Ever wondered which milk is best? So have we! It can be pretty overwhelming with the huge array of offerings these days from traditional dairy to plant based options. So buckle in for our feature this week on the nutrition pros and cons of 5 common ‘milk’ varieties: Cow, soy, rice, almond and coconut. Comment below if you’d like to hear more about the dizzying landscape of milk alternatives available these days, and which ones you’d like us to put under the microscope!
First up is cow’s milk: Cow’s milk contains around 8g of high biological value protein (meaning a good mix of essential amino acids) in each 250mL cup. It’s also a source of many nutrients important for bone health, including around 250-300mg calcium per cup. Of course these days cow’s milk comes in a staggering array of versions, including skim, low fat, full cream, a2, plant-sterol-enriched (for cholesterol lowering), lactose free and vitamin D enriched. Sheesh - the mind boggles!
Some people find lactose (the natural carbohydrate in milk) a little difficult to digest, which can cause bloating, gas and toileting ‘issues’. Some people suffer dairy allergy or intolerance, or prefer to avoid it for ethical reasons.
In scientific circles, current evidence supports incorporating a range of dairy foods into your diet, and does not classify dairy as an ‘inflammatory’ or unhealthy food, despite what many armchair experts will have you think. You may also like to know that lactose free and a2 varieties contain the same important nutrients as traditional cows milk.At the end of the day, if you tolerate cow’s milk and enjoy the taste, it’s a great choice, nutritionally speaking – whether you prefer skim, mid-range of full fat, the choice comes down to individual preference. If you prefer to give dairy the flick, stay tuned for our lowdown popular milk alternatives over the next few days.