Think Fat-Free Milk is Healthy? 6 Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim


Fat-free skim milk is the quintessential staple of any health-conscious home in America. You’re supposed to drink skim because whole milk has too much fat, too many calories, and cholesterol that can give you heart disease. Right?

In case you’ve been led to believe these lies, I’ve got a few things I’d like you to know about the darling of the dairy industry, skim milk.

1. It was designed to profit off of you, not make you healthy.

People haven’t always bought into the idea that fat is unhealthy. It all started with a flawed theory by a really bad scientist who said that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. Which is pretty weird, considering no one had heart attacks around the turn of the century when everyone was still eating pounds of butter and cream every week.

Somehow, by the time World War II rolled around, we were all convinced that fat was the enemy, anyway. Butter was replaced with cheap margarine made from toxic industrial oils, and creamy, full-fat milk was dumped in favor of skim.

Dairy manufacturers were thrilled with this new trend, however, because what was once an industrial waste product had quickly become a highly-desirable “health food.” When cream was skimmed from milk, the remaining fat-free milk used to be considered a nearly useless byproduct of obtaining the cream. But, market that wasteful skim milk as being a healthful choice for consumers, and suddenly, you’ve got a serious money-maker on your hands! Now, the agribusiness giants running the dairy industry are able to profit off of both products, and don’t intend on stopping anytime soon.

2. It’s got a mystery ingredient they’re not telling you about.

Before processing, skim milk has a very unappetizing blueish color, a chalky taste, and watery texture that doesn’t resemble natural milk at all. So, to whiten, thicken, and make it taste a little more normal, powdered milk solids are often mixed into the milk.

What’s so bad about powdered milk? Well, in the manufacturing process, liquid milk is forced through tiny holes at very high pressure, which causes the cholesterol in the milk to oxidize, and toxic nitrates to form. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, while unoxidized cholesterol from unprocessed foods is actually an antioxidant to help fight inflammation in the body. The proteins found in powdered milk are so denatured that they are unrecognizable by the body and contribute to inflammation.

Shockingly, dairy manufacturers are not required by the FDA to label the powdered milk as a separate ingredient, because it’s still technically just “milk,” the single ingredient found on the list. So, there’s no way to be sure that it is or isn’t in your fat-free or low-fat dairy products.

3. It contains antibiotics, nasty bodily fluids, and GMOs

Water downstream of a factory farm in Idaho, where animals are generally knee-deep in their own waste.

The skim milk you’ll find in most grocery stores is a mass-produced product from animals in concentrated animal feeding operations, or factory farms, where the cows are kept in confinement and fed a diet that is completely inappropriate for their species. Because cows are designed to eat grass, when they are fed a diet consisting primarily of corn, as they are in factory farms, they get sick.

And because they get sick, they’re often given antibiotics to keep them alive so they can continue to produce. But because they’re still fighting off infections, things like blood and pus from open sores frequently make their way into the finished product — the milk we see on store shelves. The FDA allows up to 750 million pus cells per liter of milk, to be sold legally.

Also legal, are the injections of recombinant bovine growth hormones, or rBGH, a known carcinogen banned in virtually every industrialized nation in the world, except the United States. The “recombinant” part of the growth hormone means that it was genetically modified from the cow’s natural growth hormones to stimulate increased milk production.

4. It provides almost no nutritional value.

Real milk really does do a body good. It has many valuable nutrients in it. In addition to vital minerals like calcium, milk provides vitamins D, A, E, and K.

Well, skim milk actually has no vitamin K because it’s concentrated in the butterfat of the milk. And as for the others? They are fat-soluble vitamins. So even if you were to get a little bit of them in from drinking your fat-free milk, you won’t actually be able to absorb and assimilate them into your body. Unless, maybe, you paired your glass of skim with a nice heaping spread of butter over toast or something!

But, if you’re not getting milk from a farm that raises cows on green pastures instead of in concentrated animal-feeding factories, your milk won’t have very much of those essential fat-soluble vitamins. Cows get their vitamin E, A, and K from the nutrients they eat in grass, and vitamin D from cruising around in the sunlight all day. Also, because confinement dairy cows are bred for unnaturally-high levels of milk production, the vitamin content of the milk is severely diluted, as the cow only transfers a set amount of vitamins to her milk supply.

As for the rest of the nutrition in skim milk from factory farms? Well, it does provide a bit of denatured (and therefore, potentially quite harmful) protein, thanks to high-heat pasteurization. But no beneficial enzymes and probiotic microflora — those are all killed off in the pasteurization process — which aid in digestion.

And then of course, some chemically-synthesized vitamin D is usually added since confinement cows are severely lacking in it. Except the kind that humans and animals are able to assimilate from exposure to the sun, vitamin D3, isn’t at all the same as the manufactured D they dump into skim milk — synthetic vitamin D2. A study referenced by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that synthetic vitamin D2 “should no longer be regarded as a nutrient appropriate for supplementation or fortification of foods,” because of how basically worthless it is to your body.

5. It won’t make or keep you skinny.

Farmers knew well before skim milk was marketed as a waistline-slimming health food what it really is good for — fattening you up! Skim milk has traditionally been fed to pigs to help them bulk up for slaughter. They of course would save the good part, the cream, for human consumption.

Today, our school children who have been guinea pigs of the misguided nutritional advice to drink fat-free milk instead of whole milk, certainly aren’t any thinner for it. Researchers at the Harvard medical school found that, contrary to their hypothesis, “skim and 1% milk were associated with weight gain, but dairy fat was not,” in a study in which thousands of children’s milk drinking habits were surveyed.

Adults aren’t faring much better with swapping whole milk for skim. Studies have showed time and time again that a reduced-fat diet, similarly to a reduced-calorie diet, does not result in long-term weight loss and health, but instead leads only to “transient” weight loss — that would be weight that comes piling right back on after it’s temporarily shed. This is because healthy fats actually curb your appetite and trigger the production of hormones which tell the brain when you’re full. If you’re not eating fat, you stay constantly hungry, and wind up binging on unhealthy food. Fat-free milk essentially signals to your body that something is missing, which leads to overeating and weight gain.

6. It won’t help you avoid heart disease

Fat-free milk is supposed to be “heart healthy” because it lacks the saturated fat and cholesterol that whole milk contains.

It really boggles my mind how prevalent the completely de-bunked theory still is that heart disease is caused by the intake of saturated fat. One guy makes up a totally bogus “scientific” study that points to countries with a high-fat diet having high rates of heart disease, while leaving out all the countries of people eating tons of fat and having almost zero heart disease. And somehow, seventy years later, we’re still singing his praises and demonizing saturated fat and cholesterol?

Think about it. Were our ancestors eating fat-free sour cream, cholesterol-free “buttery spreads” or skim milk? Of course not. Dairy had always been consumed in its whole, full-fat form before the industrialization of foods began. And no one had heart disease. The field of medical cardiology didn’t even exist until the advent of industrial seed oils packed with toxic polyunsaturated fat.

When you look at basic history, or even modern trends of disease in the last century, as intake of foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol have decreased, heart disease has been steadily skyrocketing. So, why is this myth that saturated fat and cholesterol are causing it, still being perpetuated? It doesn’t make any logical sense.

Could it be because 25% of the adult population is taking expensive statin medications that make players in the medical and pharmaceutical industries a whole lot of money? Or that the processed food industry doesn’t want you to know just how much more they profit off of foods produced with cheap, shelf-stable industrial oils, as opposed to real, saturated fat?

Heart disease is in no way caused by dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. It just isn’t. Even heart surgeons are starting to speak out on the fact that “the science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent.” Do we really need more proof?

What kind of milk is healthy?

There’s no reason to ever buy fat-free milk or fat-free dairy products, or even low-fat ones, if for no other reason than there’s no need to avoid the dietary fat found in milk — saturated fat, which is essential to health. Most skim milk is a highly processed food that is usually born of a factory, not a farm, and is not a healthy choice at all.

The best choice is fresh, clean milk from happy cows grazing on the grass of a real farm. Just the way it came from the cow — whole, unprocessed, and with all its nutrients intact. Including the fat.

You can find real, whole milk from a farm near you in most states, on the directory listed here on my resources page.

What about you? Were you ever convinced that skim milk is healthy?

Have you since changed your mind? Tell us about it in the comments below.



American Journal of Clinical Nutriton

Harvard School of Public Health

Organic Consumers Association

“Heart Surgeon Speaks Out on what Really Causes Heart Disease,”

“The Skinny on Fats” Dr. Mary Enig, Ph.D

Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon

[photo credit: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th

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MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: Your health is between you and your health care practitioner. Nothing in this blog is intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader.

414 Responses to Think Fat-Free Milk is Healthy? 6 Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim
  1. Heather Jacobs says:

    OK Emily, I have to ask you then…what about the milks from a place like this

    We buy their milks at Whole Foods. And yes, we have been using Skim for years now. I never really thought of it as having all those added things to make it not chalky or blue’ish. WOW, learn something new every day.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Hey Heather, you’re right. There are some farms that are definitely not CAFOs that have caught onto the fat-free trend, and you can find non-CAFO, grass-fed skim which sells at health food stores. I didn’t mean to make it sound like it was a universal truth that skim always comes from scuzzy factory farms, but if you go into any standard Safeway or Kroger or whatever, it’s a pretty safe bet that the milk sold in there is far from grass-fed.

      So, your skim milk is more than likely pretty innocent. It might not even have those additives in it that CAFO milk commonly does. I just think it’s kind of a waste to be drinking even the purest fat-free milk, because you’re missing out on the best part — the fat! 😀

      • sheela says:

        I have never bought nor tried to get anyone to buy fat free milk..I used to buy whole milk from the farms until they made it against the law to do so..there is nothing in skim milk..crazy..been feeding the old and the young skim or 2% milk for years..and how are their bones..uh huh :)

    • Irene says:

      I lived about 1.5 miles from Trickling Springs Cremery in 2008, I can say that their products are way safer than mass merchant ones.

    • shamrock says:


      this is very interesting,just goes to show how the processed food industry is allowed to do this in the western nations without critism,with governments letting it happen,i can show my girlfriend as shes convinced its healthy.
      horse scandal in ireland n england aswell!?


    • Deanna says:

      I have seen bluish looking skim milk, I did not know that was preferable…Thanks for this great article.
      PS We mostly do drink milk straight from the cow, we are lucky to have family in the farming business. :)

    • I think this article is total B S!

  2. Danielle says:

    Hi! With regard to this statement:

    “Dairy had always been consumed in its whole, full-fat form before the industrialization of foods began. And no one had heart disease.”

    Can you substantiate that no one had heart disease?

    • Amber says:

      Plus, can we also look at the activity level of the average person then versus now? People didn’t plop down in front of TV’s and computers! They worked, they did manual labor and housework, they were active! I bet changing back to that lifestyle – both their diets AND their activity level – would return heart disease rates to those lower levels, too.

      • Luposian says:

        AMEN! I think America could use a good, solid reboot. Take us back to the 1700’s with a massive EMP attack or whatever… there is always going to be suffering in any significant change. We NEED to get back to the basics of LIVING life, not being endlessly DISTRACTED by technology.

        Living a slower, more purpose-driven life, makes for QUALITY of life, over QUANTITY of life. We’ve gotten so used to instant this and microwave that, we can’t stand having to wait for anything! It’s pathetic.

        Wait til the day nobody’s cell phone works and we’ll see people jumping out of windows over it!

    • Yael says:

      Here’s an article with a detailed timeline of the history of heart disease. It cites sources for the data and dates.

      • Greg says:

        The whole “heart disease is new” statement is totally false.

        That article is from yesterday.

        Also, just because a certain specialty of medicine didn’t exist until somewhat recently doesn’t mean the ailments didn’t exist. Wake up people.

        • ButterBeliever says:

          Gee, I wonder who paid for that study. Couldn’t possibly be those involved in cardiology institutions who profit off of the myth of the cholesterol/saturated fat—heart disease connection.

          • Michael says:

            You don’t publish in the Lancet just because you have money. Please have a minimum of objectivity for ideas published in high-standard peer-reviewed journals even when they differ from yours.

          • Michael says:

            Can you please not delete comments with nothing offensive or insulting in them? How can i trust your blog when i see how you filter comments which simply do not support your ideas? Again below is my comment that i hope you’ll not delete this time.

            You don’t publish in the Lancet just because you have money. Please have a minimum of objectivity for ideas published in high-standard peer-reviewed journals even if they don’t support yours.

            • ButterBeliever says:

              First time commenters get sent to moderation. That’s standard policy for most blogs. I’m a one-woman show over here and I’m not chained to my computer 24/7.

              It isn’t unreasonable to doubt the validity of peer-reviewed studies, regardless of where they are published.

              What’s more questionable is the message the media has portrayed as a result of the study—that the mummies had “heart disease.” The study does not qualify that. All forms and stages of atherosclerosis do not equal heart disease. It is a normal function of aging to have some degree of hardening of the arteries.

              • jyg says:

                As I read this article, I became convinced that I would find a thread exactly like this one in the comments. And, I was sure it would devolve into exactly what this one has. That is, from the writing of an article that has the tone of (I am not saying it is) a conspiracy theory, there are at its end a set of Web links to various sources. But when perhaps the most controversial assertion in the article is challenged with another such link, the author cries conspiracy. So, let’s disect ButterBeliever’s links in the same way. Again, I’m not crying “conspiracy!”, I just want to level the playing field with equitable objectivity (or a lack thereof :) ).

                ButterBeliever gives us a link from The National Institutes of Health: a website of a gov’t department. Public officials are regularly influenced to publish according to the desires of their private benefactors. FDA? *cough*

                ButterBeliever gives us a link from anyone can make a website.’s owner “Laura Knight-Jadczyk is the wife of renowned theoretical physicist, Arkadiusz Jadczyk…” And that gives her an authority to discern what is accurate for publishing when it comes to heart disease? Please, all of us, read the first couple of paragraphs from’s “About” page. For example: aims to “reflect the movement of macrocosmic quantum energies on the planet.” To see if humans “individually and/or collectively, can actually remember from one day to the next the state of the planet…” What?!. I’ve never heard of Arkadiusz Jadczyk.

                ButterBeliever gives us a link from The American Journal of Nutrition: employing the words of ButterBeliever herself, “I wonder who paid for that study. Couldn’t possibly be those involved in [pick your set of] institutions who profit off of the myth [pick your widely accepted claim].

                And so on.

                Golly, who to believe?

              • PatriotNursing13 says:

                This article is ridiculous. It goes against what science has researched and proved. I’d much get my Vitamin K from something besides Saturated Fats, as well!

                • Andy says:

                  Science is always being researched proved and disproved. This article only goes against what YOU believe – and what scientists believed over 40 years ago!!

                  Recent research in BMJ shows saturated fats are not the issue – – but it will be a long time before it becomes accepted by the public.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      The first recorded heart attack happened in 1876. But it was so incredibly rare, that the very first time a diagnosis of heart attack, or coronary thrombosis, was even mentioned in any medical publication was in 1912, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Most doctors prior to that time were unaware that such a condition even existed.

      Paul Dudley Wright, a well-known research cardiologist and President Eisenhower’s personal physician, said in the 1943 edition of his medical textbook, Heart Disease:

      “… when I graduated from medical school in 1911, I had never heard of coronary thrombosis, which is one of the chief threats to life in the United States and Canada today…”


      • FLT says:

        I definitely think the modern diet and lifestyle contribute to heart disease, but I think it’s a VERY tenuous argument to say that heart attacks didn’t exist (or were extremely rare) prior to 1876. They didn’t know many medical conditions existed (like schizophrenia – they just thought you were possessed) until recently.

        They went back and mummies of “a certain age” show hardening of the arteries in ancient Egypt.

        • FLT says:

          And I’ll just add that heart disease is not nearly 50% of deaths. Perhaps it was 1943.

        • Christie B. says:

          The Egyptians were not a healthy people. It is not surprising that they would find diseases in the mummies. They did not eat the healthiest food (far too many grains, for one, and sweets), and the royalty inter-married A LOT. Not good genes. And the royalty are mostly the ones who were mummified. Sorry, my son studied ancient Egypt last year (we homeschool, so I was very involved).

          • ButterBeliever says:

            Wow, okay whoever the psycho vegan people are who keep trying to cuss out my readers, you’ve been deleted. Run along now… be sure to drink your soy milk and enjoy those man boobs. Oh, and get a freaking life.

            • Lindsay says:

              haha – this thread has me laughing! great post Emily – there will always be nay-sayers convinced of their way. Keep up the good work!

            • Greg says:

              Keep eating butter and drinking heavy cream. That’s Darwinism at work!

              • ButterBeliever says:

                Great rebuttal. Keep being just another ignorant sheep in the herd, devoid of any rational thought origination from your own brain.

                • Chris says:

                  It’s very disingenuous to imply that skim milk comes from antiobiotic loaded, CAFO raised cows, and that full fat milk comes from cows that live a contented, grass fed life. Do you really think the large milk producers actually set aside grazing land for full milk cows, while relegating skim milk cows to the CAFO sheds? Please, what a ridiculous assertion.

                  • ButterBeliever says:

                    Read the damn post, Chris. Unbelievable. I made it very clear that I advocate specifically sourcing out grass-fed milk, which you are unlikely to find in the average grocery store. Skim and whole alike.

                    • Daniel says:

                      Just curious, does this include semi-skimmed milk as well? I’m not a massive fan of the taste of whole milk and I’m too poor (student) to buy expensive milk like cravendale. Thanks for the info though, I had no idea, I’ve been drinking skimmed trying to lose weight!

                  • Melissa says:

                    Seriously Chris?? Skim cows and full milk cows? Go visit a farm for Pete’s sake. ALL cows milk the same. Some give more, some less. Some have a higher milk fat content than others, Jerseys higher than Holsteins, but here is NO SUCH THING as a “skim cow”. One thing to note is that you cannot send milk to market from a cowgal that has been on antibiotics for a specified time period. The milk from a cow who has been on antibiotics has to be dumped. There are stiff penalties if you send milk to market from a treated cow. And there is a huge difference between the factory farms and the small dairy farm. Factory farms cows do not get out to graze while most small farms pasture the cows the as much as possible.

              • Rochelle says:

                I think people like you are funny. You are either someone who works in the industry or has sold out. I listened to the stupid mainstream doctors and health advisors. Yet I continued to gain weight. In the news there would be a new recommendation that a certain food was “good” or now it was “bad” and I followed that too. I went on the soy diet as well. I finally got fed up with these idiots who paid off the FDA and have their products as healthy wether they are or not. I started eating real food just two months ago. Guess what? I am losing weight very rapidly with hardly any exercise, my cholesterol levels are now fantastic and I am not ever hungry. But you keep drinking that skim milk and continue to gain that belly weight or kill yourself at the gym trying to keep it off.

                • Rochelle says:

                  I think people like you are funny. You are either someone who works in the industry or has sold out. I listened to the stupid mainstream doctors and health advisors. Yet I continued to gain weight. In the news there would be a new recommendation that a certain food was “good” or now it was “bad” and I followed that too. I went on the soy diet as well. I finally got fed up with these idiots who paid off the FDA and have their products as healthy whether they are or not. I started eating real food just two months ago. Guess what? I am losing weight very rapidly with hardly any exercise, my cholesterol levels are now fantastic and I am not ever hungry. But you keep drinking that skim milk and continue to gain that belly weight or kill yourself at the gym trying to keep it off. I meant to add my post is to Greg.

