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21 Milk Substitutes – Both Animal & Plant-Based Options

Humans have relied on milk in different ways since the dawn of time. Milk has a long and fascinating history.

The 10,000-year-old ‘agricultural revolution’ converted ancient cultures from nomadic tribes to well-established farming settlements. It was just a matter of time before animals were domesticated as a result of this amazing achievement. In addition, the demand for animal products like milk, meat, and so on, has grown.

Later on, milk and other dairy products became valuable commodities that were originally reserved for the aristocracy.

Cow, sheep, and goats’ milk were the most common types of milk at the time. Many other forms of milk have been found and manufactured throughout the years, though.

There are many distinct kinds of milk, some of which are quite popular, while others are less well-known. The following is a list of several kinds of milk, each with its own distinct qualities and health advantages. This is for individuals who aren’t aware of the other sorts of milk besides their usual daily milk.

Whole Milk

Maple Hill Shelf Stable Whole White Milk 100% Grass Fed, Organic, Non-GMO: 16 pack 8 Fl Oz Aseptic Milk Boxes

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Known as ‘regular’ milk, this has a fat level of around 3.5 percent. The normal fat percentage is between 3.25 and 3.5 percent. Whole milk gets its name from the fact that it is purer than most other forms of milk and also from the fact that it contains a large amount of fat.

For breakfast in the morning, a bowl of oats and a cup of whole milk is a match made in heaven. When it comes to milk, “the way it comes from the cow before processing” is the Dairy Council of California’s definition of whole milk. Whole milk has the same fat-to-milk ratio as raw milk, despite being pasteurized and homogenized.

A typical 8-ounce serving of whole milk has around 150 calories and 8 grams of fat, making it a good source of protein.

2% Milk

Natrel | 2% Milk | 32 Ounce | Pack of 12 | Shelf Stable Milk | Gluten-Free | Kosher | Non-GMO | No Refrigeration Needed | Fresh Taste that Lasts for Months | Made in the U.S.A

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The term “reduced-fat” alludes to the fact that the fat content of this milk is just 2% of the total weight of the product. Unlike whole milk, it isn’t as thick and has a moderate taste that isn’t too overpowering. It is said to be a good source of calcium, vitamin D, and other minerals.

2 percent milk or reduced-fat milk undergoes an essential fat-removal procedure that removes excess fat from the milk. Many tea drinkers like to use this milk because it has a silky texture and a lovely, creamy milk flavor. Additionally, each cup of tea has 8 grams of protein, making it a perfect form of milk to drink on a regular basis.

Low-fat Milk

Gossner Foods 1% Low Fat Milk 32oz (Pack of 2)

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Low-fat milk and reduced-fat milk are sometimes misunderstood, although they are essentially two separate products. In comparison, low-fat milk contains just one percent fat content, but the latter has two percent fat. This low-fat milk is perfect for those watching their weight, thanks to its low-fat content. In addition, the lower saturated fat content of low-fat milk aids in the management of blood cholesterol levels.

Skim milk powder is often added to low-fat milk to increase its protein and calcium content and make it creamier.

A method known as “centrifugation” is used to remove the creamy fat layer that generally accompanies raw milk from low-fat milk products. The thinner milk that follows from removing the cream and fat globules has an opaque white color. Cakes, puddings, sweets, and various low-calorie milkshakes may all be made using this milk.

Organically Produced Milk

Organic Fresh Frozen Camel Milk - Fresh Flavor with Health Benefits - Raw & Natural Grade A - Gently Pasteurized from Healthy Camels in Midwest - Made In The USA [12 Pack]

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In order to create organic milk, dairy producers must use only organic pesticides and fertilizers on their cows, who aren’t given any additional hormones. One of the main differences between the three varieties is that this one has three major characteristics: When it comes to the source of the milk, it comes from cows that obtain 30 percent of their food from pasture, and the milk does not come in contact with antibiotics or growth hormones.

