9 Milk Nutrition Facts You Need to Know

Do you know your milk nutrition facts? The ingredients and nutrients in milk differ from non-dairy options like almond milk, cashew milk, or soy milk.

Not all non-dairy milks have the same nutrients as the nutrients in milk. For example, an eight-ounce glass of dairy milk — including fat free, flavored and organic milk — provides eight times more naturally occurring protein than a glass of almond milk.

That’s why it’s important to know what you’re getting in each glass.

How the Nutrients in Milk Create a Nutrient Powerhouse

Along with high-quality protein, other essential nutrients in milk include B vitamins for energy, vitamin A for a healthy immune system and bone-building nutrients including calcium and vitamin D. In fact, milk is the top food source for three of the four nutrients of concern — the nutrients that many Americans, including children — are most lacking: calcium, potassium and vitamin D. Be sure to get the nutrients in milk by including a glass at every meal. 

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommend three daily servings of lowfat and fat free dairy products for adults and children 9 years and older in both healthy U.S.-style diets and vegetarian diets. But 90 percent of the U.S. population falls short of this recommendation. Drinking milk as part of a healthy diet can play an important role in healthy eating and well-being through adulthood.

The milk case offers choices for the entire family — from fat free (at just 80 calories) to lowfat or organic, there’s a favorite type of milk for each family member. And, fat free or lowfat milk packs the same nutrient-rich punch with 9 essential nutrients for fewer calories and less fat. 

Look at the Label: Not All Non-Dairy Milks Have the Same Nutrients as Real Milk

Milk is milk. Or is it? These days, you can walk down your grocery aisles and find many different non-dairy milk options. You may wonder, “Do these non-dairy milk alternatives have the same nutrients as dairy milk?” When it comes to non-dairy, plant-based milks, like almond milk, you may not know they don’t have the same naturally occurring nutrients as real dairy milk. But that’s not all…

Read more: Real Milk vs. Non-Dairy Milk: What’s the Difference?

Protein in Milk: Milk Nutrition Facts

One 8-ounce glass of milk has eight grams of high-quality protein as compared to almond milk, which only has one gram. Milk also is a “complete” protein, which provides the full mix of essential amino acids our bodies need. 

Many experts now recommend getting 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal. The timing of protein is important, especially at breakfast, a meal that’s often heavier in carbs and lighter on protein. By pairing your morning meal with a glass of milk, it can help you reach that amount of protein before noon



Learn more about the protein in milk.

Calcium in Milk: Milk Nutrition Facts

Dairy milk is an excellent source of calcium, which helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. It would take 7 cups of raw broccoli to get as much calcium as you get in just one 8-ounce glass of milk! Learn more about the calcium in milk and other milk nutrients.





Potassium in Milk: Milk Nutrition Facts

Just how much potassium is found in milk? Registered dietitian Holley Grainger explains that each 8-ounce glass of milk gives you 10% of the daily recommended amount of potassium. Learn more about the potassium in milk and other milk nutrition facts.





Vitamin D in Milk: Milk Nutrition Facts

Ever wonder exactly how much vitamin D is found in milk? Milk has 9 essential nutrients, including vitamin D. An 8-ounce glass of milk provides approximately 30% of your recommended amount of vitamin D. Learn more about vitamin D in milk and other milk nutrients.





How Milk’s Nutrition Fills Your Glass

Here are the five other essential nutrients in milk that you receive in every 8-ounce glass you drink:

Vitamin B12 in Milk: Milk Nutrition Facts

Vitamin B12 (1.2 mcg, 20% DV): This vitamin helps build red blood cells and helps maintain the central nervous system.  






Vitamin A in Milk: Milk Nutrition Facts

Vitamin A (500 IU, 10% DV): This vitamin helps with eye health and maintaining a healthy immune system.






Riboflavin in Milk: Milk Nutrition Facts

Riboflavin (0.4 mg, 25% DV): This nutrient (also known as vitamin B2) may be a bit hard to pronounce, but riboflavin helps convert your food into energy.






Phosphorus in Milk: Milk Nutrition Facts

Phosphorus (250 mg, 25% DV): This nutrient works with calcium and vitamin D to help maintain bone health. An 8-ounce glass of milk contains as much phosphorus as a cup of kidney beans.





Niacin in Milk: Milk Nutrition Facts

Niacin (2 mg, 10% DV**): This nutrient in milk (also known as vitamin B3) joins forces with riboflavin and vitamin B12 to help convert food into energy.

**As niacin equivalents.




Read More About Non-Dairy Milks from Around the Web:

Why Almond Milk Is A Rip-Off

Do you know what’s in your glass of almond milk?

Hold the cow! How Does Your Non-Dairy Milk Measure Up?

A registered dietitian says real milk has a wealth of nutrients – how does it stack up to other non-dairy milk?

Which Type of Milk Is Healthiest?

See how real milk stacks up against non-dairy milks.

Almond, Soy, Rice and Other Milks: The Nutrition Comparison

Do you know what’s in your plant-based milks?