Milk does a body good…

by Khushboo on April 6, 2012

…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:

  1. I love the creamy taste
  2. Protein content: 6.8g per 200ml
  3. 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?

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

sprint2thetable April 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I love that comparison chart! I have never been a big cow’s milk fan. Since discovering almond milk, I rarely buy anything else.

P.S. You have an award on my blog today. 🙂

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Thanks so much for mentioning me, Laura 🙂

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forgottenbeast April 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I love almond milk. I used to drink soy, but I was never enamored with the taste or texture–it was fine in cereal/baked goods but I would never just have a glass. But almond milk? Yummm. I tried coconut milk and it was okay but no almond milk, hemp milk is nasty and I have yet to give rice milk a go (I feel like it will be boring…although I have no idea why I’m so convinced of that). I’ve seen oat milk and a few other options around the grocery stores, I should give them all a go just to see, but I think any milk would have a hard time convincing me to leave almond milk behind.

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I couldn’t get into rice milk- unsurprisingly it tasted too much lke rice! I liked oat milk but it is fairly expensive to drink regularly.

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blissfulbritt April 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I’ve never been a fan of cows milk, the fattyness just turns me away. Even the fat free version just skeeves me out. I drink almond milk. I love the nutter flavor, and on a homeopathic level almond milk helps with heart burn. I don’t get heart burn, but it helps just in case!

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I didn’t know that about almonds so thanks for that- one more reason to eat/drink almonds!

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Alexandra April 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm

What a fabulous chart! I had no idea goat milk had so much protein, that’s so interesting!
My favorite milk lately is almond mmmm

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I was surprised about goat milk too- I want to try it and see how it tastes!

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Tessa at Amazing Assett April 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm

THat is a great chart… and this post has such good information, thanks for putting it together! I have been drinking light vanilla soy lately but I am going to stop that soon… I heard it might mess with your hormones or something not.so.good like that!

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Thanks Tess! That’s why I want to cut down on my soy milk consumption- my hormones are already out of whack as it is!

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Honey What's Cooking April 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm

so funny you mentioned almond milk.. i have a huge packet of almonds and i got a recipe from my friend that i’ve been dying to try. i’ll have to see how that goes.
personally, i hate milk, i thought most indians do? lol. we love CHAI! I eat a lot of yogurt and all to make up for the lack of milk. For my tea though, I use Organic Milk – 1% or 2%. That’s it. I do like Almond Milk though – store bought.

btw.. that dress comes in white, cream, purple – indigo, and black. 🙂

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Haha I’m an exception to the Indian stereotype- I am a dairy fiend!

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Honey What's Cooking April 6, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Khushboo – if you haven’t read this blog, you should, you will find it HILARIOUS! IT’s a white girl who is married to a desi and lives in Mumbai.
http://www.whiteindianhousewife.com/2012/04/shit-people-say-in-mumbai/
I think you’ll love it.

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Thanks for this- looking forward to reading her perspective 🙂

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Parita April 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm

You know I’m an almond milk girl. I used to be obsessed with skim milk, I’m talking 3-4 glasses a day. But then when I cut back, I noticed that my breakouts got better. I can honestly say that my face hasn’t looked this good in YEARS. I don’t like that almond milk has very very little protein but I try to make up for it with everything else I eat. 🙂 Great post as usual, K!!!

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I’m so glad that cutting out dairy worked out well for you :). And completely agree about making up for the lack of protein in almond milk- there are so many other protein rich foods we can eat alongside a glass of almond milk!

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JoJo (@jojos_house) April 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Yeah, I agree on “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” so true!
I think it’s just personal preference, well as long as you are drinking the low-fat/fat-free cows’ milk sine whole milk does have quit a bit of saturated fat.
I switched to almond milk for a bit but due to the lower protein content I made a switch to soy. Now I’m back to cows’ milk!

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I’m glad you found a milk that works for you. Organic cows’ skimmed milk is my ideal choice.

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Charissa (@ColourfulPalate) April 7, 2012 at 12:17 am

Great chart!

I’m such a fan of nut milks…and I’m scared of cow’s milk, unless it organic. Evil stuff in my opinion. 🙂

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I rather not mess with unorganic cows’ milk- I have my own hormones to worry about 😉

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Sarah April 7, 2012 at 5:14 am

Great post! Its so interesting to compare them. I’m going to admit that I drink 1% cows milk just because it’s cheap, but I’m interested to see the differences. Thanks for this!

