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How do you choose the best milk for your family?

alternative milks
How do you choose the best milk for your family?

Dairy milk, nut milk, oat milk, oh my!

Walk down the milk aisle at the grocery store and you'll see many different types. Cow, almond, coconut, soy, cashew, oat and even pea. With all the options, it can be hard to know what one is right for you.

Every milk variety offers different nutrients. For example, a cup of skim cow milk packs about 8 grams of protein in just 90 calories with no added sugars. (Sugar in regular cow milk is naturally occurring and not a concern.)

In comparison, a cup of unsweetened almond milk contains about 35 calories, has no added sugars but offers only 1 gram of protein. (Original or flavored nut milks can add an additional 7 to 15 or more grams of added sugar per serving, so it's best to choose unsweetened versions.)

As for other types of milk, coconut milk provides more fat, while soy includes more protein. With so many differences, it is important to read the nutrition facts and ingredient list when looking for a milk alternative.

What's the best milk for you and your family? When choosing, consider the following:

Allergies/intolerances. Is anyone in your family allergic or intolerant to any ingredients in the different types of milk? If so, you'll want to avoid those.

Taste. You want to enjoy what you are consuming.

Nutrition. What are you looking to gain by drinking milk? Vitamins and minerals? Protein or fat, which is important for young children's development?

Ingredients. After deciding on your milk preference, look at the ingredients in a variety of brands. Many have added ingredients that are used to preserve, color or thicken the milk. Choose a brand with ingredients you can pronounce—these are usually better for you.

In the end, there is no best milk for everyone. Do a little research and taste-testing to find what works for you! Maybe it's pea protein milk or maybe it's good old dairy milk. Enjoy!

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