For most people, the word “organic” relates more to how milk is produced than to its ultimate result. In terms of nutritional value and health advantages, organic milk is almost identical to regular milk in terms of its nutritional profile.

Milk that has been skimmed (Fat-Free Milk)

Judee’s Lactose Free Skim Milk Powder 11oz - 100% Non-GMO, rBST Hormone-Free, Low Carb - Gluten-Free & Nut-Free - Made from Real Dairy - Great for Reconstituting and Baking with Skim Lactose-Free Milk

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It is also known as “fat-free milk,” and it is a popular option for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet. The only logical explanation for this is that skimmed milk has no fat at all. This milk is much thinner than other varieties of milk since it has no fat.

“Skimming” refers to the removal of the milk’s cream, and this milk undergoes this procedure. This results in a watery flavor that is sometimes compensated for by the addition of milk powders or other additions. For those who are aiming to reduce weight and adopt a healthy diet, this is a fantastic choice.

Raw Milk

Aadvik RAW Camel Milk Powder | Freeze Dried | Pure and Natural | 7.05 Oz

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‘Unpasteurized’ milk, or milk that hasn’t been homogenized, is the most common term for this kind of milk. This implies that dairy producers do not heat raw milk in order to make it safe for consumption. Buffalo, sheep, camel, cows, and goats are all examples of the animals that produce this product.

Many people worry about the health risks associated with raw milk since it hasn’t been pasteurized, which means it might contain hazardous organisms like bacteria and viruses. As a result, some promoters of raw milk believe that it is an ideal diet since it has all the essential amino acids, proteins, minerals, and vitamins that the human body needs. They further claim that the heating procedure just destroys the milk’s essential nutritional purpose, which makes raw milk nutritious and entire.

Milk that is Lactose-Free

Parmalat Shelf Stable UHT Milk 1 Qt (Lactose Free 2%, 6 Pack 32fl oz)

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For individuals who are lactose-intolerant, lactose-free milk is a fantastic alternative since it is lactose-free, as the name indicates. Even a little amount of lactose, a naturally occurring sugar found in milk, may cause diarrhea and vomiting in many individuals who are unable to digest it properly.

Lactase is added to ordinary milk to generate lactose-free milk. Lactase is an enzyme that aids in the digestion of lactose in the human body. The milk’s flavor, nutritional profile, and texture are unaffected by this, and it still tastes like conventional cow’s milk. Phosphorous, calcium, and vitamin B12 are all present in lactose-free milk as they are in regular milk. A 240-ml cup of this soup has 8 grams of protein, making it a protein powerhouse.

Milk with Flavors Added

Binggrae Variety Banana, Strawberry, Melon Flavored Milk Drink 6 Packs

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For children and toddlers, this milk is a popular choice. Milk, sugar, and natural or artificial food colorings are often used to sweeten dairy drinks. The most common flavor of flavored milk is chocolate, although other flavors like strawberry and banana are also popular.

Calories, potassium, and vitamin D are all present in flavored milk as they are in plain milk. Flavored milk is no exception. Flavored milk consumption has been demonstrated to lead to better diets, according to research and studies.

Flavored milk is particularly popular in Western and South Australia, which were dubbed the “capital of Australian flavored milk” by the Sunday Times in 2013.

Due to the use of Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) pasteurization, flavored milk has a longer shelf life than regular milk.

Full-Scale Cream Milk

Anchor Full Cream Milk Powder -2500g

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Because it has the greatest fat content of any milk, full cream has a creamier flavor and texture than other varieties with a lower fat content. It is also common to refer to “whole milk” as “full cream milk” when the fat percentage of the two kinds of milk is the same.

Since most animals’ mammary glands produce full cream milk, the dish is particularly beneficial for young humans. 3.3 grams of protein, 4.7 grams of carbs, and 3.9 grams of fat are all included in a single 100-ml glass of this milk. As a result, full-cream milk is an excellent option for people who are attempting to keep their calorie intake in check and adhere to a balanced diet.