      • ButterSkeptic says:

        It might have helped that 50% of the population wasn’t morbidly obese and trying to live in to their 80’s. Doctors in 1911 were just beginning to scratch the surface of modern medicine, let’s look at how many of them connected smoking with lung cancer. Heart disease is a real thing, but it takes time to develop and diet is very much connected. Skim milk certainly won’t save your life, especially if you’re dunking an oreo in it. A glass or two of whole milk kill you. There are no bad foods, just bad quantities of foods. Still you destroy your credibility when you make a statement like “no one died of heart disease” that’s impossible to prove and easy to disprove. It shows you have little understanding of what hear disease is and what causes it and makes me wonder why I should listen to the rest of your point.

        • Rochelle says:

          There are bad foods. They are the processed foods and man-made chemicals. The foods that we change from natural to unrecognizable, like skim milk. They are terrible and should never be eaten. Ever! Our health in this country is at a crisis level. What the government suggests can’t be trusted and obviously hasn’t worked. Why not test out real foods and see if it works for you? If it doesn’t, you can always go back to skim milk and boxed food.

          • Aisha Smith says:

            Very solid advice, Rochelle! I like how you think! Finally, someone who is rational and logical! Will you be my friend? =)
            Looking forward to whatever else you might have to say!

      • Char Girardi says:

        The first “recorded” may not be the “first” since alot of doctors, who were also the M.E.’s and Undertakers btw, recorded most things as “Natural Causes”. They didn’t do the autopsies at the same level as they do them now, in either scope or depth.
        I just think that “all” things need to be considered and we can’t just label certain things as bad or good for “all” people. Genetics certainly play a role in how fat is metabolized for one, yet on the other hand, we know our bodies require a certain amount of fat to stay healthy (you have to eat fat to burn fat). We may have evolved but certain processes our bodies go through haven’t, such as stubbornly holding onto fat stores (hunger mode) when it’s deprived of all fat.
        It’s also proven that our brains need a certain fat to function properly. But the saturated fats we get from meat (animal fats) are more likely to cause the buildups.
        Diets are also quite different today than they were, even 50 years ago. Today it’s all about excess. Large amounts of food eaten at one course or fat laden snacks throughout the day. Common sense in our eating habits would go further to combat the war on expanding waistlines than the elimination of so-called “bad fats” or “bad foods”. Your body needs the proteins it gets from meats, dairy and certain legumes and grains, but it can benefit more from moderation of these and the addition of MORE fruits and vegetables.
        50-100 years ago our ancestors weren’t eating “16 oz” steaks, they just weren’t as available to the masses as they are now. So, mom would portion foods before they came to the table, mostly vegetables, a 6oz portion of protein for adults, 4oz or less for children and snacks weren’t candy bars, granola bars, chips or any other “fat laden” grab n go. Most likely there was a bowl of apples, oranges and pears sitting on the table for in between meal snacks.
        We’ve become a society of convenience. We just need to make fresh, raw foods (fruit and veg)a convenient substitute for the fatty ones.

    • Jaime says:

      People didn’t die of heart disease hundreds of years ago because they worked outdoors all day long farming, or indoors all day long cooking over a fire and doing laundry…in a tub with a rock. People got EXCERSISE just by living daily life.

      Also this article contains some misconceptions and misinformation regarding the care of dairy cows and use of feed for cows. You are towing the vegan/vegetarian/PETA agenda that is in the media. Ue scare tactics and faulty science to scare people to not eat meat or drink milk at all. Go call a real working dairy. And a veterinarian that seres them.

    • Jodi says:

      And is it not possible that the reason heart disease, and other diseases, began to increase over this past decade is that the average human lifespan has increased by more than 50%? The average lifespan of a male in the United States has gone from 49 (or right around there, according to three different charts I found) in 1912, but one hundred years later, the same “average” man can expect to live 75.7 years. I have heard this same argument made by very strict vegans, as a reason NOT to eat meat, milk or butter – different people view facts in different ways. Eating a small amount of organic low fat dairy is important to me – but my ex husband died of a heart attack at age 42, and my current husband (a very physically fit US Marine) started taking a statin at age 42 because of inherited high cholesterol, so I don’t know that I agree that anyone outside of an individual’s physician advocating taking in that much saturated fat is responsible.

      • Lori Jacobs says:

        Benjamin Franklin was 81 when he signed the Declaration of Independence, and the average age which the other signers lived to was 67, with one living to 92. The human lifespan has increased with modern medicine, but not as much as some numbers seem to indicate. An ‘average’ lifespan of 49 means all deaths were averaged in, including high infant mortality rates and childhood disease. Once one survived to adulthood, the chances of living a reasonably long life were pretty good.

    • Poppy says:

      Danielle, It’s pretty much common knowledge. It isn’t hard to substantiate. There are all kinds of studies and stats that the government has undertaken. Insurance companies likely have witnessed the trend throughout the 20th century. You could look it up yourself with a carefully worded search or two.

      It isn’t the government’s responsibility to enlighten us as to the trends that have taken place in the 20th century with modern processing of food. We aren’t children but supposedly adult people capable of looking beyond advertising. Whether that’s really true or not, that we are grown ups and can think for ourselves, it’s assumed by the government.

      I have read for years and years that heart attacks increased dramatically throughout the latter half of the 20th century as consumption of “vegetable” oils rocketed and consumption of butter and monounsaturated oils plummeted. People didn’t die of heart attacks before the 20th century so much as other, now rarer, causes like infection, bacterial and viral, and weird things like stomach cancer (the incidence of which dropped with the advent of refrigeration.) Just do some research of your own Danielle! Don’t rely on advertisers and food manufacturers to tell you the truth! It ain’t in their interests!

      By the way, I’m middle aged and my two young adult sons and I have similar great ldl/hdl cholesterol ratios (mine’s a little better that theirs last dr. appt. actually.) We have been lucky to be able to think for ourselves and have eaten, exactly the way our forbears did, butter and olive oil every single day. There’s practically nothing that I don’t put a stick of butter in. Both of my sons are tall and slim. I won’t say that they are skinny because they are athletic and well muscled but most people WOULD say they are skinny lol. We started drinking whole milk in favor of 2% a few years ago.

      Sincerely, Poppy

      • tamouse says:

        > It isn’t the government’s responsibility to enlighten us as to the
        > trends that have taken place in the 20th century with modern
        > processing of food. We aren’t children but supposedly adult people
        > capable of looking beyond advertising. Whether that’s really true or
        > not, that we are grown ups and can think for ourselves, it’s assumed
        > by the government.

        No, it’s not the government’s responsibility to enlighten us, yet the
        government has been at the center of propaganda about food, and the
        food industry since the early 1900s. The entire food pyramid
        promolgated by the DoA is an example of such based upon correlating
        studies based upon how to fatten beef cattle.

        Nearly everything the government says about food is geared towards
        keeping agribusiness going strong, and agribusiness makes certain of
        that with huge contributions. Corn subsidies alone account for a
        considerable amount of ill-health in the U.S.

        The government is certainly not responsible to enlighten it’s
        populace, but sure it needs to be held responsible for spreading mis-
        and disinformation. That said, if a government is actually held to be
        in service of it’s people (by, for and of), it necessarily must make
        efforts to ensure a well-educated populace; where we are now it seems
        is a populace that is educated to consume mindlessly.

    • Dawna Leigh says:

      I grew up on my grandparent’s dairy farm. We also had a large vegetable garden and starting in July and August we would ‘put-up’ our own vegetables for the winter season. We also had a ‘root cellar’ where we kept the potatoes, squash, turnip, carrots, etc for winter. We made our own butter, cottage cheese, whipped cream, etc from the fat we skimmed off the milk. The remainder of the milk we drank and used for baking. We made our own bread and relied little on the outside world except for gas and flour and sugar. We raised our own meat and my grandmother would use a hand cranked meat grinder to make hamburg and sausage. We worked hard, haying, digging up the root vegetables, weeding the garden, etc. We cut our own wood for heat in the winter. My great-grandmother also lived with us and she lived to her mid 90s (and she smoked non-filtered Pall Mall cigarettes). My mother is 87 y/o and doing well. My grandfather was a hunter and we ate venison, turkey, rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, goose, duck…when in season. None of the foods we ate were GMO…that, in itself, is the difference!!

      • Michele says:

        Dawna writes: “We made our own butter, cottage cheese, whipped cream, etc from the fat we skimmed off the milk. The remainder of the milk we drank and used for baking.”

        Thank you, Dawna! You answered the question uppermost in my mind. Of course, skim milk is (or can be) a natural food, and it surprises me to hear the WATP folk rail against it. It strikes me as being a pretty normal thing in the ancestral diet (along with the butter, cottage cheese, and whipped cream made from the milk fat!).

        I can buy the satiety argument for drinking whole milk (not to mention the related but different concerns about the bad effects of pasteurization and homogenization), but I just don’t see the rest of it as far as low-fat vs whole milk is concerned (a different argument than raw vs organic vs conventional, which seem to have been mixed into this blog post). Surely we get enough fat in our diets to process the vitamins in skim milk. And if we got raw milk with the fat skimmed off it, I can’t imagine this would be an unhealthy food.

        I’ve just discovered this blog and for the most part really like it, but what Emily describes — especially the bit about yucky additives being added to low-fat milk — does not fit for organic skim milk.

        It is illegal to buy and sell raw milk where I live, although there are “secret” clubs where it can be found. It’s a big hassle to get it, though, and I never developed a taste for it, so I do buy conventional milk. However, I ONLY buy organic dairy products. Not ideal, but far from what you would get from a CAFO dairy. I’m waffling on the question of whether to buy full fat or not. Sure makes a nicer chocolate milk, when I indulge.

        And Emily, I’ve read elsewhere about milk solids being added to low-fat milk (I suspect on the WATP website), but I’ve never seen anything to back that up. I find it hard to believe that the organic milk I’ve been accustomed to buying would have any such additives, but I may be wrong on that one. I’d like to know more.

  3. […] 6 Secrets you don’t know about fat free milk […]

  4. Awesome! Can’t wait to share this. :-)

  5. just shared this on facebook… :)

    Great sum of ideas….

  6. Sarah says:

    Great post. Lots of valuable information.

    I am embarrassed to admit that in my first job out of college I did marketing for America’s Milk Processors – the Got Milk campaign. And at one point we were actually marketing that skim chocolate milk was a “good” drink to have post work out. Crazy!

    I’m paleo and cringe at the thought of all the skim milk I used to drink. That stuff is bad for you and tastes like water!

    • Cereza says:

      I’m a marathon runner, and chocolate milk is a good thing to drink after long runs to aid recovery. It has a good balance of protein/carbs to help refuel the body.

  7. Sue Yurick says:

    So I can start using full fat dairy (most of my intake has been in the form of yogurt and a little cheese, yes, the yogurt fat-free and the cheese @ 2% and the occasional skim milk on cereal) and STOP taking statins, because the whole cholesterol scare is MYTH??? So are BIG agribusiness and BIG Pharma colluding–with the result that we are getter sicker and fatter? Now, please, do NOT tell me that olive oil is bad! BTW, humans are the only species which drinks the milk of another after being weaned from Mom. Should we do dairy AT ALL?

    • “humans are the only species which drinks the milk of another after being weaned from Mom. Should we do dairy AT ALL?”

      I’ve learned this as well and would be interested to hear what ButterBeliever has to say in response.”

      • Jerica says:

        You hear this argument a lot, that “humans are the only species to drink the milk of another mammal.” But I would argue two things. Being a farmer, I am aware that pigs can and will actually learn to nurse on lactating cows. They LOVE milk. So do cats, dogs, chickens, turkeys, etc. But a pig CAN self-harvest if it has the opportunity. So we’re not alone in our love for fresh milk!

        And my second argument is that humans do LOTS of things that no other animals do, such as wear clothes, COOK our food, plant our food, create tools, travel in machines, etc. So it’s a silly argument against consuming milk, particularly raw milk, which has been PROVEN to be healthful and healing to humans.

        • ButterBeliever says:

          Yes and yes! Great points, Jerica!

        • kcanded says:

          What about lactose intolerance? More people here in the US are realizing they are lactose intolerant. There are many countries and cultures that do not ingest milk after the age of 3 or 4. Shouldn’t we start decreasing milk consumption? (I do want to support local farmers, not make them angry.)

          • AnnieC says:

            I would be interested in hearing if ALL of those people are truly lactose intolerant, or if they’re merely unable to digest the dead liquid that is pasturized, homogenized (and usually loaded with antibiotics) milk. In many cases, the body really doesn’t know how to handle it, and the inflammatory response is provoked.

            My family only eats and drinks raw dairy products. It’s my belief, after a long, long period of research, that modern dairy products not only don’t nourish the body, but they harm the body.

            • Jackie says:

              I thought I had an intolerance to milk for a few years. I used to drink 2% milk…then dropped to 1%….and then to skim milk because I kept getting stomach cramps when I would drink milk. Also, if I drank it right before bed, I would wake up in the morning with horrible congestion and clogged ears.

              After reading a few health food blogs, I bought some organic raw milk. It was my first time having raw milk. Ever. I’ve had it for a few weeks now and I have had NO stomach cramps. I can even drink it before I go to bed and I don’t get that nasty congestion. And it tastes WAY better!

          • Jay says:

            My husband was “lactose intolerant” until he tried raw milk/raw milk yogurt (it’s been about 3 yrs now). We have to travel to get it but it’s worth it! He feels better all around..and we all love it.

          • Sylvia RN MSN NP-C says:

            First of all, every baby is born with the ability to digest lactose (breast milk is about 50% lactose and 50% fat- mostly saturated). So really, the inability to digest lactose wouldn’t allow them to survive in the first place (which is why it is medically a very, very very rare occurence). Many countries drink fermented milk, for example, my husband would drink Kefir in Russia- which is like a yogurt drink. The probiotics make it easier to digest by breaking down lactose. Other countries such as India also drink fermented milk. Or drink raw milk, which is also easier to digest.

            • Michele says:

              Not true. I worked as a nanny for a child born with severe allergies. He was terribly allergic to his mother’s milk and would thrash and scream whenever she attempted to nurse him. Unfortunately it was about 20 years ago that I had that job, and I don’t remember what the mom told me about how they resolved it, except that at the age of 2-1/2 (which is when I worked with the child), he was able to eat turkey, buckwheat, pears, and blueberries — and nothing else. His mother was very creative, and they coped well. But no, it might be rare, but it does happen.

      • Anne says:

        One good reason why that I heard lately is that humans are the only species with opposable thumbs, making them unique in the ability to milk cows.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      We’re the only species smart enough to, is my answer to the last question.

      I sure hope you do start eating real, full-fat dairy, hopefully from small farmers near you! I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but yeah, the cholesterol thing is a myth and statin drugs are very, very dangerous to your health. I don’t think your family doctor is out to kill you or anything, but doctors only know what they’ve been taught. And they are taught a lot of terribly untrue things, that make people a lot of money as a result.

      And olive oil? Haha, nah… I won’t tell you that’s bad for you! I don’t think it should be used as your primary cooking oil, however. It contains polyunsaturated fats that oxidize during cooking. Cook with coconut oil, instead! :) Thanks for your comment, Sue.

      • Lindsay says:

        and let’s not forget the terrible side-effects of statins – Alzheimer’s and dementia being the main ones…duh, the brain is 2/3 fat and the largest concentration of cholesterol in the body…why are people not making this connection? it’s mind boggling to me!

        • PatriotNursing13 says:

          fat is good for you but saturated and trans fat do nothing for your body except increase risk for diseases, heart disease especially. this is an argument that takes being educated about the facts.

      • Heather says:

        And lactose persistence is estimated at about 36% of the population. So we humans still have a long way to go as far as milk tolerance. (And it only seems to apply to processed milk). True lactose intolerance is someone who can’t digest raw milks from pastured cattle/goats.

    • Connie says:

      My cats, dogs, and pigs love waste cow milk. As do the stray coons and skunks that wander through.

    • Alex says:

      Humans are also the only species that cooks their food. And it has helped us tremendously. Most mammals will drink the milk of another species if they have the chance to do so. It’s just that humans are the only ones that have been able to domesticate and regularly milk a mammal species.

  8. I was raised in the “fat-free is better” era and have stayed that way until the past year or so. More dairy items we purchase are low-fat or full-fat, depending on the purpose. The more I read, the more we’re inclined to buy full-fat, organic dairy all the time. My only hurdle will be overcoming the texture – growing on up “thin” milk, whole milk feels like yogurt!

    • Kate says:

      I know! I already buy organic milk but ever since I started learning about how important fats are I’ve been trying to transition away from it. I can handle 1% but anything more still gives me the heebie jeebies.

    • Beth says:

      I felt the same way about the thickness of whole milk. We had been buying our daughter organic, grass-fed, pasteurized whole milk and I tried her milk but just really didn’t like it, it felt like cream. Two months ago we switched to raw milk (for all of us) and I actually like it! It doesn’t taste as thick as pasteurized whole milk. It doesn’t get quite a wonderfully cold as my watery skim milk would get in the fridge, but the consistency really hasn’t been bad at all.

  9. Rhondatoo says:

    I feel so bad that i always bought 2% milk, even low fat cheese not realizing until years later, (my daughters are now 31, 29, and 26) that it could possibly had harmed them! I didn’t know! Im very proud of my grown girls though They going natural through gardening, CSA in their area and everifying their organic food By the way! I love Butter!

  10. Carol says:

    Enjoyed your article. I grew up drinking farm fresh milk. I now have absolutely no access to it. MT is one state that it seems impossible to find.
    I do find it sad, it tastes SO much better and I have never known anyone who became sick or died from farm fresh milk!

  11. Nekona says:

    Thank you for posting this! Still trying to convince my boyfriend to try raw milk but at least now I’ve got him to Cadia’s grass fed milk and he agrees that it “tastes better.” I wonder why… 😉

  12. katie says:

    I knew skim milk was lacking in nutrients, but this is just disgusting. Never again.

  13. By the way – thanks so much for the link to the local dairy farms! I was able to locate a source for local farm milk – 10 min away – and a huge local co-op not much further that gathers produce from local farms for distribution. Now I don’t have to search high and low for dozens of farms – two stops and I’m done!

    • ButterBeliever says:

      That is SO awesome! Thanks for letting me know that was helpful in getting you a good source for milk. That site is such an incredible resource… I’m so thankful to the WAPF for making it available!

  14. Pete says:

    It should also be noted that most cows raised on pasture are also regularly injected with antibiotics and hormones. Also, they are fed a large amount of supplements with all sorts of ingredients and additives. This info comes from a friend that has worked for decades in a family tradition of breeding dairy cows and providing injections of antibiotics and hormones as a side business in southern Idaho.

    Milking barns with easy-to-clean concrete or other floors are very efficient at milking cows quickly, but create a sloppy mess of urine and manure that the cows kick all over the place. This can create opportunities for e. coli infection of the milk, especially, if you are in a hurry to milk a large number of cows that you barely have time to do. There are procedures to minimize this, and pasteurization to take care of anything missed. I saw this growing up around commercial dairies. So there is a trade off. I suspect that if you look around and observe the practices of your food producers, you can find healthy, non-processed foods. Problem is that most people aren’t able to find the time, or have the ability to research and observe. With the current budget problems alone, I would not rely on the government, let alone undue influence by the industry business interests.

    • Allie says:

      My dairy farmer does not inject antibiotics to all his cows as routine practice, no hormones are ever used.
      If a sick cow needs meds he separates them from the herd and does not sell any milk from it until it is well and the antibiotic has cleared the system.
      They also do no supplements with additives.

      Sounds like your experience is from fairly conventional farming practices.

      So true, that it is hard to find farmers today to go the distance to provide safe raw milk. I’m so grateful for those that do.

      • Karen says:

        We drink raw goat’s milk, and I’ve watched the farmer milk her goats myself. It’s not a hurried process. And her goats don’t get any antibiotics or hormones and only eat grass and forage with a smidge of grain at milking time.

