What Kind of Milk is Perfect for the Health-Conscious?

According to a 1980s marketing campaign, drinking milk is good for the body. Certainly, there are lots of vitamins in this beverage. However, in today’s world there’s a wide variety of types of milk with numerous health benefits.

“All ‘milks’ are not created equal,” according to dietician Lise Gloede. “Nutritional differences are vast. Consider using a plant-based milk (like soy milk) if you have allergies (or a lactose intolerance), but keep in mind that your intake of protein and riboflavin will be less. These are important nutrients.”

However, it does beg the question, out of all the types that has emerged, which is the healthiest one?

In all honesty, that choice isis a highly individual decision, according to Gloede.  She advised consumers to ask themselves what nutrients are most important to them, along with taste. If the need is to gain weight and add more calories, protein, calcium and potassium full-fat/regular whole cow’s milk is advisable. On the other hand, in order to lose weight, cut the calories ans opt for unsweetened plant-based option, like almond milk.

Determining which milk is healthiest is a complex question, because the answer will vary between different individuals, agrees Lisa Garcia, a registered dietitian based in Laconia, New Hampshire.

“Which milk is the healthiest?” is a question Garcia says she’s often asked. “My reply is always (that) it depends on your individual situation,” she says. Garcia asks her patients these questions: Do you have food allergies, food intolerances or food sensitivities? Are you trying to address a health issue? Are you following a particular eating style, such as vegetarian or vegan?

Your answers to these questions will likely rule out certain types of the dairy product. However, you can still choose from a number of plant-based milks that provide protein and other important nutrients, concluded Garcia.

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