Cow’s milk has played a monumental role in the American diet for many generations. Prior to the industrial revolution, milk was primarily consumed in rural communities, but as demand grew, large-scale production methods were developed, and the introduction of pasteurization, the milk separator, and improved breeds of dairy cows accelerated America’s milk obsession. But cow’s milk has fallen out of favor.
Since 1970, per-capita milk consumption overall has dropped by 37 percent, while that of whole milk has fallen by as much as 78 percent. Sales of milk have soured as more people reject saturated fats and turn toward a lactose-free diet, ushering in the era of non-dairy milk. Although soy milk and rice milk have existed for decades, the emergence of almond milk has reinvigorated the non-dairy milk industry, so much so that sales of almond milk have grown 250 percent over the past five years.
Almond milk in an ancient product, well-known around the Mediterranean world and beyond in medieval times and common to both Christian and Muslim cuisines — the former in large part because it was suitable for consumption during Lent and other periods of religious abstinence when animal products were forbidden, the latter primarily because it wouldn't spoil quickly as cow's milk would in the days before refrigeration.
Today, almond milk is hotter, trendier, and more expensive than cow’s milk; but is it really any healthier? Cow’s Milk Cow’s milk has been featured prominently on USDA dietary guidelines for decades because it’s a plentiful source of protein as well as three primary nutrients: calcium, potassium, and vitamin D (which is added through fortification). A deficiency in potassium may lead to high blood pressure and a lack of calcium weakens bone strength.
But milk has some drawbacks. A cup of whole milk contains 149 calories, which is relatively high compared to other beverages. Whole milk is also a major source of saturated fat — the kind of fat that has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. There also exists a body of evidence associating dairy consumption with prostate cancer, but more research is needed in that area. Although the dairy industry has introduced low-fat milk varieties, many of milk’s beneficial nutrients are fat-soluble, meaning they require fat to be absorbed by the body.
Almond Milk The process of making almond milk is similar to that of brewing coffee. Almonds are soaked in water overnight and blended with water until smooth. The mixture is then strained through a cheese cloth or filter. Despite the fact that whole almonds are rich sources of fiber, protein, and calcium, almond milk is not. When almonds are transformed into liquid, unfortunately none of the beneficial fiber or nutrients are transferred to the final product.
Many popular brands of almond milk are fortified with nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D to make them look nutritionally comparable to dairy milk. Almond milk is naturally lactose-free, is low in calories, and contains no saturated fat; but to improve its viscosity, some almond milk manufacturers add carrageenan, a seaweed derivative that may cause digestive problems. Almond milk is also environmentally unsustainable.
California, the global leader in almond production, dedicates nearly 10 percent of all its water resources to almond cultivation. So Which Milk is Healthier? The answer really depends on a person’s personal dietary requirements and ethical values. If you are one of the many people who is lactose intolerant, or are concerned with animal welfare issues related to dairy cows, than almond milk is preferable.
Cow’s milk, on the other hand, is naturally rich in protein and calcium, and has been consumed safely for centuries. Both of these beverages can be incorporated into a healthy diet, but cow milk’s high saturated fat content means it should be used in moderation. And if neither cow's or almond milk sound appealing to you, there are a few other vegan options to consider.See Also: Cow’s Milk Allergy Baby
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Almond Milk vs Cow Milk vs Soy Milk vs Rice Milk — A quick Pro/Con list of these different Milks!Each type of milk has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on a person’s diet, health, nutritional needs, or personal taste preferences.For example, people in key development years — children over two, teens, and pregnant women — need proteins, vitamin D, and calcium. These are abundant in dairy milk.
On the other hand, people who need to watch their calories or cholesterol — for weight reasons or heart health problems — should look to other options. Whole dairy milk contains more calories and cholesterol than any other milk.Here we give you a quick pro/con list on the 4 main types of milk we consume.__________________________________________________________________Dairy MilkWhole milk is cow’s milk with none of the fat removed.
It contains 8 grams of fat per cup, 8.5 percent nonfat milk solids, and 88 percent water. As none of the milk’s natural components are removed, it is high in natural proteins, fat, calcium, and vitamin D.Other dairy milk has some or all of the fat removed. While whole milk has 150 calories in one cup, 1 percent milk has 110 calories, and skim milk has just 80 calories. Fat-free milk has all of the nutritional benefits of whole milk — a good source of protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals — without the saturated fat and calories.
Dietitians often recommend skim milk for the majority of their clients.Lactose-free milk is processed to break down lactose, a natural sugar found in milk products. As with other milks, lactose-free milk is a good source of protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. The fat and cholesterol content of lactose-free milk varies, as it comes in 2 percent, 1 percent, and fat-free varieties.The 3 Best Things About Dairy Milk1.
Whole milk can provide essential proteins and extra calories from fats, as well as vitamins and minerals for infants and the elderly.2. Lactose-free versions are available for people who are lactose intolerance.3. Widely available in grocery stores and convenience stores.Con: Those that are not fat-free are high in saturated fat and calories, which is bad news for people with heart problems, high cholesterol, or those who are trying to lose weight.
Almond MilkAlmond milk is made from ground almonds and is lower in calories than other milks as long as it is unsweetened. It’s also free of cholesterol, saturated fat, and is naturally lactose free. Even though almonds are a good source of protein, almond milk is not. Almond milk is also not a good source of calcium. However, many of the brands available in the market are supplemented with calcium as well as vitamin D.
The 3 Best Things About Almond Milk1. It’s low in calories and contains no saturated fat or cholesterol.2. It’s good source of vitamins A and D.3. It’s naturally lactose free.Con: It’s not a good source of protein and, unless it is fortified, it contains no calcium, which is important for people with conditions like osteoporosis. (People who are allergic to almonds or nuts should avoid almond milk.
)Soy MilkSoy milk is made from soybeans. It’s a popular milk alternative for vegans and people who are lactose intolerant. Since it comes from plants, it is naturally free of cholesterol, low in saturated fat, and contains absolutely no lactose. Soybeans and soy milk are a good source of protein,calcium (when fortified), and potassium.The 3 Best Things About Soy Milk1. It’s a good source of protein, vitamin A, B12, vitamin D, and potassium.
2. Soy milk contains almost as much protein as cow’s milk, yet is lower in calories than whole milk and comparable to skim milk.3. It contains no cholesterol, which is important for those with heart conditions.Con: Too much soy may be a problem for those with thyroid disease or other conditions. A 2008 Harvard study showed that higher intakes of soy-based foods caused fertility problems and lower sperm counts.
Rice MilkRice milk is made from milled rice and water. It is the least allergenic of all of these products, which makes it a good choice for people with lactose or nut allergies. While rice milk can be fortified with calcium and vitamin D, it is not a natural source of either of these, just like soy and almond.The 3 Best Things About Rice Milk1. It’s the least allergenic of milk alternatives.2. It can be fortified to be a good source of calcium.
3. Rice milk can be used by vegans.Con: Rice milk is very high in carbohydrate and very low in protein, so it’s the least desirable choice for people with diabetes as well as people who want more protein, such as athletes or the elderly.__________________________________________________________________For those with dietary or allergy concerns, there are also alternatives to cow’s milk. Almond, soy, and rice milk are popular alternatives to dairy.
___________________________________________________________________Article Source : http://www.healthline.com/health/milk-almond-cow-soy-rice#2