The topic of milk has been buzzing around the nutrition world for quite a while now. Determining which type of milk to buy can be overwhelming especially with the constant flood of new types that are available. From coffee shops to grocery stores, determining which milk best suits you is determined by personal preference and how the milk is metabolically tolerated. Copious milk types have newly hit the market but the main seven are listed below.
- Cow’s Milk:has been around for centuries and is the consumer’s most popular choice. Created from the cow’s mammary glands, the milk is sold as whole, 2 percent fat, 1 percent fat, or skim. The difference between the types of cow’s milk is the percentage of fat. From whole milk down to skim milk, the consistency becomes thinner and the taste becomes sweeter. Cow’s milk is a great source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that is found naturally in animal products which is crucial to brain function, nervous system, and the formation of new blood cells. Cow’s milk is the only milk that offers the benefits of vitamin B12.
- Almond Milk:is a dairy-free option that is created by soaking and grinding almonds with water. High in magnesium, selenium, and vitamin E almond milk supports immune function, bones, and provides many antioxidants. For those that are sensitive to lactose, almond milk is a great alternative because it is lactose and cholesterol free.
- Soy Milk:consists of dried soybeans soaked and ground with water. There is a lot of discussion on whether soy is a healthy source of nutrients. Soy milk is a great source of protein and calcium for those that have an intolerance to lactose.
- Hemp Milk:is made by soaking the hemp seed in water and then grinding them. This option is creamier and richer in protein and healthy fats. The fat in most hemp milk is unsaturated essential fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3 which help to build new tissue.
- Oat Milk:is made up of oats and water. It originates in Sweden and is high in soluble fiber and beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are great for boosting the immune system. Hemp is also a good source of B vitamins. Some things to consider is oat milk is low in protein.
- Rice Milk:is considered the most hypoallergenic of all milk options. It is made with boiled rice, brown rice syrup, and brown rice starch. It is a great option for controlling blood pressure due to the high levels of magnesium.
- Coconut Milk:is made by taking the inside meat of a coconut, simmering, and then straining out any chunks left. With a creamier texture, coconut milk contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) to stimulate energy and lauric acid to boost immune function.
With background on the different types of milk and their benefits, it is important to keep in mind sugar content. Sugar is naturally found in milk and other dairy products because of the composition of lactose. When selecting a milk be aware of the added sugars. Many milk alternatives typically come either sweetened, non-sweetened, and/or flavored. When selecting the best milk for you, read the food label to confirm how high or low the sugar content is. Such milk, like chocolate milk, is heavily sweetened chocolate milk, there are between 8 and 12 grams of added sugar. Dependent on the manufacturer, sugar from chocolate milk can vary drastically so continue to read labels if you are choosing to buy chocolate milk. Another key component is many milks are fortified with nutrients meaning they are added in by the manufacturer. Overall there is little to no harm in consuming cow or an alternative type of milk. Be mindful on any sensitivity or intolerance with all milk.
(includes standard fortification)
|B12||Magnesium||Selenium||Calcium||Vitamin E||Vitamin D||Vitamin A||Omega’s|