Got Milk?

Gone are the days when having a glass of milk meant the kind from the cow. It used to be that variety in milk meant choosing between whole, 2%, or skim. Now, take a walk in front of the dairy case and you’ll find all kinds of “milk” to choose from. Who knew you could milk a nut or seed?

SHOULD YOU SWAP?

So many options. How’s a girl to choose the right one? I mean, we’ve been told all our lives (and through those cute “Got Milk” ad campaigns) that we need 3 servings of milk to get that much-needed bone-building calcium. But what if you’re lactose intolerant or have an allergy to milk? What then? Fortunately there are plenty of good alternatives in the market.

Here’s how they stack up (per 8 oz.):

SKIM: 90 calories, 8 g protein; 300 mg calcium. Make sure to go organic in order to avoid brands that use growth hormone-treated cows.

ALMOND: 40 calories, 1 g protein, 400 mg calcium (only in calcium-fortified versions). Comes in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties, so choose wisely if you are watching your sugar intake. We’re particularly fond of the unsweetened vanilla variety.

COCONUT: 50 calories, 5 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 100 mg calcium. If you love the taste of coconut and the texture of whole milk, then this one’s for you. Just a note of caution on the saturated fat in coconut milk – the jury’s still out on the supposed health benefits of coconut fat.

FLAX: 25 calories, 0 g protein, 300 mg calcium. Flax milk is very low in calories, which is good if you’re looking to trim some calories from your morning cereal or smoothie. You’ll have to look for your protein boost elsewhere.

HEMP: 70 calories, 2 g protein, 300 mg calcium. High in omega-3 fatty acids and a nice nutty flavor. However, most brands we’ve found in the market are pretty pricey.

RICE: 90 calories, 0 g protein, 300 mg calcium. Slightly sweet taste but no protein and few nutrients for the higher calorie count.

SOY: 80 calories, 7 g protein, 300 mg calcium. Soy’s your best bet for a protein and calorie equivalent to cow’s milk. Be careful and choose soy milk made from non-GMO soybeans.

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