Milk - Squeezing Out The Facts

Milk is often a topic of controversy. With so many types to choose from, even in your local café, it can become difficult to sift through all of them to find the ones that are the most beneficial for your health.

Dairy products play a significant role in the average person’s diet, with the recommended amount at 2-4 serves per day for adults. The protein, calcium as well as vitamins and minerals it provides are beneficial to health and help maintain a healthy body weight, reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, to name a few. Many people have decided for moral, ethical or dietary reasons to avoid milk from animals and opt for plant-based milk instead.

Plant-based milk is on the rise around Australia, and although they may be lower in calories, they naturally lack key nutrients such as calcium and protein. Often though, these nutrients are re-added when they are fortified and packaged.

Nut mylk is controversial, as they do not contain any of the elements that define ‘milk' but instead contain water and nuts as a major component of their makeup. Despite this, nut milks are becoming popular in supermarkets and cafes. They also offer a great array of health benefits in fortified and calcium added versions. They often have a higher protein count and less calories per serve as well as a great nutty flavour for variety.

When coming to a decision about which milk is best for you, check out these points below to aid your decision.

Per 250ml serve:

  • Full fat cow’s milk (Dairy Farmers): 159 calories, 8.5g protein, 8.5 g Fat, 12g carbohydrates, 12g sugar, 110mg sodium, 320mg calcium.

  • Soy milk (So-good original): 163 calories, 8g protein, 8.8g fat, 12.8g carbohydrates, 5g sugar, 0.8g fibre and 100mg sodium, Vitamins A, B2, B12 and D, 400mg calcium, 250mg phosphorus, 363mg potassium.

  • Almond milk (So-good original): 74 Calories, 1.4g protein, 3.5g fat, 9g carbohydrates, 8.6g sugar, 0.7g fibre, 80mg sodium, 48mg potassium, 300mg calcium, Vitamins B2, B12 and E, 186mg phosphorus.

  • Lactose-Free milk (Dairy Farmers): 159 calories, 8.5g protein, 8.5g fat, 12g carbohydrates, 12g sugar, 6.3g galactose, 110mg sodium, 320mg calcium

From the above information, you can compare the nutritional benefits between cow's milk and other alternatives to find a suitable milk choice to suit your body’s needs. Try an almond milk latte or soy banana smoothie and see how your body responds to the changes.

Top Tip: Choose unsweetened plant-based milk for less added sugar and a healthier alternative.