With health-conscious eating becoming more of the norm, consumers are often looking for the next, new, “hot” fad food or drink item. That is no different when it comes to milk. Traditionally, dairy milk (milk from a cow) has been the only real choice. However, as various fads and diets have shown, there are plenty of alternatives to traditional dairy milk in today’s world. But, what the real benefits of these different types of milk, and how does dairy vs. non-dairy milk stack up against each other?
Different Types of Milk
- Loaded with proteins, calcium, and vitamin D
- Lactose-free versions ensuring that those with lactose intolerance can enjoy
- Widely available at grocery and convenience stores
- Low in calories and contains no saturated fat or cholesterol
- Naturally lactose-free
- Good source of vitamin A and D
- High in protein
- No cholesterol
- Low calorie
- Least allergenic of dairy milk alternatives
- Can be used by vegans
- Can be fortified to be a good source of calcium
Other types of Milk
- Cashew milk
- Coconut milk
- Hemp milk
- Flax milk
- Oat milk
- Hazelnut milk
Dairy vs. Non-Dairy Milk
Dairy milk carries benefits that can’t be replicated by non-dairy milk. Milk that comes from a cow provides essential proteins and amino acids that can’t be replicated by milk that comes from nuts, plants, and grains. One serving of dairy milk contains 8 grams of protein. No other milk can naturally compare to the amount of protein per serving that dairy milk contains.
When it comes to dairy milk vs. non-dairy milk, dairy milk contains either the same amount or even more calcium than all non-dairy milk. Calcium is important to the human body, especially infants, toddlers, and kids because it helps build and maintain bone strength. Additionally, your heart, muscle, and nerves need to calcium to properly function. Some studies even suggest that a combination of calcium and vitamin D, dairy milk is rich in both, carry benefits beyond bone and bodily function healthy; saying that it could perhaps help protect against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
A common negative connotation is that milk is high in saturated and fat and calories. Additionally, everyone can’t drink dairy milk. Despite both of these being true of whole milk, there are different types of dairy milk to address these issues. First, is that there are reduced fat options of milk. That is 2%, 1%, and skim milk. These percentages represent the amount of milk fat content in each serving. Whole milk contains roughly 8.5% milk fat, while 2% milk holds obviously 2% and 1% providing 1% milk fat per serving. Skim milk contains 0%. Addressing the issue of those who suffer from lactose intolerance, there is actually lactose-free dairy milk available at almost every grocery store.
So, Which to Choose?
When it comes time to choose between dairy and non-dairy milk, the choice is simple – dairy milk. Dairy milk contains essential nutrients that can’t be replicated by non-dairy milk. There are options available for those who are health conscious regarding fat content in their milk. Finally, lactose-free options are available as well.
When it comes to selecting which dairy milk to buy, that choice is even easier. Milk from Shetler Family Dairy is the easy choice. A family-run dairy farm since 1979, Shetler Family Dairy uses low-temp pasteurization, and by not homogenizing their milk it allows their milk to be as close to its original state as possible. When you choose milk from Shetler, you’re choosing milk that not only tastes good but more importantly, it’s good for you.