There are many versions of milk at the grocery store. There is ultra pasteurized, lactose free, and organic. Do you know which once to choose? If any of them at all?
There is also coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and a wide variety of additional options to choose from.
I receive a lot of questions asking what the healthiest milks to drink are. In this article I’m going to break down the milk selections and tell you which ones are healthiest, so you can make smarter milk selections in the future.
When I ask clients and friends why they drink milk, I always hear the same answer. “It contains calcium and it will help me strengthen my bones”…
However, what if I told you that 1 certain kind of vegetable had just as much calcium as milk does? I’ll share this 1 vegetable near the end of this article, but first, I want to share with you what types of milk you should drink and what milks you should avoid.
Ultra Pasteurized Milk
These milks should be avoided at all costs, because when milk is ultra pasteurized, it allows milk manufacturers to store the milk on the shelves of the grocery stores for up to 6-9 months.
Ultra pasteurized milk doesn’t really have to be refrigerated either. It’s mainly stored in the refrigerator section because we like our milk cold, and it sells better that way.
When ultra pasteurization occurs, it flattens the proteins in milk, which can make you feel intolerant to milk since its harder for your body to process foreign proteins…
These proteins can cause an immune response since your body doesn’t recognize these proteins. Avoid pasteurized and ultra pasteurized milks because they can cause discomfort in your digestive tract.
Lactose Free Milk
When you see lactose free on the label of milk, it simply means that the lactose has been broken down. Milk manufacturers add the lactase enzyme to milk so that lactose is broken down into simple sugars.
This helps people who lack the lactase enzyme to be able to reduce gastrointestinal pain that can occur when the lactose is not already broken down. Once lactase is added, milk manufacturers ultra pasteurize the milk to make the lactase enzyme “inactive”.
Some companies have active and inactive ingredients lists. However, we are still consuming everything that is added to the foods and beverages we drink, so be sure to check for both labels when you’re shopping if they’re available.
These milks tend to be healthier but you still have to watch out for lactose free and ultra pasteurized labels. Organic milks are all pasteurized so they’re still being heated up, which can impair the protein molecules in milk…
This can still have an effect on your gastrointestinal tract. The benefit to organic milk is that antibiotics and added hormones are NOT added, unlike non organic varieties.
Even organic milks are still not the best since the pasteurization process can impair the protein molecules in milk and cause inflammation inside your body.
What We Recommend
Drink raw cows milk from cows that are grass fed. Avoid any pasteurized and lactose free milks. One of my favorite options is to use almond or coconut milk…
It’s dairy free and much healthier for your body. You won’t experience any intolerance’s from almond or coconut milk like you can with dairy milks.
We really don’t need dairy milk to get our calcium either. Did you know that if you ate 1 cup of sautéed collard greens you would get 268mg of calcium?
Doubling that amount wouldn’t be that hard and collard greens taste great with some coconut oil and garlic added to them. The recommend daily amount of calcium is around 1,000 to 1,200mg each day.
What milk do you enjoy drinking? Have you tried almond or coconut milk before?