/> Clean Convenient Cuisine: Which Milk To Drink?

Clean Convenient Cuisine

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Which Milk To Drink?

Whole milk, skim milk, soy milk, rice milk... the list goes on and on. There are many choices when it comes to getting your daily dose of liquid calcium. So, which type of milk is right for you and will give you the biggest dose of vitamins and minerals?

Raw milk: Raw milk comes straight from the cow, and was used for an array of medicinal purposes in the early 20th century. Raw milk contains 20 amino acids, composed of casein and whey protein. Lactose is the primary carb in cow's milk. However, most of the fat in raw milk is saturated fat (which some believe can actually stave off certain diseases). Raw milk contains numerous vitamins, minerals, enzymes and beneficial bacteria. Raw milk isn't legal in all areas, so do some research and see if this might be a right fit for you.

Whole milk: Though high in fat, many people prefer real dairy products as compared to the lower fat versions. Many sources believe you can't digest the protein or absorb the calcium from milk without the fat. Whole milk is naturally full of vitamins A and D (two vitamins that have to be pumped back in to the lower fat counterparts). A more "natural" food, whole milk undergoes less processing than its lower fat counterparts.

Skim milk: For those who are fat conscious, this would be the obvious choice, though there have been mixed reviews about the nutritional value of skim milk. Skim milk is devoid of natural sources of vitamin A and D. Dried concentrated milk protein is added to skim milk to give it bulk (as it would be too watery once the fat is removed). Although pasteurization is deemed necessary for health safety, heating milk destroys the live enzymes and destroys the milk protein structure. So, while it seems like the obvious healthy choice, it's actually the least whole, natural product and has even been linked to certain diseases, such as heart disease (due to the extreme heating process).

Soy milk: For those who can't process dairy, soy is a good alternative. Soy milk is more natural than skim, in that it is made straight from the soybean. It contains amino acids, is low in saturated fat and is cholesterol free. Look for the "plain" flavor for lower sugar and substitute for dairy to see how your body reacts.

Rice milk: Rice milk is a grain milk made from brown rice. Compared to cow's milk, rice milk is higher in carbohydrates, lower in protein and calcium and has no cholesterol or lactose. Many brands are fortified with vitamins, including calcium, vitamin B12 and iron. A nice alternative to soy, if you are looking for something different.

Almond milk: Made from ground almonds, this milk contains no cholesterol or lactose. It can replace cow's milk in most recipes and is completely vegan. You can even make your own by combining ground almonds and water in a blender. Sometimes, vanilla or sweeteners are added. This is a good bet for people with milk allergies.

Cashew milk: Cashew milk, made from cashews and water, is high in B vitamins, magnesium and copper. Compared to other nuts, cashews are lower in fat. The majority of the monounsaturated fats found in cashews is oleic acid, a heart healthy fat found in olive oil. A good alternative to soy, rice and almond milk (and one of the tastiest).

Lactose free milk: For those who have an intolerance to lactose (and it is reported that a vast majority of the population cannot digest lactose), this is a safer option. Almost identical to milk, it is infused with a lactase enzyme that breaks the lactose down for you. Always read labels of other products if you are lactose intolerant, especially in in processed foods. Look for ingredients such as milk, lactose, whey, curds, milk by-products, dry milk solids, or non-fat dry milk powder.

Goat milk: Many people prefer goat's milk to cow's milk as it is more easily digestible and less allergenic. Though slightly higher in fat, the protein is more easily digestible and contains lower levels of lactose. It also contains around 13% more calcium, 25% more vitamin B6, 47% more vitamin A and 134% more potassium.

Whatever brand you choose, really look at the ingredients and do your research. See what your body likes best, and don't be afraid to try new products!


  1. I know some of these things are supposed to be good for you but I have yet to taste any milk or "milk" in name only product that didn't make me wanna puke based on the taste alone.

    However I love almonds so I might give that a try before I completely write that off because it has the word milk in the title.

    - Json

  2. WOW! I never knew all of the varieties of milk. I am lactose intolerant, and thought I would never be able to get the benefits of milk ever again. Thank you for this post, very informative.

  3. Almond milk is good. It has a different flavor than most milks. Just pretend it doesn't have the word milk in the title! It is interesting how many different varieties are actually out there!

  4. Thank you so much for this post! I was about to leave a message asking about almond milk so I'm glad that you included in the list. I'm really not a proponent of dairy milk and think it's fairly odd that humans are the only mammals that continue to drink milk long after infancy.

  5. Glad this was helpful! Almond milk is delicious. Let us know what you think.