    • Connie says:

      Antibiotics are used on sick cows, as they are on sick people. That milk is NOT sold, it is illegal to sell milk with drug residue. Dairy cows are not fed or injected with a steady stream of antibiotics. BGH is a synthetic hormone, not all dairies use it, actually a small %, but they are the larger ones, so most milk will be adulterated with traces.

    • AnnieC says:

      I disagree with your statements, and I live on a farm and buy raw milk.

      • Angel says:

        Milk from Cows treated with antibiotics is kept separate and does not enter the food system. If a treated cow is accidentally milked into the bulk tank that milk is dumped and the farmer is paid a partial amount on the milk dumped. If the antibiotic is not discovered while the milk is still on the farm, it will be discovered before the milk is unloaded at a processing plant. Each tanker of milk brought into a processor is tested for minuscule amounts of antibiotics. If there are antibiotics found that tanker is dumped and the farmer is charged for the entire tanker of milk that was contaminated. To say that store bought milk is all full of antibiotics is misinformed and incorrect. As a dairy farmer, I completely agree with drinking full fat raw fresh milk and that store bought tasted nothing like what milk should taste like. But please do not spread the myth that store bought milk is full of antibiotics, it’s simply not true.

        There are many mismanaged commercial dairy operations out there that don’t care for their animals properly, but don’t lump all commercial dairies together. There are also many that are committed to producing a healthy product from healthy and well fed animals.

  15. joanna says:

    Very informative article. Interesting. But I do have a problem with one thing.
    You wrote “no one had heart attacks around the turn of the century when everyone was still eating pounds of butter and cream every week.” I think this is your opinion and not fact. Can you give us facts to prove this. I do understand your point to the previous comment most people in the turn of the century lived a more active life style than we do now but to say no one without facts to prove it makes me question the whole article. I believe a lot of people died of heart disease at the turn of the century plus they didn’t have the medical care to treat it them meaning no cardiac by pass or stents to open up the vessels. I also want to say I am not picking a fight but just trying to understand where that statement.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Hi, Joanna. Please see my comment above (#2.3) in reply to Danielle. Virtually no one was dying of heart disease during that time. The very first incidence of a heart attack was in 1876, and even that is debatable, as some researchers claim there was not a substantiated incidence of heart attack until several decades later.

      • Ruann says:

        This comment keeps on bothering me because, as someone else stated, MOST diseases/health problems weren’t being diagnosed yet. People died much younger, and reasons often weren’t known. I would say that MANY died of heart failure. So this is a very flawed statement. We don’t know if people were dying from heart attacks or not. I do know that 3 of 4 of my grandparents died in their early 60’s of heart attacks. Because of family history, my dad has been very vigilant. My mom had open heart surgery 11 years ago. Both are in their late 70’s and doing great. Miscarriages, Lou Gehrig’s, mental illnesses, etc. weren’t identified either – didn’t mean they weren’t happening. Now, question: is 2% milk OK? I do worry about the calorie intake, and I love my milk!

  16. Paul Kayley says:

    Hi Emily, interesting read. I agree with your findings re heart disease NOT being caused by saturated fats and cholesterol.

    Please can you provide references for the information you are sharing about the “added ingredient” in skimmed milk and also for the presence of oxidised cholesterol?

    Many thanks Paul

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Hi, Paul. The information about the powdered milk comes from the research of Sally Fallon. She wrote about it in her Nourishing Traditions book, and also in this article here:

      It has been disputed that processors still do this, but I’m convinced based off of Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s investigation here:

      Thank you for reading and for your comment!

      • Paul Kayley says:

        Thanks for the links Emily. It appears that some milk producers are doing as you say, however not all of them. I know here in the UK that they cant be adding dried milk back into the skimmed milk as it tastes like water and nothing like full-fat milk. Unfortunately its difficult to buy raw milk in the UK.

        Whilst I agree that minimal processing of foods is mostly the healthiest option, I believe that it may be presumptuous and an innocent over-simplification to believe that the presence of oxidized cholesterol in a food is likely to contribute to the oxidized cholesterol observed in arterial plaque. The process of arterial plaque formation appears to be highly complex and very misunderstood.

        The most unhealthy aspect of skimmed milks is probably more related to what they remove, rather than to what they might add back in!

        Thanks for your reply and congratulations on your popularity x

        • ButterBeliever says:

          “The process of arterial plaque formation appears to be highly complex and very misunderstood”
          “The most unhealthy aspect of skimmed milks is probably more related to what they remove, rather than to what they might add back in!”

          Couldn’t agree more on both points! Oxidized cholesterol, while it may contribute, is definitely not the primary cause of plaque formation and heart disease. I believe the true root cause of arterial plaque formation is hypothyroidism. Broda Barnes’ (if you’re familiar) research on the subject is spot-on, in my opinion. I think this subject deserves its own post, so I’ll try to come out with that soon. And yes, I think the removal of the fat in skim milk is more problematic than the addition of milk powder, when it is added. You’re right that it’s not always added.

          Thanks again for your comments, Paul, and for contributing to the discussion!

          • Paul Kayley says:

            My money is on excessive polyunsaturated fats in the diet, exacerbated by excessive glucogenic calories.

            Chronically elevated hepatic VLDL production caused by excessive carbohydrate consumption, particularly sugars which preferentially restock and saturate the liver, result in metabolic failure of the ‘common saturable removal mechanism’. This might not be as significant a problem when eating a low PUFA diet, but a diet high in PUFAs leads to lipoproteins which are highly vulnerable to oxidation, which in turn appears to lead to an inflammatory immune response at the endothelium. The cherry on the cake being dis-regulated calcium metabolism from something like a vitamin K2 deficiency (denatured dairy products?) leading to calcified plaques?

            I haven’t written about this for some time so some of my understanding has shifted slightly, but here is a relevant post…


  17. Lisa C says:

    Switching to whole, raw, pastured milk is one of the smartest moves I made in my diet.

    You make it sound like all skim milk is factory milk, though. My health food store sells skim milk from pastured cows–there’s Organic Valley brand and also a local brand. The local brand even comes in a nice glass container. I know Organic Pastures (the raw milk farm run by Mark McAfee) sells raw skim milk.

    I’ve also heard that powdered milk is not put into skim milk anymore. Not sure which is true, but that may be outdated information.

    I completely agree that whole milk is the way to go. I used to wonder, if I eat butter, should I drink skim milk to balance it out? Then I learned that traditionally people have never drank skim (unless they were poor and had to sell their precious cream, in which case they were not as healthy). Skim milk was a by-product after taking the cream, and given to pigs to fatten them up, haha. You can also clabber it and give it to your chickens. For humans, though, best to consume it with the cream. :)

  18. […] Lastly, check out Butter Believer’s great post on something a lot of people believe: Think Fat-Free Milk is Healthy? 6 Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim.  And if you are itchin’ to learn more about Raw Milk, you’ll want to follow my […]

  19. Sandy says:

    “The proteins found in powdered milk are so denatured that they are unrecognizable by the body and contribute to inflammation.”

    Since it ends up in your stomach, and not in your bloodstream it does not contribute to inflammation. Our bodies also cannot recognize proteins from any source than your own body, so we make antibodies against foreign proteins. But not when we digest these foreign proteins, otherwise we’d all have to be cannibals.

    But a very interesting article, thanks!

  20. Mariahn Scarborough says:

    I learned a lot from a book called Nurturing Traditions. Processed milk is just bad, period. Raw milk is hard to find and expensive. Result, I don’t drink milk. I use Daisy brand sour cream, which is cream and acidophopholis. I also use butter and clean leaf lard when I can get it.

    There is one local dairy that only pasteurizes, but doesn’t homogenize…and if I have to have milk for something, I will default to that.

    Americans have been silently poisoning their food supply for decades….it is positively shameful.

  21. Erin says:

    What about 2% milk? Is that just as bad as skim?

    • ButterBeliever says:

      If it’s coming from CAFOs (see picture of the poop river in the post) instead of small farms where the cows are on grass pastures, it’s definitely not very healthy. As a couple people have pointed out in the comments, it is possible to find reduced-fat or skim milk from good farms in specialty health food stores, but by-and-large, the skim/1%/2%/”vitamin D”/homogenized milk you find at the grocery store is bad news. Fresh, whole, preferably raw milk from a small, local farmer is what’s best. And there’s no reason to take away the fat from it. Well, I mean, unless you’re skimming the cream to make butter of course! 😉

  22. Marcy says:

    After getting over my offence at the muddy water picture you display (factory farms do not have cows wallowing in crap here in the mid-west) I do have to say that my dad, born in 1917 as a farmer would tell us kids that calves fed the skim milk would just die. So I never did believe skim milk was any good for people either. Fortunately I married a dairy farmer who grazed his cows. We became certified organic. We now have healthy, raw milk drinking children with straight teeth and slim waistlines. I’m not sure if it’s related but I had 2 of those children after age 40. The last one just a few weeks before my 46th birthday. Yeah, we believe in butter.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      “calves fed the skim milk would just die”

      LOVE that! So true. What a perfect way to sum it up!

      I think I might have to share your comment on Facebook. Too awesome! Thank you, Marcy.

  23. lynne_bug says:

    I am so thankful to see more info on raw milk come to life. I switched my family to raw milk and havent looked back. both of my toddlers refuse to drink store bought milk now. I have noticed a change in my mental health since starting raw milk I have also noticed changes in the attitudes in all the members of my family. I am currently pregnant, drinking raw milk and have to intention on changing that! Say what you want about little ones drinking it and being pregnant and drinking it but I KNOW with out a doubt I am doing the BEST for my family!

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Absolutely! I definitely plan on drinking raw milk throughout any future pregnancies I have, without a doubt! What a great testimonial to the benefits of real, fresh milk. Thanks for sharing, Lynne!

  24. dairy farmer says:

    thanks for the laugh, 1st there is not antibodics feed to dairy cattle,it is illegal, rbst is also very expensive, cows are not feed a complete diet of corn their bodys will brake down, adding vitamin d,to milk is so the body can absorb calcuim,also our cattle are feed vitamins and minerals everyday, after all unhealthy cows don’t produce milk. ask any dairy farmer about regulations we have to follow, concerning the quality of our product, the testing it goes through before it reaches your table.

  25. Sophia says:

    Thanks so much for the informative post. All my life I’ve always used low fat or skim milk. It was only recently, after the birth of my son, did I begin buying organic raw whole milk and whole milk yogurt. I knew that a child’s developing body and brain needed the full fat to grow properly. Since then, it’s the only milk our family will drink. (During my vegetarian/vegan years, my husband and I for years drank non-dairy alternatives like soy (!!), rice, hemp milk, etc., which I now know are also not very rich in nutrients and contain a ton of sugar!!) Anyway, great post, can’t wait to share it!

  26. […] of sugar-laden OJ/Coffee, your choice of refined-flour baked goods or highly-processed cereal with fat-free milk, and maybe a piece of fruit isn’t good […]

  27. Barbara Threlkeld says:

    I read your article and believe you are mistaken on at least one point. When I was a child we milked cows, then what we kept for our use we separtated the cream from the milk using the cream to make butter and the remaining milk with all the butterfat gone we drank so we were drinking skimmed milk. This isn’t as pure as whats in the stores today but we didn’t drink whole milk. My aunt said they had a separtator that separtated the cream and they sold the cream.

    • Ashley says:

      Yes, I agree, skimmed milk isn’t chalky. Is kinda blueish, but so is storebought.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Sure, if you’re gonna use cream or make butter, you have to skim it from the milk. You’re right, it isn’t as pure or completely fat-free as processed skim milk. And it would be a waste to dump it out if you didn’t have other animals that could use it. When the day comes that I have my own cow to milk (what a happy day that’ll be! :)), I’d consider drinking the leftover milk after skimming the cream. Or maybe making cheese out of it or something. Because I would still be getting the fat that I took out of it, since I’d be eating the cream or butter, too.

  28. Conny says:

    I’ve been using low-fat milk for decades, but after reading several articles like this, I switched back to using whole milk to make my weekend lattes.

    I buy Organic Valley milk, but I really wish I could get raw milk. This “ultra-pasteurized” stuff with added Vitamin D3 just doesn’t sound right.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Yeah, your suspicions are valid. Ultra pasteurization renders the milk so dead it doesn’t even need to be refrigerated.

      See if you can find regular pasteurized milk from a small, local farm at a health food store. Even if it’s pasteurized, if it’s grass-fed, it’s still a great choice, in my opinion. And better than certified organic UHT.

  29. sandra says:

    I gave up drinking milk when it stopped tasting good – the milk of my childhood was delivered to our door and had cream on the top. The “milk” from the store tasted like water and was barely tolerable on my cereal in the am (and it was the ONLY way I ever used it).

    Then one day I went to PA for a yoga workshop and a friend was on a 40 day raw milk fast with her husband (with one week to completion) – she gave me a taste of it and I just lit up! THAT’S the way milk is SUPPOSED to taste! I’ve never gone back, I now drink a gallon/week of fresh, whole, grass-fed, organic, and RAW milk from a wonderful Amish farmer!

  30. Lyndsey says:

    You know what’s interesting is that no one thinks to look in the past. Sure, some do but for the most part we only think about here and now. Until a few years ago, I never thought about how humans survived so long without raw milk, medicines made from chemicals passed to “cure” something, vaccines and so on. For the ones who believe that heating natural milk to make cooked milk is healthy and is safe, I hope they ask how humans survived for so long on such “dirty” milk. One thing I didn’t see in this article is that the government allows at least 10% of bugs, feces and other things in store bought milk. The heating doesn’t kill it all. So, these cow factories need to be just as clean as farms who sell raw milk. There are more people dying from store bought milk than raw milk bought at farms.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Exactly! Milk only needed to start being pasteurized when we started factory farming. It isn’t dirty at all when it’s coming from healthy cows grazing on pasture. And you are absolutely right — there have been more deaths from pasteurized, store-bought milk than raw milk, for sure. Raw milk from a small farm is safer than just about any processed food.

  31. Ray says:

    There’s lots of redundant points that don’t make a difference and some that are just plain wrong. Btw, all milk is a ‘bodily fluid’ no matter how you process it.
    I am not a scientist, a biologist, or even a college graduate, and I can positively tell you that there are many falsities in this article, the most obvious being that “no one had heart attacks around the turn of the century”.
    The point of the fat-soluble vitamins was valid, but most people don’t have a completely fat free diet, so eh..

    I don’t know why writers feel the need to exaggerate and put false information in articles to sway peoples opinions, this writer had some good points, but when you put incorrect info in with correct info, most people bundle the whole article as garbage.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Haha, yes milk is a bodily fluid. I thought about editing that after I published this, but thought, eh, forget it. Forty thousand people reading this article later, and I kinda wished I’d made it sound a little better! Lol.

      If you can’t be convinced that heart disease was a nearly non-existent problem back then, that’s fine. Most people don’t want to believe that they’ve been lied to about big, important stuff like that. Those aren’t the type of people I generally write for.

  32. Katie says:

    While I do agree on some of your points, the part about antibiotics, poor diets, rBST, and “pus cells” are indeed misguiding or flat out wrong. I live on a small 30 cow dairy and am attending veterinary school. Needless to say I am VERY familiar with modern dairy practices. I encourage you to contact me with any questions about modern farms and the quality of the milk produced on such farms. Emotional words can only cover up the facts for so long.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      A small, 30 cow dairy isn’t at all the type of operation I’m referencing here. Actually, that’s the kind of place I’m suggesting people DO get their milk from.

      My whole point is that you won’t find problems like growth hormones, pus, antibiotics, and all that other garbage in a small farm. I’m talking about big, giant, factory farms. That’s where most milk comes from, and the issues with it I’ve written about here are the reality of the factory farming world.

  33. dan zahra says:

    learn somthing? NOT! You want tolearn somthig dont come to the internet to learn about important things you put in your body! Talk to your doctor or local health expert. Anyone can wwrite this crap.

    • Ashley says:

      Which one? Doctors are not health experts. They are disease and drug experts due to their training that comes out of the pharmaceutical industry.

      • Ruann says:

        Ashley, you have some valid points, but then they all wash away, in my opinion, when you make generalizations that smack of conspiracy theory – too hypercritical, and you’ve lost me and my respect for what you write.

        • Bouncedancer says:

          Huh, Ruann? How was Ashley hypercritical? She just stated the obvious and well-known truth, that doctors are trained in dispensing pharmaceuticals. Most doctors know little about nutrition, and what they know is likely VERY outdated.

  34. Teresa says:

    I would highly recommend visiting a few dairy farms and see how the animals are treated instead of reading inflammatory Internet articles about dairy farms. Do you really think farmers are stupid enough to feed cows–their livelihood–foods that will make them sick and require antibiotics requiring them to dump the milk produced? You really should speak to both sides and make an informed decision rather than just reading others that promote the same misinformation you already believe.

    • AnnieC says:

      Okay, I’ll bite. I live on a farm in a rural community and what the author wrote is true for large dairy farms. Do you have some supporting evidence that shows that dairy cows are NOT confined and are not allowed to graze on pastures as their primary food source? Because I would be quite interested to see that.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Crowding cows into factory farms and feeding things that make them sick, but still keep them producing at a high volume, turns an easier and higher profit than providing for them the only food they can actually digest — grass.

      I’m curious, have you ever visited a CAFO farm?

  35. Nina says:

    I am already on the real milk bandwagon and I stopped reading the article in its entirety after point number two. I fully agree, that real milk is the best. Unprocessed ~ raw, non-homogenized and whole, not separated. While I am a complete advocate for real food, including real and unprocessed milk, I am disappointed about the inaccuracies that I am finding in many articles that are shared in the real food world. I fully agree that skim milk is awful stuff and am fully aware that powdered milk is added to thicken it to improve the mouth feel. You stated that “liquid milk is forced through tiny holes at very high pressure which causes the cholesterol in the milk to oxidize, and toxic nitrates form.” This process is not powdering. It is homogenization. And homogenization does not cause the oxidation of cholesterol in powdered milk (though it does damage the fat molecule…fat and cholesterol are separate molecules); the commercial dehydration methods that are used to powder the milk oxidize the cholesterol that damages the arteries ( We need to get our facts straight so that the opponents of real food do not have an open door to criticize our efforts. And we owe it to the readers to give them the real facts so they can fully understand and have a conversation about the facts so more and more people can become educated. If people find glaring inaccuracies, they will often assume the general gist of the article is incorrect and negative information always travels faster than positive. I know your motives are to further real food and I applaud you for that. It is important that we understand the facts and relay them accurately so we get the respect that we deserve. Studies change and new information sometimes makes what was written previously appear inaccurate, but this is about a non changeable fact. I hope this was helpful and it is written in that spirit. It is late and I need to get to bed so I hope I chose my words kindly and informatively.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Hi, Nina, I appreciate your taking the time to comment and point out any potential inaccuracies here. Yes, homogenization does involve a similar process of being forced through a pressurized system, but I was referring to powdered milk processing with that description. I’m referencing Sally Fallon’s research on the subject, which is described in this article from the WAPF as:
      “In order to make powdered milk, fluid is forced through a tiny hole at high pressure and then blown out into the air. This causes a lot of nitrates to form, and the cholesterol in the milk becomes oxidized.”

      Do you have any research that points to a different processing method for powdered milk?

  36. Ian Campbell says:

    Unfortunately, coronary heart disease was already the biggest killer of both Americans & Australians in 1900, so yes, they were already dying from fat, if they could get enough. 2nd biggest killer was already cancer, even 112 years ago.

    Article is also in error about the existence of heart disease earlier. Only wealthy people ate enough to get fat, & most people died of other diseases or complaints [many of them from poor diet] before they died of CHD.

