3 Things You Didn’t Know About Real Milk

With so many choices on grocery store shelves today, selecting a beverage for your family can be confusing. From making informed choices about nutrition to getting the best value for your budget, there are many factors moms consider before putting a beverage in the cart.

Take milk, for example. How do you know what you should choose — especially if you have growing children at home? Start with the label — it can reveal some surprising information to help you choose a beverage for you and your kids.

Here are three things that may surprise you about real dairy milk when you compare it to non-dairymilk alternatives. 

1. Real Milk Has More Protein Than You May Think

An 8-ounce glass of real milk has eight grams of high-quality protein. And that’s not all.  You’ll find two types of protein in milk: whey (20 percent) and casein (80 percent). Both are considered high-quality proteins because they contain all essential amino acids in sufficient amounts to qualify milk as a good source of protein.

In fact, real dairy milk has eight times more protein than some other plant-based beverages, like almond milk. A glass of almond milk has only one gram of protein per serving. Most plant protein sources are missing some of those essential amino acids your body needs.

2. Milk Has No Added Sugar

Milk, like fruit, has naturally occurring sugar; it is not added. The sugar you do find in real milk comes from naturally occurring lactose. This is true if you buy whole, lowfat or skim milk (also known as fat free milk). All types of dairy milk, no matter the milk fat percentage, have the same amounts of lactose. In fact, there’s about 12 grams of natural sugar in each 8-ounce glass. That is about the same amount of naturally occurring sugar found in one small banana.

Many types of non-dairy milk alternatives, like almond milk or soy milk, are flavored or sweetened. When you check the label, listed ingredients like cane sugar or cane juice indicate that sugar has been added.

3. Milk’s Ingredient List Is Short and Simple

Real milk’s ingredient list is short — simply milk and vitamins D and A. And, real dairy milk is a nutrient powerhouse that naturally provides many nutrients, including high-quality protein, calcium and potassium.

Compare that to the ingredient lists on many non-dairy milk alternatives, where you’ll find 10 or more ingredients, including stabilizers and emulsifiers like locust bean gum, sunflower lecithin and gellan gum.  

Learn more about the different kinds of non-dairy milk alternatives and how the nutrition stacks up to real dairy milk.