The smoothness of this milk makes it an ideal option for brewing coffee since it produces a silky foam and an extraordinarily rich flavor.

Milk made from Soy

Silk Shelf-Stable Soy Milk, Original, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Non-GMO Project Verified, 1 Quart (Pack of 6)

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Soybean milk is easily made by soaking and crushing dry soybeans in water. Soy milk is a plant-based milk alternative that’s jam-packed with all the nutrients you could ever ask for. It is a favorite among vegans and vegetarians because of its high calcium and soy protein content.

Soy milk is often regarded as a superior dairy substitute since it is sweeter and thicker than almond milk. Because plants are the primary component, this milk is naturally cholesterol-free, lactose-free, and low in saturated fat. To be considered “full protein milk,” it must have the same amount of protein as whole milk.

A comparison of the nutritional profiles of coconut, almond, soy, and rice milk was carried out. According to research, soy milk has the second-highest concentration of critical nutrients behind cow milk, making it the healthiest option available.

Milk Derived from Almonds

Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Almond Milk, Unsweetened Vanilla - Non Dairy, Lactose Free, Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free, No Sugar Added, Kosher, Non-GMO, 32 Ounce (Pack of 6) (Packaging May Vary)

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In addition to almond milk, there are many additional types of plant-based milk types that have a little sweetness and a creamy texture. After toasting and grinding the almonds, the result is a dairy-free milk substitute that is ready to drink in a few minutes. The end product is thick, creamy milk with a nutty flavor and a nutty aroma.

Due to the fact that it is made from nuts, it has a large amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Among the other essential minerals it contains are potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein, fiber, and vitamin E.

Lactose intolerance and a desire to avoid dairy products need the use of almond milk, which is cholesterol-free and lactose-free. The reduced salt level is also beneficial to the health of one’s heart. Additionally, almond milk has 30 calories per cup and zero grams of carbohydrates and sugar.

Milk Made from Rice

Rice Dream Organic Rice Drink, Classic Original, 32 Oz (Pack of 12)

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In terms of milk kinds, this is one of the most hypoallergenic and also one of the sweetest. When brown rice is boiled and mixed with brown rice syrup, the result is a dairy-free milk substitute.

Rice milk has a creamy, medium-sweet flavor that many people like. There is no added sugar in the milk since it is naturally sweetened by the rice grain. Because it is lactose-free and has a low allergen content, it is perfect for lactose-intolerant persons and those who have a high risk of milk allergies.

As a bonus, this milk is fat and cholesterol-free, making it an excellent alternative for anyone with high blood pressure and cardiovascular concerns. Due to the low protein and calcium content of rice milk, it is not recommended for those who are lactose intolerant. Rice milk has roughly 26 grams of carbs per serving, which makes it a high-calorie and sugar-laden beverage.


Hoosier Hill Farm Buttermilk Powder, 1 Pound

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Buttermilk is often misunderstood since many people think it to be a high-fat, buttery kind of milk. As a matter of fact, it is only a fermented milk product that was initially made from the churned butter’s remaining liquid, which was originally made from fermented milk.

Buttermilk, as we know it now, does not include any butter but rather cultured milk marketed in bottles. Bacteria culture is added to sweet, pasteurized milk to generate commercially prepared buttermilk today. Stabilizers, salts and sugar are then added to the ‘buttermilk’ after the combination has fermented for a few hours.

New buttermilk is thicker, acidic, and tangier than the typical buttermilk, making it excellent for use in buttermilk biscuits and pancakes. The digestive benefits of buttermilk make it an excellent beverage, but it may also be used as a meal replacement.

Pure, Unadulterated Milk

fairlife YUP! Low Fat Ultra-Filtered Milk, Classic White (Packaging May Vary), 14 Fl Oz, 12 Count

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To make ‘diafiltered milk,’ the milk is passed through a thin porous membrane, which separates the milk’s constituent components. In the same way that water is purified, this method is derived. Filtration increases the calcium and protein content while decreasing the sugar and lactose concentration in the final product.

