It’s fair to say that cow’s milk has taken somewhat of a battering recently. Fitspos shun it, some nutritionists blast its calorie and nutritional breakdown and then there are some who simply say, “we weren’t designed to drink the milk meant for a calf.”
As a result, almond milk like Plenish Dairy Free Almond Milk and other nutty milks have boomed. “They’re healthier,” they say. “They’re packed with nutrients,” they say. “They’re so much better for you than dairy,” they say. But is this really the case?
Consider this… were almonds even “designed” to be milked?
If, like us, you’re sitting on the fence about the whole nut milk vs cow’s milk debate you’ve come to the right place.
As with anything to do with nutrition, there are pros and cons to both. For instance, there are loads of different almond and cow’s milks available to purchase, so how on earth do you actually determine which is the healthiest?
Sweetened. Unsweetened. Organic. 1% fat. Whole. Semi. Skimmed… it’s all so confusing!
That’s why the only way you can make an informed decision is to look at the nutritional facts.
Almond milk generally contains fewer calories than cow’s milk, however this depends on the type of milk you choose to buy.
Sweetened almond milks have unnecessary added sugars to the mix, which will push the calorie content upwards, whereas unsweetened versions like Plenish Dairy Free Almond Milk tends to have approximately 30 calories per serving.
This is one third of the calorie content of skimmed milk, which would have roughly 90 calories, and one fifth of the calorie content you’d find in whole milk with 150 calories.
So, if you’re concerned about your overall calorie intake, almond milk may be a better option for you.
Let’s be honest, one of the reasons so many people shun whole cow’s milk is because of its fat content, in particular its saturated fat content.
Almond milk, on the other hand is rich in heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats.
The thing is, though, there are low fat and skimmed cow’s milks available, which dramatically reduce the overall saturated fat content of the milk making them equally healthier choices as almond milk.
Furthermore, the whole saturated fat argument is somewhat up in the air. While some studies “prove” that saturated fat has a direct link to an increased rick of heart disease, other studies indicate that a high dairy fat intake is actually associated with a lower obesity risk!
Our favourite macronutrient making an appearance here – protein. We all know what it’s good for and if you’re trying to up your intake or simply keep on top of it throughout the day, cow’s milk is undoubtedly the better option.
Why? Because it naturally contains MORE protein than almond milk. Just one glass of cow’s milk and you’ll add 8g of natural protein to your diet.
The same amount of almond milk will only provide your body with one extra gram. Even fortified almond only provide 5g of protein on average.
Let’s throw some more eye-opening numbers in…
Almond milk is naturally lower in carbs than cow’s milk, which contains about 12g in one cup. These carbs are derived from lactose – a natural sugar.
However, unsweetened almond milk like Plenish Dairy Free Almond Milk contains less than 1g, so if you’re watching your carb intake, almond milk would better suit your lifestyle.
Sweetened almond milk can contain in excess of 16g of carbs, so just be wary of the type you’re buying!
Both almond and cow’s milk contain a wide array of essential vitamins and mineralsincluding bone-strengthening calcium along with Vitamins A, D and B Vitamins.
Almond milk is also a rich source of Vitamin E, whereas cow’s milk is a good source of phosphorous.
Cow’s milk is naturally packed with protein, whereas almond milk is naturally lactose-free, great if you’re avoiding lactose or are lactose intolerant.
The list goes on, but we think it’s pretty clear that both almond and cow’s milk are healthy options for you, and at the end of the day, it’s going to come down to personal preference.
Just remember, if choosing almond milk, opt for unsweetened milk like Plenish Dairy Free Almond Milk to avoid unnecessary sugars or additives.
If choosing cow’s milk and would like to avoid antibiotics and hormones, you can purchase great tasting organic milks from good supermarkets.