You’re at the grocery store and you’ve gotten to the dairy aisle… now what? There are so many options to choose from, so how do you decide? First, you must know what exactly is in each beverage.

This chart compares an 8-oz. glass of cow’s milk, soy, almond, coconut, and rice. You will see how calories and nutrients stack up, which vitamins and minerals are naturally occurring, and how they compare in price.

Milk alternatives infographic

If you still can’t decide on which beverage to choose, I highlighted 5 reasons why I always pick cow’s milk for myself and my family.

1. It’s Naturally Rich in Nutrients

Cow’s milk naturally contains key nutrients – including calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin and vitamin B12 – while plant-based alternatives are often fortified with nutrients they do not contain. An article by the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents check the labels of plant-based milk alternatives, since the amount of protein and calories varies by brand.

2. There’s a Higher Quality of Protein

Milk vs almond milk infographic

Cow’s milk provides 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8-ounce serving, while almond, cashew, rice, and coconut offer 0-1 grams of protein for the same serving size.

3. There is a Lactose-free Option

Glass of lactose free milk

Many times, people with lactose intolerance turn to plant-alternative beverages. Lactose-free milk is an excellent source of protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. And, lactose-free milk tastes sweeter than regular milk because the milk sugar, lactase, is broken down into two simple sugars, glucose and galactose.

4. The Cost Per Glass is Less Expensive

Milk pouring into a glass

Estimating at about $0.27 per 8 oz. glass, cow’s milk is the better bang for your buck. According to the comparison chart from National Dairy Council, coconut milk is $0.62 for the same serving size which is almost 3x the cost of traditional cow’s milk.

5. It Tastes Better (In My Opinion!)

Cereal with milk pouring in

Growing up, my parents always encouraged my sister and me to have a glass of milk with our meals. I always enjoyed the taste of milk and still do! There’s nothing better than a bowl of cereal with delicious and nutritious 2% milk.

Learn more, here.

Do you purchase cow’s milk or one of the alternatives? Leave me a comment below sharing which one you buy and why.