    Heart surgery was almost impossible before modern anaesthetics, mechanised heart-lung machines, sterilised tools or sanitary wards, so even those few who did survive the shock of the operation would not survive post-operative infection.

    Weight gain in modern children & adults is more a nexus of excess cheap food [for everyone in Western society, no matter how poor, can now afford to eat far more than they need], too much added sugar [esp since the 1950s], overprocessing & lack of exercise. Before the age of low-fat milk kids were too busy outdoors [or working] to get fat, until the age of TV, computer games, the Net, etc.

    It’s worth noting that wealthy children were always larger, often fatter, than poor children, partly because they had access to more food & indulgent parents, but also because they had access to more toys & more books [or any books] indoors, where they were more likely to play & less likely to exercise.

    Medical cardiology actually predates “the advent of industrial seed oils packed with toxic poly-unsaturated fats” by about 50 years. Largely because surgery, along with medicine, was improving & surgeons were taking more risks. Wealthy people were dying from CHD. What do you think Heny VIII died from? A fall from a horse?

    It’s unsurprising that “Even heart surgeons are starting to speak out on the fact that “the science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent.”. The key word there is ALONE. No surgeon claims sat.fat alone causes heart disease, & never has.

    By all means read & post this stuff but do a little background reading & research as well. This article is no more credible than the ‘single study’ re heart disease & fat you keep quoting.

    Living in Australia where all dairy [& beef] cows are rBST-free, grass-fed, & do not live in barns or factory farms, I can see how Americans are being short-changed by an over-mechanised food industry where everything has sugar added.
    I grew up on milk that was pasteurised but not homogenised & arrived in glass bottles.

    No-one here [and I assume in the US] recommends skim milk for children [it actually says so on the container], only for adults, any more than anyone recommends vegetarian or vegan diets for children.

    Having visited the US a number of times [mostly recently returning 2 weeks ago], I can categorically even ordinary bread in California is much sweeter than its supermarket counterpart in Australia. I made do by eating only local organic sourdoughs, which almost tasted like real bread.

    • Sunny says:

      Vegan diets are the healthiest option for children.

    • Ian,

      Unfortunately, children ARE encouraged to drink skim milk in the U.S…. so much so that many public schools are switching their lunch menus to only provide non-fat or reduced fat milk. (I wish it was not that way though!) Just one more reason why parents need to take responsibility for researching things for themselves and feeding/nourishing their children according to that research (and not necessarily the cultural norm).

    • Christie B. says:

      You make assumptions here, just as you are accusing the writer of the blog. You are assuming that the rich were heavier and had more heart disease because of eating more fat. What if it’s because they ate more grains and sugar? That’s an equal possibility (and more likely).

      I will share my family’s experience, knowing that it’s not a scientific study. I am rather sedentary, because I have MS and I am unable to do much exercise. My kids are more sedentary than some, since I am unable to go out with them and get them moving as much as I’d like. We eat a lot of animal fat. Many people would cringe at the quantities that we eat. I am not overweight (but, unfortunately, not in shape), and all my “numbers”, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, etc., are great. My kids are quite thin, and healthy. My oldest has blood work done regularly, as he has type 1 diabetes. His numbers (other than glucose, obviously) are also great. I seriously don’t believe that fat makes people fat. I don’t think there’s any credible evidence pointing to that.

    • Alex says:

      I live in Australia, too. And I work in the local primary school’s tuckshop. We are only allowed to sell low fat milk and yoghurt (although they are flavoured and contain sugar), margarine instead of butter and the convenor usually buys the sugar laden product called low-fat mayonnaise that doesn’t resemble real mayo at all.
      So yes, while low fat or skim milk is not advised for infants, most Australian health professionals advise switching kids to low fat dairy once they reach 2 years of age.
      My kids do very well and are actually quite skinny on human breast milk and full-fat raw grass-fed

  37. […] Everything you wanted to know about skim milk. (Butter Believer) […]

  38. Dan says:

    This article is no more fact based that the fanatical articles i read every day about how vaccination of children is harmful and everyone would be happier and heathier if no one was vaccinated. Due to my work, i happen to be close to small and large organic and conventional dairies. Here are the facts. Organic farms use homeopathic treatment, conventional ones use antibiotics, however due to the high number of people being allergic to antibiotics, every tanker of milk is tested for them and milk is not released if antibiotics are tested in it. Most milk in the US today is rbst free, so no growth hormones either, hower occasionally it still pops up. The biggest difference between organic and conventinal is pesticides from grazing. This is your biggest risk. Small family farms can have just as much pestcides in their water andgrass as a large conventinal farm. Unless a farm has been certified organic, including the water source, you dont know what you are getting. The logic on fat is the writers personal opinion. I drink 2% because i like it, but ff wont kill you. Hair and puss is in all milk, the more natural the source, the more you will have in the milk.

  39. Chris Marke says:

    Sorry, I agree with those that said this article is sensationalized and simply not 100% accurate.

    Many people drink ORGANIC milk with no hormones or rBST, but you write the whole article and make all your conclusions based on non-organic milk.

    Just like politics, people need to keep an open mind when it comes to nutrition, instead of digging your heels into one mentality and just ignoring half the information you hear. I am not a slave to any one “fad”, I read about all diets, lifestyles, etc., and then make my own informed choices. Otherwise, you will only really ever see one side of the coin, which is a very dangerous thing for your health. My opinion.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      So, because there is organic milk available with no hormones, everything I said about non-organic, factory-farmed milk is untrue?

      I’m failing to see the logic, here.

      • Chris Marke says:

        No, I’m saying that why don’t you advise people or make more of a point that organic milk is OK? The whole article seems to bash milk, full stop. I think would be more balanced and more helpful to make that clear. I agree that one should avoid the pus-filled, hormone injected milk like the plague.

        • ButterBeliever says:

          Did you not read the whole post? I think I make it pretty clear at the end by saying this:

          “The best choice is fresh, clean milk from happy cows grazing on the grass of a real farm. Just the way it came from the cow — whole, unprocessed, and with all its nutrients intact. Including the fat.

          You can find real, whole milk from a farm near you in most states, on the directory.”

          I think it’s also fairly clear by the name of this blog that I’m not exactly anti-dairy… lol.

  40. Lynette says:

    Really great write-up with lots of good points. Except one little thing: People *did* drop dead of heart attacks before the late modern era and all the anti-fat hype started. It’s in 19th century literature quite often – fathers dropping of a heart attack with young families left behind, etc. Strokes also hit people – called “apoplexy” in early literature, and written in connection with high-strung people having conniption fits, which tells me they had high blood pressure just like we do. What they didn’t have was a huge percentage of the population being significantly overweight. Which I attribute to bad quality food, way too much of it, and modern conveniences like air conditioning and autos.

  41. Sunny says:

    Thank you for doing your part to inform people about the milk they’ve likely been drinkning their entire lives and are now feeding their children.

    HOwever, real milk is for real baby cows. Human consumption of cow breastmilk is unusual, absolutely unnecessary, and dangerous.

    All dairy cows, even so-called “happy” cows are impregnanted by farmers… They don’t go out and find a partner to mate with just for fun.
    Their babies live in them for 9 months, just like humans, and are taken from them at either day one or day two, and sold to the veal industry which is one of the cruelest industries there is.
    Mama cows need to be impregnanted approximately every 18 months in order to maintain a decent milk supply, which means they’re impregnated over and over throughout their lives and when they’re “spent” after only about 5 years they’re sold to the beef industry.
    Cows can live for 25 years if you let them live out their natural life span.

    By the way, everything I stated is a proven fact and I’d be happy to provide multiple sources for each fact given.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      I appreciate your comment, Sunny. There isn’t any sort of universal law, however, that dictates that each and every dairy farm must rip the calves away from mom and slaughter them for veal, nor that they must be bred every 18 months, nor that they must be culled after 5 years. While this is all quite true for factory farming, many small dairies do things a lot differently. Cows when left to their own devices do breed many times throughout their life, as do most mammals.

    • Karen says:

      Sunny, You sound like you have a very soft heart and the type of farming you speak of does happen, but please don’t set your mind in stone before you check all of you “fact” out……First things first…..Baby cows are called calves and cows do not have breasts they have udders, yes I am being nitpicky.
      You said “All dairy cows, even so-called “happy” cows are impregnanted by farmers… They don’t go out and find a partner to mate with just for fun.”
      I really have to disagree with this. A cow comes into estrus every 21 days, give or take a few….some will moo very loud (it can be heard over 3 miles away) that is their way of letting a bull know they are “ready” to mate, some will jump, knock over, or even plow through fences to go looking for a mate. Not all cows are A’id. My girl had a bull, and she wanted to mate. If a cow is not ready to be bred she will not let a farmer A-I her. And there is no point to try unless she is ready.
      You also said “Their babies live in them for 9 months, just like humans, and are taken from them at either day one or day two, and sold to the veal industry which is one of the cruelest industries there is.”
      This is also untrue, for all farms. My cow is able to raise her calves. There is a HUGE difference in farms, and we can not lump all of them in the same category. You have to look at each individual farm and see first hand how their animals are treated. Some small farms are more cruel than factory farms, it is the people that run them (not the particular place) that allows this to happen….get to know them first before you jugde. Listen to what they do and why they do it, then form an opinion.
      And last, “Mama cows need to be impregnanted approximately every 18 months in order to maintain a decent milk supply, which means they’re impregnated over and over throughout their lives and when they’re “spent” after only about 5 years they’re sold to the beef industry.”
      While the first part of your statement is true, you let your emotions take over the rest. A cow in the wild or in a mixed sex herd will become pregnant a lot sooner than 18 months. Every time they had a calf, they would mate again right after, by choice. That is not what makes the lifespan so short for some cows. It is the unnatural high demands of milk production that does it.

      I see nothing wrong with drinking whole raw milk…..there is nothing “bad” in milk…..unless the cow is sick or something gets into the milk after it is out of the cow.
      Just a side note….a lot of big dairy farms do give medicated feed to their cows. It is not that the cows are injected with antibiotics, they usually ingest them in their daily rations. “Farmers” do this as a preventive measure, mainly for mastitis.

  42. Cammie says:

    We are a raw milk dairy herdshare right outside of Eugene, Oregon. The whole milk off of Jersey cows is the most fulfilling thing you will ever drink, it is amazing. We do sell skimmed milk…we separate the whole milk in a cream separator and then add a small amount of fat back. We offer this to shareholders who would rather not skim the milk themselves and buy cream and butter separately. But we have also found that this is a great transition for people not yet ready to take in the creamy goodness. However we try to encourage that people consume plenty of fat otherwise.

    Great article!

    • ButterBeliever says:

      How wonderful! I recently moved to Portland, but my family is in Seattle and my mom gets to buy raw jersey milk in stores. You’re right, there’s nothing better! Thanks for reading and for your comment, Cammie!

  43. al says:

    What about organic skim milk?? I try to avoid dairy but it is so difficult. I use coconut milk in coffee at home, but use the skim for cooking (mashed potatoes for example) when i get coffee out, it’s typically a little skim or soy, which I know is also not good.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Why do you try to avoid dairy? If you’re intolerant, you might find that raw dairy which has all the enzymes intact to help you digest lactose, etc., doesn’t bother you at all, like several people have pointed out here in the comments. Organic milk is a step up from CAFO milk, because they do have to adhere to more strict regulations especially with regard to the feed, but it’s no guarantee that the cows are on grass pastures, which is what’s really needed to ensure healthy, nutritious milk. Organic milk is also commonly ultra-high-temperature pasteurized, which you definitely want to avoid. See if you can find milk from small, local farms at a health food store. Even if raw milk is illegal in your state, you can still usually find good pasteurized milk from grass-fed farms.

  44. Heather says:

    The is the worst article I have read in my life. While there may be some merit to a few things said about powder processing, you completely undermine any credibility you have with these completely outlandish and uneducated statements about heart disease. Any less incidence of heart disease centuries ago had to do with less sugar consumption, a lower life expectancy altogether, and a lack of medical technology that could even diagnose plaque in the arteries such as we have today. And while people consumed whole fats then, they weren’t also consuming fried fast food, bacon covered meats, and bread dipped in bacon lard (among other things), like we do today. You have provided absolutely no facts about this. Saturated fat and cholesterol not only DOES cause and contribute to heart problems, but they also cause and contribute to a host of other diseases – including some cancers. I suggest you check your facts next time you post something like this.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Oh, boy. I’m so glad I don’t fear eating things like bacon, thinking it’s gonna kill me. What a sad way to live!

      • Loriel says:

        I suggest Heather checks her facts and makes sure all the articles she reads aren’t influenced by Big Food or any other big corporate company that profits off of all the unhealthy rancid vegetable oils on the market.

        I suggest going to the Weston A Price foundation’s website and typing in saturated fats. You can read unbiased information about the REAL facts.

        I myself, enjoy eating bacon and sauteing my veggies in lard. Yum… People who still fear these things sure are missing out.

        Good thing I’m not!

  45. Loretta E says:

    It bugs me that skim milk won’t go somewhere and just die. It also bothers me that the media still praises skim milk…Gar! I used to think skim was better, but now, I know better and wouldn’t touch the stuff! I think Nina Planck’s book Eat Real Food was my wake up call, which I was introduced to in chiropractic school.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Seriously, when is the whole low-fat thing gonna finally go away?! Good for you for educating yourself. Eating natural food makes logical sense. It amazes me how our culture fails to grasp such a basic concept.

      • Alex says:

        So true!
        My father is a surgeon in Germany. Ever since I can remember he has been saying that low-fat is a gimmick, that it won’t help you lose weight and that it is no healthier than the full-fat version of real foods. He has also always said that cholesterol does not cause heart disease. He was the only on saying these thing 30 years ago. Now there are more who agree but the vast majority have swallowed the low-fat trend hook line and sinker and are really really reluctant to even listen to other evidence.

  46. Rachel says:

    What about cream cheese- is it bad or goo? How come I can’t find raw cream cheese at my whole foods market? Is it hard to make?

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Is raw milk legal in your state? If not, you won’t find raw cream cheese. But cream doesn’t need to be raw to be healthy. The fat in dairy survives pasteurization pretty well.

      You can definitely make cream cheese! Well, or at least something that’s pretty similar. I make my own yogurt, and then tie it up and let the whey drip out. At the end of the day, the end product is pretty close to cream cheese. It’s fun to make!

  47. veggiedude says:

    Please! Do not not drink milk intended for a bovine calf.

    No animal in the world drinks milk after it has been weened.

    • Enid McBride says:

      Really!! My dog loves milk I have seen many cats drink milk. I hope you do not drive a car no animals in the world drive cars. I hope you do not cook your food no animal in the world cooks its food. We are intelligent people we should not be following just what unintelligent animals do. Not saying we can not learn from them. Just saying

  48. Sarah says:

    Good article, I am actually an animal science major and I’m in a food science class right now and he talks about this all the time! He always tells us not to waste money on low-fat milk. He told us just the other day that you have to drink 7 gallons of whole milk a day to get the same amount of cholesterol your body will make on its own in that same amount of time.

    On a separate note, in general (I’m not saying their aren’t exceptions) most farmers/ranchers/dairies (at least around here where I live) don’t perpetuate this myth, in fact they are usually busy telling people that whole milk is fine. It is the processing facilities and doctors that spend most of their time telling you how dangerous whole milk is. (Because they are the only ones who really profit from this myth). I say this for 2 reasons 1) a lot of people treat farmers like they are stupid (and I’m not saying some aren’t) but in general they tell the truth and know what’s going on when it comes to the nutrition of food. (and to be honest, local farmers and ranchers don’t really get that much extra profit from people buying low-fat milk vs. whole milk so its not really in their benefit to lie) and 2) because if your going to combat lies on a large scale you must know who is the one lying and while some farmers may be lying most aren’t. But doctors are often misinformed on nutrition. And large scale manufactures (I include factory farmers here because they are NOT farmers they are businessmen who don’t care about their animals or people they just care about profit and don’t deserve the title farmer) are often lying to pad their pockets.

    I hope you don’t mind my post, I just like to put it out there because I want to see the agriculture industry change back to what it was before (local farmers growing for local areas) but to do that we need respect for farmers and people to start demanding factory farming reforms that actually target factory farms (lately most of the reforms just hurt local farmers and do nothing to factory farms-which I know is unintentional, but it just requires the general population to be a little bit more informed then most are, but clearly I am preaching to the choir on that point sense that is what this blog is doing, informing the public).

  49. Cody says:

    If I wanted to buy raw milk and pasteurize it myself how would I go about doing that?

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Yeah you can do that, if you’re really too worried to drink it raw. Just heat it on the stove. This article says to heat it slowly to 145 degrees. But, it’s kind of a waste to do this, if you ask me! To each their own, though.

  50. Enid McBride says:

    We use to get 1% milk all the time thinking it was better for my family. And we kept gaining more and more weight at we used less and less fat and tried to buy everything fat free or at least low fat. Now with learning how important it is to use full fat. Now I try to buy everything full fat. We are working on buying raw also but at $10 a gallon it is a bit expensive. My husband and I stopped gaining weight and have even lost some. My children do not seem to be gaining more then normal anymore.

  51. jill says:

    *shrug* I don’t believe it. My husband drank and loved whole milk and was diagnosed with high cholesterol and high blood pressure at a young age. All we did was switch to skim and his blood pressure and cholesterol levels quickly went to the ideal range for the first time in years.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Dietary cholesterol has almost zero effect on blood cholesterol levels. Your body will produce the cholesterol it needs if you aren’t eating enough of it.

      Cholesterol acts as an antioxidant in the body. If there’s inflammation and free radical damage, you’ll find lots of it around trying to repair the tissues. Inflammation is a great indicator of a poorly-functioning thyroid. That’s why cholesterol tests used to be used only as a test for hypothyroidism, until the pharmaceutical industry decided they could make a lot more money blaming cholesterol on heart disease and pushing statin drugs on everyone.

  52. Chris Horne says:

    Hi there! I am a 64 year old man retired from the South African National Defence Force since 1 July 2009 and live in a suburb of Pretoria called Clubview. My son in Australia sent me your e-mail concerning the lies and nonsense that have been communicated about fat-free or low-fat cows’ milk. I grew up in a family where everyone used only fresh, genuine, untreated, full-cream milk and all my family members were (and are)skinny, disease-free people. I remember clearly how my granddad, after having milked the cows, used to pour the fresh, warm milk into the large stainless steel bowl on top of a “separator” of which I had to turn the handle at a specific speed. At the front of the separator there were 2 pipes – one quite thin and flat where the cream came out slowly and one that was thicker where the “skimmed milk” came out fast. The separator could be set to take out more or to take out less of the cream from the milk. Granddad got much more money for the cream that he sold compared to the price of the “separated” milk but he never, ever set the separator machine to take out more cream. Even the “separated” milk, when it was poured into bottles or other containers, quickly formed a 1cm or more layer of thick yellowish cream at the top. I do not see any such cream on top of the modern containers of so-called full-cream milk any more which means that even the milk that is being sold as “full-cream” has already been put through a separating process where most of the cream is removed. However, I always buy full-cream and my wife and daughter also use full-cream. Thanks for the well-written article. I am forwarding it to all my “skimmed-milk” friends and family members!
    Regards and best of wishes,
    Saturday 15 September 2012

    • Alex says:

      Dear Chris: the main reason you don’t see a layer of cream on top of store-bought full fat milk is that it has been homogenized. This process breaks the fat molecules apart and makes them disperse evenly in the milk without separating out again.

  53. Dick Albright says:

    Best time I ever had was milking grampa’s holsteins on a one-legged stool. I’m 73 and learned to milk early on. Jerseys gave the most cream. Nothing like squirting the row of cats compares. Drink the cold raw whole milk from Bess (Jersey) was like ice-cream. Now probs at my age and still drink whole milk. Sometimes the grassy taste came thru. But leaning your brow against a nice warm flank on a cold day was a waker-upper. Bess liked warm hands. So did my “Sweety”.

