Question: There are so many different milk varieties to choose from now, which one is best?
Answer: When choosing any food, you want to consider the total nutrient package being provided. To put things in perspective, apart from fortified soy “milk”, plant-based milk alternatives, such as almond, coconut, rice, and oat, are not included in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This is because the nutrient content of plant-based alternatives varies from cow’s milk and may not offer the same health benefits.
Another important consideration is the protein content. Protein is important because it keeps us full longer and repairs our muscles after workouts. Cow’s milk provides an impressive 8 grams of protein per cup, more than any other standard plant-based alternative. Also, be mindful of the fat. The current guidelines recommend a low-fat or fat-free milk for adults. Lastly, if you are lactose intolerant know that a lactose-free milk is just as nutritious.
For those that choose milk alternatives due to a milk allergy or personal reasons, I encourage you to read the nutrition labels. Look for products without added sugars and study the label to identify nutrient gaps you can compensate for in other areas of your diet.
Callie Yakubisin, RDN
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Registered Dietitian at:
American Family Fitness Mechanicsville
Callie Yakubisin is the Registered Dietitian at the Mechanicsville American Family Fitness location. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics from the University of Pittsburgh and completed her Dietetic Internship at Iowa State University.
She earned the credentials of Registered Dietitian in 2013. Callie’s experience includes nutrition counseling and medical nutrition therapy in the clinical setting, public speaking, and nutrition promotion. Callie’s areas of specialty include weight management, performance nutrition, and chronic disease management. Her personal experience as a marathon runner has molded her insight of proper fueling techniques for endurance athletes. Callie is dedicated to meeting your personal health goals and loves her job because she loves helping people.
Outside of work, Callie is probably either running or cooking up a new dish to share with her husband and friends.
Nutrition appointments with Callie are available on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings along with select Thursday evenings and Saturdays at American Family Fitness Mechanicsville.