Dairy has a reputation, and it’s not always a good one. So many people restrict their dairy for different reasons. Vegans, paleo-dieters, and anti-vaccine advocates all typically restrict their dairy intake. People trying to lose weight make this mistake sometimes too. With the high calories in dairy, it seems counterproductive to drink a fat like milk. Here’s the thing: In a study conducted on sustainable weight loss and dairy, it was found that people who consumed normal amounts of dairy every day had significantly more energy for exercising-and lost just as much weight as the people who consumed small amounts of dairy. The glass really is half full for dairy as part of healthy living, and it does not contribute to weight gain unless consumed in irregularly high amounts!

Remember, though: Milk provides many benefits, but cow’s milk is not the only option. If you’re the adventurous type, a life of sheep and goat milk may be for you. Or perhaps you prefer almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, or hemp milk. But do these deliver the same health benefits? Read on to find out for yourself.

NUTRIENTS

There are seven essential macrominerals that should be part of your every day diet: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride and sulfur. Dairy has 3 of these minerals, Calcium, Potassium, and Vitamin D, and is additionally a source of Protein. These four components of dairy are beneficial for many different reasons:

Calcium and Vitamin D:

Calcium and Vitamin D work together. Calcium helps nerves transmit messages and helps keep your bones and joints intact, and it may help with diabetes glucose levels…but you can not absorb calcium into the blood without proper Vitamin D.

Although several websites are referring to a specific study to back up claims that calcium and vitamin D together can reduce cancer, the study in question actually says that the vitamin’s effects on cancer are only suggestive, so take that possibility with a grain of salt. But they did prove that calcium and Vitamin D together help prevent broken bones, while another study suggests it can help with diabetes…again cautioning that this study is in the early stages.

It is recommended that you get 1000 mg of calcium a day. A glass of skim milk has 290 milligrams of calcium, while a glass of goat milk has 327 milligrams of calcium. A glass of homemade soy milk contains 50 milligrams of calcium. While store-bought soy milk has more calcium, it has been added and has an artificial zing to it. Sheep’s milk, meanwhile, contains 473 milligrams, while hemp milk has….wait for it…500 milligrams of calcium in one glass, making it an off-the-chart winner for calcium intake.

Potassium:

Potassiam is essential for the creation and maintenance of muscle in the body, including the heart muscles. Proper consumption of this nutrient reduces risk of death for any biological reason by 20%, including reducing the risk of stroke, lowering blood pressure, and maintaining muscle integrity and bone density. It is recommended you take in 4,700 mg of potassium a day. A glass of skim milk provides 382 milligrams of potassium, more than other milk products. Goat’s milk, however, has 498 milligrams in a glass.

Protein:

Protein is crucial for maintaining body cartilage. It is also an essential component of a sustainable weight loss. Of the food you eat, 10-35 percent should come from protein, amounting to 45-50 grams and 200-700 calories’ worth. While most different milks contain 8-9 grams of protein a glass, sheep’s milk contains 15 grams a glass.

COMPARING ALL MILKS

You may have noticed that sheep’s milk generally is in the lead, with more of dairy’s vital nutrients per glass than cow’s milk. While the amount of Vitamin D and potassium in sheep’s milk is indeterminate, sheep milk has a higher value per glass of Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Folate, Vitamin C and magnesium than both cow milk, with goat milk taking second place overall. However, sheep milk also has higher gram amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates than any of the milks, and actually equals the daily gram maximum for saturated fats for people on a diet (18 grams).

On the other hand, of those three milks, goat’s milk had the highest number value of Vitamin A, K, E, B6, and potassium, with sheep milk taking second place overall.

Cow milk had higher rates of selenium than goat and sheep milk, and as much Vitamin D as goat milk. However, almond milk had even higher rates than cow milk of both. In fact, the only thing cow milk has more of per glass than almond milk is protein. Keep in mind that sheep milk has the most amount of protein with goat milk coming in second.

CONCLUSION

As you can see, choosing the best milk for healthy living is a multi-layered task. While an ambitious person might try to order sheep, goat and almond milk and alternate between them, we have a better suggestion. In order to achieve higher percentages of protein and calcium-two of the four main reasons people consume dairy- than is in cow milk, as well as higher percentages of than cow milk of most other vitamins, have a glass of goat milk a day. This will avoid the fat in sheep milk, while still triumphing cow milk for vitamin content. To compensate for selenium, have one brazil nut a day…there is two times the minimum recommended level of selenium for a day in just one brazil nut.

The final verdict: If one cup of goat milk, combined with one brazil nut, is incorporated into your nutritional programs every day, the cows will go running for the hills…and never come home.