Milk is a must-have for many of us. Whether it’s with morning coffee, tea or breakfast cereal, milk has a special place in the daily routine and diet of many people.
Children are encouraged to drink a glass of milk each day to support good health and growth.
With the dairy market growing and plant-based milks broadening options, it can be difficult to find the milk that suits you without having to try them all.
Here’s what you need to know.
Which milk is healthiest?
According to Eating Well, the benefits of cow’s milk can be “tough to beat” when it comes to nutrition. Cow’s milk, the most common milk found in many households, has healthy vitamins and nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, niacin and protein, according to U.S. Health News.
A cup of cow’s milk has about eight grams of protein per eight ounces and satisfies about one-third of your daily protein requirement. It is also a great source of calcium, as commercially sold milk is usually fortified with vitamin D, which helps with calcium absorption, making it a well-rounded food source.
Deciding among full-fat/whole, 2%, skim, 1% low-fat and fat-free milk, the American Heart Association recommends fat-free, 0.5% fat and 1% fat milk for consuming, as they are lower in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and calories and have slightly more nutrients.
This information might not matter, though, if you’re lactose-sensitive or lactose-intolerant.
But there’s a plant-based alternative that comes close to providing similar nutrition as cow’s milk. Soy milk is a popular, plant-based milk and has a similar nutrient profile to cow’s milk, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health. Soy milk is made by soaking soybeans in water, grinding them and filtering the remnant mixture to form a creamy beverage. It is high in protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and potassium and can be used as a cow-milk substitute in coffee, tea, baking and more.
Which milk is best for weight loss?
According to an National Institutes of Health study, unsweetened almond milk has the fewest calories and aids in a low-carb diet. Almonds also contain a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids that are considered helpful in weight loss and weight management.
What milk has the most protein?
Sheep’s milk has the highest protein, with 14.7 grams per eight-ounce serving, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Cow’s milk has almost 8.5 grams of protein in its low-fat version and eight grams in whole milk per eight-ounce serving.
Plant-based milk by protein content
In the order of most protein to least per eight-ounce serving, here are the different types of plant-based milk, according to the USDA:
- Unsweetened soy milk — 8.5 grams.
- Oat milk — 2 grams.
- Hemp milk — 2 grams.
- Almond milk —1 gram.
- Rice milk — 0.7 grams.
- Coconut milk — 0.5 gram.
Read more at usatoday.com