Pouring Over the Facts of Milk

By Yvonne Camus on November 29, 2011
As people become more aware of our diverse range of food choices, alternatives to cow’s milk are increasing in popularity. Alternative milks are nutritious, often including the Vitamin D and calcium we usually see in cow’s milk, as well as other nutrients (see below). Be careful though; some brands lack nutritional value or are high in calories and sugar, particularly the vanilla and chocolate flavoured options.

Cow’s Milk (1%)

Per cup
: 102 cal; 2 g fat (2 g sat); 13 g carbs (13 g sugars, 0 fibre); 107 mg sodium; 8 g protein; 12 g cholesterol.
Contains: Vitamin A and calcium.
Pros: Source of protein, calcium, familiar taste and texture.
Cons: Allergies, lactose intolerance, cholesterol.


Think your child might have lactose intolerance or maybe an allergy? Click here to read more about what to look for.


Soy Milk

Per cup
: 131 cal; 4 g fat (0 g sat); 15 g carbs (10 g sugars, 1 fibre); 124 mg sodium; 8 g protein; 0 g cholesterol.
Good source of manganese, magnesium, copper and selenium.
Contains: calcium and iron.
Pros: Zero saturated fat and zero cholesterol. Protein level is comparable to cow’s milk.
Cons: Some studies suggest over consumption of soy is related to some types of breast cancer because it is  a phytoestrogen. A good guideline is not to exceed three servings of soy per day. Soy is also a common allergen. Because soybeans are bitter by nature, soy milk tends to be heavily processed and can be sweetened with added sugar. Can cause a lot of gas.

Goat’s Milk

Per cup: 168 cal; 10g fat (7 g sat); 11 g carbs (11 g sugars, 0 fibre); 122 mg sodium; 9 g protein; 27 g cholesterol.
Contains: Vitamin A and Calcium.
Pros: Source of protein, calcium, vitamin B12, tryptophan. Doesn’t need to be homogenized due to smaller particles, which may be why many people with lactose intolerance find it a digestible alternative.
Cons: High in fat and cholesterol.

Rice Milk

Per cup
: 120 cal; 2.5 g fat (0 sat); 23 g carbs (10 g sugars, 0 g fibre); 100 mg sodium; 1 g protein; 0 g cholesterol.
Good source of Vitamins D, B12 and phosphorus. Often high in calcium if enriched.
Pros: No saturated fat or cholesterol makes it heart healthy. Not a likely allergen, doesn’t contain lactose. Great pre/post workout drink due to carbohydrate and electrolyte levels. Naturally sweet so rarely requires sweetening.
Cons: Not recommended for people with diabetes due to the high carbohydrate level. Low in protein.

Almond Milk

Per cup
: 60 cal; 2.5 g fat (0 sat); 8 g carbs (7 g sugar, 1 g fibre); 150 mg sodium; 1 g protein; 0 g cholesterol.
Good source of Vitamins E, D and A as well as calcium. Good source of Omega 6.
Pros: Low in calories, high in vitamins. Zero saturated fat and zero cholesterol make it heart healthy. Lactose free.
Cons: Allergies. Low protein content. Higher in sodium than other alternatives.
Many brands are sweetened with added sugars.

Hemp Milk

Per cup: 100 cal; 6 g fat (0 sat); 9 g carbs (6 g sugars, 0 g fibre); 110 mg sodium; 2 g protein; 0 g cholesterol. High in Omega 3s.
Pros: Zero saturated fat and zero cholesterol. Source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Lactose free and unlikely allergen. Usually fortified with iron, calcium, Vitamins A and D.
Cons: If not fortified, some brands are low in calcium. (Hemp milk is made from cannabis seeds but does not contain the active ingredient THC found in marijuana.)

By Yvonne Camus| November 29, 2011
  Health

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