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While we were still kids, we learned that drinking milk is the key to strong bones and teeth. It’s true! Milk is the hero of a healthy diet and contributes to your recommended daily dairy intake. However, through the years, science has opened up the best alternatives to what may be suited to a person, individually, rather than in a large sample.

These days, not everything that moos alone produces milk. Plant-based or non-dairy milk is widely used nowadays as an alternative for dairy milk.

Woman drinking milk with her child.

To break it down, choosing the best milk may depend but not limited to these factors:

  • Taste preferences: ‘Do I like my milk creamy, light or rich?’
  • Health conditions: ‘Am I lactose intolerant?’ ‘Do I have allergies?’
  • Nutritional values: ‘Do I want this milk low in fat, high in proteins or lesser in calories?’
  • Eating values: ‘Am I vegan?’

Here are the common types of dairy milk that you can find at our local stores:

1. Full Cream/Whole Milk

Full milk or whole milk

Full cream milk is the creamiest in taste and has a richer flavour due to its higher percentage of fat. It is also rich in protein and high in calories. If you enjoy a good ol’ cup of white coffee, full cream milk is your go-to. Just imagine the smooth frothiness, yum!

2. Low-Fat Milk

Low-fat milk is creamy but not that rich in flavour. The most evident difference between low-fat milk and full cream milk is, of course, the amount of fat it has.  It contains a much lesser percentage of fat, which matches a lower calorie count too. Fret not, the amount of nutrients and protein in low-fat milk is usually the same as full cream milk. Use low-fat milk with your cereals to balance out the flavour.

3. Lactose-Free Milk

Lactose-free milk comes from regular dairy milk. The lactose in dairy milk that causes digestive problems in some people is broken down and pre-digested, making it safe to consume. If you are lactose intolerant, this may be your solution!

Here are some non-dairy alternatives that are widely used especially if you’re lactose intolerant or vegan:

4. Soy Milk

Soy milk

You know Malaysians love their soy milk when there’s always a queue at the tau fu fa stall. Soy milk has a thick texture that makes it the most comparable alternative to dairy milk. It also contains almost as much protein as dairy milk. You can enjoy a glass of plain chilled soy milk on a hot day; it’s a whole other level of goodness.

5. Almond Milk

Almond milk.

Almond milk is made from crushed almonds and water. It has a nutty flavour and is thinner in texture compared to dairy milk. It is much lower in calories, protein and fat than dairy milk. However, almond milk is rich in vitamin E and other nutrients. You can drink it plain or pair it with coffee or tea for an extra punch!

Though plant-based non-dairy alternatives are free from cruelty and cholesterol, it is also often sweetened with added sugar and fortified with additional nutrients. Always check the nutrition facts label at the back of the product to be twice as sure. You can even make your very own plant-milk.

Opt what’s best for you and never cry over spilt milk (literally) ever again.


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