Nutritional Advantages: Dairy Milk Tops Plant-Based in Study

Milk is rich in calcium; drinking 1-2 cups daily can meet 50% of the daily calcium requirement. (Photo via

Most plant-based milk options fall short in protein content compared to cow’s milk, and approximately one-third also lack adequate calcium and vitamin D. If you require calcium supplementation, replacing milk with plant-based alternatives is not advisable.

New York, NY (ADH News) – A lot of individuals kickstart their mornings by indulging in a glass of milk. With the change in eating habits, more and more people are turning to plant-based milk with low calories and high dietary fiber, including oats, soybeans, and almonds. But are these plant-based milk as healthy as cow’s milk? A recent study showed that cow’s milk is better than plant-based milk if you want more protein.

In general, whole milk has more saturated fat than plant-based milk. In a study from the Nutrition Coordinating Center at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, scientists analyzed more than 200 plant-based milk products sold in the U.S. in 2023. They found that most plant-based milk was fortified with calcium and vitamin D, but the protein content is only 19%, equal to or more than milk. In other words, more than 80% of plant milk has lower nutritional value than milk, especially those made of oats, soybeans, and almonds. Although they are fortified with calcium and vitamin D, their saturated fat is much lower than milk. The research appears in the 2023 American Academy of Nutrition Publishing issue.

Protein is essential for muscle growth, energy, and digestion. On average, plant-based milk contains only 2 grams of protein per 240 ml, with significant variations between different products; while low-fat or whole milk contains 8 grams of protein per 240 ml, four times that of plant-based milk as much.

So the more milk you drink, the healthier you are? This is not necessarily the case. According to research by Swedish scientists, although milk is good, it does not mean that the more you drink, the better. The study found that drinking three or more glasses of milk daily may be associated with higher mortality rates and an increased risk of bone and hip fractures. In addition, the effect was more pronounced in women than in men, with women who drank more than three glasses of milk per day having twice the risk of death compared with those who drank less than one glass of milk per day. Although the mortality rate of men is not as high as that of women, the incidence of fractures is similar between the two.

Milk is a good source of vitamin D, calcium, and protein. Don’t worry if you don’t drink milk. You can also get the protein, calcium, and vitamin D your body needs through a balanced diet. You can usually put cheese, yogurt, dark green vegetables, soybeans, figs, cauliflower, orange, black sesame, salmon, and many other prototype foods into the dinner plate to enjoy. In addition, maintain exercise habits, actively exercise, and often sunbathe; the body can also naturally synthesize vitamin D through enough sun exposure to make bones healthier.

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