milk review

Milks and “non-dairy milks” are flooding the shelves of the grocery store, but are these alternatives really healthy?  The selection of milks is great for food allergies, lactose intolerance, vegans, or other dietary needs, but can be a bit overwhelming if you’re just trying to make the healthiest choice.  To help guide you to find the best milk for your refrigerator, I reviewed several different “milks” for taste, nutrition, cost, froth, and ranked them overall.  Here’s a link to my Milk Mania Summary so you can see how they all size up!

Tips for the milk-conscious consumer:

  • Watch out for added sugars!
    • If choosing a milk alternative, look for unflavored, and/or unsweetened varieties to lower your sugar intake if this is something you are concerned with.
  • Find your serving size
    • “Milks” will provide nutrition facts based on an 8 ounce (1 cup) serving.
    • Coffee creamers provide nutrition facts based on 1-2 Tbsp servings. For the heavy handed, 16 Tbsp = 1 cup so watch out if you’re choosing a creamer.
  • Prioritize your dietary needs
    • There is no “good” or “bad”, everyone has different needs. Refer to the Milk Mania Summary to help decide what is best for your eating pattern.
    • I tend to lean towards lower carb options with less processing. A few highlights for special dietary needs;
      • Athletes: Look for moderate protein and carb (Cow’s Milk, Soy Milk, Oat Milk).
      • Weight management: Look for lower sugar, lower calorie (Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Cashew Milk, Fairlife).
      • Blood sugar control: Look for lower carb, lower sugar (Fairlife, Cashew Milk, Almond Milk).
  • Sustainability, hormones, pesticides
    • Organic milk or milk from grass-fed cows contain more healthy fats (Omega 3’s) that are good for heart health.
    • Organic nut-milks use ingredients from farmers who follow strict USDA certified organic requirements (sustainable farm practices, limited pesticide use etc).
  • Texture and shelf stability
    • Ultra-filtered milk and organic milks may have a later expiration date than standard cow’s milk.
    • Many nut-milks and oat milk need a binder to avoid separation. Be cautious if you are intolerant to these ingredients.
  • Nutrition is important!
    • Cow’s milk naturally contains calcium, vitamin D. Choose a substitute that is fortified with calcium, vitamin D and protein if you rely on this as a source of nutrition.
  • Froth-ability
    • For those using a milk frother at home; Soymilk, Cow’s milk & Oatmilk perform best in a frother.  Some cashew milk or almond milks will froth, but many don’t stand up to the heat!
  • Not all milks are equal
    • Read labels to find a milk that fits your needs. Here are my favorite brands;
      • Cow’s Milk: Stonyfield Organic 1% lowfat milk or Hood Simply Smart
      • Higher Protein Milk: Fairlife 2% Milk
      • Almond Milk: Califa Farms Unsweetened Plain
      • Soy Milk: Silk Organic Unsweetened
      • Cashew Milk: Forager Organic Plain or Elmhurst Unsweetened Plain
      • Oatmilk: Oatly Original
      • Coconut Beverage: So Delicious Unsweetened
      • Didn’t make the cut: Rice Milk, Hemp Milk, Flax Milk, Pea (protein) Milk

Thanks for diving into milks, non-milks, and milk alternatives with me!  I’d love to hear from you if you have comments or questions about what milk fits into your lifestyle.  

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