…but which milk?
Gone are the days where the only milk-based decisions we had to make were whole, skimmed or semi-skimmed. From cows’ and goats’ milk to non-dairy alternatives like rice, oat, and hemp milk the options are endless. As someone who drinks milk regularly (smoothies, oatmeal, iced coffee, straight up plain), it’s a bit overwhelming to decide which kind to go for.
As a kid, my milk preference was purely in the form of Nesquik or Yazoo, preferably banana-flavored. My taste buds seem to have matured and despite not being vegan or lactose intolerant, I’ve been drinking unsweetened soy milk for the last 2 years primarily for 3 reasons:
- I love the creamy taste
- Protein content: 6.8g per 200ml
- It’s readily available in Mumbai
As much as I enjoy cows’ milk, I rarely drink it as it’s close to impossible to find organic cows’ milk in Mumbai. Also fresh non-fat/low-fat milk is not sold: milk is sold in packets which you have to boil & pasteurise at home and then refrigerate- thanks but no thanks! The other day, I stumbled across this recipe for almond milk and as my sister is a huge fan, I gave it a whiz. We buy almonds at home as much as we do oats- in other words, it’s a regular staple which is why I’m not surprised we enjoyed its nutty taste!
As various studies offer both beneficial and concerning effects of the oestrogenic properties in soy milk, I want to try and alternate between soy and almond milk from now on. Whether such controversy surrounding soy milk is true, I am okay with switching it up. As you can see from the below chart, soy milk (made from soaked soy beans & water) fares better than almond milk in terms of protein. However I appreciate that almond milk (made from soaked almonds & water) only poses a risk to those with nut allergies- besides that, there are no noted side effects. Plus almond milk carries all the inherent health benefits of almonds such as reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes.
While non-dairy, “fancier” milks seem to be marketed as being healthier than animal-based milks, I personally don’t believe this is the case at all. Sure these non-dairy alternatives are placed in the “Special Dietary” or “Health Foods” aisles but in some respects, animal-based milks rank nutritionally higher. Despite its relatively high caloric value and fat content, goats’ milk scores the highest in terms of protein whereas cows’ milk provides the most calcium per serving.
While its easy to pinpoint that ____ milk is best, I think it ultimately comes down to individual needs and preferences. Whether your requirements are based on calories, protein, sugar, lactose content, or purely taste, find a milk that fits the bill! That’s probably YOUR best bet of the “perfect” milk.
What milk do you drink?