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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