  54. Dick Albright says:

    erratta: NO probs vs NOW probs. Chol at 170, iron 44, bp 115/76, heart rate 70, temp 98, donate blood every 8 wks (3 gal club), eat meat, veg, V8, VA Doc says healthy as a horse. Mine’s a Qtr-Appy beauty.
    Mom’s 97, farm girl–drinks whole milk. Two-toned milk in bottles? I miss the un-homogenized separated cream at the top for coffee. I still have some old glass quarts and milk cans.

  55. This is a great post, very informative. I have been wanting to write about regular milk for awhile. We switched to raw milk more than a year ago and we love it, but I can’t convince my husband to switch. I wrote about it here:

  56. Pilar says:

    It’s interesting, but how true is this whole article?

  57. Jim says:

    Thanks for helping to chip away at the very persistent fat myths. Commercial milk doesn’t agree with me in any form but I recently had quite a bit of fresh raw milk from my mothers farm on a visit. No problems at all with it. She often makes it into kefir which is incredibly health for your digestive system.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Not surprised! When you kill off all the digestive enzymes that are supposed to be in the milk, it can be pretty difficult to digest (imagine that). Good for you for recognizing the difference! Thank you for your comment, Jim.

  58. John says:


    Saying that heart disease did not exist in the 18th century is like saying the sun used to revolve around the sun. In that time nobody knew what the CAUSE of death was or they did not live long enough to develop bad hearts.
    If you wan to go back to how it was in 1900, go for it. Average life expectancy was 46.3 for men and 48.3 for women. By 1950 that had shot up to 65.6 and 71.1. By the end of the century it was 73.8 and 79.5

  59. Loriel says:

    What an unbelievably fantastic article! Very easy to understand and straight to the point. I’m sharing this on my facebook! Thank you for writing this!

    I used to eat fat-free everything until I got introduced to the WAPF. Now, myself and my family are enjoying raw whole milk, raw cheese and full fat everything! :)

    Butter is better, that’s for sure!

  60. Bryan says:

    I can’t comment on everything in this article, but talk about a scare tatic.

    First, how do you think they get 2% milk, or even “whole” milk with a consistant 3.25% fat? Thats right people, they make skim milk out of it all, then add a measured amount of the fat and milk solids back in.

    I know nothing about the dangers of powdered milk, but if they are real, then we have so much more to worry about then just skim milk. That is used in so many things it’s not even funny.

    healthy fats do not curb your appetite. To be technical on that one, simple carbs block the hormones/chemicals that tell your brain your full. Ever eat way too much chinese, only to finish knowing you’re going to be hungry again in 2 hours… the power of simple carbs. Try not eating the rice/noodles next time.

    And to start off your article saying that dairy has always been eaten in it’s whole form is just rediculous. People 100+ years ago ate every part of anything edible. Ever hear of eating your kurds and whey? Whey is the original skim milk, and people have been drinking it since they figured out how to make cheese.

    Now I’m not going to say processed foods are good for you, but the little truths in this article are hidden by all the exagerations. Is skim milk going to make me skinny… no. Is it worse than the ultra-pasturized dairy creamers you put in your coffee? Probably not.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      If you read the post, it’s pretty clear that I’m not advocating any processed milk — skim, 3.25%, “ultra-pasteurized dairy creamers” or otherwise. My suggestion is to get fresh, unprocessed milk from healthy, grass-fed cows on small, local farms.

      I’m failing to see how you think that fermenting whole milk, and then eating both parts, isn’t eating the milk in its whole form. Do you understand what curds and whey are?

      I’m also a little sad that you’re afraid of Chinese food. Rice and noodles all the way, baby.

  61. […] fat free doesn’t mean it’s good for you.   Check this out, and stick with whole foods xoxo Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  62. […] Believer writes an excellent post on why skim milk isn’t good for you. Love, love, […]

  63. Rebecca says:

    I am so thankful I have access to pure, raw Jersey cow milk. I have not drank store bought milk for years. Thanks for the article :)

  64. […] believe a traditional diet is quite healthy, I’m not posting this here for dietary reasons. I’m sharing this because reason #6 is applicable to this site and its mission. It says skim milk won’t […]

  65. […] to try to convince my friends and family to switch from skim to whole milk by sneaking whole milk into every recipe, drink, etc that I can. Some say that just […]

  66. […] Think fat-free milk is healthy?   Butter Believer hits another home run with this great post that explains why skim milk is NOT a […]

  67. […] • AND, to go along with my recent post on Raw Milk Reasons – Part 2: What is Raw Milk and Why Pasteurize It, this post shares some GREAT and shocking info if you Think Fat-Free Milk is Healthy. […]

  68. […] Take away the cake mix and what do you have? Oh yes, fat free yogurt. You know, yogurt isn’t naturally fat-free. So fat-free yogurt is… well, unnatural. I mean, consider the bad news that comes from producing skim milk. […]

  69. RFD says:

    I started reading this article with interest and agreement…until I got to the part about the heart attacks. Let me clarify my position on commercial milk first, so you can see I’m not a proponent of factory farming.

    As a child in the early 1950s, I was on a medical diet and was only allowed to drink skim milk. It was thin, watery, and tasted gross; however, I couldn’t digest the fats in whole milk (or the fats in any animal product), so this was necessary. Back then, our milk came in bottles from a local dairy, and we often went on Sunday drives that went past that dairy where we could see the cows grazing on the grass in the pastures. I doubt antibiotics were added to their feed.

    Of course, now, that’s not the case. Factory farming is the curse of our century. But I’m now completely lactose intolerant…can’t handle even raw milk or yogurt or Cheddar cheese, a cheese that has very little lactose in it. So, skim or whole milk is not an issue for me.

    In the 19th century and before, many heart attacks and heart disease-related deaths were labeled as dropsy or some other ailment. Autopsies were seldom done, and doctors knew much less about diseases. But heart attacks did indeed exist before factory farms. They were more rare, true, but people also worked harder and ate less meat. The Industrial Revolution is more responsible for the increase in heart disease than skim milk has ever been. As society gained machines to do the work and cities grew, fewer people ate properly: the poor who left the dwindling farms were malnourished in the cities, and the rich ate more and more of food that only they could afford…white bread, a lot more meat, more calories, etc….and did less and less physical activity.

    While I am against factory farms and huge food producing companies that get their ingredients from overseas sources where testing for quality and safety is not as strict as here (and it’s not even strict enough in the US), it’s using the same sort of scare tactics with unsubstantiated and incorrect statements, like the “no heart attacks” part, as the big companies use to sell their products filled with chemicals and dyes and increase their profits at the cost of human suffering.

    I would have been a lot more inclined to believe your article if you had not tried that strategy.

    • David Grim says:

      Thank you for your input. This is pretty radical and I am suspicious but want to keep an open mind.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Good grief. Yeah, I’m real interested in “scaring” people into drinking fresh, quality whole milk.

      I’m not a marketing strategist. I’m a blogger. Heart disease is a modern illness. Whole, natural foods are healthy. I think it’s pretty easy to see that’s all I’m getting at, here.

  70. David Grim says:

    Would like to hear a differing opinion. This is such a contrarian point of view I would like to hear another opinion. I am not disagreeing but do want more information before I start drinking WHOLE mild.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      A differing opinion? Or another person or organization’s opinion supporting my statements?

      I think you understand that the information I’m presenting is far from mainstream. It’s contrarian, as you pointed out. It’s not very difficult to find differing opinions to this. Any typical mainstream, industry/government agency backed source of nutrition advice will tell you that saturated fat is unhealthy. It’s not. Good for you for questioning that.

  71. Correna says:

    Wow, There are a lot of comments on this post. I have to tell you that your post is right on track and I for one am pleased at how straight forward you are. To all the comments that are negative: I believe that she is just trying to show how to eat and drink foods that are real and whole, and therefore good for you. So don’t knock until you have health problems from the garbage and have to change what you put into your stomach. That is what has happened to me, she is right.
    Thank you for your post, I am now following your posts and have a long story, but understand what you are saying. Looking forward to the rest of your site and learning more of the right kinds of eating. Have a great day.

  72. […] to use whole, organic, raw milk.  By the way, if you are still drinking skim milk, read theses Fat-Free Skim Milk Secrets and learn why that’s probably a waste of your money and food-consuming […]

  73. […] milk is WHOLE (not skim, 1% or 2%). By the way, if you are still drinking skim milk, read theses Fat-Free Skim Milk Secrets and learn why that’s probably a waste of your money and food-consuming […]

  74. Sarah says:

    This is why I’m so glad our Kroger carries Homestead Creamery dairy products! They are local ish, and while not USDA Organic (face it, if you’re reading this, how much faith can you possibly have in the USDA?) they do let their cows out to pasture and eat grass and do whatever cows do. If you’re in the VA, NC, WV, DC area, check out Homestead Creamery and see if that’s an option for you, if you’re a dairy-lover.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Great tip, Sarah! There are plenty of small dairies out there that are doing the right thing and producing good, healthy products, but don’t have the cash it takes to pay for the USDA organic label. And you’re right, that label doesn’t always mean the brand is trustworthy.

  75. We milk our own goats for GORGEOUS, RAW, GRASS-FED MILK. We drink it WHOLE, without any reduction in fat. Goat’s milk even has more butterfat % than Cow’s milk.

    Since we started drinking our own raw, whole milk 3 years ago my husband and I’s cholesterol levels each dropped 30 points! (My husband even has a family history of heart disease)

    We drink FULL FAT milk, butter, cheese, yogurt and LOVE IT!

    And yes, animals can be healthy and give milk without any vaccines, anti-biotics, de-wormers or hormones!

  76. Ros says:

    Regarding the arguments for and against when the first heart attack happened and whether or not heart disease was around, just not known about. I’d like to put to the neh sayers, that autopsy techniques haven’t changed that much in the last hundred years! Yes pathology techniques have changed grossly, but that only affects what the human eye cannot see.

    The techniques of autopsy have remained much the same and diagnosis back at the turn of the century was based on what could be seen with the eye. I don’t know when microscopes were invented or if they were also used around this time. Artery hardening and plaque formations are quite grossly obvious to the naked human eye, so it is quite possible that heart disease was simply not around back then!

  77. […] formulas are introduced. And when allergies are present they get switched to cow’s milk, often skim or fat free. Baby starts having digestive issues and problems such as: vomiting, diarrhea or severe stomach […]

  78. […] based formulas are introduced. And when allergies are present they get switched to cow’s milk, often skim or fat free. Baby starts having digestive issues and problems such as: vomiting, diarrhea or severe stomach […]

  79. […] de soja son introducidas. Y cuando las alergias están presentes, pasan al bebe a la leche de vaca, a menudo descremada o sin grasa. El bebé comienza a tener problemas digestivos y problemas como: dolor de estómago, vómitos, […]

  80. […] de soja son introducidas. Y cuando las alergias están presentes, pasan al bebe a la leche de vaca, a menudo descremada o sin grasa. El bebé comienza a tener problemas digestivos y problemas como: dolor de estómago, vómitos, […]

  81. […] based formulas are introduced. And when allergies are present they get switched to cow’s milk, often skim or fat free. Baby starts having digestive issues and problems such as: vomiting, diarrhea or severe stomach […]

  82. Jeremy Escamilla says:

    Its funny how you say that nobody had heart attacks prior to industrialization, then you say that cardiology was not around until industrialization. Just saying..
    P.S. good information to know about the milk.

  83. trajayjay says:

    so much conflicting info? how do i know what i should eat.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      I know, it’s so hard to wade through all the advice out there. For me, I just focus on common sense, which sometimes needs to be based on the science of human physiology to make sense. Especially with the whole, “fat makes you fat” thing. That does seem to make sense, but if you learn more about how the human body works, it stops sounding logical. But much of the rest of it is easy– is something made in a factory with 50 ingredients that you can’t pronounce (i.e., a “veggie” burger) going to be healthier for you than something that can be grown on a farm (grass-fed ground beef)? Eating natural things is key.

      I’m putting together an ebook with all my recommendations for nutrition and other stuff which will be out next month. My goal is to simplify everything and make it easy for anyone to do the whole “real food” and healthy eating thing. Because it is really hard to figure all this out when you’re exposed to so many differing opinions. Common sense and listening to my body is what works for me.

  84. […] The Skimming of Milk 8Reference: Butter Believer […]

  85. Leslie says:

    So does nonfat dry milk contain nitrates from the manufacturing process?

  86. […] In case you hadn’t heard, skim milk isn’t necessarily good for you. […]

  87. […] Butter Believer asks: Think Fat-Free Milk is Healthy? 6 Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim […]

  88. […] 1 cup of whole, fresh milk {unpasteurized if possible but plain old pasteurized is fine – make sure to use whole and not skim or 1% or even 2%!} […]

  89. mark says:

    so whats the deal in a nut shell what is the best milk for you ?

  90. chapsmack says:

    I believe that raw milk is best for you, so I agree with most of what you say in this article. However, to say that “no one had heart attacks around the turn of the century” can’t be true.

  91. Conrad says:

    Hi…just had to add my Thank You for this article…my mother grew up in wartorn Germany, in a town…a kind of farm girl. As she was raising us here in America she was way ahead of her time, in terms of nutrition and raising us on a healthy diet.

    When the whole hoopla came up over “No Fat” and “Skim Milk” she would just roll her eyes and let out a deep sigh…she would remind us: “Whole Fat!”…”Butter, not Margerine”…she had a real “organic”, down-home mentality that I enjoy to this day as my philosophy of nutrition…I just ride the Waves of Local Fads and Hysteria and enjoy Life more abundantly!

    Thanks again for your post and website. 😉

    • CATT says:

      Loved your post about your mother. I come from German stock, too, and we didn’t fall for the decades of mind numbing hoopla and propaganda.

  92. Cindy Green says:

    While I agree with everything you wrote in your article, and I buy grass fed milk from an Amish neighbor, and I don’t agree with factory farming, the caption under your wastewater picture is not true.
    Dairy cows do not stand in knee deep in their own waste..I have worked at several of these places and pens are kept in as good as shape as possible. Beef factory farms are a whole nother story!!!

    • CATT says:

      Come to Ramona, CA and you will see cows in hock deep mud and feces. Their calves are born in this mess and more than once I have seen a calf dead and lying in this mess for a day or two.

  93. DB says:

    I have never believed skim milk to be healthy…we either drink raw or none at all (my family, not my licensed daycare…I can’t even have our family milk in the same fridge as the daycare milk!). The new standards state that we are required to serve skim or 1% milk to all children over the age of 2. We can give 2% milk to a child 12-24 months. Yet another ridiculous rule thanks to Michelle Obama!!!!

    • Jess Olsen says:

      nothing pisses me off more than having my daughter drink 1% milk for their milk break and nothing less than 2% at lunch… man did I give that school a piece of my mind.. needless to say I don’t participate in that program I do make them refrigerate her whole milk every day when I bring it in. My son who is 2 1/2 goes to daycare good to know that law now I shall bring my own milk when he goes there :)

    • CATT says:

      Yes, unfortunately, fools rule the world.

  94. Natalie says:

    You did a great job on this post! Thanks for putting it all together for us. :)

  95. heather says:

    As a doctor who grew up in dairy country, I find several of your exaggerated claims to be poorly supported and offensive.

  96. CATT says:

    “liquid milk is forced through tiny holes at very high pressure, which causes the cholesterol in the milk to oxidize, and toxic nitrates to form. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, while unoxidized cholesterol from unprocessed foods is actually an antioxidant to help fight inflammation in the body.” This is also done with full fat pasteurized milk. It’s called homogenization. So, pasteurized whole milk and skim milk are adulterated beyond any other food; pasteurization or cooking milk at high temps destroys all nutrition in the milk and homogenization breaks down the fat particles so they get into the blood vessels too easily causing plaque build up. Whole raw milk is the best if you’re going to drink milk. Always, unprocessed everything is best.

  97. RealFoodFarmer says:

    Would you please correct the grammar for #4? It should say “It” instead of “It’s” in the heading. I want to pass this article on but I know a couple friends who that grammar mistake would be a major distraction from the message.

    Thanks! Great article! I’m going to pass it on to my less-aware family members and friends :)

  98. Maggie says:

    My husband is lactose intolerant and skim is the only milk he will drink…I have read raw milk is ok for him, but there are two issues convincing him of that and finding it local to DC…and your link isn’t working right, it might be my computer so will try again later…

  99. Laura says:

    As a dietician and food scientist I can honestly say that about 75% of this article is scare tactics. Sure there are flaws in the system: the FDA allows a certain amount of insect parts into your granola bars. The truth is that as humans, we can really eat just about anything and live through it, and probably even benefit from it. Milk has so many health benefits and this whole anit-dairy fad is going to hurt us all in the long run. Just like any other food, the key to doing it right is spelled MODERATION. Don’t believe everything in this article.

    One thing that is true: Dietary fat and cholesterol are not related to blood cholesterol and heart disease. We have trans fats to blame for that more than anything else, along with a long list of stuff that can be completely avoided by avoiding processed foods, medication and a lazy lifestyle.


  100. fishscribe says:

    I only have experience with my own personal metabolism, but when I eat a high calorie diet which include whole milk and butter, I gain weight. About 7 years ago, I weighed 286. I switched to skim milk, low calorie low fat margarine, and artificial sweetners. I now weigh about 245. I didn’t change my exercise habits. This might not work for everybody, but it does for me.

  101. Gina p says:

    I would like to know how relevant all this is in Canada. Being pregnant right now, I am especially aware and careful of what I put in and on my body. For some reason I am l

    • Renee says:

      As a farmer in Canada, I know that dairy cows are not fed antibiotics. Antibiotics may be given to the cows if they are ill, but then their milk is withheld from the rest (and dumped down the drain) until past the withdrawl time. A sample is taken from the bulk tank on each farm as the truck picks it up (and those are all tested) and each truck is tested before it is emptied at the processor. If there happens to be ANY antibiotic residue on the load, the entire load is dumped out and the farmer responsible has to pay for the whole truckload of milk.
      The milk from each farm is also tested for the somatic cell count, which is a measurement of how many white blood cells are present in the milk. White blood cells are the infection fighters in our body and so an elevated white blood cell presence on a dairy farm (or an elevated SCC) is a signal that there may be an infection that a cow is fighting. Farmers get notifications of any high SCC counts and then will take action by studying their cows closer and if necessary treating (and removing the milk from) any ill cows.
      Even cows that are fed grain still have a large part of their diet as forage (grass and legume, often alfalfa) based. This is usually a combination of hay (dried) and silage (fermented) and still sometimes fresh forages. Although in most of Canada it is not possible to feed fresh forages for a good part of the year because of the extended winter (especially this year).
      It is illegal in Canada for dairy farmers so inject cows with BST (or rBGH as it is called here), so there are no added hormones in any milk.
      All farmers that I know (and that is a lot!) care about their animals and the land and do their best to grow a healthy food while protecting and improving the land that they use to grow it. Most of these farms are mid-sized; family owned operations that may be corporations to make the transfer to the next generation easier with less taxes involved. I have also seen larger dairy farms in Canada that milk a few hundred to a couple of thousand cows. These farms are super clean and the cows are clean and content. The farmers are using new technologies to improve the lives of their animals, land and themselves.
      Here is the blog of a dairy farmer (she is an American) who addresses a lot of the issues that she faces and there are a lot of similarities in Canada.

