If you're having problems tolerating regular cow's milk, give lactose-free milk a try. While there might be a slight difference in taste between the two milks, they are nutritionally very similar. As recommended by the publication Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, choose low-fat or fat-free milk for better health. Consult your doctor if you're experiencing abdominal pain when you drink regular cow's milk.
Similar Calorie Counts
When compared to regular cow's milk, lactose-free milk is slightly higher in calories. A 1-cup serving of fat-free, lactose-free milk contains 90 calories, while the same serving of fat-free regular milk contains 83 calories. The same goes for 1 percent fat milk, with 110 calories in the lactose-free version per cup and 102 calories in the regular. A 155-pound person can burn off those extra 10 calories walking at a leisurely pace for two minutes.
Similar Macronutrient Content
There are even fewer differences in the amount of carbs, protein and fat in the two types of milk. A 1-cup serving of fat-free, lactose-free milk contains 13 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein. The only difference is the carb content, with 12 grams in the same serving of fat-free regular milk.
The same is true for the 1-percent fat milk. They each contain 8 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of fat per cup -- along with the same carb numbers found in their fat-free, both regular and lactose-free, versions.
Vitamins A and D
The vitamin content in the two types of milk may vary due to whether the milk manufacturer fortifies the milk with vitamins A and D. A 1-cup serving of lactose-free milk, either fat-free or 1-percent fat, meets 10 percent of the daily value for vitamin A and 25 percent of the daily value for vitamin D.
Fat-free milk fortified with vitamins A and D meets 10 percent of the daily value for vitamin A and about 30 percent of the daily value for vitamin D. Adequate intake of vitamin A is critical for night vision, and vitamin D helps you absorb calcium.
Calcium and Potassium
Milk is an important part of a healthy diet plan due to its calcium content, which is necessary for healthy bones. Both lactose-free and regular milk are excellent sources of calcium, meeting 30 percent of the daily value per cup.
All types of milk are also rich in potassium, meeting 10 percent to 12 percent of the daily value per serving. Potassium-rich foods like milk may help improve blood pressure by counterbalancing the effects of sodium.