HEALTH & NUTRITION
To moo or not to moo - that is the question.
If you haven't noticed cow-free milk is one of the latest trend in diets. Many have ditched cow milk, and have replaced it with seemingly healthier alternatives. However, there are some things to consider when buying your milk at the grocery store; while, the cow-free milk alternatives may have its pros, it also has its cons. Hopefully, the guide below - retrieved from Women's Health Magazine, September 2011 - will help you in deciding if your going to follow or drop this trend.
Almond Breeze Original: per cup: 60 cal, 2.5 fat ( 0 g sat) , 8 carbs ( 7 g sugars), 150 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein
TASTE: Creamy, rich, and slightly nutty with a hint of sweetness
PROS: The least caloric of the bunch, it's fortified with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that fights UV damage, as well as calcium and vitamins A and D.
CONS: While almonds themselves are a good source of fiber and protein, the milk contains skimpy amounts of these nutrients (that's because the milk is made by grinding the nuts and mixing with water). Almond milk is also higher in sodium than other alternatives.
BEST IN: Smoothies, coffee, and cereal.
Tempt Original: per cup: 100 cal, 6 g fat (0.5 g sat), 9 g carbs (6 g sugars), 110 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 2 g protein
TASTE: Nutty and earthy
PROS: It naturally rich in Omega-3 fatty acids- wonder nutrients for your heart, brain, and mood. Hemp milk is made with cannabis seeds, but it wont get you high, because it lacks THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).
CONS: Depending on the brand, you may gulp only 10% of your daily calcium needs. It's not a great source of protein either.
BEST IN: Mashed potatoes, muffins, and quick breads. Unobtrusive in flavor, it's a good stand-in for cow's milk in baked foods.
So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage Original:per cup: 80 cal, 5 g fat ( 5g sat) , 7 g carbs ( 6 g sugars), 15 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein.
TASTE: Thick, creamy, and well, coconut-y
PROS: It has the least amount of sodium and can be fairly low-cal - even some flavored kinds will cost you only 90 calories per serving. . Plus, most brands are fortified with half a day's worth of vitamin B12, a brain boosting nutrient.
CONS: "The majority of fat is saturated," says Lauren Slayton, R.D., founder of Foodtrainers in New York City. But at 5 grams per serving, it constitutes less than 8% of your total daily value for fat.
BEST IN: Coffee, tea, pudding, smoothies, and oatmeal - its a go-to thickener.
Rice Dream Enriched Original: per cup: 120 cal , 25 g fat 9 0 g sat) , 23 g carbs (10g sugars), 100 mg sodium, 0 g fiber 1 g protein.
TASTE: Light, watery, and sweet.
PROS: The carbs. "have a glass before or after a workout - it offers carbs to fuel and fluid to hydrate, and like a sports drink, it's a good source of electrolytes," says Nancy Clark, R.D., author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook.
CONS: The carbs. If your trying to drop a few pounds, its best to eat whole grain carbs, which contain filling fiber ; rice milk has zero.
BEST IN: Desserts, baked goods, pancakes, and French toast. It's natural sweetness compliments indulgent foods.
Silk Original: per cup: 100 cal, 4 g fat (0.5 g sat ) , 8 g carbs (6 g sugars) , 120 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.
TASTE: Faintly sweet. Some varieties have a slight tofu flavor.
PROS: It has almost as much protein as cow's milk, plus plant chemicals, that may help inhibit absorption cholesterol. It's often fortified, so shake the carton well - added calcium tends to settle at the bottom, says Zied.
CONS: Some studies suggest that over consuming soy promotes breast cancer. "A good guideline is about 25 grams of soy protein per day," says Zied.
BEST IN: Creamy soups and salad dressings, sauces, casseroles, and other savory dishes. Vanilla-flavored varieties are great in coffee or tea (or by the glass!).