100 Calorie Portions of Milk and Cream

Milk 4

It is so important to communicate information clearly. Today when people use the term data visualization they are generally referring to computer software that creates easily-to-understand graphics.

But, sometimes I’m blown away by  the creativity of the graphics in old books. I absolutely love a picture in a hundred-year-old home economics book that compares 100 calorie portion sizes for milk and cream.

I knew that skim milk has fewer calories than whole milk— but I’ve never been quite sure how to use that information to answer practical questions like: If I switch from whole milk to skim milk, how much more skim milk can I drink without gaining weight?

Now I know the answer–about 1/2 cup more.  Of course, this picture has limitations–Where’s the 1% and 2% milk?

36 thoughts on “100 Calorie Portions of Milk and Cream

    1. I agree–It gets the job done. Somehow it brings back memories of my teen years, and making carefully numbered cards to label the results for my science fair project.

  1. I thought I remembered that there is little difference between whole milk and 2%. A cursory look showed something interesting. The fat content is somewhat lower, but the sugar content is higher. That’s been the trade-off with so many supposedly “lowfat” foods — they’re often much, much higher in sugar. That’s why my vet told me never to feed my cat the “light” foods. Even though the fat’s reduced, the carbs are so much higher that animals gain weight on them. Eat nothing but foods marketed as “light” or “lowfat,” and you may well gain weight.

  2. Now I’m wondering what buttermilk is! How can it be less fat than skim milk? [Exit to check Google] OK, just found this: “Originally, buttermilk was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream. This type of buttermilk is known as traditional buttermilk.” That sure isn’t the buttermilk sold at the supermarket today. Sounds nasty.

    1. Modern tastes have changed. My Pop used to drink a glass when we would have buttermilk in the kitchen to prepare fried chicken and baked goods. Oh so good!

      1. I agree- Tastes have changed. Some foods that were once popular, like buttermilk, are much less popular today. At the same time other foods have soared in popularity.

            1. hmm. . . I don’t use Pinterest very much beyond putting my recipes on it, so I’m not sure what the problem is (but it’s good to know that people may be having difficulty finding it). Here’s the Pinterest link, see if that works.

            2. Yeah! I’m glad we were able to get it figured out. If you make gluten free oyster fritters you’ll have to let me know how they turn out. I’ve always enjoyed oyster fritters and make them several times a year.

  3. Yes, it is interesting how clearly this shows us the comparisons. They certainly did well with what tools they had. I love seeing these old pics. This reminds me of a picture I saw of a Nutella (chocolate/hazelnut spread) jar recently. Someone had actually separated ingredients into layers. It was shocking to see the actual visuals of how much was sugar and oil and how little nuts and cocoa were in it. I think it can be a better way to show people proportions of ingredients than percentages some times.

    1. The Nutella picture sounds like it really worked to support the argument the author was making. You may be right that some modern graphics can be visually engaging, but not as compelling as some less high tech ways of conveying information.

  4. I don’t think I knew they even had skim milk 100 years ago! I grew up on a dairy farm, drinking whole milk where the cream would rise to the top of the bottle. I can’t even imagine drinking it now! Tastes have changed so much!

    1. I also grew up on a dairy farm and drank lots of unhomogenized milk. I remember how the cream used to rise to the top of the milk. When we wanted to drink the milk, we’d either shake the bottle to mix it up or we’d skim the cream off the top before drinking it. I”m thinking that if they skimmed the cream off the top, that they called it skim milk.

    1. I want to read the label on a buttermilk container, too. The comments on this post about buttermilk have made me curious about exactly it how is made.

      1. I used to buy buttermilk here for cooking but I can’t remember what was on the label. I remember drinking it in the US and liking it very much. That’s going back along time, though.

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