Low Fat vs. Low Low Fat Dairy Products

Learn what the percents on dairy products really mean, and what the differences in taste and calories between low fat dairy and low low fat dairy are.

| May/June 1987

  • Low fat frozen yogurt
    Instead of ice cream, treat yourself to frozen yogurt, a delicious and increasingly popular product.

  • Low fat frozen yogurt

I'd like to cut down on the amount of fat in my diet — in dairy products, for example, which I use a lot of — but I'm not crazy about skim milk. It tastes even thinner than I want to look. How about 2 percent-fat milk instead? What possible difference could two paltry percentage points make?  

Low Fat vs. Low Low Fat Dairy Products

Quite a bit when it comes to low fat vs. low low fat dairy products. The labels on milk cartons can be confusing, even though they're accurate. Whole milk is only about 3 percent butterfat. So 2 percent milk has had a third of its fat removed — not 98 percent, as many people believe. While a 30 percent reduction in fat is not to be sneezed at, 2 percent milk doesn't provide the spectacular savings most people assume it does. Approximate calories per cup: skim milk, 90; 1 percent, 110; 2 percent, 130; whole, 150.

There are other ways to reduce the dairy fat in your diet so you are eating low low fat dairy. Try replacing evaporated milk with evaporated skim milk; the substitution is undetectable in most recipes. Instead of ice cream, treat yourself to frozen yogurt, a delicious and increasingly popular product. Skim or low-fat yogurt can substitute for sour cream. That can take some getting used to: I'd suggest you start out by using yogurt in recipes that have other strong flavors.

— Carol Taylor, associate editor 

Victoria Bingham
3/26/2012 3:44:00 PM

I'm 5'10" and 150 lbs. And when people ask me how I stay thin without ever exercising, I tell them how I eat a stick of butter every day! I also consume whole milk and whole cheeses and yogurts. Nothing satisfies as quickly as a dab of fat in foodstuffs, and it is little appreciated how the fat in our food makes us able to digest fatty vitamins which keep us young and healthy and maintain a vigorous immune system! Such as E, A, D and K. Most grocery stores drive me batty with their fat free everything. Take a look at the fat free products. and what you'll find are sugar laced substitutes that guarantee weight gain.. Fat Free Half & Half for example is one of the worst offenders, having a second ingredient after skim milk of egregiously fattening high fructose corn syrup - added to replace that lovely natural satisfying taste of fat. Most people would do well to 'keep the fat', and stay thin and healthy.

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