4 Reasons to Choose Cows' Milk

There's a lot of buzz about nondairy alternatives these days – you know, soy milk, almond milk, and the like. In fact, these alternatives have practically become synonymous with health.

I am all for living the healthy life – after all, that's a huge part of why I became a dietitian. But I have to disagree with some of the health trends – many of which are untried and untrue – and passing on dairy is one of them. There's a reason classics are classics: they stand the test of time. And cows' milk is a classic. Decades of nutrition research document the many health benefits of cows' milk. It's basically the little black dress of your refrigerator!

As a nutrition expert, I appreciate dairy’s unique nutrient package, which nondairy alternatives simply do not match (check out the comparisons for yourself here). In a nutshell, these are the reasons why I love milk:

  1. High nutrient-to-calorie ratio: Milk packs a nutrient punch for about 100 calories per 8 ounce serving. Calories count, but not at the cost of cutting nutrients. Milk has the best of both worlds – lots of nutrients for little calories.
  2. Calcium: Milk is the richest natural food source of calcium and also happens to have vitamin D, potassium, and phosphorous, which work with calcium to build and maintain strong bones. I’m a busy mom of three, so milk is an easy way for my whole family to get these nutrients in one convenient package without having to spend time over-strategizing meals and snacks. You would have to eat bigger portions of other foods to match milk's unique nutrient package.
  3. Protein: Milk contains 8 grams of high-quality protein per serving. As an avid runner, I especially appreciate this because it fills me up and also makes a great post-exercise recovery drink that both rehydrates and replenishes.
  4. Natural: If you look at the ingredients label on milk, you will see that it is just that: milk. Milk is fortified with just two other ingredients, vitamin A and D. No matter what brand I choose, this is true across the board. This is simply not the case for milk alternatives. 

To learn more about the unmatched nutrition found in a glass of cow's milk, visit our nutrition page

By Jenna Allen, MS, RDN

Jenna is a registered dietitian with a passion for communicating science in an approachable way. She has been part of the Dairy MAX team since 2008. When she isn't working, Jenna is trying out new recipes with her three kids and working on her food photography. Learn more about Jenna.

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