If you were referring to milk ten years ago, then it was assumed you were talking about the kind that comes from a cow. Sure, there were other types of milk on the market, but they were not nearly as popular. Now if you’re talking about milk, you need to specify whether you mean cow, soy, almond, cashew, coconut, or rice. The most popular alternative milks tend to be nut milks, especially almond milk. Almond milk, like most nut milks, is made by soaking raw almonds in filtered water, blending the two together, and straining out the extra bits. These nut milks are often touted as healthier alternatives to regular milk, but is that always the case? By Calories and Macronutrients Nut milk is always lower in calories than cow’s milk. Both almond and cashew milks ring in at about 25-30 calories per cup, whereas one cup of whole milk sets you back about 150 calories. If you switch to skim (or nonfat) cow’s milk, you cut the calories down to about 80 per cup – still more than double that of most nut milks. Fat content depends on the type of milk you’re drinking. Most nut milks contain 2-3 grams of fat per serving, whereas skim milk contains almost no fat at all. Whole milk, on the other hands, contains a whopping 8 grams of fat per serving. Protein, however, is a big consideration for many people in choosing which type of milk to drink. The protein content of both whole and skim milk ranges from 7-8 grams of protein per serving, while nut milk contains a paltry one gram or less. Other Vitamins And Minerals When it comes to other vitamins and minerals, nut milk usually packs a stronger nutritional punch. Most almond and cashew milks are fortified with vitamins A, D, and E. Most impressive of all is the calcium in almond milk. Depending on the brand, one cup of almond milk can give you nearly 50% of your daily value. Cow’s milk, on the other hand, contains about 30% of your daily value of calcium. Regular milk is often fortified with vitamin D, but rarely with as many vitamins and minerals as nut milk. Which Is Healthier? On the whole, nut milk is healthier than regular milk. Almond milk nutrition, for example, is simply much better than that of cow’s milk. The only potential drawback to switching from cow’s to nut milk is its lack of protein. If you’re following a plant-based diet and rely on milk as a major source of protein, you’ll have to compensate with other foods. Another factor to consider is that humans are the only mammals that both continue to drink milk past infancy and consume milk from other mammals. Research has indicated that adults are much more lactose intolerant than they realize, and that cutting back on dairy in general is a good idea. So if you already consume cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products, it might be best to switch from regular to nut milk.