to protein ratio. Additionally, white milk may have different fat contents ranging from fat-free (.5 grams per serving or less) to whole milk (8 grams per serving).
Chocolate Milk
Low-Fat (1%) Chocolate Milk       Reduced-fat (2%) White Milk
150 Calories 120
2.5 Fat (g) 5
8 Protein (g) 8
24 Carbohydrate (g) 12
190 Sodium (mg) 122
430 Potassium (g) 376
300 Calcium (mg) 300
3.0:1 Carbs to Protein 1.5:1
Per 8 oz serving
Reduced-fat (2%) White Milk: Reduced-fat milk is a nutrient-rich beverage that provides nine essential nutrients that children and adults need as part as a healthy diet. Naturally rich in bone-building calcium and fortified with vitamin D, milk also contains a natural source of sugar, lactose, which makes up milk’s total carbohydrate content. Reduced-fat milk contains 5 grams of fat per serving.
Chocolate Milk
Low-Fat (1%) Chocolate Milk       Whole Milk-White
150 Calories 150
2.5 Fat (g) 8
8 Protein (g) 8
24 Carbohydrate (g) 12
190 Sodium (mg) 122
430 Potassium (g) 376
300 Calcium (mg) 300
3.0:1 Carbs to Protein 1.5:1
Per 8 oz serving
Whole Milk-White: White milk or unflavored milk is a natural form of milk that contains nine essential nutrients which include: high quality protein, carbohydrate, and electrolytes that can be part of a healthy diet and can be used for sports recovery. The main difference between white milk and chocolate milk is the total carbohydrate (natural and added sugar) which impacts the carbohydrate to protein ratio. Additionally, white milk may have different fat contents ranging from fat-free (.5 grams per serving or less) to whole milk (8 grams per serving). The nutritional information displayed is for low-fat (1%) milk.
Chocolate Milk
Low-Fat (1%) Chocolate Milk       Apple Juice
150 Calories 120
2.5 Fat (g) 0
8 Protein (g) 0
24 Carbohydrate (g) 29
190 Sodium (mg) 10
430 Potassium (g) 290
300 Calcium (mg) 0
3.0:1 Carbs to Protein 0
Per 8 oz serving
Apple Juice : Like chocolate milk, 100% fruit juice offers some electrolytes, carbohydrates and fluid. However, 100% fruit juice does not contain protein.
Chocolate Milk
Low-Fat (1%) Chocolate Milk       Sports Drinks
150 Calories 130
2.5 Fat (g) 0
8 Protein (g) 0
24 Carbohydrate (g) 34
190 Sodium (mg) 270
430 Potassium (g) 75
300 Calcium (mg) 0
3.0:1 Carbs to Protein 0
Per 20 oz serving
Sports Drinks : Many athletes choose sports drinks because they contain both carbohydrate and electrolytes. However, unless the sports drinks are fortified most lack beneficial protein and other essential nutrients found in chocolate milk. Sports drinks also tend to be more expensive than nutrient-rich chocolate milk and contain mostly added sugar.
Chocolate Milk
Low-Fat (1%) Chocolate Milk       Soda
150 Calories 140
2.5 Fat (g) 0
8 Protein (g) 0
24 Carbohydrate (g) 39
190 Sodium (mg) 75
430 Potassium (g) 0
300 Calcium (mg) 0
3.0:1 Carbs to Protein 0
Per 12 oz serving
Soda : Soda contains empty calories in the form of sugar which has no nutritive value. Soda doesn’t provide any significant levels of nutrients and does not contain protein.
Chocolate Milk
Low-Fat (1%) Chocolate Milk       Diet Soda
150 Calories 0
2.5 Fat (g) 0
8 Protein (g) 0
24 Carbohydrate (g) 0
190 Sodium (mg) 40
430 Potassium (g) 0
300 Calcium (mg) 0
3.0:1 Carbs to Protein 0
Per 12 oz serving
Diet Soda: Although diet soda does not contain calories, it also does not contain carbs and protein the body needs to recover and refuel. Diet soda has artificial sweeteners or unnatural substances that are currently being studied. Diet soda is not recommended for recovery as it does not have any nutritive value.
Chocolate Milk
Low-Fat (1%) Chocolate Milk       Energy Drinks
150 Calories 115
2.5 Fat (g) 0
8 Protein (g) 0
24 Carbohydrate (g) 28
190 Sodium (mg) 214
430 Potassium (g) 0
300 Calcium (mg) 0
3.0:1 Carbs to Protein 0
Per 8 oz serving
Energy Drinks : Energy drinks contain caffeine levels up to almost 250 milligrams which is equivalent to three cups of coffee. Caffeine has varying effects on people, so a safe level has not been determined. Energy drinks also contain other stimulants and taurine which may negatively impact sports performance, heart, digestive system and electrolyte balance. Most do not contain protein for muscle repair and recovery. The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) prohibits these substances in connection with high school athletic programs.
Chocolate Milk

