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Nutrition Facts: The Difference Between Powdered Milk and Fresh Milk

Nutrition Facts: The Difference Between Powdered Milk and Fresh Milk

Milk appears in different variants, from the fresh ones to the dried or powdered ones. Visit any grocery and supermarket and you’ll find a wide selection. Most kinds are cow’s milk, but in recent years plant-based milk and other types have been gaining popularity. But one store staple is the powdered variant. Aside from having a longer shelf life, how does it differ from fresh milk? Read on to learn more about the difference between powdered milk and fresh milk.

Nutritional value

Milk powder is produced by evaporating moisture from the milk. Be it fresh or in the form of powder, both contain essential nutrients for our daily nutritional needs.

One key difference between powdered milk and fresh milk is that the latter has more nutrients. A cup of cow’s milk contains 149 calories, 7.9 grams of fat, and 7.7 grams of protein.

While a cup of powder contains 139 calories, 7.5 grams of fat and 7.4 grams of protein.

Even though there are no major differences in the macronutrients of fresh and powdered milk, there are lesser nutrients in powdered varity.

Benefits of fresh milk

Another difference between powdered milk and fresh milk is that fresh milk provides more B vitamins.

Accordingly, a cup of fresh milk gives us 32 percent of the daily value for vitamin B12 and 18 percent of the daily value for vitamin B5.

Meanwhile, a cup of powdered substitute contains 15 percent of the daily value for vitamin B12 and 6 percent of the daily value for vitamin B5.

Vitamin B5 helps the body to extract energy from fatty acids, amino acids, and carbohydrates while vitamin B12 helps the body to produce red blood cells.

With phosphorus and selenium, fresh milk also shows its advantages over the powdered variety. Those two minerals are good for cell membranes, metabolism, enzyme function, and thyroid function.

A serving of fresh milk brings about 16 percent of the daily value for selenium and 16 per cent of the daily value for phosphorus.

The powdered substitute, on the other hand, contains 11 per cent of the daily value for selenium and 27 percent of the daily value for phosphorus.

Benefits of powdered milk

Fresh milk cannot be kept for a long period of time, while dried or powdered substitute has this ability. The powdered substitute does not need to be stored in the refrigerator but still retains its nutritional value along with its longer shelf life. The powder is not as expensive as the fresh ones. What’s more, some also prefer the flavor and texture of certain brands of powdered milk.

Which one is suitable for you?

If you are the type of person who is intent on consuming less processed products, fresh and organic is the right option. As an added bonus, the organic or fresh variety of milk is often free from preservatives and antibiotics. If you are looking for a less processed option, then fresh milk is the best choice.

For cooking purposes, fresh milk would be the most suitable choice as well. However, considering the preparation time and cost, powder seems to be a better choice. For certain drinks such as smoothies, powder plays a nice role as a base compared to the fresh one.

For those who want to lose weight, fresh, non-fat milk options are available. Organic, healthy options are almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk.

All in all, going fresh is the best nutritional choice. But having both kinds in your pantry can help fulfill a variety of needs.

As with any dietary choice that you want to adopt daily, consulting your doctor is still the best plan of action.

What do you prefer? Fresh or powdered milk? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


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Written by Nikita Bhalla Updated Jun 30, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel