The Bottom Line on Milk Alternatives
If you're an avid dairy milk drinker, don't give up your infamous milk mustache. Rather, consider adding nutrient — fortified milk alternatives (or "alternative calcium sources") to your beverage repertoire. If you're not drinking much or any dairy milk, and you're over the age of two, then drink up your fortified "milk" till the "cows come home." In either case, enjoy!
Make sure to check the nutrition facts labels before you buy. Compare the labels on milk alternatives to those on dairy milk cartons too.
Here's how they stack up on the basics:
(per 1 cup/8 fluid ounces)
|Calories (kcal)||Total Fat (gm)||Saturated Fat
|Calcium (mg)||Vitamin D
|Fat-free milk (Skim or nonfat milk)||86||0||0||302||100|
|1% Lowfat milk (light milk)||102||2.5||1.5||300||100|
|2% Reduced-fat milk||121||5||3||297||100|
|Whole milk (3.25% fat)||150||8||5||291||100|
|Soy "milk" (fat-free/plain/fortified)||70||0||0||200||120|
|Soy "milk" (regular/plain/fortified)||110||2.5||0||300||120|
|Soy "milk" (regular/plain)||100||5||0||4||0|
|Rice "milk" - fat-free (plain/fortified)||80||0||0||150||120|
|Rick "milk" - lowfat (plain/fortified)||90||2||0||150||120|
|Almond "milk" (regular/plain)||70||2.5||0||2||0|
*Nutritional information will vary due to brand, ingredient and fortification variables.
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- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000; 71:1166-1169
- The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, by Roberta Larson Duyff, M.S., R.D., (Chronimed, 1996)
- National Osteoporosis Foundation
- Bowes and Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, by Jean Pennington, Ph.D., R.D. (Chronimed, 1996)
- Pacific Foods (nutrition facts/product information only)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jackie Newgent is a registered dietician in New York City.