Today's blog post comes from Nutrition Intern Alysa Velasquez. Happy reading.
The talk about milk is perhaps one of the most infrequently mentioned topics for young adults, especially for college students. As children, most of us were encouraged to drink milk at the dinner table. However, it seems like ‘milk talk’ disappears as we grow older. Instead of milk, we now choose yerba mate, Gatorade, or even Starbucks to satisfy our taste buds.
Why chose milk? You can count on dairy milk to supply you with a copious amount of calcium, vitamin B-12, and potassium, which all help increase bone and heart health. But what is the right milk for you? Your answer is Nonfat milk, Soy milk, or Almond milk. Whole milk, 1% fat, and 2% fat milk contains high amounts of saturated fat and unnecessary calories. Reducing the amount of fat in your milk will help you control your weight, lower cholesterol, and decrease your risk for cardiovascular diseases.
So when the barista at Starbucks asks you what type of milk you would like in your grande latte, avoid whole milk as it adds up to 230 calories and 7 grams of saturated fat versus nonfat which counts to only 130 calories and zero grams of saturated fat (which is the bad fat). When you’re at Trader Joe’s or Albertson’s reach for the nonfat milk carton. Long term, this will create healthy habits of monitoring your intake of calories and fat which will help maintain strong cardiovascular health.
Can’t drink dairy milk? There are alternatives! For those who are lactose intolerant or do not like the taste of dairy milk, try out non-dairy milk, such as soy milk, almond milk, or pea protein. Choose original or vanilla flavors without added sugars. Almond milk is a great choice for those who want to mix up their taste buds in the morning. My favorite milky beverage, Almond Breeze Almond Milk original flavor, gives me a little bit of an energy boost and is my go-to beverage to satisfy my sweet tooth. It did, however, take me some time to get used the taste, but the journey has been worth the transition because I am now hooked on almond milk.
The best guarantee for non-dairy milk drinkers is soy and peas milk because they both naturally match dairy’s potassium. However, these plant-based drinks often do not contain vitamin B-12, so if you are vegan, make sure that you are taking a multivitamin for healthy red blood cells.
Convert your family! Get your family to switch to fat-free milk. If you or a family member is drinking 2% fat milk, make the transition in steps. Start off with buying 1% milk and then gradually switch to nonfat. If you know someone who is trying to lower their blood pressure or even wanting to lose weight, encourage them to drink fat-free milk. This will help the body get the potassium it needs to shed a few points off systolic scores.