Skimming away the confusion over milk alternatives

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RAYTOWN, Mo. -- As the old ad campaign said, milk does a body good. That can be true, too, of the many alternatives to cow's milk that are available now, but some may be better for you than others.

Nick Miller has become more of a milk drinker since he found almond milk.

"A lot of my fitness people I follow on Instagram, they do it," said Miller.

People are going nuts over nut milks and for good reason. They're very high in calcium and heart healthy.

"They have no cholesterol, no saturated fat and they possess the natural omega threes in nuts," said Teequa Knapp, a registered dietitian with Hy-Vee in Raytown.

But Knapp says nut milks don't have the protein found in nuts or in regular milk.

"That's why I mix in my proteins, my protein powder with it," said Miller.

The dietitian suggests you choose unsweetened nut milks instead of the flavored ones which can have a high sugar content.

"So this one's 15 grams of sugar," said Knapp as she looked at a label.

Rice milk is an option for people who can't drink nut or cow's milk.

"It does have more carbohydrates than your nuts and your regular milk, and more sugar. So for those who are diabetic, not necessarily a better choice," said Knapp.

Rice milk also doesn't have much protein. Hemp milk is higher but not as high as regular milk.

Soy milk is very similar nutritionally to regular. Soy is a weak estrogen, so people at risk for hormone-related cancers may want to talk with their doctors before downing it.

For those who can't tolerate cow's milk but want the closest thing, lactose-free milk has the same nutrition without the enzyme that causes digestive distress.

One downside with all the alternative milks is price. You can expect to pay from fifty cents to one dollar and fifty cents more for a half gallon compared to cow's milk.