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Milking Your Diet


Have you ever noticed the wide variety of milk choices in the dining halls and wonder which one to select? To help you make the best nutritional decision, we’ve demystified the milk dilemma and provided you with the skinny on the many milk options offered in the dining halls.

  • Whole Milk is the highest in fat. If you drink whole milk regularly and are finding it hard to switch to a lower fat option, try gradually reducing the fat percentage of the milk you drink by mixing a half a cup of whole milk with half a cup of lower fat milk. Before you know it, you won’t even realize the differenceReduced Fat Milk also known as low fat, 2% and 1% milk, has less fat than whole milk, but still contains the same amount of calcium. The difference between the two percentages is that 2% contains 5 g of fat/8 fl oz, while 1% contains half that amount.
  • Skim Milk contains the least amount of calories (80 Calories/ 8 fl oz) and is nearly fat free. It also has about the same calcium content as whole milk.

For those who do not drink cow’s milk, there are alternatives available in the dining halls that have the same nutritional benefits.

  • Lactose-Free Milk already has the lactose (milk sugar) broken down so the body doesn’t have to do the work. It still has the same calcium, vitamin,and protein content as cow’s milk.
  • Soy Milk is made from soybeans and is an alternative to cow’s milk. The dining halls offer a brand of soy milk that is fortified with calcium, but calcium is not naturally present. If you purchase your own, make sure it is fortified with calcium to get the same nutritional benefits as cow milk.
  • Rice Milk is made from rice and fortified with calcium and Vitamins A and D. Less protein is provided by this alternative, so try pairing it with a food source that is rich in protein.

It is recommended to have 3 servings of dairy each day for college age students, and one cup of milk can get you one serving closer to that goal. Try to incorporate it into your meal at the dining hall, whether you drink it or pour it in your cereal, grab a glass!


Don’t Have a Cow Choosing Your Milk!

Revised By: Nathalie Corres                Reviewed By: Dr. Shapses Department of Nutritional Sciences
References: Milk: Facts and Fallacies. Available at: Accessed on February 18, 2013. Tips for Making Wise Choices in the Dairy Group. Available at: Accessed on February 25, 2013. Plant-based milk Alternatives. Available at: Accessed on February 25, 2013.

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