Back in the days, milkmen would just go to your front door and you could buy milk right away. Those days of simplicity and ease are over. Now, you have several types of milk to choose from when you go to the supermarket. Most of us are used to cow’s milk, so when you see milk from other sources, it becomes even more confusing. So which one should you pick if you’re concerned about your health? Here are the best and worst options:

1. Cow’s Milk: More than 580 million cups of cow’s milk are consumed daily in the American household.

What’s Good: Cow’s milk is nutritious as it is fortified with calcium that meets 30% of the daily requirement in adults. It also has several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, phosphorus, and potassium.

What’s Bad: Cow’s milk has saturated fat and is also high in calories. It can give you higher cholesterol levels, which is definitely bad for your health.

2. Goat’s Milk: Although this is not truly popular in the US, many countries choose goat’s milk over cow’s milk. It is a little sweet, but has an offensive odor that can put you off.

What’s Good: If calcium is what you’re looking for, this is the milk for you as it has more of the mineral than cow’s milk. It also has tryptophan, the amino acid that allows the body to process protein more effectively.

Not all milks are created equal / PicHelp
Not all milks are created equal / PicHelp

What’s Bad: If you’re lactose intolerant, you may want to avoid this – the same thing for those who have high cholesterol because this has very high amounts of saturated fat.

3. Soy Milk: Milk does not always come from animals; there are plant-based types, such as soy milk. You can get this by soaking soybeans then grind them with water.

What’s Good: The best thing about soy milk is that it does not have saturated fat. It is rich in protein, particularly soy protein, so you have reduced risk for heart disease.

What’s Bad: While soy protein is beneficial for the heart, it can interfere with absorption of iron and other minerals. It also does not have enough calcium. Buy soy milk brands that have enough calcium and vitamin D to meet your daily needs.

Next time you grab your coffee or eat your cereal, don’t just reach for cow’s milk. There are plenty other choices, such as soy, goat, almond, and coconut milk. Knowing the nutritional information of these types of milk can help you determine the best for your heart and your overall well-being.