Grass-fed? Ultra-­pasteurized? You may have noticed a number of confusing phrases on your milk carton lately. Here, we explain some now-common labels you’ll find on milk and what they really mean.

What’s in Your Milk?

An 8-ounce glass supplies about a quarter of an adult’s daily calcium needs, more than half the vitamin B12 require­ment, and 8 grams of protein, but fat and calorie content varies widely by type of milk.

Whole Milk
(3.25% fat)
  • Calories   150
  • Fat    8 g
  • Sat. Fat   4.5 g
Reduced Fat Milk
(2% fat)
  • Calories   120
  • Fat    5 g
  • Sat. Fat   2.5 g
Lowfat Milk
(1% fat)
  • Calories   110
  • Fat    2.5 g
  • Sat. Fat   1.5 g
Skim Milk
(0% fat)
  • Calories   85
  • Fat    0 g
  • Sat. Fat   0 g

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the August 2021 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.