Milks And Milk Alternatives And The Benefits Of Each
Bored with plain old soy milk? Here’s everything you need to know about the ever expanding milk aisle.
If your local coffee shops menu has grown more confusing in the past few years, youre not alone. Nondairy milk alternatives have expanded to include a wide variety of options , all of which maintain a healthy reputation. It can be tricky to keep them straight, much less sort out which ones are actually good for youand which are worth the price. As with most nutrition questions, those answers vary from person to person. Dont assume that all plant-based milks are all created equal, says Lori Nedescu, a registered dietitian nutritionist and professional bike racer. If you line these products up, theyre all nutritionally different from cows milk. Think of these alternatives as the liquid form of their original food.
Whether youre eating around dietary restrictions or simply looking for a new flavor profile, more protein, or an eco-friendly option, heres what you need to know about the many products masquerading as milk.
Make Your Own Almond Milk With Just 3 Simple Ingredients
OK so after all of this discussion and research, Intern Lora and I thought can we make almond milk at home and have it be a nutritious choice? After thinking through the idea I had above for smoothies , I thought cant we just make almond milk with almond butter? And what better way to add a bit of sweet than with a date, which adds fiber in addition to sweetness. BRILLIANT Im pretty proud of us! Were probably not the first, but thats ok.
Heres how it turned out: I thought it was tasty, my husband, my 4 year old and my mother-in-law gave their seal of approval. Do I expect to use this milk in place of dairy milk or soymilk . Nope! But its fun and I can see us having it on occasion. It is a great way to get healthy fats, fiber, potassium and a bit of protein . It certainly isnt low calorie, but its not too much more than 1% dairy milk.
Heres the nutrition breakdown:
- 150 calories
- 12.5 grams fat
- 1.1 grams saturated fat
- 21g carbohydrate
- 4g fiber
- 5 grams protein
- In addition, it provides 6% of potassium, 7% of calcium and 6% of iron
Heres the recipe! And the photo is my completed product. I was pretty proud.
Make your own almond milk at home. More nutrition for your buck and no fake thickeners or synthetic nutrients!
- Julie Lanford, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN
- Prep Time:3 minutes
- 3 T almond butter
- 2 medjool dates
- 2 cups water
Is Almond Milk Healthy Plus 3 Ingredient Recipe To Make Your Own
March 1, 2015 By
Wow This topic is clearly something that got peoples interest. I had a few emails, comments, shares and even real live people who told me they had no idea about the truth regarding commercial almond milks at the grocery store. If you missed my last post, check it out here:
BOTTOM LINE: The milk you choose is just one small component of your overall diet. Which one you choose is much less important than how many fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds you eat. If you consume 4-5 cups combined of fruits and vegetables, I really dont care what milk you drink!!! See the big picture. Make your milk pick and move on. And be educated about it.
The thing that most shocked both myself and Intern Lora in doing research for the last article was the lack of nutrients in the almond milk. I had assumed , that if the milk was being promoted as an alternative to dairy milk, or soymilk, that it would at least come close in nutrient profile.
However, I feel that a follow up to that article is needed. I had some people with the following questions:
- Im not using it as a protein source, is it bad for me?
- Are you saying its just white colored water?
- I just like how creamy it is, can I still drink it?
- I just use it in smoothies.
- What if I drink unsweetened?
Lets get straight to the issues. When we choose a food to eat, there are a few things to keep in mind.
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Oat Milk Definitely Has Pros And Cons
Because of its higher carb and calorie content, oat milk provides a creamy consistency that almond milk does not provide, Modell says.
That’s why baristas have taken so quickly to the stuff oat milk froths in a way that almond milk typically cant.
Another perk of oat milk’s naturally heavier texture: It also rarely contains thickeners , which some scientists believe is harmful to the digestive tract. In animal models, carrageenan has been linked to cancers and intestinal ulcers, per a review in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Oat milk is also relatively shelf-stable .
Of course, if you’re watching your calories or strictly monitoring your carb intake , consider how oat milk fits into your daily eats and keep an eye on your serving sizes.
Gluten-free folks should also be careful about which oat milk they buy. Oats are naturally gluten-free, Castillo says. However, they can often be grown or processed , which can cause cross-contamination.” If you have celiac or a gluten allergy, check your labels to make sure it’s truly gluten-free.
Advice For Any Kind Of Plant
Whatever type of plant-based milk youre shopping for, opt for unsweetened when possible. Sweetened milk contains added sugar.
And look for milks without certain additives when possible. This includes carrageenan, a controversial ingredient found in some almond milks that some experts say is harmful.
Routhenstein also advises avoiding milk with phosphorus additives, like disodium phosphate, which may promote inflammation.
