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Milk vs. Milk

With so many alternatives to milk out there, what are the differences and which ones are the healthiest?

Soymilk, made from water and soybeans, has almost as much protein as regular cow’s milk. However, there have been studies done claiming that excessive soy intake may be linked to digestive issues and reproductive disorders. With 60 calories, 1.5g fat, 6g protein, and 0mg cholesterol, soymilk is the most heart healthy option.

Although more difficult to digest for the 13 percent of Americans with lactose intolerance, regular cow’s milk is the highest in calcium, protein, and potassium. Skim milk, the low-fat version, has been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Normally consisting of rather high amounts of added hormones and antibiotics, there are organic brands that are produced from grass-fed cows only. Skim cow’s milk contains 83 calories, .2g fat (8g in whole milk), 8g protein, and 5mg cholesterol.

Almond milk, perhaps the sweetest tasting of all the milks, holds 60 calories, 2.5g fat, 1g protein, and 0mg cholesterol. Also lactose-free, being that it’s made from almonds, it has a high amount of the skin friendly antioxidant, vitamin E (+cancer fighting). With its rich, nutty flavor, it is a great complement to your morning coffee or cereal. Almond milk is less starchy than soymilk, therefore may be more advantageous for dieters. Both contain your brain boosting omegas and metabolism moving B-vitamins. Soymilk has much higher amounts of protein to build strong muscle, but also generally contains more sugar than almond milk.

~Rice milk contains the highest amount of calories (120 and 2.5 from fat) and about twice as many carbs as skim milk. Coconut milk, one of the newest milk crazes contains 5g of fat, all being from unhealthy saturated fat, so drink in moderation.

All in all, it comes down to personal preference. All “milks” will have different benefits; it’s just a matter of what you’re looking for. Just be sure to stick with the ‘light’ versions.

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