Got milk? It’s not so easy choosing one to drink these daysOct 14, 2019 04:23PM ● By Amber Allen
By Amber Allen | a.allen[email protected]
Depending on your age, you may remember a time when milk was just milk. That is no longer the case. Today, there all different kinds of milk available: cow’s milk, soy milk and almond. But wait! There’s even more. You can also get coconut milk, oat milk and cashew milk. Variety is a great thing, but is one kind of milk better than another? Here’s an overview on each type to help you decide.
In the past, classic cow’s milk was considered the gold standard of healthy eating. Cow’s milk contains calcium, vitamin B12, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and phosphorus, all nutrients that human bodies need. Back then, cow’s milk had no competition because the alternatives didn’t contain the proper amount of nutrition. Manufacturers became wise to this and started researching ways to compete with milk, and now, you have choices.
Soy milk is different from cow’s milk in that it’s almost completely protein. It’s low in fat, and if you buy the type of soy milk that is unsweetened, then it’s low in sugar, too. Soy milk is a good option if you’re dieting or just watching your caloric intake. If you want to try soy, then look for a brand that’s organic and non-GMO. That way, you’ll be drinking a soy milk with minimal processing. Your body might struggle to metabolize and recognize processed foods. When food items are highly processed, they often contain more preservatives, which may cause inflammation.
Original and sweetened almond milk includes added sugar. In this case, it’s better for your health to purchase unsweetened almond milk or a light variety of it. Almond milk naturally has a nutty and sweet flavor. It also features a silky texture. This type of milk is low in calories and high in minerals and vitamins like vitamins D, A and E along with potassium, iron and zinc. You can purchase almond milk from the grocery store, or make it yourself by soaking almonds overnight in a pot for as long as two days. Then, drain and rinse them. Last, grind the almonds using fresh water.
You might prefer cashew milk because it has a creamy taste. Some milk brands include more nuts than other nut-based milks, so be sure to check the ingredient list if you want more in your diet. Naturally, cashew milk contains 4 grams of protein for each serving. It also has 8% of your daily iron. Like other nut-based milks, sweetened versions include cane sugar, so keep an eye out for it if you’re looking for ways to cut the sugar out of your diet.
Coconut milk contains more saturated fats than other milk varieties. It has a nice creamy consistency. Also, most people report that it has a pleasant flavor, but coconut milk doesn’t hold up nutritionally when you compare it to soy milk and cow’s milk. You might want to use it in recipes but not as a replacement for the milk that you drink.
Oat milk is made from oats that include 2 to 3 grams of fiber per serving, which is a healthy amount for most people. If you need more fiber, then look for a brand that includes chicory root fiber. Fiber is good for your digestive system, and it will work to support your health in general.
A tough choice
While variety gives you options, having more to choose from can be tough. When it comes to milk varieties, you’ll need to try different ones out to find the right milk for your taste buds and your diet. Grab a few containers from the store and have fun in the milk-tasting process.