Friday, January 25, 2013

Which Milk does a Body Good?

Q: What is the healthiest milk option for my cereal?


A: The whirlwind of information on which kind of milk is most healthy can be dizzying. When choosing which milk is best for you, first decide what you want out of your milk. Are you looking for more calcium or more protein? Less fat and calories or more antioxidants? Unfortunately, there is not one type of milk out there that fits each void.

If calcium is your goal, I recommend soy milk. It is often fortified with even higher amounts of calcium than in cow's milk. There are concerns that drinking soy milk in excess will cause adverse effects from their estrogen-like properties. This is only a concern if you are taking high dose supplementation, which is often the case in research studies. It is highly unlikely to overdose in dietary intake.

If protein is your goal, then I suggest cow's milk, though it is only slightly higher than soy milk by about a gram or two. Almond milk is high in antioxidants and minerals and is low in calories, but it lacks the calcium of cow and soy milk and it is extremely low in protein. I would not recommend this as your sole source of milk.  If you really can't decide, keep two different kinds of milk on hand and alternate which milk you put on your cereal every other day.

An important thing to keep in mind when reading about nutritional information on the internet is the source. Sometimes companies are being paid to endorse a certain product. Make sure that the information is coming from a credible source. Often times this will help determine if the message has any credibility. Regardless, you're going to find conflicting information everywhere. That is par for the course in the field of nutrition.

In conclusion, choose which milk is best for you and  make sure that the other areas of your diet are nutritionally adequate.

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