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Historically, skimmed milk was used for fattening pigs, and was recommended as "not only the very best supplement for growing pigs, but is of almost equal value for fattening purposes" as it "furnishes a complete protein" and makes the feed "more palatable."
Sometimes only half the cream is removed; this is called semi-skimmed milk.
Skimmed milk contains less fat than whole milk, and as such many[who?] nutritionists and doctors recommend it for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. On the other hand, some consider skimmed milk to actually be less healthy than whole milk, citing the observation that low fat foods generally do not lower calorie consumption and that when it comes to weight loss, restricting calories has a poor track record. It is thought that the reduction in calories keeps the body further from satiety, causing it to ultimately seek out the same amount of calories that would have otherwise been consumed, and in some cases possibly more or from sources less beneficial. The extent to which animal fat contributes to weight gain is also brought into question, along with claims that skimmed milk is more beneficial to heart health since non-skimmed milk has a higher low-density lipoprotein content. Milkfat, however, affects only large, non-dense (Pattern A) LDL particles, which studies have shown to carry far less risk of coronary heart disease than small, dense (Pattern B) LDL particles. Skimmed milk also contains almost no Vitamin A.
In the UK, milk is marketed and labelled as follows:
In the USA, milk is marketed primarily by fat content and available in these varieties:
According to a 2007 study conducted by the University of Hawaii, epidemiological data suggest that consumption of low fat and non-fat milk may be correlated with an increased risk of localized or low-grade prostate cancer tumors, whereas whole milk was associated with decreased risk.