these Once upon a time, we have ample options when it comes to non-dairy milk alternatives, especially plant-based milk.
More and more people are looking beyond cow’s milk, either for health reasons or for their nutritional preferences, or because they want to try different options.
Cow’s milk contains lactose, which is a form of sugar that is difficult for a large portion of the population to digest. Switching from cow’s milk to lactose-free milk or plant-based alternatives might relieve symptoms of allergies or intolerances, such as stomach problems, skin reactions, or even respiratory illnesses.
But be careful when reading labels. Words like “non-dairy” and “dairy-free” do not necessarily have the same meaning.
While non-dairy products usually mean what you say, non-dairy products may contain milk proteins like casein, whey, or other dairy products.
What is the best type of milk
With all this in mind, you may be wondering which type of milk substitute is the healthiest for you. Here is a list of some of the more popular options.
Soy milk. This is the closest non-dairy alternative to cow’s milk, due to its creamy texture.
It contains roughly the same amount of protein per serving, but contains about half the number of calories, fats and carbohydrates.
It is also a rich source of vitamin B12, calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin D. Eating soy foods regularly has also been linked to health benefits, including improved cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Almond milk. This option is growing in popularity, thanks to its versatility and low calorie and fat content. However, it is also lower in protein and carbohydrates than cow’s milk, although this is usually remedied by adding calcium and nutrients such as Vitamin A and D. The body of disease-causing free radicals.
Oat milk. This drink is naturally sweet and light in flavor. It also contains soluble fiber, which helps slow digestion, stabilize blood sugar and blood pressure, and keep you full for longer.
Oat milk contains similar calories to cow’s milk, with up to twice the carbohydrates and about half of the protein and fat, making it a good milk for athletes. It is also high in vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium and phosphorous.
Quinoa milk. This milk replacer is made with water and quinoa, which is an edible seed that is prepared and usually consumed as a grain. Although less common, it is set to be the next trend in milk alternatives, thanks to its sweet and nutty flavor and balanced nutrition compared to other non-dairy milks as it is also relatively low in fat, moderate amounts of protein, calories and carbohydrates.
coconut milk. Coconut milk is made from the water and the white flesh of coconut brown, and contains one-third of the calories found in cow’s milk, and has the lowest protein and carbohydrate content in non-dairy milk. In fact, its biggest drawback is its high fat content, but the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut have been linked to some heart health benefits, such as higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol).
What to remember
When choosing a non-dairy milk substitute, you should note that many of these products contain added ingredients such as sweeteners, artificial flavors, preservatives, and thickeners. Choosing a product that is as natural as possible, with limited ingredients, is important when comparing brands.
If possible, you should stick to unsweetened varieties to limit the amount of added sugar in your diet. Additionally, make sure non-dairy milk is fortified with certain nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin B12.
No matter your reason for choosing something other than cow’s milk, there is no one milk substitute that’s perfect for everyone. The taste, nutrition, and cost of these alternatives can vary widely, so it may take some time to find what works best for you.