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With so many alternative options for cow milk, how do you know which is best?

Posted at 3:21 PM, Mar 01, 2019

There are so many milk alternatives on the market now, so it can be confusing to choose which is your best bet when it comes to the healthiest option.

With all the milk alternative options out there, it’s hard for some businesses to choose which options their customers might purchase. Lori Hofer, owner of Cereal Box in Denver, says it’s a very important decision between dairy and non-dairy options.

"We knew right from opening that we wanted to have a large selection of alternative milks, as well,” Hofer says. “So, we have almond, soy, coconut and lactose free."

Registered dietician Jessica Crandall-Snyder says if non-dairy is your preference, just know, that not every kind is rich in nutrients.

"Alternative milks can be really low in protein, like 1 or 2 grams,” she says. “So read your nutritional label. And a lot of the alternative milks have added sugar."

when it comes to rice, almond and oat milk, it’s all about taste rather than nutrition, Crandall-Snyder says.

But if health is your biggest concern, then skip the alternative options.

"If I was going for nutrition, I would be going for regular milk," the dietician says.

One cup of milk produced by cows has about 9 grams of protein, calcium and vitamin D.

If you can’t tolerate regular milk, Crandall-Snyder has a few suggestions on some of her favorite non-dairy alternatives that are high in protein.

"It's pretty hard to get the nutrient profile to be comparable to regular milk, because there are nine essential nutrients in regular milk,” she explains. “However, some of the milks that have the same protein count are going to be things like soy milk and pea milk."

There is no one milk that's ideal for everyone. The taste, nutrition and cost of these alternatives can vary considerably, so it might take a while to find the one that hits the spot for you.