If there's one section of your local supermarket that's transformed over the last decade, it's the milk aisle. Our parent's generation had minimal choices when it came to choosing the best type of milk, but now it can feel like you need a degree in nutrition to decipher the multitude of brands, types, and labels.
While nut milk has become a popular alternative to dairy, nutritionist Diana K. Rice, a registered dietitian in Jersey City, tells Body+Soul that it's not as healthy as many people believe. "There's been criticism about how you’re basically just buying expensive filtered water with a couple of ground-up almonds," she says.
Here, nutritionists reveal the three "healthy" foods and drinks they don't recommend—and what to reach for instead.
Nutritionist Kelly LeVeque calls these popular fruit smoothie bowls "sugar bombs." According to Body+Soul, she cautions that they typically contain large amounts of fructose, which "turns to fat faster than other forms of carbohydrates."
Try: Opt for whole fruit instead.
Rice argues that many milk alternatives don't stack up to dairy when you consider their cost and nutritional value. She points out that many varieties that claim to have more calcium than traditional milk are simply fortified.
Try: Looking for a dairy-free option? Rice recommends soy milk, which has a comparable protein content.
"You're cutting out [fat] for potentially no reason," says Rice. "On top of that, those products tend to have a lot of additives such as sugar or artificial sweeteners to compensate for lack of taste."
Try: Reach for traditional Greek yogurt with no added sugar and sweeten with a drizzle of honey or fresh berries.
KICK-START A HEALTHY HABIT:
Which milk alternative do you drink and why?