Popular Milk Options Explained
Gone are the days where milk would conveniently arrive at your doorstep and come in a one size fits all option of full cream. Today, we are always presented with not only a large selection of sub-categories of standard milk, but a vast amount of substitute options as well. So fear not! All your questions on what option you should be buying and which is healthier, will be resolved right now.
There are far more varieties than the five I have chosen to look at today. However, these are the most popular. And as long as you aren’t expecting chocolate milk to be one of the options, these ones shouldn’t disappoint you.
Whole vs. Skim
You actually get four types of cow’s milk, including skim, 1%, 2% and full cream. What’s the difference? Simply how much fat and calories they contain. The amount of protein, vitamins and calcium stay exactly same.
TOP TIP: Toddlers between the ages of 1 – 2 are perfect candidates for a whole option. As they need diets slightly higher in fat for their brain development.
If you are lactose-intolerant, this is one of the better options for you. Lactose is the type of sugar found in diary products, and though it’s essentially harmless. It can actually cause gastrointestinal irritation for many people.
FAST FACT: You may find it to be slightly sweeter than regular milk as the lactose has been broken down into simpler sugars.
Please don’t be fooled into thinking soy milk is any less nutritional than regular. And it is another great option for people who are lactose-intolerant or vegan. Just make sure to go for a brand that is fortified with calcium and Vitamin D. One cup contains:
6g of protein
6g of carbohydrates
450mg of calcium
TOP TIP: Remember to always choose a non-sweetened version as those contain high qualities of added sugar.
IMPORTANTLY: It’s widely reported in medical journals that soy may have negative effects on thyroid function and hormonal health. If you are in a thyroid risk category, you should rather avoid it.
Coconut milk, like regular milk, has many sub-categories of its own. Firstly, you need to remember this is not just the stuff you use for curries. In fact, the canned option that you use for cooking, isn’t a good option for drinking as it contains 12g of fat per cup. This is practically the same amount of fat as double cream. You actually need to look for the coconut milk beverage. It has far fewer calories and is perfect for regular consumption. It also means you won’t have to do weekly cholesterol tests to see that your body isn’t being overloaded with calories.
FAST FACT: This is one of your best alternative options to use if you want to make vegan ice-cream, soups or deserts!
If you’re looking for another great low calorie option that is packed with nutrients… then this is it! Once cup of almond milk contains 450mg of calcium and only has about 30 calories. It is suitable for people who are lactose intolerant, allergic to soy or follow a vegan diet. Not only that, but it’s perfect if you’re watching your weight and trying to cut down on the sugar.
TOP TIP: Yes, this option is super healthy, but it doesn’t give you the full benefits that raw almonds can give. Raw almonds have significantly higher amounts of protein and fibre. In other words, almond milk shouldn’t be a substitute for the real deal.