There are many types of milk and non-dairy milk alternatives to choose from. Your best option depends on your nutritional goals, food avoidances, and taste preferences. Follow these tips to discover which aligns best with your eating plan:
Check nutrition facts labels
- Look for products containing a good source (≥10% daily value) of calcium and vitamin D— nutrients most people don’t get enough of.
- If you’re vegan, or on a mostly plant-based diet, or over 60 years of age, look for a good source of vitamin B12 (≥10% daily value). Some products supply healthy omega-3 fats which you may lack, especially if you don’t eat fish.
- If you’re striving to eat more protein, choose a product with more than 6 grams per serving.
- Compare total carbs if you follow a keto or low-carb eating style. Plain or unsweetened flavored varieties generally contain fewer carbs than sugar-sweetened.
Dairy vs. non-dairy considerations
- If you are shifting your eating plan to include less saturated fat to support heart health, select fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) dairy milk. If you drink whole milk, try transitioning to reduced-fat (2%).
- If you are lactose intolerant and prefer the taste of dairy milk, look for lactose-free dairy or ultrafiltered dairy milk as alternatives. Both are available as fat-free, low-fat, reduced-fat, and whole. Ultrafiltered milk contains 50% more protein and 50% less sugar than traditional dairy milk which are additional benefits.
- Plant-based milk alternatives are also options if you avoid lactose or are allergic to milk. Nutrient contents vary widely. Compare nutrition facts to see which product best matches your eating goals. Check for ingredients you may avoid, such as tree nuts and soy.
Popular product attributes
- Check out the comparison of several popular milk varieties that deliver nutritional benefits below.
There are many options for milk and non-dairy milk alternatives in the marketplace. Compare the nutrition facts and ingredients to identify the best option to meet your wellness needs.