  102. Sarah B. says:

    If you have a problem with the creamy texture of whole milk then I don’t think it’s a problem to dilute a little with pure, filtered water. I’ve done this when I’m running low on my raw milk. What are your thoughts on this?
    I have pledged to never buy milk at the store again. I used to get the ultra pasteurized organic horizon milk back in the day…now I’ve learned that is has no food value left in it. My poor kids!
    Thanks for a great post!

  103. […] Another myth busted here – Butter Believer takes on the notion that skim milk is “healthy.” […]

  104. Emma says:

    This post is perfect. Now, how to get everyone in this country to read this right now…

  105. Janet says:

    @Laura – I am shocked by your statement that

    “The truth is that as humans, we can really eat just about anything and live through it, and probably even benefit from it.”

    How exactly do you see your role as a dietician and food scientist?? It would appear you have no advice to give as you think it is ok to eat anything. I am sure the people reading this blog would rather be given some well researched information highlighting the bad practice that goes on in the food industry than be told – they can eat anything.

    I am not sure why you are even bothering to read this article if that is your opinion.

  106. Kate says:

    Cow’s milk is produced by cows to feed their infant young until the babies are old enough to graze. I nursed my infants with human milk until they were old enough to consume enough calories and nutrition from table foods. I see no need for humans to drink cow’s milk at all.

  107. geri collins says:

    I recently switched to whole milk from 2% because I read that it is better for you due to less processing. Imagine my suprise when I saw that skim milk was listed second on the list of ingredients in the milk I bought! FYI the dairy council is now trying to get the FDA to allow them to add aspartame to milk products w/o adding it to the list of ingredients! They are arguing that it would only be HONEST and FAIR to leave it off as they are not required to list sugar. You can comment on this proposed regulation at until May 21st.

    • Renee says:

      The FDA wants to add aspartame only to ‘flavoured’ milks such as chocolate, and other flavours on the shelf. It wants to not label the aspartame on the front of the bottles, but it WILL be listed in the ingredient list on the back.

  108. […] Butter Believer: Think skim milk is healthy? Think again. Here’s 6 reasons to ditch the skim milk. […]

  109. In my mind, milk will forever be UNHEALTHY and will not be included in my diet. I understand that Grass-Fed/Finished may be far healthier, but I never felt good drinking milk, so I will not allow it back in my life.

  110. Luke says:

    If anyone wonders whether or not people were dying from un-diagnosed heart attacks,remember that ANYTHING natural is better than ANYTHING un-natural.This would include real ,whole milk.There is just too much real science that says saturated fat is not only NOT BAD for you,it’s actually necessary to be truly healthy.Eat well!

  111. freewayryder says:

    Skim milk is a migraine trigger for me,,whole milk doesnt trigger so something they add gives me headaches, Istopped drinking it many years ago and,,nothing wrong with real butter in moderation,,

  112. Tony Marcus says:

    This is nonsense: “no one had heart attacks around the turn of the century”….you just state that as though it was an established fact. Plenty of people died of heart disease a hundred years ago, AND the average lifespan was short enough that many people who would likely have died of it didn’t live long enough to do so. Why do you insist on mixing facts (like the additives in skim milk) with outright untruths? All this does is make people think everything you’re saying is unreliable.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Because this is a blog, not a medical journal. I’m entitled to entertain, exaggerate, and write whatever I want. If hundreds of thousands of people hadn’t already read it, I’d probably go back and edit to mean what I actually meant, which was that “*virtually* no one had heart attacks.” Because virtually no one did. But margarine had already been invented fifty years prior, plus the advent of vegetable shortening was already giving people heart attacks by that time. Go back 150 years though, and heart disease was nearly nonexistent before that.

  113. Julie Graber says:

    Saturated Fat protects our bodies, it does not cause heart disease, period. My dad had a heart attack at 57 years old, I went in for all the tests – just to see. So they start with me filling out what I eat, etc. After answering all these questions, according to the American Medical Association and American Heart Association – I am one moment away from having a heart attack. My risks were off the charts. One of the biggest reasons is I have a very high intake of saturated fats; butter, milk, grass fed meats, eggs. So the next test is an ultrasound to see if everything is in working order, it is! Well off to the last person, she gets to check my blood, the first think she says to me, Wow your triglyceride levels are amazing – this is a sign of a really healthy diet!! This was several years ago, I do not even remember my numbers. What I do remember is how excited the nurse was to see the kind of numbers I had – do you know what I believe really screw up your numbers, not enough healthy fats and to much sugar!!! So these wars people have going on, I am not saying people have to eat meat, but please do not forget to eat your fats!! Which is going to include butter, coconut oil, fish oil and raw milk.

  114. […] you shouldn’t drink skim […]

  115. […] Tired of everyone telling you that you need to drink more fat-free milk? This week I found the Butter Believer, Emily. I’m hooked. Check out this awesome post: Think Fat-Free Milk is Healthy? 6 Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim. […]

  116. Julie says:

    I having read The China Study, think all dairy is non compatible with humans. Milk from cows is designed for their calves, not for us, and therefore neither skimmed nor whole is good for us. DrCampbell who wrote The China Study was not employed by anyone to get the results he did, therefore I have to say I believe his findings. we all eat too many animals end of.

  117. Quaya says:

    I remember the first time I was told what milk was made of, essentially fat and water. Even as a 4th grader I dismissed skim milk as being almost worthless, if they take all the fat out of it all you are left with is cloudy water, or so I thought in elementary school.

  118. […] you have switched from whole to skim milk to cut fat from your diet, you have unknowingly added something much worse. Low fat milk, or skim […]

  119. Lucille says:

    I drink the most inexpensive milk.

  120. […] having light milk in your coffee to avoid that “weight gain”? Well cast your eye over this.  If you want to include dairy in your diet, be aware of the facts.  Include full fat dairy, […]

  121. […] list? I searched the internet and couldn’t find anything about it. Finally, I came across this post from Butter Believer. So…I don’t really know what to believe!! Are there any milk […]

  122. Great article, thanks for sharing! I have linked it up on two of my post this week to make sure people read it.

  123. […] Until this week, I hadn’t drunk full cream milk for about 14 years. Instead, I had been drinking skim milk, soy milk, rice milk, and, more recently, almond milk. The reason for my re-conversion can be derived from and is summarised in my food philosophy. Simply put there is so much processing that goes on in making skim milk, soy milk, etc and little nutritional benefits that can be gained from drinking almond milk, that if I was going to be consuming milk – which is fairly rare I guess for me – then it was going to be the most whole and complete milk I could find. You might be interested in this article – 6 secrets you didn’t know about skim milk […]

  124. I recently found a small produce store that sell organic products. They sell full fat milk and cream from a local dairy in returnable glass bottles. It’s pasturized but not homogenized. What a difference! It’s delicious and as an added benefit… no plastic!

  125. Custom Taste says:

    We believe my husband has somewhat of a lactose or whey intolerance. He can drink goat milk no problem but full fat cow’s milk gives him an upset stomach. But he can eat organic butter and organic non-fat yogurt with no problem as well. Should we try switching to a full-fat organic yogurt to avoid any added sugars or do you think it fine the way we have it right now? After hearing so much controversy over low-fat/non-fat anything I have been getting so confused.

  126. […] polyunsaturated fat, you’ll stop cooking in soy oil. When you know what goes into that nasty skim milk that you’ve been told you need to drink, you’ll switch to whole. When you see the […]

  127. Whole Story says:

    This is a good article. To gain a better understanding of the issues of manufactured food versus natural food, read “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” by Weston Price. No doubt raw milk is good for you and so are all the other raw/natural foods.

  128. what a lot of comments!! due to a dairy intolerance i’ve not had any sort of milk for about 5 years. and it’s not just lactose but lactose, whey and casein…even so my girls and i didn’t drink as much milk is recommended, though no idea why. always promoted water over anything else.

    i’m definitely going to share this article. thank you for taking the time to write about it!

  129. Christianna says:

    Quick question:
    We’ve been buying raw milk from our local farmers for YEARS now! Just recently, I started sucking the fat off the top of our raw milk with a baster because my kefir seems happier when I do this and we get the cream! Do you think this is okay for me to “upset” the chemistry of the milk by skimming off the cream? My kefir does seem to do better, but now I’m wondering if I should just leave it be!
    Thanks!!! (I do leave some of the fat.)

  130. Mona Greer says:

    I agree with everything you said about milk…..I still prefer whole milk, but have gone to 2%, my daughter thinks it’s better for me :) Occasionally I will buy a gal. of whole milk tho.
    But she buys 2% for her 11 yr. old daughter and the rest of the family.She doesn’t drink milk herself…but she buys low fat yogurt, low fat everything….cooks nothing with oil in it….I keep telling her she needs a certain amt. of oil….uses splenda, and I tell her how bad that is for her….so I am forwarding her this article to read…..thanks for posting it…..I still eat butter, do not like margarine, have 2 sisters who eat margarine and I keep telling them how bad it is for them…..thinking I may go back to whole milk too…..on the Dr.Oz show this week, they had 2 doctors on who now say that everything we have been told about cholesterol is now wrong… who are we suppose to believe ?????

  131. Alex says:

    Reading your blog makes me want to go and pour myself a nice big glass of the lovely full-fat, grass-fed, raw milk from a farmer only 20 minutes from my place that I have in my fridge… mmmm…
    I don’t consume tons of it. I believe in everything in moderation. But when I want to have milk only this will do. It also makes delicious kefir and my kids prefer the flavour of the full-fat raw milk compared to the non-fat rubbish their grandparents serve them.

  132. Meagan says:

    Skim milk from raw milk is different.

  133. Cherie says:

    I was wondering if anyone has heard, or has any information regarding something a pediatric CRNP told me last week when I disclosed that my children drink whole milk. She claimed that milk causes “tearing” of the stomach because we “are the only animals that drink milk beyond infancy.” I’ve hear the milk=cholesterol=heart disease nonsense, but this one sort of broadsided me. I’m guessing there’s little truth to this too. Anyone have any info?

    • tamouse says:

      In adults (and adolescents), one can become lactose intolerant, and what such people feel is in fact tearing of the stomach and intestine (micro-tears, but still can be quite painful). This is the acid that is doing this. Eating dairy that has been de-acidified (is that a word?) can be done, usually harder cheeses naturally contain far less lactose.

  134. Sue Murray says:

    Cow milk was never really intended for human consumption BUT in its original unpasteurized whole form, it was a lot healthier. Cow milk was made for baby cows. Then I heard how cows used to poop and pee into the milk pail while being milked…until more modern technology was invented. Human breast milk was intended for human babies. Yes, I use real butter as well as Smart Balance. We buy pasteurized whole milk at our local grocery stores because we don’t live on a farm and we don’t own a cow. Thanks for allowing me to type this.

  135. Luke says:

    I was raised on raw milk as are my children. I have always felt that anytime man tries to improve on what God’s nature provides it becomes poison to the body.

  136. Deborah Gray says:

    i dont like whole milk too creamy is there an alternative ?

    • tamouse says:

      For an adult, milk itself is not a necessary part of one’s diet. But one should still consume some form of dairy, even if minimal. I make my own greek-style yogurt at home (plain, no jams and jellies and other such things added).

      Here again, though, the food industry has convinced people that eating non-fat yogurt with aspartamed sweeteners and cooked fruit is better than eating whole milk yogurt plain.

      • Bouncedancer says:

        tamouse, WHY should one consume some form of dairy? I believe it’s toxic to most people, and the lactose isn’t the half of it — the real problem is the toxic milk protein casein, which only one other person (so far) has mentioned. Yes, it causes tears (anal fissure being an extreme example). Asians do quite well without dairy.

  137. CarolMay says:

    Hey, I remember when skim milk was bluish… If you drink skim milk before they add chalk and stuff too it would that be fine?

    I also know for a fact that the powdered milk clogs your arteries, my father had enough heart surgeries that the surgeons told him were directly related to the powdered milk he put in his tea (powdered creamer = edible oil product)

    • tamouse says:

      Just to note: powdered coffee creamers don’t contain dairy of any kind; powdered milk is something else (but still rather unhealthy, over all).

  138. KATHEE ALLEN says:

    My only thought is that years ago… before low fat milk… people worked a lot harder than we do now… and long hours.. what’s your thought on that aspect?

  139. Peg Shambo says:

    I only drink full fat milk. Skim and even 2% milk make me want to gag.

    In addition, the differences in calories and fat content are minimal in the whole scheme of one’s total diet. Sure, if you are only consume milk 24/7, then you need to see a shrink. Even babies need while milk to thrive.

    I don’t drink a lot of milk. In fact it often spoils and gets dumped down the drain before a quart gets consumed. I occasionally will make chocolate milk and do use milk in cooking. The rare bowl of cereal gets some milk into me.

  140. Diane Schier says:

    I used to be married to a dairy farmer and we raised 4 kids on the 4% raw milk we sold. I still only buy whole milk and real butter! When I go to anyone’s house, I BYOB (bring your own BUTTER!)…..My cholesterol has always been perfect!..My friends always think it’s impossible because of my dairy habits! I have made a few converts in my day. Keep spreading the facts!!!!! Thanks

  141. Summer Holt says:

    Although I did enjoy reading this article, it is not enough to convince me to GIVE UP my skim milk. I don’t drink ENOUGH for it to matter either way so I am obviously not concerned. My son drinks organic whole milk and that is what matters to me. ***I would like to add that none of us are perfect, we are all human and make mistakes, eat bad food, over processed food, ASPERTAME, ETC. ETC.*** I feel that as long as we do something good one day, or try, eventually our small good habits will get bigger, and eventually our lifestyles will change. RANT OVER :)

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Maybe your small change could be switching to skim milk from a smaller, local dairy so it’s grass-fed? My biggest concern with conventional skim milk is that it comes from factory farms.

      I really appreciate your comment, Summer. Small, positive changes are good changes!

  142. Brittany says:

    I have 2 small boys and our family is only growing…as it is, we go through 5 gallons a week!! instead of buying organic (and honestly didn’t know there was such a thing as raw milk currently available until recently), we exclusively buy our milk from Braums since theirs is RBGH free. I basically deemed it to be organic without going through the red-tape an expense of being certified organic. The taste is far superior to supermarket milk and I understand that they don’t bleach their milk, but I must ask what your take on Braums milk is???!

    We buy whole milk for the baby, but the rest of us are drinking 1%. As self professed “MILK MONSTERS” I have to strike a comfortable place between expense and health.

    Enjoyed the article!

  143. […] (okkkay…..A LOT of ice cream. Whatever. Gosh!) and enjoyed my popcorn with real butter. I switched to whole milk which cut down on buying SKIM MILK for breakfast and HALF & HALF for my coffee. Beside, whole […]

  144. tamouse says:

    I think this is a great post, with one minor quibble (and it’s really
    just a matter of interpretting things).

    Point 3 is stated as a property of skim milk, but it is most
    definitely a property of all mass-produced milk; while you do very
    much say that one should seek milk outside the mass dairy industry,
    someone skimming (tl;dr) might miss that it’s not just skim milk. By
    the time you do get to talking about it, it’s way down the page away
    from that part.

    Again, a minor quibble, but it’s information that might lead someone

    On the whole, I agree with this article very much; the whole shift to
    “FAT IS EVIL” was happening when I was a child. My mom only gave us
    skim milk to drink, and worked to cut out all fat from our diet. Yet
    fed us scads of carbs and sugar, and so on. Needless to say, we’re all
    way overweight, she, my sister and I all have diabetes, and other
    metabolic problems. Fat is not the evil; fat is *necessary*, more so
    than highly cultivated and processed carbs that abound everywhere.

    I think it’s really hard to know what to believe, and whom to
    believe. What I do believe, for me, having lived with the “no fat,
    high carb” sort of diet, and then switching to something that seemed
    counter-intuitive based on what I was taught, a low-low carb, high
    vegetable and fruit, and reasonable protein and fat, turned my life
    around. So I do know what works for me, and that is it.

    I am sure there are some people who cannot drink milk and consume
    other dairy; certainly there are whole cultures that live that way and
    thrive. So it’s not a blanket one-size-fits-all thing, and never will
    be. However, drinking skim milk just never seems like a good idea.

    (I should note, I do not like the taste of whole milk, and used to
    love the taste of the blue skim milk, but have not since they made it

  145. AleLue says:

    I totally agree with this article! My hubby & daughter drink whole milk & are completely healthy & active. They also don’t like sweets or eat much junk food. I drink skim milk, drink diet soda, & am still over-weight. It comes down to activity level & junk food. Whole milk is not making America fat, it’s everything else.

  146. Derrick says:

    This article is full of bad science and poor conclusions. Point 1 is dead on, and in dairy land skim milk is usually cheaper. Point 3 is irrelevent. Yes, there are lots of unhealthy hormones and antibiotics, but those are same whether it is skim milk or whole milk. They are also a tiny fraction of they stuff you get in most meats, and less damaging than the pesticides on commercial lettuce and some fruits. Go organic if you want, but don’t boycott skim milk. Point 4 is the most laughable. First of all, milk contains protein, vitamin D, and most importantly, calcium. If skim milk lacks those essential nutrients, then whole milk, which displaces some of those nutrients with fat, is even less nutritious. The notion that fat soluable vitamins can only be absorbed if the dish has fat in it, or that Americans somehow don’t get enough fat in their diets are both totally 100% wrong. Finally, point 5 that it does not help you lose weight is wrong. I can site study after study showing people who eat low fat dairy and/or low fat diets lose weight, have lower BMI, etc. That is why smart athletic trainers, from professional sports to bodybuilders to medical rehab trainers all promote low-fat dairy.

  147. anne Richardson says:

    I have ALWAYS said whole fat was better! I have been saying this since the early 90’s when low fat was booming. I hate that there is so much trash, lies and red tape to get through to know what we are eating these days! Thanks for this article. Looking forward to the day that I can have my own cow.

  148. susano says:

    in 4-H, I learned that skim milk will kill calves!!! My teacher was from Australia & was a very practical learner. For my own experience, as a teen, I was told by an old-fashioned country doctor that I should drink skim milk to help me gain weight (I was too light to be allowed to run track in school) – the result was awful digestive problems followed by ineffective treatment for ARD/ulcers. Returning to milk & cream solved my problems (except the weight gain); our local reservation doctor informed me that Native peoples are typically lactose intolerant and he had the same opinions as ButterLover. I’m 56 now and my cholesterol levels are good; my mom’s weren’t and she was on the 1% milk kick for years (as were my aunts, with the same results).

  149. […] I thought this was interesting…. Think Fat-Free Milk is Healthy? 6 Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim | Butter Believer […]

  150. Awesome! Another good source is Weston A Price Organization online.. seems you are insightful as they are. Thanks again beautiful little lady!

  151. A friend of mine sent me the link to this article and the information is pretty scary when you think about it. A lot of people fight with me and my articles daily about how dietary fats are not good for you, egg yolks are the devil and skim milk is the most healthy milk choice.

    It’s kind of startling because I drink skim milk because I get plenty of dietary fats in my diet.. But now I am going to change this.

    Great article!

  152. […] are some interesting articles if you would like to learn more: Butter Believer Food Matters; the truth about calcium and osteoporosis Dr Mercola; Dont drink your […]

  153. Janet says:

    Thank you! My son sent me this article. I’m always open to new and true facts when nutrician and our beautiful planet are concerned.

  154. Tiffany says:

    I was taught that fat free milk was better because, as my mum always put it, “You don’t need the extra fat” and something about “empty calories” but after reading this article I am rethinking my milk choices.

