Healthy eating guidelines often recommend a particular type of milk.

 

I grew up drinking whole milk. You know—the kind that comes from cows. I have to refer to it as “regular” milk now to distinguish it from all the other offerings.

 

One thing people don’t know about whole milk is that it only has 3.5% fat. So, 2% milk is not all that different. Once USDA told us to cut down on fat, I forced myself to get used to non-fat milk, even though the slightly gray hue is a definite turnoff.

 

I no longer drink milk on a regular basis. But, I can’t drink black coffee and don’t like all the chemicals in the processed creamers. If I’m out, I use the half & half. At home, I use the fat-free half & half. I’m not sure it’s the best choice nutritionally, since the fat has been replaced with other additives. I’m thinking of going full fat.

 

Now that the USDA has acknowledged that its non-fat products may have actually been a contributor to the obesity epidemic, some nutritionists, me included, are now thinking that full-fat dairy products may be a healthier alternative, in addition to being more satisfying.

 

Many people have abandoned cows as their source of milk and are drinking a variety of alternatives. Starbucks is responding to that trend. You can now get your drink with whole, 2%, or nonfat regular milk, as well as soy, almond and coconut milk.

 

Healthy Eating Guidelines: How Do The Milks Compare Nutritionally?

 

The New York Times recently published an article with a thorough comparison of the calories, fat, protein, and calcium in a great variety of milk types.

 

This chart highlights some differences in an 8 oz. serving of popular types of milk:

 

Type                Calories      Fat      Protein      % Calcium

Whole milk               150              8                  8                        30%

Nonfat milk              80                 0                 8                        30%

Almond                      60                 2.5             1                         45%

Coconut                     70                  4.5            0                         10%

Soy                               110                4.5            8                        45%

 

The values given are for original versions. There are many varieties, so check the carton or bottle.

 

 

Healthy Eating Guidelines for Choosing the Best Milk

 

Some observations:
• Coconut milk, though trendy, has the least to offer from a nutrition standpoint,

• Almond milk has almost no protein,

• Soy milk is the most nutritionally similar to regular milk, so it may be the best alternative if you can’t tolerate regular milk.

 

Click here to read the full article about healthy eating guidelines and types of milk.