Low-Fat (1%) Chocolate Milk

Like skim or fat-free milk, low-fat chocolate milk helps athletes refuel after a workout by providing protein, carbohydrate and electrolytes (calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium). While many other beverages contain both carbs and electrolytes, most lack the added benefit of protein found in low-fat chocolate milk. Low-fat chocolate milk provides a source of easily digested high quality whey protein to promote protein synthesis. Low-fat chocolate milk is naturally rich in bone-building calcium and fortified with vitamin D and it has the right mix of carbohydrate to protein. Low-fat milk contains 3 grams of fat per serving.

 

Processing Terms Explained

  • What is Pasteurization?
    Pasteurization is described as the process of heating every particle of milk or milk product to destroy microorganisms. Most commonly the milk is heated to at least 161° F for at least 15 seconds followed by rapid cooling to 40° F. Pasteurization of raw milk is recognized as an essential public health measure to reduce the risk of illnesses from pathogenic bacteria and increase the shelf life of milk and milk products.
  • What is Ultra-Pasteurization?
    Ultra-pasteurization involves heating milk to 280° F for at least two seconds, or sterilized at an ultra-high temperature (i.e., 280° F to 302° F) for at least two seconds.
  • How does UHT or Ultra High Temperature Differ from Ultra-Pasteurized Milk?
    Ultra-pasteurized milk has an extended shelf-life under refrigerated conditions. Milk products heated to an ultra-high temperature and aseptically packaged may be stored at room temperature for at least six months.
  • Why is Milk Homogenized?
    Homogenization breaks up and disperses milk fat throughout milk, resulting in a smooth, uniform texture. Most whole milk is homogenized to prevent the cream from rising to the top.
  • Why is Milk Fortified with Vitamins A and D?
    Vitamin A is removed when the milk fat is reduced; therefore, this vitamin is added back to milk to reduced-fat, low-fat and fat-free milk. Additionally, very few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D, so this vitamin is added to fluid milk.
 

Nutrition Information

Milk contains nine essential nutrients, making it one of the most nutrient-rich beverages you can enjoy. Drinking eight ounces of delicious milk can help you get one step closer to meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans' recommendations of at least three servings of low-fat or fat-free milk or milk products a day. Just one 8-ounce serving of milk is a good or excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, protein, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin and phosphorus.

Milk is an excellent source of calcium. Regardless of its fat content, milk provides 300 milligrams (mg) of calcium per serving (8 fluid oz.).

An adequate intake of calcium is linked to improving bone health, especially in children and adolescents. Evidence also indicates the milk intake is associated with the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and lower blood pressure in adults.

