Milk and Milk Alternatives: Which one is Better than the Udder? |



A comparison of milk varieties to help you make a better choice for you and your nutritional needs.

Hey There! It’s great to be back on the blog!? There are many new and exciting things happening as we change seasons into the beautiful spring and summer weather. I hope you can spend more time outside being active at the lake, in your backyard, or simply going for a walk to enjoy the fresh air. It’s crazy to think that it’s already JUNE! Did you know that June is National Dairy Month?

One of the many questions I receive from our guests in the store and out in the community is “Which milk is the best choice? I wanted to take the opportunity today to layout the facts on the most popular milk and milk alternatives purchased in store. Then, I will give you my best recommendations!

Dairy is one of our five food groups: Dairy, Grains, Protein, Fruits & Vegetables. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommend 3 cups of dairy per day for adults. Check out for further details on recommendations including how much of other dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.) count as 1 Cup of dairy.

Nutritional benefits of dairy:

  • Low in saturated fat (if choosing fat-free or low-fat varieties)
  • Good source of protein (excluding some milk alternatives…see below)
  • Good source of calcium and vitamin D

Cow’s milk | Lactose Free Cow’s Milk

Fat: Low in saturated fat (low fat and fat-free varieties)
Protein: 8-13 grams per serving
Sugar: 0 grams of added
Fortified with: Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Potassium (may vary)



Soy Milk

Fat: Low in fat
Protein: 7 grams per serving
Sugar: 1-17 grams per serving (Dietitian’s Tip: Choose unsweetened varieties)
Fortified with: Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, DHA Omega-3


Almond Milk

Fat: low in fat
Protein: 1 gram per serving
Sugar: 0-17 grams per serving (Dietitian’s Tip: Choose unsweetened varieties)
Fortified With: Calcium & Vitamin D


Coconut Milk

Fat: High in Saturated fat
Protein: 0 grams per serving
Sugar: <1-9 grams per serving
Fortified With: Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12



Cashew Milk

Fat: 2 grams (no saturated fat)
Protein: <1 gram per serving
Sugar: 0 grams per serving
Fortified with: Calcium, Vitamin D



What do I recommend?

As dietitians for Coborn’s, our team recommends choosing low-fat or fat-free cow’s milk or lactose free cow’s milk as our top recommendation due to the 8 grams of protein, no added sugars, and low fat content. Our next best recommendation would be unsweetened soy milk. Soy milk is the most comparable in nutrition to cow’s milk. It contains 7 grams of protein, is low in fat and low in added sugar (if choosing unsweetened).

Tip! Looking for chocolate milk? Try Fair Life Chocolate milk, as it is much lower in added sugar compared to other brands!

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of Supermarket Registered Dietitians. Get more information on our Dietitian’s Corner page! (

All the best,

Amy, RD, LD

Coborn’s Supermarket Registered Dietitian

Click here for more blogs written by our Registered Dietitians.