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Soy Milk Vs Almond Milk: Which Milk Is Better
Either soy or almond milk can be a great choice for anyone following a plant-based diet or who is lactose intolerant.
But Andrews, Lorencz, and Routhenstein all favor soy.
Soy milk has more protein, more potassium, more isoflavones, and more nutrients than almond milk, says Routhenstein.
Next, here are the best plant-based protein sources.
What to Know About Plant-Based Milk
Let Us Look At The Common Differences Between Almond Milk And Soy Milk
1. The calories in almond milk are less than those of soy milk. The fat content of soy milk is slightly higher than almond milk.2. People with nut allergies cannot consume almond milk. This makes soy milk a better option than almond milk for them. On the other hand, people with soy allergies can opt for almond milk.3. The protein content of soy milk is quite similar to that of cow milk. But, almond milk does not contain as much as protein as soy milk. Soy milk is the closest dairy free alternative to cow milk.4. Almond milk has more monounsaturated fats for a healthy heart than soy milk. These healthy fats are known to aid weight loss and help reduce the risk of heart diseases.5. Soy milk contains more polyunsaturated fats than almond milk. These healthy fats are known to reduce bad cholesterol.
Women over the age of 50 can be relieved of postmenopausal symptoms, if they consume soy milk regularly. Men over 50 can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by consuming soy milk. Drinking soy milk is a great way to recover after a workout session because it has prebiotic sugars and riboflavin. Riboflavin converts carbohydrates into adenosine triphosphate . ATP helps in producing energy as the body requires it.
Soy milk is a dairy-free alternative that lactose intolerant can try
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Cow Soy Or Almond: Which ‘milk’ Is Best For You
THURSDAY, Feb. 1, 2018 — Almond milk, soy milk, rice milk and coconut milk may all offer lactose-free alternatives to cow’s milk, but new research suggests that the dairy version remains the most nutritious option.
The finding stems from a Canadian analysis that assessed the nutritional value of a single serving of the four most popular plant-based milks relative to cow’s milk.
“We thought that a review was much overdue in understanding the nutritional information of various plant-based milks,” explained study author Sai Kranthi Kumar Vanga.
And ultimately, “we were surprised that many of these milks do not have the nutritional density of cow’s milk, both in terms of micro and macro nutrients.
“Nutritionally speaking, cow’s milk is still the go-to beverage that has a balanced profile,” said Vanga, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of bioresource engineering with the faculty of agriculture and environmental sciences at McGill University in Quebec.
The new study was sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and received no dairy industry funding.
Cow’s milk is packed with protein and other key nutrients, including fat and carbohydrates. It also contains some antimicrobial properties, and has been shown to help infants fight off fever and respiratory infections, the researchers said.
“All in all, soy milk is the closest in terms of nutrients to cow’s milk,” said Vanga.
Journal of Food Science Technology
What Is Soy Milk And How Is It Made
Soy milk is a fantastic alternative to dairy, especially when youre looking for a protein equivalent, says Lorencz. Most soy milk is fortified with calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and Vitamin D.
Like almond milk, it takes its name from its milky consistency and appearance.
Soy milk is typically made by soaking soybeans in water overnight, then grinding the beans with water, according to the Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition. It has a slightly sweet taste and a creamy texture.
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So Which One Is Generally Healthier
Its challenging to directly compare almond milk and soy milk because it depends on a number of factors, including personal nutritional needs, taste preferences, food sensitivities, and product variation. From a nutrition standpoint:
- Soy milk contains more protein than almond milk.
- Soy milk contains more heart healthy polyunsaturated fats.
- Almond milk is lower in calories compared to soy milk, and contains more heart healthy monounsaturated fats.
- Almond milk contains slightly more sodium than soy milk, and both milks do not contain lactose.
- Both milks are low in saturated fat.
Important Tip: Go with the unsweetened version of both almond and soy milk, and check the label. Look for milk alternatives that contain no added sugars or additives like thickeners or emulsifiers.
How Almond Milk And Oat Milk Nutrition Stack Up
Nutritionally, oat milk and almond milk are quite different.
Here’s what one cup of unsweetened oat milk looks like:
- Calories: 80
- Protein: 1 g
As you can see, oat milk is higher inwell, almost everything.
Why? Both milks are made by soaking either almonds or oats in water, and then blending and straining the mixture. While the process pulls just a bit of flavor and some white color out of the almonds, it pulls much moreespecially carbohydratesout of the oats, says nutritionist Brittany Modell, RD.
Both milks are typically fortified with calcium and vitamin D, which are important for healthy bones and keeping a proper nutrient balance in your bloodstream and cells, adds Castillo.
Almond milk does have the perk, though, of being naturally high in vitamin E, which benefits your skin and immune system by reducing UV damage to the skin and helping your body fight off bacteria and viruses. It might also reduce your risk of chronic disease by going after disease-causing free radicals, Castillo says.