Ultrafiltration, on the other hand, permits water and lactose molecules to flow through the membrane while proteins remain behind. As much as 370mg of calcium per cup of ultrafiltered milk is estimated to be included in the beverage.

This milk is reported to have a creamier texture than normal milk. On top of that, it’s lower in sugar than regular flavored milk.

Milk that has been Heated and Evaporated

Nestle Carnation Lactose Free Evaporated Milk, 11 fl. Oz. Tetra, Pack of 8 – Lactose-Free Milk Substitute for Sweet and Savory Recipes – Lactose- Free, Rich and Delicious Evaporated Milk

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Milk that has had around 60 percent of the water removed from it is referred to in many countries as “unsweetened condensed milk.” Simmering fresh milk for a short period of time removes the water. Afterward, the milk undergoes a homogenization procedure that combines all of its fat molecules into a single mass, resulting in longer shelf life. The thick, rich, and creamy end product that follows from the process of gently simmering the milk usually has a subtle caramel-like taste. Often referred to as “the best of both worlds,” evaporated milk has a low-fat level but yet keeps its creamy texture. This makes it a popular alternative for cream in meals that call for a large quantity of cream as a key component.

Condensed Milk with a Sweetener

Magnolia Sweetened Condensed Milk 14 oz - 6 Cans

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If you think of evaporated milk as a kind of condensed dairy product, then this is a good analogy. A thick and creamy liquid is left behind once the water is removed. Despite the fact that it is a form of milk, it has a distinct flavor, texture, and consistency. It has a black hue, a thick and creamy texture, and a very sweet flavor.

In addition to the distinction between evaporated and sweetened condensed milk, the latter contains sugar as a preservative. As a result, even if it includes some naturally-occurring milk sugars, extra sugar is added during the preparation. As a byproduct of the milking process, sweetened condensed milk contains a small amount of fat and protein as well as the B vitamins calcium and b12.

Rather than consuming this milk on its own, it is more often used in desserts and drinks because of its very sweet flavor and thick consistency.

Milk Made from Oats

RISE Brewing Co. | Original Oat Milk | USDA Organic & Non-GMO | Vegan & Non-Dairy | 32 fl. oz. Cartons (6 pack)

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This milk is the perfect combination of water and oats. Straining is done meticulously to leave behind creamy, plant-based milk. Coffee and pancakes might benefit from the somewhat thinner milk that follows the straining procedure.

As a source of beta-glucans and fiber, oat milk is beneficial for your immune system and metabolic health. With a light flavor and watery texture, it’s ideal for those who like a more delicate taste.

Because oat milk is soy and nut-free, it is ideal for individuals with dietary limitations, as well as those who are vegan. The presence of beta-glucans in the milk makes it beneficial to your cardiovascular health and helps keep your cholesterol levels in check. Strong, healthy bones and a reduced risk of osteoporosis are made possible by its calcium and vitamin D content.

Goat’s Milk

Meyenberg Whole Powdered Goat Milk, Gluten Free, Non GMO, Vitamin D, 12 Oz

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Cow’s milk has a high lactose content and a wide variety of allergies, making it difficult for many individuals to digest. People who are lactose intolerant may benefit greatly from goat milk, which is made by goats.

Milk from goats is high in vitamins, minerals, and other vital elements, as well as medium-chain fatty acids. In comparison to cow milk, it is easier to digest, less irritating to the digestive tract, and less inflammatory.

In terms of heart health, goat milk’s fatty acids assist decrease cholesterol levels and may even treat problems like coronary heart disease. This is one of the most essential advantages that goat milk has.

