soy, skim, rice, almond…since when are there so many milks and “do I have to finish mine before I can leave the dinner table?” (sorry mom)
Soy Milk: a great source of protein, but subject of much debate. Some studies show it increases the risk of breast cancer in young women, some show it decreases the risk for middle-aged women. Soy is unique because it mimics estrogen in the body. Essentially- the jury is out on this one, so I recommend it in moderation. A little soy won’t hurt you, but since the science isn’t clear on this I don’t incorporate it into my daily routine. Side note: edamame, the latest snack trend, is soy beans.
Rice Milk: lower in protein and higher in carbs than your standard cow’s milk (not a good thing), rice milk has a bad rap for the taste not being close to ‘regular milk’. Personally, I’ve never tried this one purely from lack of desire.
Almond Milk: This is my top choice in terms of a dairy-free milk. Almond milk is lower in calories and higher in calcium than cow’s milk. The problem with almond milks you find in a supermarket (along with other processed non-dairy milks) is that many have been artificially sweetened and contain added preservatives aka fake stuff. A particularly bad additive to look out for is carrageenan. I like Silk brand “unsweetened original”, which you can find in the breakfast aisle.
Cow’s Milk: Low-fat cow’s milk is a part of my daily coffee routine. I opt for low fat (1%) over skim because a little bit of fat helps with feeling satisfied, and makes my drink much creamier. For people who do not have a lactose intolerance, there is nothing wrong with a little old fashioned dairy milk in moderation. I choose cow’s milk because the additives in processed non-dairy milks outweigh the potential benefits, in my opinion.
What to read next:
- For more on lactose/gluten, click here.
- For more on processed foods, click here.
- For more on keeping your coffee healthy, click here.