Nutritional balance of standard milks and milk alternatives

[PEREZGONZALEZ Jose D (2011). Nutritional balance of standard milks and milk alternatives. Journal of Knowledge Advancement & Integration (ISSN 1177-4576), 2012, pages 72-73.] [Printer friendly]

Standard milks and milk alternatives' BNI

Standard milks and milk alternatives5 reach different nutritional balances when analysed using the Balanced Nutrition Index™ (BNI™) technology.

Overall, non-dairy milks are more balanced than dairy milks, being slightly to moderately unbalanced. This makes non-dairy milks good for comsumption by themselves, for example, as a drink (assuming that the rest of the diet is relatively balanced).

Natural yogurt (from cow's milk) appears as highly unbalanced, yet less so than dairy milks. Meanwhile, dairy milks appear as highly or extremely unbalanced, depending on the dairy animal of provenance. Thus, dairy milks and derivative products seem more appropriate to be used as ingredients in more complex meals (eg, together with cereals as part of a breakfast meal) when the rest of the diet is relatively balanced.

Illustration 1 is a quick comparative table of the average nutritional balance of milks and milk alternatives ranked according to their BNI value. Foods of the same category are color coded for easier identification. (Results based on research by Perezgonzalez, 2011a1,b2,c3,d4.)

Illustration 1: The nutritional balance of standard milks (averages)
unbalance BNI
slight 16.91-p, Oatmilk
moderate 38.13s, Ricemilk
~ 48.17f, Soymilk
high 67.50s, Natural yogurt
~ 80.47-c, Moose milk
~ 81.45sf, Sheep milk
~ 83.56f, Bactrian camel milk
~ 83.95f, Yak milk
~ 85.54sf, Goat milk
~ 86.93sf, Dromedary camel milk
~ 88.42sf, Cow milk
~ 92.77s, Mare milk
~ 93.19sf, Llama milk
~ 96.19f, Reindeer milk
extreme 104.33sf, Buffalo milk
~ 115.60s, Donkey milk

Illustration 1 shows that dairy milks from different dairy animals are relatively similar in regards to nutritional balance. Although this helps to widen the bio-availability of milk for human consumption across the world, such bio-availability can be further widened by considering dairy derivatives (yogurts) and non-dairy alternatives which provide similar nutrients. These alternatives may prove to be helpful in maintaining nutritional balance, in increasing variability in the diet, and in being more beneficial economically and environmentally.


Jose D PEREZGONZALEZ (2012). Massey University, Turitea Campus, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand. (JDPerezgonzalezJDPerezgonzalez).

Want to know more?

BBC - The foods that make billions: yogurt
BBC's 2010 documentary on the history and social status of yogurt.
BNI-INE - Referents and averages list
This BNI page offers the latest information about the nutritional balance of foods, including samples of those discussed in this document.
Wiki of Science - Balance Nutrition Index™ (BNI™)
This Wiki of Science page offers more information about the BNI™ technology.
Wiki of Science - Nutritional balance of milk and yogurt types
This Wiki of Science page focuses on the nutritional balance of types of conventional milks (aka, those most frequently found in Western stores).

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