Difference Between 1% Milk and 2% Milk (With Table)

Milk is available in many forms; whole, skimmed, 2% and 1% milk. All of these are the various forms in which cow milk is sold in the market. They have the same essential nutrients, but the fat percentage that they contain varies.

1% Milk vs 2% Milk

The main difference between 1% milk and 2% milk is the varying amount of fat they contain. 2% milk has a higher saturated fat content compared to 1% milk. Whole cow milk has a fat percentage of 3.5% to 4.5%, so both of these are reduced fat types of milk.

1% milk is the result of fat removal by human intervention from cow’s milk. It is called low fat milk, and it still has the nutrients found in cow’s milk. As a lot of fat is removed from it, it has lesser cream and is thinner than usual milk.

2% milk is called reduced fat milk, as the fat percentage has been reduced just a little. It will have more cream and be thicker than 1% milk. All usual nutrients found in cow’s milk are available in 2% milk too.  

Comparison Table Between 1% Milk and 2% Milk

Parameters of Comparison1% Milk2% Milk
Taste1% milk is not as tasty as others, it is thinner and blander.2% milk is tastier than 1% milk, it has more cream and is similar to whole milk.
Fat PercentageIt will have around 1 gram of fat for every 100 grams of milk.This will contain around 2 grams of fat for every 100 grams of milk.
Protein ContentThis has slightly more protein content than 2% milk.This has more protein content than whole cow milk.
Carbohydrate content1% milk has slightly more carbohydrates than 2% milk.2% milk has more carbohydrates than whole cow milk.
CaloriesThis has significantly lesser calories than 2% milk.2% milk is calorically denser than 1% milk, but lesser than whole cow milk.
Suitability1% milk is good for the average adult, especially those with sedentary lifestyles.2% milk is good for those who need to include more fat in their diets.

What is 1% Milk?

1% milk is a good source of protein, calcium, Vitamin D and phosphorus. It has lesser calories, saturated fat and cholesterol compared to whole cow’s milk and 2% milk. This is due the fat percentage in this milk being reduced substantially. Lesser fat comes with a lot of benefits, especially in today’s world where fat intake can go up easily. Excess saturated fat increases cholesterol levels in the body, and increasing cholesterol comes with various red signals. It is linked to heart disease, obesity and impact a person’s health negatively.

1% milk is an invention that provides consumers with a tiny fat percentage, but lesser calories and same amount of nutrients. Fat free milk could leave consumers hungry as it has no fat at all, and this would increase hunger and binging tendencies. The fat in whole cow milk could be too much if consumed excessively. 1% draws a bridge between these extremes, and is a good option for those who want to reduce their fat intake.

What is 2% Milk?

2% milk is also a good source of the nutrients that are obtained in cow’s milk. The fat content in whole milk is approximately halved and brought down to 2%. It is filling and satiating, perfect to round off a good breakfast. It has a good amount of saturated fat content and cholesterol, along with protein and slightly lesser calories than whole cow milk.

This is good for people who want to cut down a bit on their fat intake, but are still active enough to manage the 2% fat well. Active adults and children will benefit from consuming this type of milk. It is creamy and thick enough to satisfy the taste buds, unlike skimmed milk. There is not a big difference in the way 2% milk and whole milk tastes.

Main Differences Between 1% Milk and 2% Milk

  1. The nutritional value of 1% milk is better than that of 2% milk, as it has half the amount of fat and lesser cholesterol.
  2. 2% milk is denser and tastier than 1% milk, which makes it a good option if the consumer prioritizes taste. Restaurants and bakers can use this as a healthier alternative to whole cow’s milk.
  3. 1% milk is better for health conscious individuals, whereas 2% milk is better for those who need a higher fat intake such as children. Giving children 1% milk is not a good option.
  4. 1% milk has lesser calories than 2% milk. If lesser calories is an important fact to the consumer, they will be better off with 1% milk.
  5. 2% milk could lead to obesity because it is higher in fat content. However, 1% milk could also lead to obesity as it is not as filling and people might consume more to satiate themselves.


The biggest differentiating factor between 1% milk and 2% milk is their fat content. They have similar amounts of other nutrients. However, the amount of calories 1% milk contains is significantly lower than what 2% contains. One cup of 1% milk, which is around 237 ml has around 85 calories. The same cup of 2% milk will have around 105 calories. They both have a few more grams of carbohydrates than whole cow milk because of their reduced fat content. In the end, it depends on your necessities as a consumer when choosing which type of milk you want to buy.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0958694609000314
  2. https://milkdigestion.com/References/Laugesen%20&%20Elliott_2003_IHD%207%20A1.pdf