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You can't have dairy milk without cows – and the healthier they are, the better. Let's meet some!

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Milk is inspected and sampled before being pumped into insulated, stainless steel tanker trucks and shipped to a dairy processing plant.

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There are a lot of ways to enjoy milk and dairy products – they're part of a healthy diet at any age.

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Dairy milk is milk that comes from cows. This differentiates it from milk produced by other animals, or products derived from plants (like nuts or soy).

It's important to check the labels of the foods you're buying for their exact nutrient content. Milk alternatives like soy and almond beverages tend to have low amounts of naturally occurring calcium and vitamin D, and are fortified as a result. The amount of fortification is not standardized, so the nutrient content may vary from product to product. For tips on how to understand nutrition facts tables, visit the Government of Canada's Understanding food labels page.

The main difference between skim, 1%, 2% and homogenized (3.25%) milk is the amount of milk fat. The following chart shows the comparative nutrient values of the various types of dairy milk. 

Nutritional value per 250 mL






Energy (kCal)

88 kCal

108 kCal

129 kCal

155 kCal

Total fat


3 g

5 g

8 g

Saturated fat

0.2 g

1.6 g

3.3 g

5.4 g


5 mg

13 mg

21 mg

26 mg


109 mg

113 mg

106 mg

103 mg


13 g

13 g

12 g / 4%

12 g / 4%


9 g

9 g

9 g

8 g


13 g

13 g

13 g

14 g

Vitamin A

158 RAE*

150 RAE*

142 RAE*

72 RAE*


324 mg

307 mg

302 mg

291 mg


0.1 mg

0.1 mg

0.1 mg

0.1 mg

Vitamin D

2.7 μg

2.6 μg

2.8 μg

2.7 μg

*Retinol activity equivalent,
Source: Health Canada

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