7 Types of Milk & the Key Nutritional Differences

These days, there are seemingly countless types of milk to choose from at grocery stores. Where once it seemed that the only types of milk you had to pick from were low-fat, chocolate and skim, things have changed. Today’s grocery stores have milk sourced from all sorts of different animals, fruits and vegetables.

So, with so many different types of milk, how can you know which is best for you? Use this dietitian-guided breakdown listing the types of milk and their nutritional makeup the next time you shop for groceries:

almond milk

1. Almond Milk

Calories: 40
Protein: 1 gram
Carbs: 1 gram
Fat: 1.5 grams

Almond milk is a nutritious type of milk that you can grab at the store. But unbeknownst to most, you can also make it at home! To make homemade almond milk, soak almonds for up to eight hours, toss in a blender with a little bit of water and strain through a cloth. And Voila! You’ve made your own nutritious and tasty almond milk.

With more calcium (45% of your daily recommended serving) than traditional cow’s milk, almond milk is a great plant-based milk to choose for strong and healthy bones!

cow's milk

2. Cow’s Milk (Whole)

Calories: 146
Protein: 8 grams
Carbs: 13 grams
Fat: 8 grams

Cow’s milk is a popular creamy nutrient-rich milk produced by the mammary glands of the cow that has more than 6 million drinking it on a semi-regular basis.

Protein plays a vital role in our bodily functions. But not all proteins are considered equal. Cow’s milk contains complete proteins, which are used by the body for energy production, muscle growth and overall growth. This makes cow’s milk a popular post-workout beverage!

soy milk

3. Soy Milk

Calories: 80
Protein: 7 grams
Carbs: 3 grams
Fat: 4 grams

Soy milk is among the original plant-based types of milk to go mainstream! It is made by soaking and grinding down soybeans, then boiling the mixture and pressing the liquid through a cloth.

When comparing plant-based milk types, consider soy milk if you’re looking for a beverage closely resembling the nutritional makeup of cow’s milk. Soy milk contains all nine essential amino acids and is a great protein-rich milk option.

types of milk - oat milk

4. Oat Milk

Calories: 130
Protein: 4 grams
Carbs: 16 grams
Fat: 2.5 grams

Oat milk is a relatively new plant-based milk that is gaining traction in the health and wellness community! Oat milk is made with steel-cut oats or whole groats that are soaked in water, blended, then strained with a cloth or a special nut milk bag.

While oat milk is much higher in carbs than other milk drinks, it also has the most fiber content with 2 grams per cup! What’s more, the specific strain of fiber found in oat milk strain, beta-glucan, has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, making it a heart-protective beverage.

types of milk - hemp milk

5. Hemp Milk

Calories: 70
Protein: 4 grams
Carbs: 1 gram
Fat: 5 grams

Hemp milk is made from the seeds of a specific hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The seeds are ground and soaked to produce milk similar to cow’s milk in color, taste and texture.

Hemp seeds are naturally rich in heart-protective omega-3 fatty acid ALA! If you’re looking for an additional way to keep your cholesterol and blood pressure in check, hemp milk is an excellent addition to the diet.

rice milk

6. Rice Milk

Calories: 120
Protein: 0 grams
Carbs: 25 grams
Fat: 2 grams

Rice milk is processed, brown rice, blended with water until it transforms into a liquid. During the process, carbohydrates are cleaved into sugar, giving it a naturally sweet taste.

Rice milk has the lowest protein content among all other milk options. However, brown rice (it’s primary ingredient) is naturally high in all of the B vitamins, which are essential to your metabolism, circulation and nerve function.

flax milk

7. Flax Milk

Calories: 56
Protein: 0 – 1 gram
Carbs: 9 grams
Fat: 3 grams

Flax milk is cold-pressed flax oil blended with water. Most flax milk contains vitamins A, D and B12, as well as calcium, making it a healthy milk option to add to your grocery cart.

Flax is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have shown to promote heart health. It’s also lactose-free, soy-free and nut-free, which makes it an excellent option for people with sensitive stomachs. [1]


[1] www.ods.od.nih.gov

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written by

Frankie O'Brien

Frankie O'Brien