Food & Nutrition

Why you should consider spending your SmartPoints on milk

Milk doesn't just pair well with cookies—it can benefit your health in some unexpected ways.

Seeking new ways to protect your body via your plate? Try your glass. Filling it will milk could help keep your heart healthy, according to recent study. 

In a 2016 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, researchers looked at the dairy intake of more than 37,000 middle- to older-age Chinese adults with no history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or cancer. What they found: An association between regular dairy consumption and lower risk of high blood pressure—a good thing considering high blood pressure can damage the circulatory system and lead to heart attack, stroke, or other health problems. Specifically, people who drank milk daily had about an 80 percent lower risk of hypertension compared to the non-milk drinkers. In other words? Milk is worth the SmartPoints® in more way than one. 

How many SmartPoints are in milk?

If you're looking for the best SmartPoints bargain while shopping for milk, it's best to choose one with the least saturated fat per serving. That's because higher saturated fat content means a higher SmartPoints value (as well as a potential increase in cholesterol in your blood levels and increased risk of heart disease and stroke). Here's the SmartPoints breakdown so you can track accurately no matter which jug you go for: 

Cow's milk SmartPoints Values per 1-cup serving
Skim (fat free) 3 SmartPoints
1% milk (reduced fat) 4 SmartPoints
2% milk  5 SmartPoints
Whole milk 7 SmartPoints

Beyond the SmartPoints bargain, milk offers many important nutrients, such as filling protein, bone-building calcium, and blood-pressure-helping potassium. Plus, most milk is fortified with vitamin D, a nutrient of concern to the general U.S. population. Vitamin D helps promote calcium absorption to help keep your bones strong, and research suggests it may play a role in better heart health. When you’re watching your weight, milk is an especially great addition to your diet because it provides a lot of nutrients for a smallish amount of calories.

How many SmartPoints are in non-dairy milks? 

Hate cow's milk, or can't digest it comfortably? No big deal. There are plenty of vegan alternatives, many of which contain added vitamin D, calcium, and protein. (Just check the label to be sure since the nutritional facts can vary based on the brand.) Also note that some plant-based milks contain added sugars, which can jack up the number of SmartPoints in every glass. 

Plant-based milks SmartPoints per 1-cup serving

Almond milk (unsweetened)

1 SmartPoints value
Cashew milk (unsweetened) 1 SmartPoints value
Hemp milk (unsweetened) 2 Smartpoints
Pea milk (unsweetened) 2 Smartpoints

Soy milk (unsweetened) 

2 SmartPoints


But wait. I hate drinking milk!

No big deal! There are plenty of super tasty recipes that will help you incorporate more milk into your diet.

Malted Milk Mudslide Shooters: 3 SmartPoints value per 4 ounces chocolate shake and ½ teaspoon syrup
Banana Bread Overnight Oats: 7 SmartPoints value per 2/3 cup
Blueberry Cheesecake Pops: 2 SmartPoints value per popsicle