Milk And Milk Alternatives
Not too long ago, the only thing you could expect to drown your cereal in was whole cows milk. Now, cows milk comes in all sorts of varieties: whole milk, 2 percent, 1 percent, skim , and even lactose-free milk.
For people with dietary or allergy concerns, there are also alternatives to cows milk. Almond, soy, rice, and coconut milk are popular plant-based milk alternatives. Theyre becoming even more available in stores across the United States.
Each type of milk has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on a persons diet, health, nutritional needs, or personal taste preferences.
For example, some people may be intolerant to dairy milk and may need to choose a plant-based alternative.
Alternatively, those who may need to boost their calorie and nutrient intake may opt for whole milk, which is a concentrated source of protein, fat, and calories.
However, milks such as whole dairy milk and full fat coconut milk are rich in fat and calories, which should be taken into account if youre looking for a lower calorie beverage. Whole cows milk contains more calories and saturated fat than any other milk, aside from goats milk.
Cashew Milk A Newcomer Among The Plant
Cashew milk has a slightly nutty taste and is suitable for cooking and baking. The fat contained is mostly unsaturated fat1 and can be a great choice for people with high cholesterol levels or who need to watch their fat intake. Cashew milk has only about two grams of carbohydrates per cup. It is suitable for use in coffee and adds a thickness that works wonderfully in lattes.
Which Vegan Milk Has The Most Protein
The dairy-free market is booming, meaning there are all kinds of vegan milk products available today. From coconut to hemp to macadamia nuts, it seems you can make milk out of pretty much anything you like. Most of these choices are packed with goodness, including essential vitamins and minerals, calcium, and protein.
The latter seems to be a primary concern for many who are considering adopting a plant-based diet. If youve already decided to go vegan or simply to eat fewer animal products, youre probably already familiar with the question but where do you get your protein from?
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Unsweet Silk Almond & Cashew Protein
Another excellent option, Silk’s Protein nutmilk is a clear winner when compared to dairy. This unsweetened nut milk also contains calcium, iron, and vitamin D, but we’re here for the protein! Sitting at an incredible 10g, this is one of the best options on the market. Fortified with pea protein, this is a healthy and natural pick!
Pacific Organic Unsweetened Soy Original
At 4g of fat and 9g of protein, Pacific’s soy milk is an excellent choice! It’s also carrageenan and gluten free! And the best part is that it’s made of only soybeans and filtered water! This is one of the most natural choice on our list. Go for the unsweetened version for fewer calories!
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The Rise Of Vegan Milk In Traditional Cartons
In the 1990s, vegan milks were such a tiny niche market that they were sold only in shelf-stable aseptic juice boxes. But as sales of these products took off, increasing sales made it commercially viable to begin using conventional paper milk cartons. With this packaging change, vegan milks could for the first time appear side-by-side with cows milk in the dairy case. Predictably, this move drove already surging sales even higher. Most supermarkets now carry at least one brand of vegan milk, and a good natural foods store will carry a dozen or more varieties.
Brands sold in aseptic packaging remain widely available. It makes sense to keep a few boxes in your pantry for camping trips, power outages, and disaster preparedness. These products typically keep for more than a year, but once opened they must be refrigerated and finished within a week or so. For everyday needs, it makes sense to purchase brands sold in the refrigerated section since the packaging is less wasteful and the cost is lower.
Dairy And The Environment
When it comes to the environment, dairy milk is the worst option to go for. Producing cows milk is an environmentally-taxing process because it requires raising cows, which means more water and land resources have to go into producing animal feed, and cows also emit huge amounts of methanewhich has a global warming potential 28-34 times that of CO2mainly due to their belching and manure.
In a 2018 Oxford university study, researchers found that one glass of cows milk has at least 3-times higher a carbon footprint compared to any type of plant-based milk. It uses up 120 litres of water and also requires significant amounts of land. To produce one glass of dairy milk every single day for one year would use up 7,000 square feet of land .
Now, while all plant-based milks have a far lower carbon footprint, oat milk really does stand out for being one of the most planet-friendly of all. One litre of oat milk uses up around 48 litres of water, according to the Oxford paper, which is lower than that of soy and almond.
In terms of its carbon footprint, a 200-ml glass of oat milk emits around 0.18 kilograms of CO2 equivalent, far lower than that of dairy. The land footprint of oat milk is indeed a bit higher than almond, soy or rice alternatives, but still 10-times smaller when compared to cows milk.
But ultimately, because the production stage makes up the bulk of emissions of a food, oat milk will always win out compared to dairy in terms of its impact on the environment.
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Calcium Content Of Non
It’s more difficult to outright rank alt-milks from a calcium standpoint, say both Rifkin and English, as most are fortified with calcium to create a similar calcium profile to what is found in dairy milk .
