Which type of milk is the healthiest?

Nowadays, cow’s milk is not the only option when it comes to cooking or baking. We can easily choose between different plant-based milk varieties (soy, almond, rice, coconut, cow,..) to complement your coffee or cereals bowl.

All types of milk can be used for a wide range of recipes from sweet to salty. You can, for example, use almond milk to make a delicious curry sauce! But when it comes to nutrition, some kinds of milk are better than others! We will review the most popular kinds of milk and see their benefits and controversies.

Cow’s milk

There are different types of cow’s milk from whole milk to skim milk. The whole milk will contain more calories.

For a 250ml glass you have:

Calories: 80-150

Saturated fat: 0.1-4.6 grams

Protein: 8 grams

Sugar: 12 grams

Calcium: 300 mgs

Nutrients: Riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, phosphorus

We can identify some benefits such as the fact that cow’s milk contains a lot of proteins and is cheaper than the other types of milk. It is also rich in calcium which is important for children and seniors  (bones). On the other hand, cow’s milk may increase the risk of prostate, ovarian and breast cancer. Due to its sugar content, it can raise blood glucose levels. The whole milk has been tied to lower weight because it gives the feeling to be fuller and you will snack less than by drinking skim milk.

Soy milk (unsweetened)

Soy milk is produced from the pressed ground and cooked soybeans. It is quite similar to cow’s milk.

For a 250ml glass you have:

Calories: 90

Saturated fat: 0.5 grams

Protein: 8 grams

Sugar: 1 grams

Calcium: 300 mgs

Nutrients: Riboflavin, vitamins D and B12

Unsweetened soy milk is low in calories, high in proteins and omega-3, and low in saturated fat. It may improve bone health and reduce the risk of heart disease. However, you should be careful about the soy products made with estrogen, which could increase the risk of cancer to women. Another inconvenient of soy milk is the fact that it does not work well in baking.

We could say that soy milk is a good option for vegans and people who are lactose intolerant. 

Almond milk (unsweetened)

Almond milk is made from ground almonds and water and is ideal for lactose or soy intolerants.

For a 250ml glass you have:

Calories: 30

Saturated fat: 0.2 grams

Protein: 1 gram

Sugar: 0 grams

Calcium: 300 mgs

Nutrients: Riboflavin, vitamins D and B12

Almond milk is low in calories, rich in vitamins A and D, low in saturated fat and can be used in baking. On the other hand, almond milk is low in protein but you still add protein powder to your milk. Some people have difficulties to digest because it may contain carrageenan.

Coconut milk (unsweetened)

The coconut milk is made with filtered water and coconut cream. It is a good alternative for vegans.

For a 250ml glass you have:

Calories: 50

Saturated fat: 4 grams

Protein: 0.2 grams

Sugar: <1 gram

Calcium: 300 mgs

Nutrients: Vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12

It is low in calories (Unsweetened variety. On the other hand, it is low in protein and high in saturated fats, which can increase cholesterol levels (LDL).

After having reviewed the different types of milk, you are now more able to make the difference and to know what is best for you and your health!