Q. Are milks made from almonds or other nuts better for me than cow’s milk? 

A. Almond milk and other nut milks are made from ground nuts and water. They’re lower in calories than even nonfat cow’s milk, but have the same amount of fat (about 2 grams per cup) as 1 percent milk. Most of the fat in nut milks is the healthier monounsaturated kind, though, while the fat in cow’s milk is mostly saturated fat. And you’ll get plenty of calcium and vitamin D from nut milks because most of them are fortified.

Almond milk and other nut milks do have some nutritional shortfalls. For example, a cup of 1 percent fat cow’s milk contains 8 grams of protein, but hazelnut milk has only 2 grams, and cashew and almond milk might contain 1 gram or less. (Low-fat plain soy milk, by comparison, has 4 to 6 grams of protein.) Another potential downside is added sugar. Certain sweetened cashew and almond milks contain almost 2 teaspoons of added sweeteners per cup. Unsweetened nut milks are a healthier choice.

Coconut milk is slightly different. Not to be confused with the thicker, fattier stuff in cans, coconut milk is watered down to match cow’s milk consistency and fat content. It is usually fortified with calcium and vitamin D, but it has zero protein and 4 to 5 grams of mostly saturated fat. 

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