“Calcium content varies widely depending on fortification practices,” says English. “Unfortified products contain negligible amounts of calcium. Fortified products typically have about 20-40 percent of your recommended daily value of calcium per cup.” The DV for calcium is 1,300 mg for adults and children age 4 and older.
Ultimately, Rifkin estimates that the most common alt-milksincluding oat, almond, soy, coconut, and ricerange from 300-450 mg of calcium per cup, thanks to fortification. “But again, because calcium content will vary widely from brand to brand, it’s important to check nutrition labels if calcium is a nutrient you are keeping an eye on,” she says.
English agrees, emphasizing the importance of tracking your calcium consumption if you typically follow a plant-based diet. “Calcium needs can be more difficult to meet on a diary-free diet,” she says. “Especially for young children.”
If you are hoping to up your plant-based calcium intake, she recommends tofu, white beans, collard greens, kale, tempeh, and figs. You can also make yourself a couple of additional lattes with your fortified alt-milk of choicewith so many delicious options available, why not?
What Is The Best Alternative To Milk
Whether youre lactose-intolerant, vegan or just looking to switch up your milk routine, milk alternatives can offer good nutrition profiles and different flavors to keep things interesting. The grocery store shelves can get a little overwhelming with all the different choices. So how do you choose the right milk replacement for you? Check out the nutrition facts about these six common milk alternatives.
Mighty Societys Pea Mylk
With eight grams, Pea Mylk is on a par with dairy milk in terms of protein content. It also has 50 percent more calcium than cows milk, according to the brands website. It notes, The Mighty Societys Pea Mylk is perfect in a creamy latte, a mighty post gym shake, the perfect porridge, sweet or savoury baking or just to drink on its own.
Milk And Milk Alternatives: Nutrition Comparison Per 8 Fluid Ounces
- 12 grams of carbohydrates in the form of lactose
- 8 grams of fat
- 8 grams of protein
None of the milks natural components are removed. As you can see, whole milk is high in natural proteins, fat, and calcium. Milk sold in the United States is usually fortified with vitamin A and vitamin D, as well.
Other cows milk has the same amount of carbohydrates and protein, with some or all of the fat removed. While whole milk has 150 calories in one cup, 1 percent milk has 110 calories, and skim milk has just 80 calories.
Fat-free milk is significantly lower in calories than whole milk. However, the removal of fat decreases the amount of certain nutrients in the milk, including vitamins E and K.
Lactose-free milk is processed to break down lactose, a natural sugar found in milk products.
Lactose-free milk is also a good source of protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. The total and saturated fat contents of lactose-free milk vary, as it comes in 2 percent, 1 percent, and fat-free varieties.
Almond milk is made from ground almonds and filtered water. It may also contain starches and thickeners to improve its consistency and shelf life.
People who are allergic to almonds or nuts should avoid almond milk.
Almond milk is typically lower in calories than other milks, as long as its unsweetened. Its also free of saturated fat and is naturally lactose-free.
Per cup, unsweetened almond milk has:
One cup of unsweetened soy milk has:
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Hemp Milk Is A Good Source For Omega
Hemp milk is made from the seeds of the hemp plant. It is low in carbohydrates and high in fat but most of those are unsaturated fats, which should be preferred from a health perspective. Just one glass of hemp milk can provide 50% of the recommended daily intake of alpha-linolenic acid,2 and is therefore a good source of omega-3 fatty acids Because of its slightly nutty taste, hemp milk is great with cereals but is alsosuitable for use in cooking and baking.
Blue Diamond Almond Protein Drink Mix
If what youre looking for is a beverage packed with almond protein, Blue Diamond offers an almond protein powder drink mix in 3 flavors . At just 200 calories and 20g of protein per serving, and made using only 1 ingredient , this almond beverage stands unrivaled! Additionally, its non-GMO, provides 20% of your daily iron and calcium needs, and gives you 15% of your daily intake of potassium!
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Comparing Nutritional Information Of Vegan Milks
Depending on why youre here, you might also want to know the fat or carbohydrate content of each milk.
Ive expanded the above table to include that information.
Note that sweetened versions of any of these milks usually contain an additional 3-7 grams of sugar per serving .
Some quick observations:
- Most plant milks have a similar level of fat, but almond, quinoa, rice, and pea milk are all on the low end.
- Oat milk has the most calories and carbohydrates by far.
- Most vegan milks are low in carbohydrates aside from oat and rice milk.
Which Milk Alternative Is Best For Coffee
There has long been discussion about which plant-based milk alternative is best for coffee, so it’s perhaps not surprising that many brands have released products specifically for this purpose.
Whichever type you choose, be prepared to pay a price premium for the ‘barista’ versions
Of the products we looked at, 19 were marketed as ‘barista milks’ capturing all plant-based categories other than cashew, rice and pea protein.