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Is Soy Milk Or Almond Milk Healthier
4.3/5Soy milkAlmond milkgoodhealthy
The 7 Healthiest Milk Options
Likewise, is soy milk really better for you? Soy is a good source of low-fat and plant-based protein. It is cholesterol-free, has less saturated fat than cow’s milk and lowers the LDL in the body. Cow’s milk, on the other hand, has more calcium than natural soy. Calcium, as we know, helps to build bones and prevents osteoporosis.
Just so, is almond or soy milk better for weight loss?
In addition to this, soy milk also contains fat-burning vitamins â riboflavin and vitamin B12 which helps produce more energy and increases metabolism to make you burn off fat more efficiently. Almond Milk: Almond milk is full of heart-healthy flavonoids that keep the cholesterol in control.
Which is healthier almond milk or milk?
The fat and salt content are virtually identical, and while cow’s milk has more protein, it’s still too little to make much difference to your diet. As well as being suitable for lactose-intolerant people, almond milk is slightly healthier though because it contains vitamin D, which cow’s milk does not.
- It is low in calories.
- Unsweetened almond milk doesn’t raise blood sugar.
- It is dairy-free.
- Enriched almond milk may strengthen your bones.
- It may reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Enriched almond milk is high in vitamin D.
Soy Oat Almond Coconut Or Another How To Find The Healthiest Milk For Your Needs
While cows milk has been a controversial staple in the American diet for generations, it didnt have any serious competition until the past decade, which has seen a remarkable rise in the number of plant-based alternatives. This increase in nondairy milks makes sense for many reasons: 65 percent of the adult population has difficulty digesting lactose, the sugar in cows milk our diet has become more varied in general more consumers are vegan and people worldwide are more aware of the environmental toll the dairy industry is taking on the planet.
But even those who welcome more choice when it comes to milk for years, soy milk was the main alternative might find the options daunting. How to decide? Think about your big-picture needs versus whats trendy, says Jessica Cording, a dietitian and integrative health coach. Consider your nutritional needs, how you plan to use the milk and whether its a taste you enjoy.
And keep in mind that cows milk alternatives have drawbacks of their own. Many of these milks, like oat, rice and almond milk, require things to be added to make them smoother, emulsified, so theyre more even and more like the milks youre used to, says Ilene Fennoy, a pediatric endocrinologist and specialist in nutrition.
With the above advice in mind, lets look at the specifics of cows milk and some of its easily obtainable alternatives .
Cows milk: high in calcium, protein and fat
Legume-based milk: packed with protein
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What Is Soy Milk
For a long time, soy milk was mostly known solely as the byproduct of a step in tofu production, according to Soy Info Center who further reports that soy milk was largely concentrated in Asia until the 20th century. Its consumption wasnt a linear trend in the US, and took time to develop, partly due to the bean-like flavor and sometimes associated digestive issues.
Serious Eats indicates that soy milk was a common substitute for dairy during times of war rationing. The source describes many versions of soy milk that were on the market, including bottling it like soft drinks for extra appeal. Once the flavor and digestive side effects were adjusted, the article says there was a rise in popularity in the 1980s.
Go Dairy Free highlights that there have been many inconsistencies regarding the health consequences of soy , which caused a dip in the booming industry at points over time. Over the past decade, however, further research has eliminated some of those fears. While soy milk lags behind the almond milk industry with annual sales around $230 million, according to Statista, it still remains a popular option among those looking for dairy-free alternatives.
Which Milk Is Right For You
More and more people are exploring alternative substitutes to cow’s milk. Nutritionist Kerry Torrens takes a look at the most popular options and our cookery team puts them to the test in the Good Food kitchen
Scour the dairy shelves in your supermarket and, as well as cows milk, you can find goats milk, several soya options and milk-style drinks made from nuts. Theres a huge demand for these products, as four out of 10 British households now use an non-dairy alternative to milk in hot drinks, cereal or cooking.
One reason is that some of us find cows milk difficult to digest, and blame symptoms like bloating, wind and diarrhoea on dairy. This may be because low levels of the enzyme lactase make it hard to digest the lactose in dairy products. Other people may be intolerant to cows milk protein or have a more serious allergy to dairy.
Milk allergy is also one of the most common childhood food allergies, affecting about 2-3 per cent of infants in the UK, with symptoms ranging from skin conditions to digestive problems.
Skimmed, semi or full-fat?
Semi-skimmed is low enough in fat to be a low-fat food, but it also has lower levels of fat-soluble vitamins than full-fat milk. So make sure you get your fat-soluble vitamins from other sources, such as brightly coloured salad or veg served with an oil dressing.
Best for babies
Find out more about breastfeeding.
Choose the right one for you
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