A few years ago the choices were limited when it came to milk. But now, dairy milk comes in a range of varieties, including whole milk, fat-free and even lactose-free for those with a lactose intolerance. And then there are the non-dairy alternatives, including soy milk, rice milk, and the especially popular almond milk. Each type of milk has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on your diet, health requirements and own preferences when it comes to taste. We’re here to explain all about these different milk options to help you decide which could be the best milk for you as you focus on losing weight with Phen Supplements and leading a healthier lifestyle.
Within the category of dairy milk you have a choice of different quantities of fat content, ranging from whole milk to fat-free milk. Whole milk is cow’s milk with none of the fat removed, so it contains 8 grams of fat per cup, but as none of the milk’s natural components are extracted, it’s high in natural proteins, fat, and bone-strengthening calcium. Other dairy milk has had some or all of the fat removed, which then also reduces the calorific value; while whole milk has 150 calories per cup, 1 percent milk has 110 calories and skimmed milk contains 80 calories per cup. Many dieticians recommend skimmed milk for their clients as it is fat-free, but contains all of the goodness of whole milk, including calcium, lots of protein, minerals, and vitamins - just some of the reasons that make skimmed milk a super food.
Dairy milk is also available in lactose-free varieties for those with lactose intolerance. It is thought that around 25% of the US population is unable to digest lactose without symptoms such as stomach pain and diarrhea, so lactose-free dairy products are becoming more and more common in supermarkets. As with other dairy milks, lactose-free milk is an excellent source of calcium and protein as well as other vitamins and minerals, and is available in 2 percent, 1 percent and fat-free varieties.
Dairy Milk: Pros & Cons
+ Dairy is far less processed than other types of milk
+ Naturally great source of calcium and protein
+ Dairy milk also comes in many different varieties, including fat-free and lactose-free
- Higher in calories when compared to other types of milk
Almond milk is made from ground almonds, and is typically available in sweetened and unsweetened varieties. Unsweetened almond milk is lower in calories than other milks, and it’s also free of cholesterol, saturated fat, and is naturally lactose free and vegan, so it’s an increasingly popular choice for those trying to lose weight or with dietary specifications. However, even though almonds are high in protein, almond milk is not a good source of protein as its almond content is only around 1-2%. It is also not a good source of calcium, but many brands of almond milk available are supplemented with calcium as well as vitamin D. Another concern related to almond milk is the fact that it is extremely processed with many artificial additives, and it contains the potentially harmful ingredient carrageenan, used to make milk alternatives creamier.
Almond Milk: Pros & Cons
+ Unsweetened almond milk is low in calories, cholesterol-free, and free from saturated fat
+ It is naturally lactose-free and vegan
- It is highly processed and contains potentially harmful ingredients
- It is not a good source of protein
- People with nut allergies should avoid almond milk
Soy milk is made from soy beans, and so as it comes from plants, unsweetened versions are naturally low calorie, free from cholesterol, low in saturated fat, and contain absolutely no lactose. Soy milk and soy beans are a good source of protein and potassium, and fortified versions also contain calcium. However, soy is also a natural phytoestrogen, which means that it can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body, which is bad for anyone suffering from hormone conditions such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), plus the consumption of soy has been linked to fertility problems and lower sperm counts. Like almond milk, soy milk is very processed, and also contains the questionable ingredient carrageenan. Lastly, while you may be choosing soy milk to avoid the digestive issues you blamed on dairy, soy can actually cause similar symptoms in many people, such as bloating, water retention and discomfort.
Soy Milk: Pros & Cons
+ Unsweetened plain soy milk is low in calories, cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat
+ As a plant-based milk, soy milk is naturally lactose-free and vegan
+ Soy milk is a good source of protein, containing much more than almond milk, although less than dairy milk
- Can cause added problems for those with thyroid issues or PCOS due to the way it affects hormones
- Linked to fertility problems and lower sperm counts
- Soy milk can cause similar digestive problems to those associated with dairy milk
Rice milk is made from milled rice and water; it is the least allergenic of these four milk options so it is a good choice for those with lactose intolerance or nut allergies, and it has not been found to cause the same digestive issues as soy milk. Although it is not a natural source of calcium or vitamins, rice milk can be fortified like soy milk and almond milk and it is low fat and contains no cholesterol. However, unlike soy milk and dairy milk, rice milk is not a good source of protein, plus it is high in carbohydrates, so it is not suitable for those following a low-carb diet.
Rice Milk: Pros & Cons
+ Rice milk is the least allergenic milk, so it could be a good option for those who are allergic to lactose and nuts
+ Rice milk contains no cholesterol and is naturally low fat
- Not a good source of protein, and high in carbohydrates
When you’re trying to lose weight, small daily changes like switching your milk can really help to make the difference to your results. All varieties of milk have their advantages and disadvantages but it’s important to remember that losing weight isn’t just about consuming fewer calories; for example, dairy milk contains more protein than other types of milk. It’s also a natural source of calcium, which has been shown to help with weight loss and fat burn – an effect which was not found when studying the effect of calcium supplements on the body. Our recommendation would therefore be to stick to fat-free dairy milk when it comes to the best choice for health and weight loss, and if you are lactose intolerant then opting for lactose-free dairy milk is better for your health than alternative milks. And, if you're looking for another way to improve your weight loss results then adding Phen Supplements to your daily routine is a great way to boost your health and get even better results!
Which milk do you prefer? Let us know by commenting below!