  155. Sanket says:

    I am a physician as is my wife and are trying to do the ‘right’ thing in our lives in regards to nutrition and the health of our 2 little ones. This was a very thought provoking article and goes against not just what the public has been taught but what is taught in medical schools as well. I never wanted to be that crazy ‘hippie’ parent advocating for all sorts of alternative/anti-government stuff and consider myself a rational person. You grow up with the idea that your govt is supposed to look out for your best interests but then learn that idea is somewhat naive. It’s getting maddening as a consumer to hunt and peck through all sorts of websites to find what is healthy and what isn’t – then forage through a multitude of different grocery stores analyzing labels till the cows come home (no pun intended). I guess the answer to it all still seems to not eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize and with ingredients you yourself can’t pronounce. My question is this: I do want to switch away from skim milk after reading this and many other articles but here in Louisiana you simply can’t get raw milk anywhere. What is your opinion as to what 2nd best would be? We have a Whole Foods in our neighborhood (seriously, they really need to make a better commitment to organic fruits & veggies) and a small dairy called Smith’s Creamery that sells milk to local grocery stores. While Smith’s isn’t organic, their milk does have cream at the top and that tells me that it’s pretty close to what I drank as a boy growing up in India. Thanks for the informative article and keep fighting the good fight. It’s butter and full fat milk from now on – any tips as to what your research shows which milk is the ‘best’ would be greatly appreciated.

  156. […] Skim, 1% and 2% milk aren’t going to provide anyone any nutrition. If you still think they are going to provide vital nutrients and are healthier since there’s less fat, read this post by The Butter Believer. […]

  157. LeAnn Fechter says:

    I live in Albuquerque, NM where it is legal to sell Raw milk in the state with a permit but no one sells raw milk. If you can’t get raw milk what would be the next best thing and I live on a Military base where owning a cow is not allowed.

  158. Raw Milk says:

    […] Shortly before we were married, we were both hoping to be stationed in a place where we could easily have access to raw milk. We’d been reading about the benefits of raw dairy and the negative aspects of pasteurization. For example, did you know that pasteurization destroys a significant amount of the vitamins in milk, including all of the B6 and B12? It also destroys important enzymes that help your body assimilate the calcium. And low-fat milk is a joke. The vitamins in milk are fat soluble. Which means you need good healthy fats in order for those vitamins to be used by your body! See here why skim milk is in no way, shape, or form good for you: […]

  159. […] ask me about Skim milk, I’m going to direct you to this post and then ask you to also read this post and then beg you to never speak of Skim milk […]

  160. Amanda says:

    I would encourage you to visit ANY dairy farm and actually look at what dairy cows are fed. Corn is a very small part of their “total mixed ration” as it is called in the industry. See this link for information.
    There is much research, time and money put into developing these rations for health of a cow. I took a 10 week course on just this subject as part of my degree. Additionally, corn does not give cows some disease that then requires them to be given antibiotics such as your article suggests. Corn is used for the energy and as a starch source. However, corn prices have been extremely high the last couple years and more and more farms are turning to alternative sources. And, as others have said, any product (milk or meat)from an animal treated with antibiotics CANNOT be sold for consumption. The milk must be dumped. I have done this myself. Animals for meat consumption must go through a waiting period for the antibiotic to clear their system before being harvested.
    While I agree wholeheartedly in your protest against skim milk (mine just based on taste), some of your other facts need real research instead of a quick google search.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      I majored in animal sciences. I know what’s in dairy feed.

      “corn does not give cows some disease that then requires them to be given antibiotics” = pretty clear evidence that you really don’t know what you’re talking about. Ever hear of rumenal acidosis? Ruminitis? Polioencephalomalacia? The dozens of other diseases that dairy cattle get as a result of not only their diet, but their living conditions?

      I research this stuff for a living. I can guarantee you I know a lot more about it than what you supposedly learned in a 10 week course.

  161. […] And y’all KNOW I don’t tolerate anything low-fat, like—*shudder*—watery skim milk. […]

  162. Roxanne says:

    @ Butter Believer, I thought of something that did not come up in your blog post and I wondered if you knew the answer. I apologize if this was already brought up in the comments, but there are SO many of them that I couldn’t read them all.

    In store bought dairy – which we occasionally have to get because all other options are sold out from time to time – I know that all milk is pasteurized, the fat is separated out, and then percentages are added back in. Then the milk is homogenized, which forces the fat to remain suspended (and completely destroys it!); My question is:
    Do you know if they add powdered milk solids to ALL milk to compensate from taking some fat from it? (After all “whole milk” is really a standardized 3% rather than the typical 4 to 4.5% that cows actually produce.) It seems to me that if they can get away with it in skin milk, they would want to bulk up the other milks too. Also, just where is this powdered milk coming from? I would presume that it can’t be whole milk – otherwise adding it to skim milk would be adding fat to it. So it seems to me that it would have to be powdered skim milk. That seems like an all around bad idea to me…

  163. […] processed, pasteurized, and can lead to health problems.  And don’t even get me started on low-fat and skim milk!!!  Full Fat All The Way!! Read more […]

  164. […] milk is not healthy! Kids should be having full fat […]

  165. Chris Dietrich says:

    What kind of milk is natural and healthy to drink? Try almond milk. Who is cow’s milk intended for? Calves!!!!!!!!! You drinking their milk only helps the veal industry.

  166. […] For more information about the truth about skim milk and how it’s ACTUALLY made, read this Butter Believer article. […]

  167. […] chose to buy organic whole milk and whole milk yogurt. There are some good reasons for this which you can read about, but we do spend extra money here. Instead of purchasing individual cups of yogurt, buy the big […]

  168. […] If you are going to buy supermarket milk, the best bet is Organic Whole Milk.  You want something that has minimal added hormone, or minimal exposure of the dairy cattle to antibiotics, as all this makes its way into the milk.  Stay away from skim Milk, 1% and 2%.  These are sucker drinks.  The milk industry has tricked you into thinking these highly processed milks are better for you, when in reality they are better for the dairy industries pockets.  They profit off you drinking this crap.  All the butter fat gets removed and turned into ice cream and MONEY for the dairy industry.  THe remaining left over bluish color watery liquid then has powdered milk solids added back into it for color, consistency, and texture.  Since powdered milk is technically milk they do not list it in ingredients. All the vitamins added into skim milk are non-absorbable by the body since they are fat soluble vitamins.  No Fat, No Absorption avenue! If you want even more details about this swill, check out this article. […]

  169. edi keller says:

    Since its been about a year since this article posted I thought I’d mention new information. Cardiologists and researchers have come forward with published studies stating that heart disease is caused by inflammation. Doctors here and there are beginning to realize the science they were taught is wrong. Just as science has changed medical beliefs many times in the past (when’s the last time someone was bled to relieve the flu), today’s doctors are learning the science of medicine is outdated and new beliefs are being taught. Just as in every century when major changes are proposed the majority who has only known this method clings to it. As recent as this year my husband’s old school dr gave him statins, very hesitantly, and he told him he hesitated to prescribe them. He told my husband if he had ANY side effects to stop them immediately. My husband has high cholesterol but didn’t fit the mold for the old reasons why and his dr knew statins wouldn’t help him. We eat full fat now and I’ve almost got him back to whole milk (it was too thick for him at first) and he’s doing much better overall. His LDL is still a little high (he doesn’t eat enough vegetables) but all his numbers are much lower since he gave up low-fat…and he’s happier!

  170. g says:

    “What about you? Were you ever convinced that skim milk is healthy? Have you since changed your mind? Tell us about it in the comments below.”

    your blog post has led me to a complete life change since reading it at the end of 2012. i used to be a skim milk drinker, ate a low-fat diet (no red meat). i was definitely under the illusion that ‘saturdated fat is bad,’ and it truly grossed me out to think about DRINKING fat. i wasn’t afraid of fat, but i had the personal preference to eat my fat and use liquids as thirst-quenchers and hydrators (which i still think is fine in theory). since reading your post, and beginning to think about procreating, i have read many subsequent readings, and i have changed my tune. my stance is this: 1) eat food made by nature, the way nature intended, just as humans have successfully done for years and years before the modern/commercial/chemical-type inventions for producing food. 2) we should eat NUTRIENT-DENSE food. that’s the real clencher for me. to think of the things i used to buy, and how little of the ingredients were real foods? now THAT is an expensive lifestyle. i don’t think of milk now as a thirst-quencher, i think of it as an amazing nutrient-rich substance. and in that regard, whole, raw milk from grass-fed animals is as good (and as natural) as it gets. and i drink a lot of water. =]

    the book “beautiful babies” by kristen michaelis had a significant impact on me. and can we just plug the WESTON A. PRICE FOUNDATION one more time for being the greatest resource for like-minded peoples of these topics?

  171. CHRISTy says:

    Good article until the end… the best milk is NO MILK. Milk is meant for babies, in the case of Cow’s milk it is meant for BABY COWS. This isn’t hard to realize once you get over the “got milk” advertising that has been brainwashing people into consuming for decades. I take it back though, the best milk is almond milk or any of the other healthy alternatives out there as they aren’t really milk but vitamin loaded drinks that your body can readily absorb.

  172. […] Marco Torres is a research specialist, […]

  173. […] I kind of had the major eye-opener on my RecipeGirl Facebook page over the weekend.  We drink skim milk in our house, and we always have for as-long-as-I-can-remember.  I accidentally picked up a gallon of whole milk at the store the other day and brought it home.  ”Oh Crud,” I said when I noticed it.  What the heck am I going to do with that?  So I posed the question on my FB page:  ”What can I do with a gallon of whole milk?”  I received FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY TWO responses.  Isn’t that crazy?!  There were suggestions to make yogurt, cheese, pudding and things like that, but many folks just told me to drink it- that’s it’s so much better for you than skim milk.  Here’s where the eye-opening experience came in.  I started reading articles that my readers shared, and found that the process of removing fat from whole milk leaves little left… so the skim milk has more sugar and carbs and you don’t get the vitamins that you get when you drink whole milk… and some companies even add fillers to make it taste better.  EEK!  How did I not know this?  Did you know this??  There are some great resources out there where you can read about this, but start with this one:  6 Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim Milk. […]

  174. I buy organic non-fat milk that is delivered to my door straight from the dairy. It is less than 24 hours old by the time it gets to me. For my family it is either this or no milk, because no one likes the taste of whole milk or even 1% milk.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      That sounds great! If there’s fat in the foods you eat with it, there’s no difference between that and whole fresh milk. Wish I could have milk delivered!

  175. […]  This week I came across an article about how horrible skim milk is for us.  Article is here:  Skim milk was originally industrial waste.  Yet our school children are coming home telling me […]

  176. […] That Made me Re-think one of our Regular Grocery Items. This article, 6 Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim Milk […]

  177. […] I sort of had the significant eye-opener on my RecipeGirl Facebook web page over the weekend.  We drink skim milk in our residence, and we often have for as-lengthy-as-I-can-keep in mind.  I accidentally picked up a gallon of entire milk at the shop the other day and brought it property.  &#8221Oh Crud,&#8221 I mentioned when I noticed it.  What the heck am I going to do with that?  So I posed the query on my FB page:  &#8221What can I do with a gallon of entire milk?&#8221  I received 5 HUNDRED AND FIFTY TWO responses.  Isn&#8217t that crazy?!  There have been recommendations to make yogurt, cheese, pudding and things like that, but several people just told me to drink it- that&#8217s it&#8217s so considerably greater for you than skim milk.  Here&#8217s where the eye-opening encounter came in.  I began reading articles that my readers shared, and located that the approach of removing fat from entire milk leaves little left&#8230 so the skim milk has much more sugar and carbs and you don&#8217t get the vitamins that you get when you drink entire milk&#8230 and some companies even add fillers to make it taste better.  EEK!  How did I not know this?  Did you know this??  There are some great resources out there exactly where you can read about this, but start off with this a single:  6 Secrets You Don&#8217t Know About Skim Milk. […]

  178. […] make your own mind up, both make a great read. Go here for Raw milk nutritional information, and here for interesting facts on low fat or skimmed […]

  179. avis says:

    Thx for great article….

    I have a few questions not sure if anyone has feedback.

    how is whole milk for people with pancreatic problems…pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer? Since the pancreas’s role is to digest fats…I am wondering then whether whole milk is not recommended? But would circumstance be any different if the whole milk was used to make kefir?

    And what about four blood type O where it’s said to have no milk at all? This has always been back and forth…some say it is ok to have and others saying absolutely no. But am wondering whether whole milk is an exception?

  180. Aisha Smith says:

    I have never liked any kind of reduced fat milk, always getting the Vitamin D enhanced, pasteurized, homogenized whole milk at the local supermarket. It just tasted better, and I believed it was a “more complete” product.
    Since reading Food Renegade’s book “Beautiful Babies” in May, however, I have been purchasing raw milk from a local farm.
    I’m 7-1/2 months pregnant with my firstborn, and I haven’t had any adverse effects of raw milk. My pregnancy has been easy and uncomplicated.
    The best part is: raw milk at my Farm is cheaper than whole milk at the grocer! So since my pastured brown eggs are the same price as the cheapest refined eggs at the store, the extra gets used on my favourite raw milk yogurt from my Farm! Happy Mama here!

  181. Shakinyi says:

    Only in America is this a heated topic of discussion. As an expat I can tell you that most of your food, the standard grocery store boxed Mac and cheese, fast food and other variants. SUCK. The ice cream tastes different. Meat tastes different, sugar doesn’t work like it does everywhere else (you need 100 packets of sugar to sweeten anything) careful ordering ice cream… it may not be a dairy product at all (what IS soft serve?) there is (insert naturally occurring food component here) FREE everything… and the biggest kicker of all, it is MORE expensive to buy natural food than it is to buy whole food. And all this has added up to make people healthier maybe? No quite the opposite.

    HUH? I’ve travelled quite a bit and America (and a quickly catching up U.K) seems to be the place where things are this backward.

    Of course don’t expect people that have been here all their lives to know what I’m griping about but guess what, there are lots of places in the world ( most of it actually) where people eat a minimum of three square( that means full, not a granola bar for breakfast) meals a day, and cook just as many times. Most food comes cheaper in its actual natural form and has to be prepped from scratch…..eggs have to be beaten, meat has to be chopped up, macaroni has to at least be boiled if not made from scratch, baking a cake takes an hour minimum, boxed mixes are the more expensive option, and cheese certainly comes in blocks almost never in spray or powder form… unless grated parmesan counts as powder. Skim milk is a laughable concept, butter is nobody’s enemy, walking, riding a bike and public transit is the MAIN mode of transportation, most families own one car ( gasp! imagine that!)And most people leave work when the sun goes down cause dinner actually has to be PREPARED.

    These people, in spite of what most may consider a starch heavy, high fat diet, have very low incidences of cancer and when those do occur they are more from environmental factors than unknown ones ( things like lung cancer and meso… still quite rare)Also rare are heart disease and especially obesity. One only needs to shop from a foreign clothing designer to know what I mean. Size 8 here is size 10 or 12 elsewhere. Portions are also a whole lot smaller, probably because the foods are nutrient and fibre rich you really can’t eat as much to get full. Snacks are mostly composed of fruit and nuts….sweets and crisps and such like things are treats. Soda is not an after dinner drink. Wine just may be. Water is the standard…. TAP WATER no less.

    I think what people need to realize is the fast convenient lifestyle that is lived here is coming at a cost. All anyone does here is work all day…. as a result there is precious little time for petty things like cooking or raising children. Most processed food has come about as a result of this lifestyle. The companies put out what consumers buy, consumers buy convenience because they have little time for anything but, well… work.

    I don’t know what the solution would be short of dismantling the current society and building one back from scratch. I think most people are just making do with what they can afford, most people aren’t well informed or paid enough to make smarter choices but at the end of the day, being great is costing America in more ways than one. The sad part is someone is raking in the dough because of it. ( food industry, banking and investments, petroleum, pharmaceuticals and all those non-profits fighting all the previously mentioned industries)
    And that’s just the way it is unfortunately.

  182. Stacy says:

    Is there any information on 2% or 1% milk?? Interested in reading more.

  183. Anna says:

    I’ve drunk skim milk my entire life and personally, I prefer it and still do. I get mine now from local, organic farms. I can understand why people are against it. Personally, I’m not sure if I can really switch over just because of the taste. The overwhelming fatty taste of even 2% milk makes me feel gross. I used to consume a lot of milk, but it is now a much more limited piece in my diet, used mostly for baking and cereal. Maybe one day I’ll try raw milk, but the thought certainly is a bit of an intimidating and slightly gross one for me.

  184. […] Because of that cows given antibiotics to keep them alive so they can continue to produce. But because they’re still fighting off infections, things like blood and pus from open sores frequently make their way into the finished product — the milk we see on store shelves. The FDA allows up to 750 million pus cells per liter of milk, to be sold legally. Adults aren’t faring much better with swapping whole milk for skim. Studies have showed time and time again that a reduced-fat diet, similarly to a reduced-calorie diet, does not result in long-term weight loss and health, but instead leads only to “transient” weight loss — that would be weight that comes piling right back on after it’s temporarily shed. This is because healthy fats actually curb your appetite and trigger the production of hormones which tell the brain when you’re full. If you’re not eating fat, you stay constantly hungry, and wind up binging on unhealthy food. Fat-free milk essentially signals to your body that something is missing, which leads to overeating and weight gain.”  Please read the rest of the article here:  […]

  185. […] Think Fat-Free Milk is Healthy? 6 Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim […]

  186. Theresa says:

    A few years ago the only thing I drank was 2%. Then, at a younger than normal patients age, I had to have my gallbladder removed. My doctor said to stay away from fatty foods as they do give me stomach aches. I still love the thicker milks, but I was told to drink skim.. Maybe it’s time to switch back.. :)

  187. […] Why Avoid Low Fat Dairy? […]

  188. Sylvia RN MSN NP-C says:

    Great article! THANK YOU for sharing!! I used to be a skim milk person, believing it was “healthier” as I fell into the whole “saturated fat is evil” trap. Then when I was breastfeeding, I CRAVED fats so much- later on learning that breastmilk is mostly fat (and majority saturated fat) as it is so essential for brain development. I read up on the Weston Price Foundation about how saturated fats are actually GOOD for us (what a drastic change in my views!). I now also try to spread the word to family, friends, and my patients! :-) All while enjoying my butter, organic whole milk, and steak!! And feeling better than ever in my life (and maintaining a very healthy body weight!)!! :-) Keep up the GREAT blogs!!

  189. Sylvia RN MSN NP-C says:

    Oh, and one more thing: my husband is from Russia, and drank whole, raw milk his entire life! He was STICK skinny when he came to the US from Russia at 18! The Russians eat fresh baked bread, locally grown vegetables, sausages, and plenty of FAT in borsch (soup) and they are very slender people! They also very active as they don’t have cars in general. I agree with the above writer that other countries don’t fear fats like the US; and don’t have the obesity problem that we do!!

  190. Ronald Donais says:

    I can’t believe any person who is a doctor, or health profestional, could study these facts, and ignor them. I am a child of the 50’s and remember the days when milk was almost good for you. Raw milk is best but we could have that, even then.

  191. kinder says:

    i was raised on raw goat milk till i left home. cows milk is not good for me, so i just do not drink it. the laws r so different now u can get raw but not for drinkin. the old way was better

  192. […] the (usually) processed, artificial sweeteners added to low fat dairy needed to sweeten it. See 6 Secrets You Didn’t Know About Skim Milk from Butter Believer if you need a little more convincing to get rid of low fat […]

  193. Ginger says:

    I personally don’t remember when or why I started drinking skim milk, but it was at least almost 30 years ago when I was in my early 20’s. I can’t imagine drinking whole milk. It taste gross to me. So…. I don’t drink it for “health” purposes I truly prefer the taste of it. If I had to drink whole milk, I would skip it all together. So where can I find good skim milk?

