Is All Milk Created Equal?
By Sara Butler
There are so many different types of milk out there. There’s skim, there’s soy, there’s almond – oh my! The days of milk delivery by the milkman are long gone and these days there’s a bevy of choices when it comes to dairy (and non-dairy) milk. Milk can do a body good, whether that body is lactose intolerant, vegan, or trying to maintain a healthy weight. Here’s the skinny on the different types of milk out there so you can choose the right one for you.
The Best Choice for Older Kids and Teenagers
After the age of 2, low-fat milk, such as one or two percent, is suitable for kids. Whole milk is often a source of unwanted fat and calories for older kids and adults, so a more heart-friendly choice is going to be milk with less fat.
One percent and two percent milk all provide the essential nutrients you need to be healthy, such as Vitamin D, calcium, and Vitamin A.
If you’re training for an endurance sport, such as a marathon, or you're logging some seriously strenuous workouts, then you should swap out a spot drink for milk. Several studies have shown chocolate milk after running to aid in muscle recovery and to boost performance at a rate better than sports drinks. The sweeteners used in strawberry and chocolate milk help to deliver carbohydrates that your body needs to replenish after exercise and the protein helps your muscles recover faster too.
Just be careful of the added sugars in flavored milk. You don’t want too much sugar if you’re trying to be healthy!
For the Lactose-Intolerant
Lactose is found in dairy and milk products. It’s an enzyme that is broken down by your body during digestion. If you’re intolerant, then your body won’t properly digest the enzyme and it will result in some pretty uncomfortable symptoms.
You can still enjoy milk if you’re lactose intolerant, though. Non-dairy milk such as rice, hemp, soy, or almond milk can replace dairy milk in your diet and be easier for your body to digest. Vegans can also benefit from non-diary milk as a replacement.
The only caveat to any of these types of milk is to make sure you look at the nutrition label. The calories, fat, and nutrient levels can differ by brand, so find one that works for you and stick with it!
Branch out and explore different types of milk -- you may find one you like that you didn't expect to.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brookfield, Wis.