Shakes and smoothies are a great option for a healthy drink, but there are lots of ways you can make your shakes even healthier.
This is done by changing the ingredients and opting for the healthiest ones possible.
One key ingredient in shakes and smoothies is milk – so what is the best milk for a healthy shake?
Here, we are going to be checking out all the milk and milk-alternative options for making shakes and smoothies.
This way, you can find the healthiest option that suits your dietary needs! Check out the information below and enjoy!
Your Milk And Milk Alternative Options
If you have ever taken a look at the milk aisle at your local grocery store, you will know that there are a lot of milk options out there.
From dairy-free to traditional dairy milk straight from a cow, you really are spoilt for choice.
We couldn’t include every type of milk in this list (there are literally so many) so we’ve narrowed it down to the most popular kinds of milk used in shakes.
Check out the list below to discover your options!
Let’s start with the most popular kind of milk used for smoothies and shakes – dairy milk!
Dairy milk is a traditional animal product commonly used in a ton of recipes, dishes, and drinks. It’s often used as a thickening agent because it’s a naturally thick liquid, making it great for thick smoothies and shakes.
Most people drink dairy milk produced by cows but alternatives sourced from goats and sheep are also available too.
On top of this, dairy milk can be found in lots of different forms ranging from full-fat to fat-free. This makes it a great option for those strict dietary requirements – but, of course, it’s not suitable for vegans!
When it comes to nutrients, dairy milk is packed with calcium and protein as well as vitamin B, potassium, and phosphorus.
It also contains lactose, a sugar primarily found in dairy products, meaning that it’s unsuitable for those who are lactose intolerant.
One of the most popular vegan alternatives to dairy milk is nut milk.
Nut milk is not an animal product. Instead, it’s made by grinding various nuts into a paste and mixing it with water. They are often frothy in consistency. Some popular types of nut milk include:
- Almond milk
- Cashew milk (my favorite)
- Pecan milk
- Hazelnut milk
Nuts are an important part of a vegan’s diet as they naturally contain a ton of nutrients important to keeping the body healthy.
For example, nuts are a huge source of protein and as a result, are used by vegans as their go-to source of protein.
Nuts are also rich in healthy fats, minerals, and other vitamins, some of which are added to the milk during processing.
Nut milk is not a great choice for everyone. If you have a nut allergy then you will obviously want to avoid this type of milk at all costs.
Soy milk is made from soybeans that have been soaked in water, ground up, heated, then filtered. Like nut milk, it is often sweetened and processed with additional vitamins and minerals.
Some soy kinds of milk are not actually made from soybeans but from other legumes like peas or chickpeas instead. Overall, they are all excellent sources of protein.
Most people assume that coconut milk is made from the liquid found inside coconuts themselves.
That’s actually coconut water – coconut milk is made by grating coconuts into a pulp and extracting the liquid. It’s much creamier in texture than coconut water and super thick.
This thickness makes coconut milk a popular substitute in a lot of dishes and drinks – including smoothies and shakes!
In terms of nutrients, coconut milk is pretty healthy. It may be high in fat but it’s also high in other important nutrients like iron, manganese, and magnesium.
Oat milk is made from oat grains blended with water. The mixture is then strained to create creamy milk that is silky in texture and consistency.
Like other non-dairy milk, oat milk is often sweetened and fortified with vitamins – but its silky consistency makes it a popular choice for shakes.
In terms of nutrients, oat milk lacks the calcium seen with other types of milk. Instead, it’s much higher in carbohydrates as it’s made from oats (that also contain a ton of carbs).
Finally, we have rice milk.
Rice milk is made by grinding rice, mixing it with water, and then filtering it. Additional sweetener and flavor is often added during the process along with extra vitamins for fortification.
Like oat milk, rice milk is pretty high in carbohydrates and lacks the protein and calcium levels found in other kinds of milk. It’s also pretty watery in consistency. 2
Is There A Healthiest Milk?
In truth, there’s no ultimate ‘healthiest’ milk. Everyone has different dietary requirements and so, there are no ‘one milk suits all’.
This means you need to evaluate your own dietary needs and find the milk option that offers the kind of nutrients you need in your diet. For example:
- Are you vegan? If so you will need to avoid dairy milk as it’s an animal product.
- Do you have a nut allergy? You can’t drink nut milk if you are allergic to nuts, almonds, and cashews.
- Are you trying to lose weight? You will want low-fat milk.
- Are you trying to gain weight? Then, you will want milk that is high in healthy fats.
If you follow a particular diet or have very strict dietary needs, then here are some good milk options depending on what you need your milk to provide (or avoid).
Best Low-Calorie Milk For Weight Loss
If you are aiming to lose weight or at least maintain your current weight, you may want to choose low-calorie milk for your shakes. Here are some options:
- Non-Fat Milk
- Almond Milk
- Soy Milk
It’s also a good idea to try and find unsweetened versions of the above options. They will contain fewer calories.
Best High Protein Milks
If you are looking to gain muscle, then opting for milk that is high in protein is a great choice. Protein will help your muscles recover so you can avoid injuries and get more out of each workout.
Here are some great milk options that are high in protein:
- Pea milk
- Dairy milk
- Soy milk
So, all the popular milk options for shakes offer their own health benefits.
Which one is right for you depends on your own dietary needs – so check out the options above and pick out the milk that best works for you!
Enjoy and we hope this guide helped you out!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Milk Is High In Calcium?
Calcium is an important nutrient for our bodies as it improves muscle movement, builds stronger bones, and much more.
If you want to add more calcium to your diet, use the following milk in your shakes:
- Dairy Milk
- Almond milk
- Soy milk
What Milks Are Suitable For A Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet has become a huge trend in recent years. It involves avoiding foods that are high in carbohydrates so your body burns more fat.
As a result, unsweetened versions of the following milk are great options for keto-friendly shakes:
- Almond milk
- Coconut Milk
- Soy milk
Alternatively, you will want to avoid dairy milk, oat milk, and rice milk.
Other Articles To Read
13 Best Oat Milk Protein Shakes For Keeping Fit – Do you want to increase your protein intake? Find 13 fabulous protein shake recipes that are made with oat milk, covering a range of fantastic flavors.
What Is The Most Unhealthiest Shake You Can Have? – People are always talking about how to make a healthy shake – but what is the most unhealthiest shake out there? Find out here so you know what to avoid!
Isagenix Vs Shakeology What You Need To Know – Are you wondering whether you should go for an Isagenix shake or a Shakeology shake? Read on for more information on these two shakes and which one is best!