There is always discussion about the difference between all of the milk varieties that are available to us. Let's discuss the actual macro nutrient difference between each milk type along with their other benefits.
We will be touching on the following milk types;
Whole Milk, Skim Milk, Fat Free Milk, Lactose Free Milk, Almond Milk and Organic Milk.
Whole Milk - 100ml
Carbs 4.8g - Protein 3.2g - Fat 3.4g
We have generally been brought up to believe that this milk can cause weight gain and increase cholesterol levels. This is definitely the choice that is energy dense and with the highest cholesterol rating, however there are positives to whole milk. Milk fat can give the immune system and metabolism a boost, making milk with higher fat content a source of unexpected physiologcal benifits. For example, the nutrients found in whole milk can decrease the risk of infertility in women, lower the possibility of colorectal cancer for men, and even help build muscles throughout the body.
Although this might conflict with what is marketed today, this choice is not a poor choice and does have many nutritional benifits. It is energy dense and may conflict with a weight loss target if too much is consumed in a day.
Skim Milk - 100ml (Otherwise known as Fat Free)
Carbs 5.2g - Protein 3.5g - 0.1g
This is the milk that most health conscious people lean towards. It has all of the benefits of whole milk with the exception of fat. Skim milk has the obvious benefits of being kind to your waistline and not filling your body with saturated fat or cholesterol. However, while the fat content of skim milk decreases, the nutritional composition does not. In fact, some nutrients are actually increased during the fat removal process, such as protein, potassium and calcium.
After the fat removal process, sodium and carbohydrates are left behind, leaving the sodium and carbohydrate content higher in skim milk than in whole milk.
Some adults suffer from lactose intolerance and cannot consume skim milk without experiencing discomfort. However, it has been shown to have a lesser effect on people with lactose intolarence than whole milk.
This would be one of my choices of milk for the balanced diet.
Lactose Free - 100ml
Whole - Carbs 4.8g - Protein 3.3g - Fat 3.6g
Skim - Carbs 5g - Protein 3.6g - Fat 0.1g
This option is fairly new to the supermarket and has many benefits. The skim lactose free option has the benefits of regular milk without the lactose which can cause bloating.
The majority of adults do have some sort of intolerance to lactose whether it is considered a condition or it may be as simple as a tummy ache, bloating or a general uneasy feeling in the stomach.
Just like the regular milk, the lactose-free milk contains a whole lot of nutrients that are important for different biological processes in your body. Vitamins, minerals and calcium, support not only the development of strong bones and teeth but also muscle formation and cellular activity.
For mums - if you do not want to breast-feed your baby because you are concerned they may develop colic, then drinking lactose-free milk is a solution that will provide you and your child with minerals needed for growth.
All in all this is a great choice of milk for most people to drink.
Almond Milk - 100g
Carbs 4.6g - Protein 0.5g - 1.2g
The main benefit of Almond milk is that it is dairy free. While this kind of milk is becoming more and more popular in supermarkets through 'low calorie' marketing, it's important to note that it doesn't provide as much protein or calcium to be an ideal substitute for regular milk, so make sure you receive adequate amounts from other sources.
Almond Milk has the least calories than pother types of milk, however the energy sacrificed are key proteins that are really important for bone and muscle development.
If you still select this as your milk, make sure you partner it with some high calcium choices throughout the rest of your day.
Organic Milk - 100g
Carbs 5g - Protein 3g - Fat 4g
Research states that the difference between regular milk and organic is not huge. Cow's that produce organic milk are not injected with any hormones and are kept in fields that allow them to feed to no pesticide grass. This must be the case for it to have the 'organic' words promoted on the milk carton.
Although experts maintain that there's no nutritional difference between organic and traditional milk, two studies from Newcastle University, in England, found that the organic variety contains higher concentrations of some beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. It also can cost twice as much as regular milk.
So next time you are ording your daily coffee or buying milk for the family, consider your options and weigh up what is important to you and your family.
The brands of milk used in this reasrech are Sanitarium, Dairy farmers and Pauls. These are the most popular varieties available in supermarkets and for this reason they were used as the examples above.