Milk made from Hemp

Pacific Foods Hemp Original Plant-Based Beverage, 32oz, 12-pack

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As a healthier alternative to cow milk, Hemp milk is an excellent choice for those searching for a more nutritious beverage. Great vegan milk is made by crushing and soaking hemp seeds in water, and it’s delicious. An earthy nutty taste and creamy texture are the consequence of properly mixing the hemp milk with the other ingredients.

Many contentious remarks have been made about drinking hemp milk since the hemp plant is also used to make marijuana. Although hemp seed does not contain THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), therefore hemp milk cannot have any mind-altering effects because it does not contain any.

Hemp milk is a great source of calcium, iron, proteins, potassium and manganese, as well as a number of other nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. To mention just a few, hemp milk’s important nutrients and components help support a healthy brain, heart, skin, bone density, and immune system, in addition to providing a variety of other health advantages.

Milk Derived From Coconuts

Native Forest Simple Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk, 13.5 Fl Oz (Pack of 12)

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Coconut milk is one of the newer milk variants that has garnered a lot of popularity. It’s a delicious alternative to cow’s milk, with a thick and creamy texture that’s ideal for desserts.

Unlike coconut water, coconut milk is made from the white flesh of mature brown coconuts. Coconut milk is made by combining coconut water with the meat of the coconut.

Thin and thick milk are the two most common varieties of this milk.

Finely shredded solid coconut flesh is boiled or simmered in water before being strained through a cheesecloth to produce fine and thick coconut milk. Coconut flesh that is left behind in cheesecloth after making thick coconut milk may be used to make thin coconut milk. In the same manner, it is simmered or cooked until it has the consistency of water.

Coconut milk is a great source of calcium, fiber, vitamins, copper, potassium, selenium, and manganese, as well as other critical elements. Coconut milk has been linked to a variety of health advantages, including weight reduction, a healthier heart, and a stronger immune system.

Dairy Cow’s Milk

A pitcher and glasses of fresh milk against the green landscape filled with cows.

It originates from a cow’s mammary glands and is one of the most common varieties of milk ingested by human beings. Cow milk is the most commonly eaten kind of animal milk in many regions of the globe. It’s gaining a lot of attention because of its high nutritional value and several health advantages.

Since the body needs all nine necessary amino acids to make proteins, cow’s milk is very high in protein. Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for a healthy neurological system and brain, is abundant in this food. Cow milk’s high calcium concentration makes it an excellent food for building and maintaining healthy bones, teeth, and muscles.

However, because of the high levels of lactose and saturated fat in this dish, it is not suitable for those who are lactose intolerant.

Milk Derived from Buffalo’s

Woman holding bottles of fresh buffalo milk in a dairy farm.

Due to its high fat and calorie content, buffalo milk is one of the least popular types of milk. However, it does provide a significant amount of health advantages and important nutrients that aid the body in a variety of different ways.

Milk from a buffalo’s mammary gland is an important element of a nutritious diet in many countries, including India and Asia. In addition to lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation in the body and protecting the heart from potentially harmful illnesses and disorders, there are several other advantages of taking a daily multivitamin supplement.

Iron, calcium, phosphorus, protein and vitamin A included in buffalo milk help to build your immune system, encourage growth and development in the body, improve circulation and also manage blood pressure.

After learning about all the various kinds of milk, it’s a good idea to fill your fridge with a few bottles of your favorite so that you can keep your body healthy and your immune system robust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is milk carton recycling possible?

It is possible to recycle milk cartons. Recycling-friendly biodegradable material is used for the majority of products. If you have a recycling container at home, you may recycle milk cartons without trouble. Milk cartons come in two primary varieties. For convenience, the plastic milk cartons are bigger and equipped with a handle.

Because of the kind of plastic used, it’s imperative that we recycle them rather than toss them in the trash. Converting a paper milk carton into a thin sheet is easy since they are smaller and lighter. If you’re looking for something a little sturdier than regular printer paper, you’ll want to choose this sort of paper. There are places where you can recycle these milk cartons, and in certain cases, you may even be paid for doing so.

