Difference Between 2 Percent and Whole Milk (With Table)

Milk has been one of the everyday go-to products for good health. With changing trends, the world seeks a healthier, fat-free alternative to regular milk. 

Two choices of milk are in demand. One is 2 percent milk, and the other one is whole milk. Both types of milk may look the same, but there are a lot of differences between the two.

2 Percent vs Whole Milk

The main difference between 2 percent and whole milk is that 2 percent has only 2% fat content. On the other hand, whole milk has about 3.5% fat content.

Difference Between 2 Percent and Whole Milk

2 percent milk is considered a healthy alternative to another type of milk. For making 2 percent milk, a process happens which removes all the fat from the milk. After the processing, only 2% of fat is added to milk as per the entire weight. Reduced-fat milk is another name for 2 percent milk.

Whole milk, as the name suggests, is whole or complete. Almost no alterations are to the milk derived directly from the source. Since whole milk undergoes the lowest processing, it is thick in its consistency. 

Comparison Table Between 2 Percent and Whole Milk

Parameters of Comparison2 Percent MilkWhole Milk
Milkfat content2 percent milk goes under multiple processes making it possible to contain only 2% milk fat. The milk fat percentage is dependent on the overall weight of the milk serving.Whole milk undergoes fewer processes that make it possible to have about 3.5% milkfat.
Nutrients present2 percent milk comes packed with plenty of nutrients like calcium, proteins, and vitamin D. 2 Percent milk is a healthy option to maintain good bone health.Whole milk contains many nutrients like riboflavin, vitamin B12, potassium, zinc, etc. Whole milk also is a rich source of energy.
Comparative fat content2 percent milk has half the volume of fat that is present in whole milk.Whole milk has about double the volume of fat compared to 2 percent milk.
Calorie and protein countOne cup of 2 percent milk consist of about 122 calories and 8 grams of protein.One cup serving of whole milk consists of 149 calories. It also has 8 grams of protein.
Category2 percent milk comes into the category of low-fat.Whole milk comes into the category of high-fat.

What is 2 Percent Milk?

2 percent milk is a type of milk that people prefer to maintain good health. The fat content is only two percent, so it makes a healthy choice for people who wish to avoid saturated and unsaturated fats.

For a healthy, well-balanced diet, including 2 percent milk in daily consumption is important. The journey when the whole milk becomes 2 percent includes various processes that can cause differences in the nutrient count of the 2 percent milk.

One cup of 2 percent milk can provide higher amounts of calcium, phosphorous, and other minerals essential for the body’s function. 2 percent milk also contains more potassium and sodium. As 2 percent milk has plenty of minerals, it fulfills the body’s daily requirements.

Converting whole milk into 2% can take more time than just purification. Owing to this, excess fat is removed. It can be a good option for people who have high sugar levels.

The calorie count and fat are both low in 2 percent milk. People with high cholesterol or diabetes can benefit from taking 2 percent milk.

What is Whole Milk?

Whole milk is a type of milk that has undergone limited processing. The skimming of fat does not happen in whole milk. Whole milk is unadulterated. Even when whole milk has about 3.5% fat, pediatricians suggest it to children and growing infants.

The fat might be higher in whole milk, and so is the energy one cup of whole milk can provide compared to 2 percent milk. The term whole does not imply that the whole milk will have more nutrients and minerals. Whole milk has a lesser amount of calcium.

It might seem as if the fat content is high, but it is an unhealthy option. On the contrary, doctors suggest that the consumption of whole milk is better as the nutrients are well absorbed in it, compared to other types of milk.

Weight management is better with the consumption of whole milk. People who consume whole milk have higher levels of vitamin D. Plus, the body mass also remains maintained with the consumption of whole milk. People diagnosed with diabetes should not opt for whole milk as it can increase the problem. 

Main Differences Between 2 Percent and Whole Milk

  • Two percent milk overall contains 2% milkfat compared to the serving weight. On the other hand, whole milk contains about 3.5% of milkfat in ratio to the serving weight.
  • 2 percent milk gives 122 calories in one cup or 8 ounces of serving. On the other hand, whole milk provides 149 calories in one serving.
  • 2 percent milk is suited for all people for consumption. On the other hand, whole milk is not ideal for people who have diabetes or have cholesterol issues.
  • The proteins present in 2 percent milk are not fully absorbed in it. On the other hand, the protein in whole milk is fully absorbed and gives better nutrition.
  • Two percent milk is very healthy but not filling, making a person feel hunger pangs. On the other hand, whole milk is more filling, making the person not crave anything in a short while.


2 percent milk and whole milk are good options to improve the nutrient content in the body. The only main difference comes in the fat content and the consistency.

People can choose between the two based on their choice. Some people find it hard to digest whole milk and can go for the 2 percent milk.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002203028580789X
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022030294770582

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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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