Milk has always been a part of our diet – whether it was being force-fed to us for breakfast before school or given to us right before bed. Parents believed in the goodness of milk and its importance for the growth of a healthy mind. Today as adults we know that it is an excellent source of protein, its nutritious nature helps us maintain a healthy weight and it helps prevent a variety of diseases.
In the present era, when we walk down the grocery aisle, we can see a variety of milk types in all sorts of packaging. The options are endless and most of them are marked healthy. But the question is that what type of milk can we safely consume without any side effects?
Cow milk is the healthiest there is.
Regular cow milk is consumed by over 750 million people on a daily basis. It is rich in vitamin D, calcium, potassium, protein and niacin. It keeps you fuller longer than any other milk does. Like they say, fresh cow milk is as natural as it gets. However, not everyone can have the recommended 3 glass a day limit as advised by doctors because it is a common allergen.
But if you’re trying to lose weight, skim milk is a healthier bet.
Whole milk is cow milk with fat content. It’s thick and creamy. Skim milk, also known as fat-free milk or low-fat milk consists of no traces of fat. However, when the fat is eliminated, the taste is altered as well. Individuals who are trying to shed some pounds should include skim milk in their diet. However, if you’re on a low-calorie diet, you can get a customized meal plan made from a nutritionist to best suit your body’s needs.
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If you’re vegan or have lactose restrictions healthy options for you include almond milk and soy milk.
Almond milk is plant-based and is lactose-free. A handful of almonds might be your source of protein but contrary to popular belief, almond milk is not rich in protein. But, it does contain a lower amount of fat as compared to whole milk. It is also a great source of calcium. If you’re looking for a healthier option, choose almond milk without added sugars. Hello, healthy bones!
A great source of potassium and vitamin A, soy milk comprises of soybean flour in water. It contains just as much protein as cow milk does however, excess of soy can be problematic for people with thyroid concerns.
Hakeem Fact: The best milk for a baby is his mother’s! However, if you choose not to breastfeed or there’s an underlying medical condition because of which you can’t, cow milk is the top option. Skim milk should not be given to babies before 5 years of age.
Other popular options include oat milk, hemp milk, and rice milk.
Made with milled rice or brown rice, it is high in carbohydrates, sugar and low in protein. It’s least likely to have people allergic to it and is a good source of vitamins A and D.
As questionable as it sounds, hemp milk is made from the same plant that produces cannabis! However, hemp milk is perfectly safe to use, a way of life and contains no such traces. It is the best alternative for dairy milk if you want the same calcium intake. Regular use of it can keep your cholesterol level balanced.
We’re all familiar with oats. Oat milk is a remarkably high source of fiber and reduces the risk of diabetes and heart conditions. It’s made of 100% grain and is a good option if you’re following a plant-based diet.
The bottom line is that based on your lifestyle, routine, and taste, you can choose any of the above options and see how they suit you. The best part is that you can always switch. What a merry-diary time to be alive!
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