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I find some of the ‘fancier’ milks like oat milk to be overly expensive- not sure I can justify buying them regularly.

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sassywifechronicles April 7, 2012 at 10:01 am

Great post and chart. Never knew goats milk was so high in protein. Ever since I gave up dairy my skin is feeling so much better and so is my stomach! Love almond milk and is now a staple in my kitchen and I do turn to soya milk when I am craving a Starbucks cappuccino (so wish they offered almond milk). Going to definitely try making almond milk at home, looks straightforward enough to do. Thanks for the recipe:)

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Let me know how the fresh almond milk compares to the boxed kind- I’m still yet to try the latter!

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Ameena April 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I used to LOVE milk but then I realized it was making my skin breakout terribly! So I switched to almond milk but then I realized it was giving me a stomach ache. So then I switched to rice and then to nothing.

I have issues. 🙂

Hope you have a great weekend!

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Haha we all have issues :). What do you add to coffee/cereal? I had a friend who would add orange juice to his cereal.

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onehealthymunchkin April 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm

That chart is awesome – I love how it makes comparing so easy!

I mostly drink skim cow’s milk, but I sometimes buy almond milk too because I like that it can be stored out of the fridge until you open it. It prevents me from having an emergency where I run out of milk. 😉

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Khushboo Thadani April 7, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Another reason I love soy milk- I always have a few emergency packets stored in my pantry without the urgency to drink ’em!

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Healthiful Balance April 8, 2012 at 1:17 am

That chart was really interesting, thanks for sharing! 🙂 As a kid, I always loved milk! I would drink a few glasses of cow’s milk every day. Now, my body cant handle it anymore and I have to watch my dairy intake..

I hope you are having a great weekend!

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Khushboo Thadani April 8, 2012 at 10:48 am

I’ve heard that dairy can also have the opposite effects: somepople become more tolerant with age!

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caloricandcrazy April 8, 2012 at 2:47 am

I love milk! I usually drink/use it in oatmeal, 1% or fat free. I also don’t mind almond milk.

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Khushboo Thadani April 8, 2012 at 10:50 am

When I’m drinking cows’ milk, I normally drink fat free, although 1% makes all the difference in coffee!

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caloricandcrazy April 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm

you’re right! 1% milk (or fuller) makes the perfect coffee or chai!

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Alison April 8, 2012 at 9:07 am

That chart is so helpful! We definitely do mostly almond milk around here, but growing up I drank skim milk. I think I’d like to use more goat’s milk in the future.

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Khushboo Thadani April 8, 2012 at 10:51 am

Me too! I’m curious about the flavour of goats’ milk.

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hotlyspiced April 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm

We drink soy milk too. And yes, the choice available is overwhelming. If we drink cows milk we make sure it’s organic and not homoginised or pasteurised. Happy Easter!

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Happy Easter to you too :)!

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shruti January 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm

hi khushboo..can u suggest any place in mumbai where i might be able to buy some almond milk…

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Khushboo January 3, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Hi Shruti! I have not seen almond milk being sold in Mumbai but it’s very easy to make at homes with water & raw almonds.

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Ila January 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Hi Khusboo,
I live in Powai.I just wanted to know If you have any idea where could I get the almond milk or organic cow milk as I have started on a paleo diet.I get organic fruits and veggies easily but dunno abt milk or meat products.
If there is no place then can u share a recipe to prepare at home..

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Khushboo January 19, 2013 at 11:04 am

Hi Ila. I am yet to come across organic meat/milk in Mumbai- hope they introduce both in the market soon! I made almond milk at home a while ago using this recipe http://www.colourfulpalate.com/2011/05/21/how-to-make-almond-milk/ ….I was very pleased with the results!

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Mansi October 22, 2013 at 10:42 am

Hi Khusboo..my son is dairy and soy allergic…can you let me know where can I buy oats rice or almond milk in mumbai?

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Khushboo October 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Hey Mansi! I’ve never seen non-dairy milk (other than soy) in grocery stores across Mumbai. I usually make my almond milk at home which is really easy. Here’s the method I follow: http://kthadani.com/2013/06/24/my-almond-milk-brings-all-the-boys-to-the-yard/

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Mansi October 23, 2013 at 3:42 am

Thanks 🙂

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