There are a lot of different varieties of milk out there. It’s been shown that women drink 19 gallons of milk each year, mostly in their cereal. It is a great source of Calcium: one glass packs a quarter of the daily 1,000-milligram requirement (you should get 1,200 if you’re 51 or older).
Organic milk comes from cows raised organically, meaning they eat feed grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Some experts advocate for organic milk because they believe that the synthetic growth hormone given to many conventionally raised cattle may cause health problems. However, studies have shown that there not enough evidence that shows organic is safer.
Ultra-pasteurized milk is designed to keep dairy products fresh for longer. It is heated to a higher temperature than regular, pasteurized milk (280 degrees Fahrenheit versus the usual 161). Milk that’s ultra-pasteurized isn’t any safer or more nutritious, but it could be a good pick if you’re slow to start a carton or like to buy in bulk.
Fortified milk packs extra nutrients such as Vitamin A, D, C, omega-3s and fiber! Fortified skim milk is a smart pick if you don’t like low-fat milk but want to avoid the fat and calories in whole.
Lactose-free milk is good for the 6% of Americans who can’t digest the sugar, lactose, found in dairy. If you’re lactose-intolerant, this milk can help you get the calcium and vitamin D you need without gastric distress.
Rice, soy, and other nondairy milk is more common than ever, giving vegans, the lactose intolerant, and those with no special dietary needs an alternate pour for their cereal. If you’re swapping one in for regular milk, make sure it’s fortified with calcium and vitamin D (unless it’s soy milk, which has the same amount of both nutrients as cow’s milk). If you’re a vegan look for added B12 as well.