As the holidays approach, I find myself dreaming of all those delicious holiday drinks, which are no doubt engineered to taste especially delicious. But, let's take a look at one of the more innocuous drinks: the non-fat latte, which is basically coffee and nonfat-milk. As usual, I'm going to break it down on a per calorie basis. This information is straight from the starbucks website, and I'm going to get the micronutrients from the listing for non-fat milk, which is what we're looking at here.
So, for a 200 calorie portion, we're looking at 20g of protein, which means 40% of the calories come from Protein: that's very high. If all you did was drink non-fat lattes all day, you'd get 200g of protein, which is x4 more than the daily recommendation of 52g.
Now, let's compare that to some other top protein choices:
|Food||200 cal. of Protein|
|98% Fat Free Chicken||43g|
*All our data comes from the USDA Nutrient Database.
And for those of you concerned about not getting the right balance of amino acids, let's take a look at that profile here. Most nutritionists will tell you, you need a good balance of amino acids that complement each other in order to maximize your protein, and they're right. But, the situation isn't so terrible for nonfat milk, as these amino acids aren't too unbalanced.
And finally, let's analyze the micronutrient content.
Just a word on Calcium here. I use the WHO's recommendation for calcium which is 500mg per day, as opposed to the USDA's overzealous recommendation of 1000mg per day. Too much calcium can interfere with magnesium uptake, but up to 2000mg of calcium should be safe. As far as electrolytes go, nonfat milk is high in calcium and phosphorous, and quite low in potassium and magnesium.
Keep in mind, all the above analysis is for 2.4 cups of nonfat milk, to make apples to apples comparisons easier.