Milk vs. Powdered milk — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
After serving size correction, liquid milk is richer in vitamins B2, B12, D, and A. In addition, it is richer in calcium and phosphorus. In comparison, powdered milk is higher in calories, fats, and sodium but richer in magnesium. Powdered milk has a longer shelf life.
Table of contents
This article is a comparison between milk and powdered milk. Milk in this article is fresh liquid milk, and powdered milk is powdered milk without adding water.
Noting that the comparison in this article will tend more towards powdered milk has more nutrients since it is dehydrated and most of the weight of fresh milk comes from water.
However, we will compare them based on the logic of consumption regarding their nutritional content and health impacts to understand if they are different.
Shelf life is one of the most significant differences in milk. Fresh milk has a shorter shelf life than powdered milk.
Another difference is taste; powdered milk has a creamier and stronger taste than fresh milk.
Nutritonal content comparison
Approximately 32g of powdered milk is equivalent to 1 cup of fresh milk, which is approximately 240 ml. This is a generalized estimate.
In this article, we are comparing whole-fat powdered milk to 1% fresh milk.
Powdered milk contains more calories than fresh milk.
If we consider 32g of powdered milk to 240 ml of fresh milk, we still come to the point where powdered milk is higher in calories. This is due mainly to it being whole milk, which contains a higher amount of fat.
According to their equivalency, powdered milk is 32g vs. 240 ml of fresh milk. Contains nearly similar amounts of proteins.
Whole powdered milk contains more fats than 1% fresh milk when we correct for equivalency.
Below we can visualize their fat distributions.
When corrected for equivalency, we can see that both have similar amounts of carbs.
More often, we find powdered milk that has added iron in them. It is essential to check those labels.
One of the main differences in minerals is sodium. Powdered milk contains more sodium than fresh milk, even after serving size adjustment.
For the rest of the minerals, after adjustment for serving size. Fresh milk is richer in phosphorus and calcium. In contrast, powdered milk is richer in magnesium.
Below we can visualize their mineral content. However, it is according to an equal amount of comparison without correction for serving size.
This article considers fortified milk with vitamins A and D for fresh milk.
Fresh milk is richer in vitamins B2, B12, D, and A.
Below we can visualize their vitamin content. However, it is according to an equal amount of comparison without correction for serving size.
Check this article to learn about powdered milk and its health impacts.
During milk processing, heat dehydrates the milk to become powder. Considering this, we lose some nutrients during the dehydration processes by heat during the high heat. An example of that is vitamin B12.
Based on this, fresh milk can have a higher nutrient content than powdered milk. However, most powdered milk is fortified with vitamins and minerals to compensate for that loss and add extra nutrients.
Powdered milk fortified with potassium and phytosterols is a cost-effective source of nutrients that positively affects cardiovascular health. Reassuring that people are getting an adequate amount of these nutrients in their diet.
Similarly, this study was made on another sample who had hypertension. (1)(2)
Powdered milk fortified with potassium and phytosterols has an advantage over fresh milk regarding this.
Both powdered milk and fresh milk positively affect bone health in children; however, we also need to consider vitamin D and magnesium in association with calcium intake for proper bone mineralization.
The difference comes from the accessibility of milk, as in some countries, powdered milk is cheaper and more accessible with added vitamins and minerals. (3)(4)
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Rich in minerals|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Lower in price|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||58µg||258µg|
|Omega-6 - Linoleic acid||0.027g|
|Omega-3 - ALA||0.004g|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|