Ultimately it comes down to personal preference, but whichever type you choose, be prepared to pay a price premium for the ‘barista’ versions made by some brands.
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Should I Be Concerned About Added Sugars
Yes. To make plant milks more palatable, manufacturers will often add sugars in the form of cane sugar, rice syrup and more. While one cup of plain cows milk contains 12 grams of sugars, all of it comes from naturally occurring lactose, which is digested more slowly and keeps your metabolism more stable over time than refined sugars.
However, for some, a cup of coffee with unsweetened milk isnt satisfying. People like the sweetened versions of those, said Suzanne Devkota, an assistant professor at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center who specializes in nutrition and metabolism. But now the carbohydrate level of the plant alternative is twice as much as the cows milk.
Unsweetened almond milk, for instance, has just 2 grams of naturally occurring sugar per cup. The same amount of WestSoy Chocolate Peppermint Stick Soymilk has 25 grams of sugar 2.5 times the amount in one original glazed doughnut from Krispy Kreme. Make sure to keep an eye on the nutrition label, and watch out for flavored versions, like those labeled vanilla or chocolate, because they often contain added sugar.
What you dont want is to have a nondairy product really be your dessert, said Penny Kris-Etherton, a professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State. You want it to function as a dairy product in your diet.
Is It The Lactose In Milk That Causes Mucus
A persistent myth about milk that drinking it can lead to the production of more gooey mucus in your bodys airways is completely false, a new review finds. But the milk-mucus connection is simply a myth, said review author Dr. Ian Balfour-Lynn, a pediatric pulmonologist at Royal Brompton Hospital in London.
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What Is Oat Milk Heres Everything You Need To Know About This Vegan Milk
Unless youve been living under a rock, chances are youre starting to see oat milk everywhere. Its taking over supermarket aisles, being served across Starbucks chains and even Silicon Valleys barista of choice, Blue Bottle, is testing it out as its default option. But what exactly is oat milk? And how does it stack up against dairyfrom a taste, nutrition and environmental standpoint? Youve got questions, weve got answers. Heres everything you need to know about this vegan dairy substitute thats taking the world by storm.
Homemade Vegan Milk Possibilities
If you like nut milks, try making your own. All you need is a good blender and a fine-mesh strainer or some cheesecloth.
Nothing could be easier to make. Try five parts water to one part cashews, blanched almonds, or hemp seeds. Add a few drops of vanilla or some cocoa powder, and then perhaps some sweetener. With a little experimentation, youll come up with a recipe thats tastier than commercial brands.
The great thing about homemade nut milks is you can use virtually any kind of nut. This lets you easily create a variety of delicious concoctions unlike anything produced commercially. Hazelnuts and Brazil nuts both impart terrific flavors to nut milk. Add some cocoa if you want to make something chocolaty.
If you own a Blendtec or a Vitamix blender, this is your golden opportunity to put it to use since these industrial strength blenders can liquify anything and everything. Also consider purchasing a nut milk bag , so you can squeeze out the pulp. Never throw this pulp away, as its nutrient-rich and can be cultured into a fantastic vegan cheese. If the possibilities of making nut milks and cheeses at home strike your fancy, youll want to get ahold of the This Cheese is Nuts or Artisan Vegan Cheese.
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Does A Vegan Version Of Casein Exist
In the future, there might actually be a vegan casein protein powder, but there arent any on the market right now.
Casein is just a specific group of proteins, so in theory its possible to create those protein structures synthetically. However, theres not much demand for it, so dont expect to see vegan casein any time soon.
Coconut Milk A Great Choice For Cooking
Coconut milk for cooking is usually available in cans. It is ideal for cooking and baking, giving food a delicious aroma. Coconut milk is delicious in a wide range of recipes from curries to vegetable soups, smoothies, chia seed pudding, and even ice cream. The thin coconut milk for drinking that comes in a carton is great in a cup of coffee or in cereal.
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Tofu Tempeh And Edamame
Tofu, tempeh, and edamame all originate from soybeans.
Soybeans are considered a whole source of protein. This means that they provide your body all the essential amino acids it needs.
Edamame are immature soybeans with a sweet and slightly grassy taste. They need to be steamed or boiled before you eat them. Then, they can be enjoyed on their own or added to soups and salads.
Tofu is made from bean curds pressed together in a process similar to cheesemaking. Meanwhile, tempeh is made by cooking and slightly fermenting mature soybeans, then pressing them into a block.
Tofu doesnt have much taste on its own, but it easily absorbs the flavor of the ingredients its prepared with. Comparatively, tempeh has a characteristic nutty flavor.
Both tofu and tempeh can be used in a variety of recipes, ranging from burgers to soups and chilis.
All three soy-based proteins contain iron, calcium, and 1220 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving (