Happy Fall, Y'all!
Have you ever wondered what the differences are between the various types of milk out there? I know I have.
Once a child hits the age of one, most mothers usually stop feeding breastmilk or formula and switch to store-bought milk. At that point, the question of which one to buy can hit, even as most of us usually lean towards whatever we've been served as children.
While most folks have grown up on cow's milk, there are benefits to almond, soy and rice milk as well. Let's take a quick look at the pros and cons of each type below:
By far the most popular option, and one of the most naturally nutritious options, especially for young children and the elderly, cow's milk naturally contains an abundance of calcium, Vitamin D, and protein.
Cow's milk is also available in a variety of options, such as whole milk, 2%, 1% and nonfat, and lactose-free. It's also widely available in most grocery and convenience stores.
However, it's important to note that cow's milk (the whole version) contains significant amounts of saturated fats and calories, and the protein found in the milk is a common allergen for both children and adults.
As one of the plant-based alternatives to cow's milk, soy milk is made from soybeans and filtered water. It's also free of cholesterol, lactose and is low in saturated fats.
It's also a good source of many vitamins such as Vitamin B-12, Vitamin A, protein, and potassium, and is sometimes fortified with Vitamin D and calcium.
However, too much soy milk can be a problem with thyroid conditions and is also a common allergen for both children and adults.
Made from ground almonds and filtered water, almond milk is a popular option for all ages. It's naturally dairy-free and free of saturated fats, and a great alternative for those who are lactose-intolerant. It's also the milk with the lowest calorie count unless it's been sweetened.
However, almond milk is not a good source of protein or Vitamin D (unless your particular brand adds it, which many do). Almond milk also may contain carrageenan, which may cause digestive issues for some people.
It's also important to note that almond milk may contain added sugar, while cow's milk does not have any added sugars.
The least popular option of all these milk options, rice milk is made from milled rice and filtered water. However, rice milk has several reasons why it's a great choice.
Rice milk is the least likely milk to cause any allergies, making it a popular choice for people who are allergic to dairy, soy or almonds. It's also naturally sweeter than other milk options.
However, the FDA has said that rice and rice products have been found to have higher inorganic levels of inorganic arsenic. They recommend not to rely solely on rice milk or rice for infants, children or pregnant women just to be safe.
So what exactly is the best option? It's up to you and your pediatrician. The best thing we can do is to stay educated and ask questions. Best of luck to you and as always, reach out with any questions to Crystal@hugabugg.com