What Type of Milk Is Best for You?

200464175-001Back in the day, just about everyone used to drink whole cow’s milk, which would be delivered to doorsteps each morning. Now, there are a number of options for milk and milk-substitutes to fit every body.

Dairy Milk

Dairy milk, which of course comes from cows, remains the most popular. There are now different types of dairy milk, however, that a consumer can choose between.

  • Whole Milk

    —This milk doesn’t have any of the fat removed. It has 8 grams of fat per cup and is high in calcium, vitamin D and natural proteins.

  • Other Dairy Milk

    —Other options are 1 percent, skim and fat-free milk. Whole milk has 150 calories, 1 percent milk has 110 and skim milk has 80. Fat free milk has the same nutritional benefits as whole milk but without the calories and saturated fat.

  • Lactose-Free Milk

    —Many think lactose-free milk is a milk substitute, but it is actually cow’s milk that is processed to break down lactose, which is a natural sugar found in dairy. Lactose-free milk is still a good source of calcium, vitamins, protein and minerals, and is a good option for anyone who has difficulties digesting regular milk.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is made from almonds that have been ground up. It has fewer calories than other types of milk, as long as it isn’t sweetened. It also is free of saturated fat and cholesterol, and it is naturally lactose free. Though made from almonds, almond milk isn’t a good source of protein. It also doesn’t provide much calcium, though some brands add calcium and vitamin D to their almond milk.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a popular choice for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. It is made from soybeans, and both the soybeans and the soy milk are good sources of calcium (when fortified), protein and potassium. Soy milk is also low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol.

Rice Milk

This type of milk substitute is made from milled rice and water. Of all milk substitutes, it is the least allergenic, and is therefore a good choice for those who are allergic to lactose or nuts. Rice milk isn’t a good source of calcium or vitamin D, but just like with the other milk substitutes, it can be fortified with both.

The right milk or milk substitute for you depends on a number of factors, including your nutritional goals, your allergies and your taste preferences.

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What You Need to Know about Frozen Yogurt

185919750You may see frozen yogurt as a health food. But that just proves the old adage about beauty being in the eye of the beholder.

Nutritionally frozen yogurt is a step up from ice cream, that is undeniable. And it can certainly be included as part of a healthy diet. But it is neither as benign nor beneficial as you may have been led to believe, or as you would like to believe.

Debunking Frozen Yogurt Myths

Here are some mistaken ideas people have about frozen yogurt …

The myth: Because it is a non-fat/super-low-fat food, frozen yogurt can be consumed in fairly large quantities without elevating your calorie intake into the danger zone.

The reality: Frozen yogurt lacks fat but is abundant in sugar. A plain, 16-ounce serving purchased in a yogurt shop and consumed without toppings contains nearly 400 calories, a good portion of which is pure sugar. And most of us don’t eat it plain or without toppings.

The myth: Frozen yogurt is beneficial to digestion and the immune system because it is loaded with probiotics.

The reality: Most of the probiotics in frozen yogurt never reach the digestive system. They are either lost during manufacturing or storage, neutralized by stomach acids or shut down by exposure to extreme (freezing) temperatures.

The myth: The toppings provided in yogurt shops have few calories and can be eaten without worry.

The reality: Unless you stick to fruit there is plenty to worry about. Most of the toppings sold in yogurt shops have a decent number of calories and can quickly elevate the calorie count of the final product you consume. Even fruit is problematic if it comes in a sugary syrup.

The myth: A medium-sized cup of frozen yogurt is enough for the occasional lunch. You wouldn’t want to eat it exclusively for lunch often but every once in a while is okay.

The reality: A cup-and-a-half serving of frozen yogurt contains less calcium and protein than a glass of milk. It is also loaded with sugar, which makes frozen yogurt far from ideal as a stand-alone food.

The myth: So-called “real” or “natural” frozen yogurt is healthier and lower in calories than the commercial kind.

The reality: These claims are a marketing strategy and are not based in truth. Calculations show only marginal calorie or nutritional differences between the various types of frozen yogurts sold in shops or stores.

Frozen Yogurt is Delicious, That is No Myth

Frozen yogurt is tasty, popular and can be a solid addition to most diets. As a “sweet treat” it is a much better bet, nutritionally, than ice cream or many other kinds of sugary foods. But it is not a health food in the classical sense and if you eat too much of it you will not be doing your body any favors. ‘All things in moderation,’ as the saying goes, and that certainly applies to frozen yogurt, as delicious as it might be.

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