It is difficult to obtain enough calcium without consuming milk or other dairy foods. To help meet calcium needs, the following number of serving of milk (or its equivalent) is recommended every day:

Age RDA
(mg/day)
Number of
Servings
1-3
700 2.5
4-8 1,000
3
9-13 1,300
4
14-18 1,300 4
19-30 1,000 3
31-50 1,000
3
51-70 males
1,000 3
51-70 females
1,200 4
Over 70 1,200 4

Milk is a good source of high-quality protein, which means it contains all essential amino acids, the "building blocks" of protein. In addition to calcium, milk provides other minerals like phosphorus, which helps strengthen bones; potassium, which regulates the body's fluid balance and helps maintain normal blood pressure; magnesium, which is found in bones and teeth; and zinc, which helps keep skin, bones and hair healthy. The major fat-soluble vitamins in milk are A, which helps maintain normal vision and skin, and D, which helps the body absorb calcium. Milk is also a good source of the water-soluble vitamins niacin and B12. Niacin plays an important role in maintaining the normal function of enzymes in the body. Vitamin B12 helps build red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to working muscles. Milk is an excellent source of riboflavin (B2), which helps convert food into energy and promotes skin and eye health.

 

Storing and Handling

Milk is perishable. To preserve its safety and quality, the following tips are recommended:

  • Refrigerate milk at 40ºF or less as soon as possible after purchase and store in the original container.
  • Return milk to the refrigerator immediately after pouring out the amount needed. Never return unused milk to the original container.
  • Keep milk containers closed to prevent the absorption of other flavors. An absorbed flavor changes the taste, but the milk is still safe.
  • Protect milk from exposure to strong light since light can reduce its riboflavin content and cause off-flavors.
  • Look for the "sell by" or "pull" dates on milk cartons. If properly cared for, milk generally stays fresh for two to three days after this date. Some dairy processors guarantee their products for a specific time after this date. Ask your grocer for more details.
  • Keep canned milks like evaporated and sweetened condensed milks in a cool dry place and invert the cans every two months. These milks generally keep for about a year at room temperature. Once opened, canned milks should be poured into an opaque covered container, refrigerated and used within a few days.
  • Store dry milks in a cool, dry place and keep in an airtight container after opening. Once reconstituted, dry milk should be refrigerated and handled like other fluid milks.
  • Freezing of milk is not recommended. It causes undesirable changes in milk's texture and appearance.
  • Microwaving milk is not recommended to extend milk's shelf life or as a means of pasteurization.
 

Commonly Asked Questions About Milk

  • When can infants be fed cow's milk?
    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should consume breast milk or iron-fortified formula until they are 12 months old. In most cases, infants can be transitioned to whole milk until the child is two years old. Recently, a new recommendation tells parents that kids at risk of being overweight, those whose families have a history of obesity, heart disease or high cholesterol, should drink only reduced-fat or 2% milk between 12 and 24 months. After their second birthday, all children should be switched to low-fat milk. Parents should note it is important to talk with the family doctor regarding the best choice of milk for each child.
  • Should I be concerned about giving my child chocolate milk?
    No. Chocolate milk is just as nutritious as unflavored milk. Both milks are excellent sources of calcium, a nutrient low in many children's diets. Because kids like chocolate milk, they are more likely to consume this beverage and, at the same time, boost their calcium intake. There is no scientific evidence that drinking chocolate milk increases children's caffeine intake, causes hyperactivity or contributes to tooth decay.
  • If I'm lactose intolerant, should I avoid milk?
    Not necessarily. Many individuals who have difficulty digesting lactose (milk's sugar) can consume a glass or two of milk a day with meals with few, if any, symptoms. Smaller portions of milk (4 oz.) consumed more often may be better tolerated. Lactose-reduced or lactose-free milks are also an option. Lactose-reduced milk contains about 70% less lactose than regular milk. Lactose-free milk is 100% lactose reduced.
  • Vitamin A Palmitate is listed on some milk cartons. What is it and does it contain palm oil?
    When added to milk, vitamin A is combined with palmitic acid, also known as retinyl palmitate, to make it stable. There is no palm oil, a highly saturated fatty acid, in vitamin A palmitate. Vitamin A is added to 2% reduced fat, 1% low-fat and fat-free milks.
  • Isn't milk fattening?
    Overweight results from consuming too many calories and getting too little exercise. There are a variety of milks with different calorie and fat contents. Take a look at the Nutrition Facts labels on milks. Fat-free milk, for example, has only 80 calories, no fat and all the calcium of other milks.