Expert advice

Emily Hope: Registered Nutritionist

Emily is the Nutritionist at Healtheries. She believes being healthy is about balance and moderation, and that food should be nutritious and enjoyable. For more information, visit or phone 0800 848 254. ASK ME A QUESTION

What are the health benefits of skim milk?

Emily Hope
Monday, December 10, 2012
What are the health benefits of skim milk? Image: Thinkstock

Question: Is there really much of a health benefit in drinking skim or low fat milk over full-cream milk? I’m not crazy about the taste but I’m willing to give the healthier alternatives a go if you recommend it.

Answer:Skim and reduced-fat milks have a number of health benefits which I’ve highlighted below. If you’re not crazy about the taste, give yourself time as your taste buds will adapt slowly over time.

Try switching from full-fat milk to reduced-fat milk for a month or so before finally switching to a skim milk. You may find after this time that going back to full-fat milk tastes like drinking full cream!

The health benefits of skim and reduced-fat milk include:

• Less fat, particularly less saturated fat which supports a healthy heart

• Less kilojoules which can help to support a healthy body weight

• More protein which is important for muscle repair and recovery and helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer

• More calcium which is needed for strong bones. Ideally choose a milk with 200mg or more of calcium per 100mL of milk or more than 500mg of calcium per 250mL glass.

Type of Milk Kilojoules* Total fat* Saturated Fat* Protein* Calcium*
Standard 650kJ 8g 5.5g 8g 290mg
Reduced fat 500kJ 3.8g 2.5g 8.8g 313mg
Skim 403kJ 0.3g 0.3g 9.3g 331mg

*Values provided per 250mL glass. Values are approximate and may vary across brands.

HealtheriesEmily is the Nutritionist at Healtheries. For more information about Healtheries, one of New Zealand's most trusted health brands, visit or phone 0800 848 254.

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