Milk, by nature, is a nutrient dense product that’s often a good source of dietary fat. But especially now that there are so many different types of milk available, that fat content can vary widely from product to product, depending on its source and how it was made.
Animals, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, and even certain fruits and vegetables are all sources of milk products that are sold commercially in the US. Each offers its own specific nutritional benefits or potential drawbacks, and some are naturally more fatty than others – which can be a benefit or a drawback, depending on what you’re looking for. Some choose low-fat milk products to limit their calorie and fat intake, while others opt for milk that’s high in fat to benefit from the nutrients that come with it.
Whether you want to add more fat to your diet or you’re just curious which milk packs in the most fatty content – there’s one specific type of milk that takes the cake when it comes to overall fat: brazil nut milk.
All about brazil nut milk
It may surprise you that the milk that’s highest in fat is a plant-based one. You might assume that dairy milk is naturally fattier than plant-based milk, and you’re not all wrong – after all, the fattiest milk on the planet comes from a mammal (fun fact: hooded seals produce milk that’s made up of over 60% fat).
But while it’s true that there are widely available animal milks on the market that are exceptionally high in fat, like sheep milk and buffalo milk which can clock in at over 17 grams of fat per cup, brazil nut milk simply has them beat.
Brazil nut milk is a rich and creamy alternative milk product that’s made by soaking brazil nuts, blending them with water, and straining the liquid (other ingredients like salt, vanilla, or dates are often added for flavor). Similar in consistency to cashew milk, brazil nut milk can be very versatile and comes with many health benefits.
Let’s talk about the fat content. Outdoing any of its plant-based or nut milk cousins, brazil nut milk can reach up to anywhere between a whopping 20 grams to 30 grams of total fat per one-cup serving. To put it into perspective, whole cow’s milk contains 8 grams of fat per serving, while other high-fat plant-based milks like walnut milk contain around 11 grams per serving.
This is because brazil nuts themselves are incredibly fatty, with 19 grams of fat in each one-ounce serving. But while the fat content in brazil nut milk is very high, it can also be very beneficial, because most of its fatty acids are made up of heart-healthy fats like omega-3s. Brazil nuts are also extremely high in selenium, and offer a good source of protein, energy, antioxidants, and amino acids.
Brazil nut milk is one of those rarer, more elusive milk products that’s not quite mainstream yet and may be hard to find at your local supermarket. But it can be found at certain specialty stores like juice bars and plant-based cafes, some of which offer it for sale online. Otherwise, if you’re interested in trying this alternative milk you can make your own brazil nut milk at home.
Other more mainstream high-fat milks
If you can’t get your hands on brazil nut milk and are looking for something more mainstream, or you’re interested in other milks that are high in fat, there are more to choose from that pack in a lot of fatty goodness. Here’s a look at several high-fat milks and how they stack up in comparison to brazil nut milk.
|Type of Milk||Average Fat Content|
|Brazil Nut Milk||22 g|
|Buffalo Milk||17 g|
|Sheep Milk||17 g|
|Walnut Milk||11 g|
|Whole Milk||8 g|
|Soy Milk||8 g|
|Pistachio Milk||8 g|
The highest fat content of any mammal comes from seal milk, but in terms of animal milk that’s available for commercial sale both buffalo milk and sheep’s milk are composed of a very high fat percentage compared to cow’s milk.
Not necessarily – it depends on which type of fat the milk is mostly made up of. While there is much debate about saturated fat and whether all of it is created equal, there is such a thing as good fat. Dairy and plant-based milks that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats offer a good source of fatty acids that are heart-healthy, nutritious, and beneficial to the overall diet.
Products like heavy cream and half and half will pack in the most fat per serving, but as far as cow’s milk that you’d drink by the glass or as a daily part of your diet, whole milk contains the most fat. Whole milk doesn’t have any of its fat content removed, so it contains around 3.5% milk fat, which amounts to 8 grams of fat per serving.