Are milk alternatives good for your bones?

What do the milk critics say?

What are the "milk" critics saying? Some health professionals believe "milks" should be called "alternative calcium sources," not "milk." Linda McDonald, M.S., R.D., publisher and editor of Supermarket Savvy, agrees. She adds, "Dairy milk stands apart from the alternatives due to [a] unique nutrient package of calcium, protein, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins A, D, and B12, potassium and magnesium." Also, McDonald is concerned about the use of soy "milk" for babies in place of breast milk or whole milk formula.

Claudia Gonzalez, M.S., R.D., Miami area-based spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, has similar concerns. She says, "Soy 'milk' is normally low in calcium (unless fortified) and is lower in protein, vitamin A and riboflavin. Therefore other foods may be needed to supply missing nutrients." Basically, the critics are saying, don't think of milk alternatives as milk's equal, but as distinctly different beverages.