The Skinny on Milk Nutrition: Cow, Goat, Rice or Soy?

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The Skinny on Milk Nutrition: Cow, Goat, Rice or Soy?

When weِ were kids, milk wasِ simple: weِ drank itِ with cookies andِ poured itِ intoِ our cereal, andِ it alwaysِ came fromِ cows.
But a dizzying array ofِ milk choices areِ available today, manyِ of whichِ aren’t actuallyِ milk atِ allِ but comeِ from plant sources suchِ asِ soybeans, rice andِ almonds.
Others canِ help withِ health concerns suchِ asِ lactose intolerance, theِ inability toِ digest theِ natural milk sugar called lactose.

 

Cow’s milk

Pro: Hands down, cow’s milk hasِ the mostِ calcium, andِ almost double theِ protein ofِ anyِ other type ofِ milk.
And becauseِ it comesِ in severalِ types — whole, 2 percent, 1 percent orِ skim — thatِ nutrition isِ accessible noِ matter whichِ option isِ chosen.
Infographic: Milks Compared: How Do Milk Types Stack Up Nutritionally?] Con: Lactose intolerance affects a substantial number ofِ Americans, causing abdominal pain, gas, bloating orِ diarrhea.

Soy milk

Pro: Made byِ soaking soybeans andِ grinding themِ with water, soy milk isِ rich inِ protein andِ calcium andِ has noِ saturated fat.
It’s anotherِ good alternative forِ lactose intolerant people, Gazzaniga-Moloo said.
Con: Soy products canِ inhibit protein andِ mineral absorption, offsetting itsِ health benefits.

Goat’s milk

Pro: A staple inِ much ofِ the world, goat’s milk isِ more easily digested byِ some becauseِ its protein molecules areِ sized differently thanِ cow’s milk.
It packs asِ much calcium asِ whole cow’s milk andِ contains moreِ tryptophan, anِ essential amino acid.
And itsِ distinct taste — a combination ofِ sweet andِ salty — canِ beِ offensive, Gazzaniga-Moloo said, asِ can itsِ strong odor.

Almond milk

Pro: Made fromِ ground almonds mixed withِ water andِ sweetener, almond milk hasِ becomeِ quite popular inِ the lastِ several years, Gazzaniga-Moloo said.
Almond milk alsoِ has a rich, nutty taste andِ comes inِ several flavors, making itِ anِ attractive alternative forِ those allergic toِ dairy orِ soy.
Con: Protein isِ sparse inِ almond milk, withِ onlyِ 1 gram perِ cup, compared withِ 7 andِ 8 grams forِ soy andِ cow’s milk, respectively.

Rice milk

Pro: Made fromِ ground rice, thisِ type ofِ milk isِ very lowِ inِ fat andِ calories.
It alsoِ comes inِ plain orِ vanilla flavors andِ is lactose- andِ soy-free.
Con: Nutritionally, rice milk falls short compared withِ otherِ varieties, Gazzaniga-Moloo said.

Coconut milk

Pro: Made fromِ ground coconut meat andِ juices, thisِ milk isِ rich, creamy andِ tasty andِ is a mainstay ofِ Indian andِ Thai cooking.
Its fats areِ more easily digested thanِ those inِ dairy milks, Gazzaniga-Moloo said, andِ coconut milk isِ low inِ cholesterol.
It’s alsoِ low inِ calcium andِ protein andِ high inِ saturated fat.

Raw milk

Pro: Proponents ofِ raw milk, whichِ isِ unpasteurized milk fromِ cows, goats orِ sheep, bill itِ asِ nature’s perfect food, Gazzaniga-Moloo said, becauseِ it comesِ straight fromِ nature withِ noِ processing.
Con: Raw milk canِ harbor dangerous bacteria suchِ asِ salmonella, E.
It’s certainlyِ not a risk I choose toِ take, sheِ said.

Organic milk

Pro: Passionate supporters ofِ organic food andِ products appreciate thatِ itِ was produced withoutِ growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides orِ synthetic fertilizers.
Con: The cost ofِ organic milk isِ aboutِ double thatِ ofِ nonorganic milk becauseِ of itsِ perceived health benefits.
But inِ actuality, it’sِ not significantly healthier thanِ typical milk, ifِ atِ all, Gazzaniga-Moloo said..