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Which type of milk is best for you? - Jonathan J. O’Sullivan & Grace E. Cunningham

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If you go to the store in search of milk, there are a dizzying number of products to choose from. There’s dairy milk, but also plant-based products such as almond, soy, and oat milks. So which milk is actually best for you? And which uses the fewest resources and produces the least pollution? Jonathan J. O’Sullivan and Grace E. Cunningham dive into some of the most popular milks to find out.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Grace E. Cunningham, Jonathan J. O'Sullivan
  • Director Anton Bogaty
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Music Stephen LaRosa
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal, Elizabeth Cox
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Fact-Checker Joseph Isaac
  • See more
Additional Resources for you to Explore
When people think of milk the first thing that comes to mind is cow’s milk. However, in recent years there has been a growing trend to consume ‘milks’ that are derived from plants as healthier, more environmentally friendly alternatives. A number of different plant sources are used for this, such as soy, oat, coconut, pea, but which one of them is best?

The world of plant-based milks is ever growing, where there are new milks coming to market regularly which boast better properties and attributes, such a pea milk for instance in the European market. Some of the key aspects which are worth further looking into are the nutritional aspects of these milk alternatives, where both the protein and fats are ingredients of key interest. 

For the fats, as they are unsaturated, they are better for health overall, and for the proteins, there is a greater diversity in terms of content and quality. The quality refers to both the amino acid profile, where certain plant-based milks lack all of the essential amino acids, and digestibility of the proteins. The harder the digestibility of a protein can be a good thing, where if it takes longer to breakdown it be more satiating and suppress appetite for longer, reducing the urge to eat. 

Here are some good resources on dairy and plant-based milks: 
1. Dairy
2. Soy
3. Oat: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/oat-milk and https://www.businessinsider.com/oatly-oat-milk-review?r=US&IR=T#:~:text=Oatly+has+a+nuttier+flavor,'d+expect%2C+of+course.&text=Oatly's+full%2Dbodied+creaminess+has,to+coffee+instead+of+milk
4. Almond: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/almond-milk and https://www.livescience.com/51695-almond-milk-nutrition.html

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Grace E. Cunningham, Jonathan J. O'Sullivan
  • Director Anton Bogaty
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Music Stephen LaRosa
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal, Elizabeth Cox
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Fact-Checker Joseph Isaac
  • See more