Surely you’ve read articles of all kinds which discuss which is the best milk that we can drink. Some say that cow’s milk disrupts your hormones, others say drinking soy causes cancer, etc
Well, in today’s article we are going to explain the advantages and disadvantages of the most common kinds of milk or vegetable drinks.
Which milk is more beneficial to the body?
In the olden days, when we were going out to buy milk, we could only choose between “whole”, “semi-skimmed” or “skimmed”. Today, there are many different types of milk: enriched, goat, soy, oat, rice, almond… however, all is not milk.
It is important to note that we can only speak of “milk” when it is of animal origin. The people who speak of soy, oat, rice or almond milk, in reality, they are referring to vegetable drinks.
1 – Cow’s Milk
Cow’s milk nutritionally is the most complete, as long as it is quality milk. It provides proteins of high biological value and carbohydrates, fats, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, B-group vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin D.
As a general rule, the most consumed and the most recommended by nutritionists is the cow’s milk that is semi-skimmed. However, in the case of children, pediatricians and dietitians recommend whole. Even so, it is best that you ask a specialist what would be the best option for you.
This milk, in its full version, covers a high percentage of the daily recommendations of nutrients. In addition, the calcium of cow’s milk presents a high bioavailability because it’s absorption rate is 32%. Yes, the skimmed and semi-skimmed versions are not as nutritious.
2 – Goat Milk
The properties of goat milk are slightly different to those of cow’s milk. This is whiter, more acidic, thicker and contains more fat and protein. In fact, in a study that was conducted in India which compared the proteins of milk of cow and goat milk, they discovered that the latter could be an alternative hypoallergenic to the former.
“It can produce less of the allergy in individuals whose reaction with the cow is not very acute, but this has to be taken with caution and should be checked always under medical control”, advised the professor, Angel Gil.
The Spanish Nutrition Foundation recommends it for people with “digestive problems such as ulcers, gastritis or liver disorders”.
3 – Soy Beverage
This drink is only recommended for people with allergies or intolerance to any component of milk or as an alternative for vegetarians and vegans. It is not as complete as cow’s milk, because its proteins have a biological value which is fairly low (98% compared to 70% for soy).
The Scientific Committee of the Spanish Society of Dietetics and Food Sciences ensures that, of all the vegetable drinks, soy is the one that presents major advantages and similarities to cow’s milk. Contains No saturated fat and is easy to supplement it with calcium. In addition, the protein of soy and its isoflavones have cardiovascular benefits and bone-strengthening.
Nutritionist Patricia Nevot advised that vegetarians take the version of soy milk enriched with vitamin B12 and calcium.
4 – Oat, rice or almond drink
Nutritionally, the three are very similar. Like soy, these drinks are only recommended for people with allergies or intolerance to any component of milk or as an alternative for vegetarians and vegans. However, their proteins have a lower biological value than soy (50% against the 70% for soy).
Patricia Nevot advised to take those that are enriched primarily with vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin B12.
5 – Lactose-free milk
For people who want to take milk of animal origin but are lactose intolerant, the ideal choice is the lactose-free milk. These people do not have enough lactase in their bodies, which is the enzyme that is responsible for breaking down lactose so that the intestine can absorb it. It is for this reason that they experience ill effects from milk.
According to the Spanish Foundation of Digestive diseases (FEAD), it is believed that between 20% and 40% of the Spanish population could have a deficit of lactase. However, there are many people who misdiagnose themselves with lactose intolerance because they confuse their symptoms with those of other pathologies.
This is a rather serious problem because, as says professor Angel Gil “many people are taking lactose-free milk without a medical diagnosis and this is not correct because the lactose serves important functions, such as the absorption of the calcium, and also improve the intestinal microflora”.
Therefore, if you think that milk is the cause of your intestinal discomfort, go to a doctor that will perform the relevant tests, but do not opt for the option without the lactose before you get the results.