Pouring a glass of milk

According to the USDA, the average American consumed about 154 pounds of milk in 2016. That’s 18 gallons per person. Picking up a jug or carton of this drink on your weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly grocery trip is something most people are familiar with. The question is, are you getting the right milk for you and your family? This product is used in so many areas of common diets, like cereal, desserts, coffee, and tea. The following can help you decide what milk is right for you based on how it is made and its nutrients and fat content.

How and why milk is processed

Milk goes through several processes before being put on the shelves to buy. After a cow is milked following sanitary guidelines, the liquid is cooled down to 45 degrees within 2 hours. A truck will pick it up and pump it into a tank. The driver could make several stops, pumping from different farms into the same tank. The tank is then tested for antibiotics. If it passes the test, it will be unloaded at the processing plant and the milk will be pasteurized. If the tank does not pass the antibiotic test, the entire load will be dumped and the farms will be tested to find the source of the problem.

The milk is processed and pasteurized within 72 hours of arrival at a plant. Pasteurization is the process of heating up a liquid to just below the boiling point in order to remove any harmful microorganisms. These pathogens are removed from milk during the process, making it safe to drink and extending shelf life.

What types of milk are available?

Whole milk is the most calorie dense type you can buy due to its fat content, but also has the most nutrients. The reason this type is the most nutritious is because it is the closest version to raw milk as possible after being processed. Besides the noticeable difference in fat content, whole is usually said to taste the best when compared to 2%, 1%, and skim. Of all four of these types, whole has the most saturated fat and calorie content per cup. It has about 150 calories per cup, while skim has about 90 calories per cup.

Reduced fat and skim milk are recommended for people trying to lose weight. Switching your cereal, coffee, latte, or just regular glass of milk from whole to skim can reduce your calorie intake over time. However, many believe that the higher fat content in 2% or whole is actually more beneficial for weight loss. This is because milk with more fat helps to keep you fuller for longer periods of time, reducing your appetite.

Studies do show that reduced fat and skim milk may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and help prevent osteoporosis. However, milk with higher fat content has shown to assist in metabolism and immune systems.

Choosing the best milk

Overall, the type that you buy is up to the dietary needs and preference of your family. Whole milk makes sense for people trying to build muscle or gain more nutrients throughout the day. Skim is a better option for those that are limiting their caloric intake. All types gave their benefits and possible downfalls, so choose the one that best fits your family’s needs.

Plains Dairy offers a huge selection of high-quality Milk and other Cultured products, as well as Non-Dairy products. Call us today at (806) 374-0385 or Contact Us by email to learn more About Us. You can also Find a Location near you and check out our Recipes!