Which Milk Should You Choose?

November 7, 2012


As a calcium source, cow’s milk really can’t be beat. However, many people have difficulty digesting conventional dairy products, while others choose not to drink milk from cows or other animals for personal reasons.

Alternative choices include soy, rice and almond milks.  All three have advantages and disadvantages to them.  Keep reading for the information that will help you decide which milk is best for you.

Soy Milk
Soy milk is made by mixing ground soybeans with water, and its benefits include high protein value and more calcium than other cow’s milk substitutes. Several studies have shown that it’s possible that soy protein can help lower blood cholesterol. Soy milk is also low in saturated fat and sodium, and it can easily be used as a substitute in savory dishes. However, soy milk can cause digestion problems in some people, and there is a chance that diets high in soy can lead to thyroid disease and other hormonal issues.

Rice Milk
Rice milk is naturally a little bit sweeter than cow’s milk, and it has more carbohydrates. It doesn’t have any cholesterol, which makes it a heart-healthy choice. In addition, it only has 3 grams of fat per serving, and you can easily make your own rice milk at home. The sweet flavor makes it a good substitute in desserts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a lot of calcium or protein. If you choose to use rice milk, buy a fortified brand, or you can supplement your diet with extra calcium, vitamin D and good sources of protein.

Almond Milk
Almond milk provides more nutrients than any other milk alternative. It has no cholesterol, and it’s a low-glycemic food. Almond milk helps build strong bones since it’s a good source of both calcium and vitamin D. When you drink almond milk, you may notice positive changes in your skin, eyes and energy level because almond milk contains important A, E and B vitamins plus lots of iron. Almond milk may be harder to find than rice or soy milk, it usually is more expensive, and it must be avoided by those who are allergic to nuts.

Today’s markets offer a number of milk alternatives.  If you don’t drink cow’s milk, choose the best substitute for you.

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