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Surprising Side Effects of Drinking Skim Milk, Say Dietitians

From a nutritional standpoint to potential muscle-building properties, Skim milk is a hidden gem!

Many people opt for skim milk, a fat-free milk alternative, whether in a cup of coffee or bowl of cereal. However, it lacks the creaminess of typical milk giving it a watered-down consistency that isn't suitable for every palate. With that said, there are some surprising side effects of drinking skim milk from its nutritional value to its potential muscle-building properties, that make this morning staple popular in many households.

"Many benefits can result from incorporating any low or nonfat dairy products into daily eating patterns, mainly due to the rich nutrient profile dairy products provide, including nutrients such as Vitamins A and D," says Heather Sachs, MS RD, Director, Regulatory Affairs at Blue Apron. There are also a few drawbacks to be aware of if it's your milk of choice.

Keep on reading to discover what using this morning beverage could do for your health. Plus, don't miss The #1 Best Juice to Drink Every Day, Says Science.

Skim milk has fewer calories and less fat

skim milk fewer calories

If you're watching your fat intake, then you may want to opt for a glass of skim milk. "Skim milk is lower in calories and has zero fat and cholesterol compared to 1%, 2%, and whole milk," says Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD, Owner of Sound Bites Nutrition. A standard glass of 1 percent milk contains 2.5 grams of fat and 2 percent contains 5 grams of fat whereas a glass of skim milk has 0 grams of fat.

Skim milk has a similar nutritional value to low-fat milk

lowfat milk

While skim milk doesn't have as much fat as its counterparts, it does have a similar nutrition label. "Skim milk provides the same amount of calcium, vitamin D, and protein as other grades of cow's milk," says Andrews. According to KidsHealth, skim milk offers a good source of protein and provides the same vitamins and minerals as whole milk.

Skim milk may reduce the likelihood for colorectal cancer

reduce colorectal cancer

​According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, there is strong evidence that suggests dairy reduces the risk of developing colorectal cancer. This is said to be a result of the combination of calcium​ and vitamin D present in dairy products.

Skim milk can help lower blood pressure

low blood pressure

If you have hypertension or high blood pressure, then drinking some skim milk can potentially reduce those numbers without medication. "Diets containing adequate calcium from skim milk help lower blood pressure and are part of the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)," says Andrews.

Skim milk isn't always associated with weight loss

skim milk weight gain

Many individuals turn to skim milk when they are looking for a low-calorie alternative, but it can actually do the opposite compared to its counterparts. "Skim milk can in fact lead to overconsumption due to lack of satiety factor (as there is low-no fat)," says Dr. Lana Butner, board-certified naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist.

Skim milk can help lower cholesterol

lower cholesterol

Looking to lower your cholesterol levels? Skim milk has less saturated fat compared to whole milk which can promote lower cholesterol. "Saturated fat has been linked to higher levels of LDL ("bad" cholesterol), so if you are working on lowering your cholesterol this could be an alternative, says Dr. Butner.

Skim milk can help build muscle

milk muscle

Skim milk is a great source of protein providing roughly 8 grams per cup which can help build muscle. Milk contains branched-chain amino acids and this group of 3 specific amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are known for stimulating muscle growth," says Breanna Woods, MS RD, registered dietitian for Blogilates.

Skim milk can increase the chances of acne

milk cause acne

To keep your skin clear and less prone to blemishes and acne, you may want to stay away from skim milk. "Low-fat milk isn't advised in teenagers as it raises the chance of acne," says Andrews.

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Casey Clark
Casey Clark is a current journalism student at Hofstra University with a passion for food, beauty, and entertainment. Read more about Casey