Sunday, January 1, 2017

What is fairlife Milk?

Have you heard of fa!rlife (the brand uses all lower case letters and an exclamation point for the “i”) Milk?  My daughter asked me if I had heard of it and a friend of hers read about it in a Men’s Health magazine.  The friend really liked the taste of it.  So, what is it and how does it differ from regular cow’s milk?  Is it healthier, does it cost more? 

What is Fairlife (intentional cap) milk?
It is cow’s milk that is altered in a number of ways.  One it is it ultra-filtered and two a lactase enzyme is added.  Like regular skim or fat-free milk, it is fortified with vitamins A and D.

How is Fairlife milk different from regular cow’s milk, from Almond milk?
  • Ultra-filtered – you may have seen other milks labeled “ultra-filtered”.  Ultra-filtration creates milk that has a longer shelf life.  Pasteurized milk means it is heated for 15-20 seconds to kill off some of the harmful bacteria.  Ultra-filtered milk is pasteurized at a higher temperature but for less time.  This kills off more bacteria, giving the milk a longer shelf life if it is unopened.  Once you open the ultra-filtered milk, the shelf life is the same. Their cold-filtration process concentrates nutrients like protein and calcium.  And some of the sugar is filtered out.
  • Protein – Fairlife has more protein per serving than regular cow’s milk, almost twice as much as regular milk and much more protein than Almond milk.  (See chart below).
  • Calcium – Fairlife also has more calcium per serving than regular cow’s milk, but not as much calcium as Almond milk. 
  • Lactose – Fairlife provides no lactose. Lactose is the natural sugar present in milk.  Most people have no problem digesting lactose but if you do, this product contains no lactose.  Thus, people who are lactose intolerant can drink this milk.

Is it a good post-workout drink, a good breakfast drink?
Men’s Health nutrition advisor was asked if Fairlife was a better post workout drink.   Mike Roussell, Ph.D. is advising his clients to switch to Fairlife.  In the article, he states, “It takes milk and makes it better.” 

Post-workout – most nutritionists and personal trainers recommend protein post-workout.  Milk has a very high quality protein.  Since Fairlife concentrates the protein, it provides even more of milk’s high quality protein so would make a good post-workout drink.

Breakfast – many people don’t get enough protein at breakfast.  Men’s Health noted that adding Fairlife to your breakfast will add protein to your breakfast.  

Is it real milk?
Yes.   Fairlife milk is cow’s milk. 
Many products today are labeled “milk” but contain no cow’s milk.  Products such as soy milk, Almond milk have no cow’s milk.  Fairlife is made from real cow’s milk.  

Taste
Try it.  Some say they like the taste.  Others say it is watery and doesn’t have much taste.  Men’s Health says it is “more creamy than regular dairy”, so try it to see if you like it.

Is it organic?
No, it is not organic.  Fairlife milk is from cows not treated with the growth hormone, rBST.

Cost
This extra filtration and processing does add to the cost.  Comparing prices is not easy as Fairlife does not come in a half gallon size.  A half gallon of milk is 64 ounces.  Fairlife is only 52 ounces so not quite a half gallon.  In our area, the 52 ounce size of Fairlife costs from $2.99 to $3.99, about the same as a half gallon (64 ounces) of organic milk. So, because of the reduced size, Fairlife costs more than organic milk in our area.  Regular cow’s milk costs $1.89 to $2.09.  A half gallon of regular or organic milk provides 8, eight ounce glasses of milk.  The 52 ounce size of Fairlife would provide 6.5 eight ounce glasses of milk.
If you want more protein and more calcium per serving, and no lactose, then Fairlife is worth a try.  

How do the milks compare for an 8 ounce serving? (adapted from Fairlife nutrition comparison)
Milk
Calories
Protein
Calcium
Sugar
Lactose
Fairlife fat-free
80
13 grams
375 mg
6 grams
None
Regular cow’s Milk – fat free
90
8 grams
276 mg
12 grams
yes
60
1 gram
451 mg
7 grams
None
110
8 grams
451 mg
6 grams
None



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