Whole, skimmed, soy, rice, almond…there are so many different types of milk that we are being told to try to receive various health benefits. These beverages come with many different tastes that aren’t suited to everybody’s pallets, but there are so many health benefits these drinks that it is hard to avoid them. We investigated the different type of milk and their pros and cons, to see which type of milk suits you.
Good old cow’s milk:
The milk we know and love (well most of us); it comes in whole, semi-skimmed and skimmed. Semi skimmed milk is the most popular type of milk in the UK with a fat content of 1.7%, compared to a minimum of 3.5% in whole milk and 0.1% in skimmed milk. Like other animal based food products, milk is filled with protein with semi-skimmed milk containing 3.6g and whole containing 8g. Cow’s milk is also a great source of calcium with one cup containing 30% of an adult’s daily recommended allowance. One issue that people have with cow’s milk is the fat content; although ‘good’ fat, those who are looking to lose weight prefer to opt for a different, lower fat milk option.
Soy milk isn’t technically milk…it is plant based and is made from the liquid that remains after soy beans are soaked, finely ground and strained. Soy milk tends to be the chosen milk of those who are lactose intolerant or are vegan. Like cow’s milk, soy milk is packed with protein with one cup containing 7g; it is also a good low fat option containing 4 ½ g of fat and zero cholesterol. One downfall is that soy milk is not a good source of calcium; however some brands alter their soy milk by adding extra vitamins and calcium to their products. The only issue with these branded products are that they often add sweeteners and flavourings that contain less protein and can actually lead to weight gain.
Rice milk is a naturally sweet alternative to cow’s milk and is the main choice for those who are allergic to both lactose and soy. Containing only 1g of protein, and 23g carbs per cup, those who choose to substitute their milk for rice milk must plan their other nutritional choices wisely; however rice milk is still worth consuming as it is very good for your heart with it containing zero cholesterol and lactose free.
When roasted almonds are blended the result liquid is enriched with nutrients including calcium, vitamin d and antioxidant vitamin e. A healthy, low fat alternative to milk, one cup contains just 60 calories and is free of saturated fats, cholesterol and lactose. The only downsides to this milk is that it only contains 1g of protein and you should stay clear of flavoured version as (like soy milk) these alternatives contain sweeteners and tend to be higher in calories.
Feeling a little confused as to what is better for you? Why not try them all and see what you prefer, just stay clear of flavoured milks (we’re talking chocolate) as they often contain unnecessary sweeteners. Remember that our gym team are always happy to help with any nutritional advice that you may need, sign up HERE to receive a FREE 1-1 gym session.