Picking up milk at the grocery store is no longer as simple of a process as it might have once been. Rather than only having to select from different percentages of milkfat, you now have to decide what type of milk you’d like to have, with alternatives ranging from rice to soy. It’s easier than ever to consume milk products without ever drinking “milk,” but how is one supposed to know what’s truly better? Let’s take a look at a few of the variations between dairy, soy, and almond milk types to find out.
Dairy Milk Breakdown
Whole milk is a substance procured from cows that is high in natural proteins, vitamin D, calcium, and fat. You can choose the fat content you want in your milk, although most dieticians will recommend that you choose something with less, like skim milk. Dairy milk is high in saturated fat and calories, making it great for those in need of essential proteins but less useful for those who are trying to lower their caloric intake. The take-away? If you’re not worried about your weight or cholesterol levels, feel free to drink dairy milk for the protein.
Soy Milk Story
Soy milk is made from soybeans which are produced by a plant. Because soy milk is a plant-based drink, it has no lactose or cholesterol and is low in saturated fat. Soybeans provide an excellent source of natural protein and calcium, but lack any of their own potassium. Drinking soy milk gives you a healthy dose of vitamin A, B12, and vitamin D as well, and fortified soy milk may even provide the potassium you need. This type of milk is a common substitute for those who are lactose-free or vegan.
Almond Milk Appraisal
Ground almonds are the foundational ingredient of almond milk, which is lower in calories than any of the other milks. Similar to soy milk, almond milk has no cholesterol or lactose, and is also completely devoid of saturated fat. Almond milk is not a naturally good source of calcium, protein, or vitamin D, although certain brands fortify their milk to be that way. Almond milk does, however, provide vitamin A on its own. Consumers should be wary of sweetened almond milk, which adds calories to the already semi-healthy drink.
Ultimately, drinking any milk is probably better than drinking no milk at all. All of the various milk types provide much-needed nutrients to your body and act as a great supplement to your drinks of choice. With more knowledge of milk-types under your belt, you’re safe to venture to the grocery store and pick out the milk that’s best suited for your tastes and your body.