With so many types of milk available nowadays, the question has to be asked: which one is best for you? Of course, for vegans, vegetarians, and lactose intolerant individuals already know that cow’s milk is already not an option. But what about the average Joe and Jane? Which one should they choose? Let’s take a quick look at the health benefits of each type of milk and how they compare to almond milk (our preferred choice).
When we say regular milk, we’re definitely referring to the traditional kind – cow’s milk. Now, we all know that cow’s milk is good for the body. It has a naturally higher amount of calcium and protein than most other milks. Cow’s milk also contains several vitamins and minerals. However, regular cow’s milk is high in saturated fat which is unhealthy especially for individuals who are at risk of diabetes or heart disease. So, what’s the verdict? In the battle of almond milk vs regular milk, it’s obvious that the amount of protein and calcium offered by cow’s milk is greater, making it seem like the healthier choice. However, almond milk is heart-healthy. It contains unsaturated fats that decrease the risk of heart disease. Almond milk also contains Omega 3 fatty acids that help lower bad cholesterol levels. In addition, almond milk has low sugar content. So while cow’s milk is a better source of calcium and protein, almond milk seems like the healthier choice. It already contains calcium and protein (just up your intake to get the recommended daily amount) plus it’s good for your heart and sugar levels.
Soy milk is one of the most popular milk alternatives in the market today. Traditionally, this milk is made from soybeans and water with a little bit of sugar to mask the slightly bitter taste of the milk. Unlike regular cow’s milk, soy milk is lactose-free and has zero cholesterol. It is naturally low in saturated fat but contains heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Like regular cow’s milk, it also naturally contains calcium and protein. In fact, cow’s milk and soy milk have a very similar nutritional profile, containing much of the same nutrients. How does it compare to almond milk though?
Both soy and almond milk contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which help keep your heart healthy. Both also contain almost the same amount of fiber and B vitamins. One good thing about soy milk is that it offers the highest amount of proteins in comparison to other milk alternatives, a close match to cow’s milk. Almond milk protein levels are definitely a great deal lesser. One advantage that almond milk has is that it is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus. In comparison, soy milk contains a lesser amount (if at all) and is usually fortified with some vitamins and minerals that naturally occur in almond milk. Another issue that has come up with regard to soy milk is the fact that individuals who are in their reproductive years are discouraged to drink soy milk. This is because there is still controversy regarding how soy affects women’s hormone health as well as men’s sperm count levels. So, who wins the almond milk vs soy milk battle? Let’s just say that it’s a tie and the choice is a matter of preference.
Rice milk is probably one ofn the least well-known milk alternatives. This particular milk alternative is made by combining brown rice syrup, brown rice starch, boiled rice, and water. Rice milk is a healthy choice because it has zero cholesterol, lactose, and saturated fat. However, it lacks certain nutrients and provides less vitamins, minerals, protein, and calcium than any other milk in the market today. It’s safe to say then that in the almond milk vs rice milk battle, it’s definitely almond milk hands down.
A lot of hype has been going around about coconut being good for your health. But with regard to this particular milk, things are pretty much still up in the air. Made from the ground meat and juice of coconut, this milk alternative has almost as much saturated fat as whole milk and is loaded with calories. Another CON for this milk is the fact that it is very low in protein. In addition, commercially sold coconut milks contain guar gums and other additives which can cause digestive problems. On the PRO side, however, is the fact that the saturated fats in coconut milk are mostly lauric acid which helps protect your body from viruses and infections. In addition, these fats are rapidly transformed into energy so they are less likely to be stored as fat. Lastly, it has a low amount of carbohydrates. The question then is, in the almond milk vs coconut milk batter, who wins? The answer is still unknown. Some believe that weight loss and management is more achievable while drinking coconut milk but some doctors disagree. Of course, almond milk is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, more so than coconut milk. So, I guess the choice would be based more on preference and an individual’s needs more than anything else. Until we get more information on the subject, that’s what our answer will be.