Milk is necessary to build strong bones and teeth. It is also known to induce sound sleep when consumed warm and can lower your risk of diabetes. But with all the numerous options available in the grocery stores, which milk is best for you? A common approach to finding this answer is to do trial and error. It may be costly to find out but worth it.
Start with the versions you are already familiar with and keep trying them until you find one that tastes good, causes no adverse effects and provides exactly what your body needs. The USA national dietary guidelines recommend adults drink up to three cups per day.
Cow or Alternative Milk?
All cow milk provides natural essential nutrients our body needs. Protein, calcium, potassium, riboflavin, phosphorus, niacin, vitamin B12 and vitamin D are all naturally present. It is very affordable, has 134 calories and tastes better. However it’s known to cause more allergic reactions in people because of its proteins. Therefore, this makes it more difficult to digest in those who suffer lactose intolerance. Many people suffer with lactose intolerance so manufacturers have now developed what is known as alternative milk options.
Alternative milk options typically come from plant sources. These include almond, rice, cashew, hemp, soy etc. Despite being marketed as an alternative source it actually has none of the vitamins and minerals the cow naturally offers, For this reason they have to be fortified in order to match the nutrition quality of the regular version. Alternative versions don’t provide enough protein necessary for growth, muscle recovery, and meal balance.
Best Options for Weight loss
If your plan is to loose weight consider grouping the various options available according to calories contained. For example, lactose free has 159 calories, coconut has 157 calories and skim has 88 calories. But did you know that almond milk has the lowest amount of calories of all of them, coming in with 63 calories per serving! Not to mention its taste isn’t bad at all.
However, if you have a nut allergy this may not be the best option for you. Instead try rice, skim or nonfat versions. If you are looking for a dairy free option, fortified soy or coconut milk may be best for you.
There are four types of cow milk available today. They are either skim, 1%, 2% or whole. But the major difference here is the amount of calories and fat. 1 cup of 1% has 1.5 grams of fat and 2% option has double grams of fat. If your looking to switch to a non-fat version start sampling these four options.
Cashew milk texture is very close to whole milk, has fewer calories than skim, no sugar and provides more calcium than dairy.
Trouble digesting lactose?
If this is you, this means that your body is intolerant of the natural sugar, lactose, found in this white goodness. This would cause bloating, gas and diarrhea. Lactose free options have been specifically treated to break down the lactose into simple sugars that are easily digested. As a result it is a bit sweeter than the regular version.
Goats milk has become increasingly popular as an alternative. It has more protein, potassium and calcium per cup than any other kind available.
Soy milk has all the benefits of cow versions but you have to ensure it is fortified with calcium and vitamin D becaue it is made from ground soybeans that are soaked in water.
Rice milk is also known as an easy to digest soy alternative since it is made from ground brown rice and water. Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds and is thicker and creamier than other non-dairy versions but it is less sweet. Both versions are highly recommended for people with multiple food allergies.
However if you are looking to avoid dairy, soy, and gluten then try macadamia milk. This is ideal for vegans.
Turmeric Latte Recipe
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp cinnamon, vanilla extract
- pinch of black pepper and cardamom
Whisk ingredients together until well combined in a pot over medium heat. Whisk for about 5 minutes or until a foam forms. Serve warm.