    • Jason says:

      If you have the money organic skim milk is a good choice just make sure it’s HTST pasteurized not UHT (has a cooked taste because of the high temp). But most skim milk you get at the supermarket is fine. Don’t believe any of this antibiotic stuff in your milk. Milk is highly regulated and farmers are not allowed to sell milk from cows that are on antibiotics and now most milk is free of the rBHT growth hormone ( will be listed on the carton).

  194. […] Milk – whole milk (Vitamin D/red cap or raw milk) is the healthiest option […]

  195. […] list yet? I haven’t even mentioned the unnatural process of homogenization or the fact that skim milk has a bluish color until powdered milk is added to it, and powdered milk has oxidized cholesterol which can damage the […]

  196. Emily says:

    So glad I found this website! I have been trying to convince my mother in law for years that skim milk was worse than full cream. Luckily I was able to convince hubby very early on. I’m horrified at how many children are having skim milk these days :(

  197. […] It was once thought that skim milk, because it has no fat, will help you lose weight. This thinking is flawed. Milk contains calcium, which can help you lose weight, but-surprise!-it doesn’t matter if it’s skim or whole milk. All milk contains the same amount of lactic acid, or milk sugar. This is what turns to fat if not used by the body. So don’t worry about what the fat content of your milk is – worry more about the source. (Find fresh, whole, unprocessed dairy near you here.) Read more about the lies behind skim milk here. […]

  198. Anthony says:

    Almost all of your criticisms apply to factory farmed, feed fed milk, not to skim milk. I drink both whole and skim milk from Ronnybrook and Trickling Springs farms. Both grass feed their cows. The whole and skim varieties of the milk taste delicious. I often use the skim milk in cereal and the whole milk to drink.

  199. Bennie says:

    I have my own jersey cow wich produces milk with a high butter fat content,since I got her I have lost 10 kg(22 pounds) of weight.

    • jennifer says:

      i posed this question below. can you help me?

      stupid beginner question. i just bought my first raw milk (YAY), but im almost afraid to use it. i want to make yogurt and butter and sour cream and cream cheese and…..
      BUT – when folks say “raw milk” in a recipe i am clueless. the stuff that i bought yesterday is CLEARLY two different things.
      if i take the cream off to make butter whats the stuff im left with? skim milk – which here you say is bad. or is that the “raw milk” im suppose to use in a recipe.
      or…am i suppose to somehow mix the two layers and use the “mixture” as the “raw milk”?
      im so confused.

  200. […] It is a myth that fat causes weight gain. According to this study, low-fat and non-fat milk actually cause weight gain! According to this article,  […]

  201. […] good source of nutrition at all, it is actually toxic and dangerous to consume. See here, here and here.  It makes no sense to me that people would believe that breast milk which is FULL of saturated […]

  202. Jason says:

    I don’t get all of this processed skim milk stuff. First of all if you want to use the term “processed” all milk is processed 1% 2% whole and skim because of homogenization and pasteurization process. And you get whole and skim milk from the same process people. You use centrifugation to spin the cream at a high rate of speed to separate the two.

  203. […] The Butter Believer on Skim MIlk Products […]

  204. Elisabeth says:

    I switched to fat free milk 2 weeks ago in order to lose weight. I noticed that my heart has been beating a little fast and a little unsteadily, sometimes called a thready heartbeat, nothing serious. Last night I noticed it after having a bowl of Cheerios with fat free milk. I’m going back to 2% milk. By the way, what is it 2% of??

  205. […] not convinced? Read more on the subject HERE, HERE, […]

  206. Judy Kirk says:

    Sorry, but you just cannot say that heart disease did not exist prior to skim milk. That’s totally untrue and casts doubt on all your other assertions. Heart disease has been around since time began, it did not miraculously appear as a side effect of drinking skim milk.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      “Since time began?” Oh okay, so it’s okay for you to make wild exaggerations, but not for me to insinuate that heart disease has not always been the problem that it is today. Got it.

  207. Kelly says:

    after posting your article on FB…this is a response I received from a friend:

    “Its hard to read the article seriously when it starts out with complete BS. The first claim in the article is that “no one had heart attacks around the turn of the century when everyone was still eating pounds of butter and cream.” The term and diagnosis didn’t exist before the 1900’s. Blood clots in the coronary arteries were not linked to heart attacks until the early 1900s. Prior to that, death from what was probably heart attack was described as being caused by overeating, indigestion, heartburn, stomach stagnation, an imbalance of humours, vapors (gas?), and probably a bunch of other names.
    10 minutes ago · Like”

    How would you respond?

  208. Judi says:

    I used to think skim milk was better for you than 2% or whole milk. After reading many different articles about antibiotics and GMO’s in our food sources, I don’t think milk is good for us – period. However, I love milk, so when I do drink it, I stick to organic, BHA & antibiotic free whole milk – more expensive, yes, but my health is worth more than a buck or two.

  209. Nicole says:

    Hi! I’ve been reading about this for a while. My family drinks organic skim milk. Unfortunately we don’t have easy access to homogenized whole milk or raw milk. I always heard that the homogenization of the fat molecules is also terrible for you. Which would you say is the lesser of two evils? Organic skim milk or organic homogenized whole milk?

  210. jennifer says:

    stupid beginner question. i just bought my first raw milk (YAY), but im almost afraid to use it. i want to make yogurt and butter and sour cream and cream cheese and…..
    BUT – when folks say “raw milk” in a recipe i am clueless. the stuff that i bought yesterday is CLEARLY two different things.
    if i take the cream off to make butter whats the stuff im left with? skim milk – which here you say is bad. or is that the “raw milk” im suppose to use in a recipe.
    or…am i suppose to somehow mix the two layers and use the “mixture” as the “raw milk”?
    im so confused.
    please help.
    thank you

    • Kristine says:

      Mix the two layers. She wasn’t saying its bad for you if you pull off the cream, just when companies add stuff to it before they sell it as skim milk. To make yogurt, you will need cream in it. To make cheese you will pull out all the fat. The whey that’s left is good for you also. I use that for smoothies. Or I give to my dogs for aid in digestion & a shiny coat.

  211. Dee says:

    Does this mean we should be eating whole fat yogurt as well, or is non fat ok?

    • Kristine says:

      I’m not an expert, but I would say avoid non-fat yogurt. The reasoning is this, you need the fat in your milk to make yogurt. So what has to be added to make it skim?

  212. Kristine says:

    My parents bought farm fresh milk until it was outlawed in Wisconsin. When they started buying milk from the store a funny thing happened. . . . .3 of us got food allergies & 2 of us got ulcers. My Dad switched to unprocessed goats milk & everything was fine after that. For many years I have avoided milk because I couldn’t get it unprocessed. Recently I have found Amish who will sell it to me & drink milk 1/2 the year. (During the time they have milk). I also make cheese from it. What a huge difference from store bought!!!!

  213. Kristine says:

    I forgot to mention its goats milk, which is perfectly legal to sell in Wisconsin, but raw cows milk is still illegal.

  214. […] to push this low-fat garbage on kids. Here’s more from, on some of the dirty little secrets of skim milk – like skim milk was often fed to pigs to fatten them up before they were […]

  215. […] see, this was the year that Butter Believer became my job. Because you read my crazy rantings about skim milk and shared them with thousands of people. You “liked” all the shenanigans that go on […]

  216. […] Butter reported last year in its article “6 Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim,” dairy manufacturers were thrilled with this new skim milk trend because what was once an industrial […]

  217. Amanda says:

    I read this post a few weeks ago and have been haunted by it ever since. We don’t live in an area that is readily accessible to raw milk. I did some research and just bought a 1/2 gallon of “Grassmilk” by Organic Valley. The milk comes from cows that are 100% grass-fed. Wondering what you think about this product? Also, what about 2% milk? They still add powdered milk to it, even the Grassmilk FAQ section states that federal law requires that reduced-fat liquid milk have milk solids added to it. Other than the powdered milk, would you say that the 2% Grassmilk would be okay?

    • ButterBeliever says:

      I’ve seen that “grass milk” brand in stores—good for them for making grass-fed milk more publicly available! Or at least promoting the concept of it.

      I personally wouldn’t advise drinking 2% milk, partly because the powdered solids freak me out a little, and mostly just because I think whole milk is perfect as it is. It has a great balance of fat, carbs, and protein. I don’t like to mess with that.

  218. Zee says:

    Hi! I’m new to this blog and have already subscribed to the newsletter…you’ve got some pretty striking arguments that I’ve actually been thinking about for a while! I LOVE BUTTER! But I feel guilty anytime I use it because I’ve been trying to lose weight that I gained really fast in the past few months. NOT fun -__-

    I noticed a few people have already mentioned Almond Milk and I’ve read your article about PUFAs but – and I know this is TMI – after I started drinking this about a month ago, I’ve been pretty regular which is rare for me!! I have been drinking 2% milk for about the past 6 years (ever since I told one of my high school teachers that I still drink whole milk and she got all disgusted and went on this rant about how disgusting and unhealthy whole milk is) but I seem to get really, sometimes extremely (uncomfortably), bloated after drinking milk. To be honest though, the only time I drink milk is when I add it to my cereal! I do use Metamucil about 3 or 4 times a week to help with digestion…what’s your take on that?

    I was trying to look for it but I can’t seem to find the search bar on the site…am I overlooking it?! :/

    Thanks for your help and insight!

    • Bouncedancer says:

      The fact that you need Metamucil indicates the likelihood of food sensitivity, and the 2 biggest suspect groups are grains & dairy. When I eat whole grains or dairy, within 2 days I’m extremely constipated (I tolerate white flour just fine!).

  219. Janice says:

    Everytime I go onto Facebook I see something else that is bad for us. I live in South Africa and I’m diabetic. I’ve been told to drink skim milk. What do I do??

  220. […] No. 16) Eat the whole foods! Eat the whole egg- the yolk is not going to kill you. Did you know that if you don’t eat enough cholesterol your body will make it? (Make sure your eggs are from pastured chickens and organic.) It’s the bad man-made cholesterol that you don’t want to eat. And, iff you must drink milk, drink organic whole milk, not skim milk. […]

  221. Kari says:

    As a dairy farmers daughter (who just finished milking cows in -20 degree weather) and a student studying agriculture, I’ve learned a lot about the dairy industry. We confine our animals in pens to keep them safe and give them shelter from the wind and a warm place to stay. They always have access to food, water and bedding. The diet we feed our cattle is carefully planned and designed to keep them healthy and is very appropriate for the species. Our cows eat a more balanced diet than I do. We only give our cows antibiotics when when they are needed to fight off infection and bring them back to health. During that time the milk is always dumped, and careful testing procedures at the farm and the milk processing plant ensures that the milk is always safe for consumption. Thanks for the interesting article, but please be conscious of the way you use “factory farms” and antibiotics because it can be damaging to the hard working families and the industry as a whole.

  222. Shayna says:

    Great article! I’ve always felt there was something unnatural about skim milk, but never looked any further into it because i’m generally a 2% girl. However, now I look forward to guilt free moving to whole. :)

    Question – I love greek yogurt and I’ve always purchased the fat free variety just because it seemed the best thing to do. However, now I’m second guessing that. Is it better to get the higher fat varieties?

    • ButterBeliever says:

      I always get the whole-fat version of yogurt if I can find it! Sometimes yogurt brands don’t even make anything but the low-fat or fat-free kinds, sadly.

  223. […] duped by products with labels that say “low fat, low calorie, sugar free, fat free, skim milk”. (Skim milk is not just “cream off the top, by the way.) Healthy people know the difference between healthy fat and man-made, deadly fat. They eat foods in […]

  224. […] Guess what nonfat dry milk is? A denatured protein.  It boggles my mind that fat is still vilified, that the healthiest part of milk is removed to make it “healthier.” There are several ways to make nonfat dry milk, and they all start with skim milk. From Butter Believer’s article on skim milk, […]

  225. Marie says:

    I always thought skim milk was gross. It just didn’t taste…right. I’ve been on a high fat low carb diet for about a month now and an organic one for almost a year. Still, when I was buying the whole low-fat craze, the closest I could get to fat-free was 1% milk and I beat myself up over it. I thought I was weak willed or something because I couldn’t stomach “healthy” food. I also find it harder to find whole-fat dairy products at the grocery store(Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s) because everybody’s still spouting that low-fat dogma. I’m glad people are starting to wake up, I just wish it would happen faster. On another note, when I go to a Local Harvest or farmer’s market, the whole-fat seems to be the only option,*claps*. Non-homogenized grass-fed milk tastes so much better to me, too and is easier on my stomach. I wish I lived near a sustainable dairy farm so I could get raw milk.

  226. […] Nonfat and lowfat milk products weren’t even available until after WWII.  They didn’t gain wide acceptance until the late 80s. [source] While whole milk and cream are nutrient dense, whole foods, nonfat and lowfat dairy products are low in nutrients (which is why they need to be fortified with vitamins).  For more about why nonfat milk isn’t a health food, read this article. […]

  227. […] is one heck of a horror show. For more information on why skim milk is so terrible, check out Butter Believer’s post on the […]

  228. JP says:

    You call yourself a researcher. Where is the research to back up your claims?

  229. […] is one heck of a horror show. For more information on why skim milk is so terrible, check out Butter Believer’s post on the […]

  230. […] they are fat soluble vitamins, I think the answer is clear. (Further Reading: Six Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim Milk)  Without sufficient intake of these vitamins you are putting yourself at risk for things like […]

  231. […] is 98% fat, what exactly is in fat-free mayonnaise?  YUCK!  Still not convinced? Check out this article about skim […]

  232. Karen says:

    One of our friends children did a report on this when she was in high school and re-educated our thinking on this, as we had been drinking skim milk for years. Now we are a whole milk family!

  233. […] Think Fat Free Milk is Healthy? Six Things You Don’t Know About Skim from Butter Believer […]

  234. ReBecca says:

    While I’m all for educational food articles like these, fact #3 in the article is deceptive & should note ALL dairy milk in stores (unless USDA certified organic!) contain rbgh, & antibiotics, not just skim milk! So if you really want to be clear of added junk, buy organic or visit a local free range grass fed farm :) emphasis on grass as well because most animal products contains GMO corn.

  235. […] Butter Believer Food Matters; the truth about calcium and osteoporosis […]

  236. […] as plain ‘ole yogurt. In our home, we recently made the switch to full-fat organic dairy and here’s why; however, if you haven’t yet made the switch, you can use any kind of milk. Let’s get […]

  237. Doug says:

    There is actually a reason, to the contrary, to buy fat-free milk. If you’d like, as I would, to avoid the hormones (mostly estrogen) blasted into the milk b/c of cows constantly impregnated and milked during their pregnancy, fat-free milk has been shown to also be rid of estrogen, as per the process of extracting the fats.

  238. […] of milk, do you know how skim milk is made? This article is a must read. Really gross, but good. Skim milk is a byproduct from taking the cream out of milk […]

  239. Jasdeep Singh says:

    Simple rule of thumb….eat things the way nature gives it to you. More it’s processed, worst its for your health. Rathner drink whole milk in small quantity then consuming a whole gallon of useless skimmed milk.

  240. […] Think Fat-Free Milk is Healthy? Think Again. from Butter Believer […]

  241. […] the blog Think Fat-Free Milk is Healthy? 6 Secrets You Don’t Know About Skim, they talk about how it’s all about the money and much […]

  242. Daisy says:

    I grew up on a small farm and drank whole cow’s milk practically straight from the utter – well, at least as soon as the milk made it into the house and it was still warm. But I have had pimples on my arms and legs all my life and a sore throat quite often – until I got off of dairy milk. Now I have smooth, clear skin and my throat doesn’t get sore as often. I am trying other milks – goat, soy, almond and even coconut (which had too much saturated fat for me). I have a hard time settling on which milk to drink in the end, but I can honestly say that cow’s milk (whole or lower in fat) was just not good for me. Whole milk is not the end all.

  243. […] good source of nutrition at all, it is actually toxic and dangerous to consume. See here, here and here.  It makes no sense to me that people would believe that breast milk which is FULL of saturated […]

  244. […] And forget about skim milk. […]

  245. lily martin says:

    There appear to be a few debates going on here – the role of saturated fat in heart disease; fat versus skim dairy products; fat in the role of obesity.
    As a farmer’s daughter in Australia, many years ago we used to hand milk a couple of cows for our own use. We sometimes drank the milk fresh – if there was nothing floating on the surface!, but sometimes the milk was heated if there was dirt in the milk. A freely milked cow could move it’s legs around and sometimes dirt would flick into the bucket when a cow shifted it’s foot or flicked it’s tail.
    We would skim the rich thick cream off this heated milk and the milk tasted fine and the cream was delicious.
    Sometimes we would separate the fresh raw milk with a separator turned by hand. The cream would separate and come out one slot and the milk would come out the other slot. Both milk and cream were delicious but even though the milk separated this way was a bit ‘thinner’ in consistency it still tasted fine.

    We didn’t ever use antibiotics on these cows. If the cows got sick ( I don’t remember that they did but memory can be a fickle thing!) the cows most certainly would NOT have been milked for us to use the milk. Either the cow would be left with the calf to suckle all the milk( and usually the calves were left with their mothers a long time) or, if the calf had been weaned the cow would be milked to relieve the udder and that milk would be thrown out. Our cows were like pets and we loved them and really looked after them well – all free ranging in big grassy paddocks. We fed them hay and grain in summer when there wasn’t any green grass available for them to eat. We did not feed corn to animals in Australia and as far as I am aware we still don’t.
    As to the role of fat in the current obesity epidemic worldwide, it would appear that in many cases it is the age old equation of calories in and calories out. There is no doubt that a diet of largely vegetables – especially green leafy ones, moderate fruit, a bit of lean meat /protein, some dairy, cutting down on sugar and processed foods PLUS at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise daily will help in maintaining a reasonable weight.
    To lose weight you need to eat less and move more. Try keeping a food and activity diary for one week and record EVERY single thing you eat ( often a lot more than we realise) and also record the amount of exercise you do AND the amount of time you spend sitting. Recording these things can be a real eye-opener as humans tend to think they eat less than they do and think they move more than they actually do.
    As to diets – whatever you eat is your diet whether it is well balanced and includes all food groups or whether you eat fried Mars Bars, chips, pies and drink coke. So, fat or skim or no-fat milk is only part of the wider debate on obesity.
    Fat may play a part in heart disease – but so does our sedentary life style and overeating as well as stress. Additives in low fat milk? Our locally produced skim/low-fat milk doesn’t appear to have anything added but I couldn’t speak for anywhere else. All things in moderation I say. Read the labels on your food to see what it contains and if in doubt perhaps contact the manufacturer.
    PS( Anything with more than 5 ingredients is possibly non-food!)

  246. Jessy says:

    Thanks for this great post. I am another reader comforted by some of the info here! I bought a big bag of organic skim milk powder before my TF days and then subsequently learned how *evil* it is… well, it wasn’t cheap, and I can’t just throw it away. I have been using it to thicken DH’s yogurt b/c he likes it thick, I have it yo use and is less labor intensive than straining the yogurt. Once it’s gone, I won’t buy anymore though.

  247. Ingrid Morales says:

    Ok, very interesting article but I have some doubts, for several years I suffered from boils and pustular acne. My doctor advised me to avoid whole milk and sausages. I followed his instructions and I improved a lot in recent months. Could be good for some cases skim milk? For other side, I have always been a thin person and I would like to gain weight. This could help me?? Thank you

  248. […] I found this article very interesting. I always thought they just added water to the whole milk. […]

  249. Judy Rainey says:

    Thank you for your informative blog! I have always believed that God gives us everything we need in nature, and I have never believed that eating fat makes you fat. I feel good about drinking milk and enjoying dairy! I wonder what you think of “Fairlife” milk? I just saw an ad today and it is ultra filtered…..they avoid the term pasteurized….their process still seems a bit creepy to me. Have you heard of it?

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