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Which Milk Is Best For You

Which Milk Is Best For You !

Milk is almost an essential kitchen item in most households .Drinking milk can help us meet our daily protein and calcium needs, and some milks also contain vitamin D and B and also minerals like potassium , iron etc.

Milk gives us much needed protein , Which milk is good for an individual , is a big deal specially for people with lactose intolerance . There are different types of milks available these days besides traditional cow and buffalo milk- like oat milk , soy milk , almond milk dairy milk ,pea based milk etc. There are many people who have lactose intolerance . Do non-dairy milk like oat or almond or other plant based milk have the same nutritional value ? Let us have a look .

Pros and cons of different types of milks at a glance -

Dairy Milk - Its Major benefit is that it contains complete quality protein which is needed for development , maintenance and growth of muscles and tissue repair . This is the most commonly used milk around the world .

Pros of Dairy milk -

It contains possibly the best quality protein , Calcium , Potassium .

Cons of Dairy milk - It has high saturated fat , But skimmed milk of 1% is good . However some fat is good for us as it helps in absorption of Vitamin D . It contains lactose and milk protein which are not tolerated by some people .

Soy Milk - It is a plant based milk made by soaking and grinding Soybeans .

Pros of Soy milk - It too has good quality of protein ,Potassium , Calcium , Vitamin D and B12 . It is lactose free , so best suited for lactose intolerants .

Cons of Soy milk - There is Phytoestrogen present in it which is not suitable for some people . Some manufacturers use genetically modified soybeans .Those who don't like GMO can opt for Organic labeled brands .

Other examples of plant based milk are - Peanut milk , coconut milk ,sesame milk but they are not popular alternatives to dairy milk .

Almond milk - Almond milk is also a popular alternative for dairy milk . But practically it has no protein . However some brands do add protein .

Pros of Almond milk - Very low in Calorie and lactose free . It is fortified with Calcium and Vitamins B, D ( and some A also ) . It is sweet in flavour and has natural vitamin E.

Cons of Almond milk - It has no protein so one has to manage with other protein based products or you choose brands with added protein . Must be shaken well before use .

Oat Milk - This milk is also slowly gaining popularity among non dairy milk users . It has a good taste so it is used in lattes and iced coffee also .

Pros of Oat milk - It is also lactose free . It also comes fortified with Calcium .Vitamin B 12 and D . It is naturally sweet and rich in creamy consistency .

Cons of Oat milk - It is low in protein and normally has added fat to make it thicker and some with added sugar . It should be shaken well before use .

Pea Based Milk - This milk has some leverage over other milk alternatives as they have some Vitamins in them and more protein which some others non dairy milks might not have . This is also a good choice for vegetarians as well as vegans .

Pros of Pea Based milk - It has enough protein besides Potassium . It is normally fortified with Calcium , Iron , Vitamin B and D .Pea based milk is also lactose free and has rich creamy consistency .

Cons of Pea Based milk - Very few brands are available . Some brands might not contain Calcium . To get the best nutritional benefits it must be shaken well before drinking .

Then which is the Healthiest milk ! - Which milk is the healthiest one whether you are using it in tea , coffee , breakfast cereals or simply drinking it . As a matter of fact, no milk is the healthiest one for everyone . It depends on his / her diet plan , taste (Some prefer oat milk in iced coffee and almond milk for dinner ) , nutritional goal and lactose tolerance capacity .

As a thumb rule one should choose -

A milk which has no added sugar , which is fortified with Calcium . Any milk should be shaken well before it is poured in your glass or bowl .Especially vitamins and minerals in plant based milk get settled at the bottom so they must be shaken well to get its benefits .

Does Almond milk have Calcium - Using dairy milk our body absorbs about 30 % of Calcium we need. With non dairy milk we don't know about Calcium content. So while using Almond milk one should see calcium is there . Hence for someone with Osteoporosis dairy milk is a better option .

Which milk has the most Protein - Undoubtedly dairy milk has more and better quality protein than most other milks . For vegetarians and vegans, for better muscle recovery they need protein. Next in protein content comes Soy milk as it too contains good quality protein . Next in line of protein content is Pea based milk . Almond milk and Oat milk contain a very small amount of protein .

Milk for Kids - For kids plain pasteurized cow milk is very good till age of 2 unless otherwise advised by a doctor due to any medical reasons. For kids and even adults with Autism or ADHD ( attention deficiency hyperactivity disorder ) Casein free diet is recommended and in such cases Camel milk and goat milk are options .

Milk for Youth - Cow’s milk is the most taken milk because of its Protein , Calcium and some vitamins and mineral contents . It is better for both kids and youths who don't have lactose intolerance .

Milk for Bones - A cup of skimmed milk ( 240 ml nearly ) has 325 mg of Calcium which is almost one third of daily adult needs . Skim milk contains more vitamins than whole milk as a result of fortification .

Milk for Skin - For acne sensitive skin Raw Milk is good . It cleans the extra oil and dirt from skin . Milk has Lactic acid which helps in fighting with microbes . These microbes cause acne. You can apply raw milk on a cotton ball or pad and gently clean the face .

Milk for Weight Loss- For losing weight Almond milk is a better choice as it contains the least calories . Even otherwise cow milk is lighter and contains less calories as compared to buffalo milk ,that is why for weight loss cow milk is preferred to buffalo milk .

Milk for Weight Gain - For gaining weight, milk with more fat content and Calories is needed. If one’s preference is to gain weight , Whole milk is a better choice . A cup of whole milk ( 240 ml ) has about 150 calories as compared to Skim milk which has 80 calories .