Alright, let's be real. No milk tastes as wonderful as cow milk. However, cow milk does tend to have a higher calorie count than coconut milk and almond milk per serving -- especially if it is not skim milk. Skim milk is only slightly higher in calories than coconut and almond milk. It also has almost twice the protein, so that is mostly where the extra calories come from. Those who cannot (or choose not to) consume lactose tend to opt out on drinking cow's milk.
Organic cow's milk is not processed with pesticides, hormones, or anything else of the like. It hasn't yet been proven to have any nutritional superiority over processed cow's milk.
When it comes to eating healthy, it is perfectly fine to drink skim milk. A common misconception is that even skim milk is unhealthy, but this is simply a dieting trend. Nothing can compare to how a cold glass of skim milk tastes after a fresh, juicy peach! Now I want to snack.
This delicious milky milkness is composed of ground almonds mixed with water. It has a slightly more nutty taste, and some brands sell it in different flavors (vanilla, chocolate, sweetened, and unsweetened). The unsweetened almond milk still has a slight sweetness to it.
One cup of non-dairy unsweetened almond milk only contains around 35-40 calories. It is rich in nutrients and good for your heart. If you are a diabetic, it has a very low carb rate (1), so this may be a good choice for you. Almond milk usually (depending on the brand) has lots of added calcium.
It doesn't contain very much protein at all, so if you choose to drink almond milk, be sure that you are getting plenty of protein from other sources! When I first discovered that it doesn't have much protein, I was surprised because it is made from ground almonds, which are little protein powerhouses. It turns out that one cup of almond milk only contains about 4 almonds. That explains it! Some brands will add protein to their almond milk.
Bottom line -- when it comes to choosing between cow's milk and a dairy-free option, it is all up to you. Almond milk and I get along great. I love the taste and the fact that it is a very light beverage. Cow's milk feels a bit more heavy, but tastes amazing and has brilliant nutritional advantages, as well. Of all cow's milk alternatives, almond milk is my favorite and the only one I drink.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I am not an expert, but I have done a lot of research and have been in love with nutrition for a long time. I would love to help!