What exactly is skim milk?

Skim milk is a kind of milk that has had all of the fat removed from it. In terms of calorie content, it is regarded to be the healthiest kind of milk on the market. There is still a little amount of fat remaining in the milk, but it is low enough to qualify as skim milk.

As a rule, skim milk is no more expensive than other varieties, although the removal procedure might sometimes raise the price by a few cents. If you’re looking for skim milk, look for a bottle with a pink cap or label.

Milk has how many calories?

The calorie content of a cup of 2 percent milk is around 124. Skim milk provides 83 calories per cup compared to full milk’s 148 calories.

Definition of homogenized milk:

In order to eliminate any discrepancies, the milk was homogenized in the facility. It’s easier for fat to stick together when it’s broken down into tiny pieces by machines. Drinking the milk is preferable to baking with it because of the milk’s velvety flavor. For the most part, homogenized milk and other milk kinds may be used for the same reasons.

You may use homogenized milk if you have a small kid who is hesitant to drink milk since it is gentler on their palate. A little goes a long way since the milk has been processed.

Compared to ordinary milk, homogenized milk has a slightly higher concentration of minerals and vitamins. Another option for those who don’t want to drink a full cup of milk is homogenized milk.

Is half-and-half a kind of milk?

As a result of common misconception, half-and-half milk isn’t made up of two different kinds of milk. It’s just ordinary milk with a thickening agent like corn syrup. Half and half milk is mostly used in baking in the kitchen, not as a stand-alone beverage.

Your components won’t be disturbed by the milk since it is thicker than most. Corn syrup may be replaced for other high-fructose thickeners in half and half milk. If you’re worried about calories, check the nutritional information on half and half milk before buying it.

A gallon contains how many glasses of milk?

One gallon of milk contains 16 cups of milk. Not just milk but other liquids may be measured in this way as well.

When it comes to dairy, what exactly is “raw milk?”

Milk that has not been cooked to destroy hazardous microorganisms is known as raw milk. Whether or not raw milk should be offered on a regular basis is the subject of a lot of debate. There are no additional costs associated with producing raw milk since it does not need to be processed or packaged in any way. In most supermarkets, you won’t find raw milk in the dairy section.

Raw milk may be purchased from a provider or a raw animal product warehouse if you choose. Remember that at room temperature, bacteria grows and poses a danger to people; this is why milk is served cold.

Milk’s PH level is what?

Milk has a PH of roughly 6.6. Lactic acid is the source of mild’s acidity. There are a number of other kinds of milk outside cow’s milk that have PH values between 6.3 and 7.0, depending on their diet and how recent the milk is. Some other elements that might affect milk’s acidity include the treatment processes used at a factory, the fat content and whether or not the milk has been malted or fortified with additives.

How much fat does whole milk contain?

Whole milk has a fat content of 3.25 percent. Based on where the milk is produced and how well it has been sanitized, this proportion may vary somewhat. As a general rule, this range is comprised of anything from 3% to 3.5% fat. Because whole milk is generally pasteurized in big batches, the percentages average out, and the ultimate result is usually quite near to 3.25 percent.

What exactly is malted milk?

Made from evaporated whole milk, malted milk is a sort of gruel. It’s a powdered dairy product component that’s found in a variety of different dairy products. Using malted milk as a rising agent in the dough prevents it from becoming excessively hard. Malted milk may be eaten as a stand-alone beverage, although it is most often used as an ingredient in smoothies and shakes.

A gallon of milk has a mass of around how much?

The average weight of a gallon of milk is about 8.6 pounds. There is some variation in this since skim milk is lighter and whole milk is heavier, as was indicated above.

How much calcium can you get by drinking milk?

About 300mg of calcium may be found in a cup of milk. Due to heat, milk loses some of its calcium density when baked with. Calcium comes in a variety of forms, but you may be confident that commercially available milk includes the most essential. Because of its high calcium content, milk is a must-have for growing teenagers.