Your guide to non-dairy milk alternatives
We’re starting to see a developing trend in people who don’t drink cow’s milk. The choice to drink cow’s milk or not comes with many different reasons. Some people choose not to consume it due to current research taking place regarding unwanted ingredients in cow’s milk including bio-engineered hormones, antibiotics and pesticides. Others may be intolerant to products in the milk or looking for a healthier alternative. Before looking into the topic of non-dairy milk alternatives I became overwhelmed with choice as I walked through the health food isle of my local supermarket. You can buy milk made from soy, rice, almond, oat, or hemp. Seriously who would of have thought there was so many options!
No matter what the reason, there are plenty of non-dairy alternatives… but which one is right for you? Your choice in type of non-dairy milk alternative depends on what you want out of it. For some people who may not eat meat and looking for a higher source of protein your choice will differ from a product if weight is your concern, you may choose one which is lower in calories.
So in my attempts to understand what options are available for non-dairy milk alternatives I did a comparison between the 5 main types.
Intolerances and allergies are one of the main reasons why some people choose to stay away from cow’s milk. Lactose and dairy intolerance have two different causes. If you are lactose intolerant, your body cannot handle the sugar (Lactose) found in milk. But being diary intolerant means you are intolerant to the proteins in milk. Rice milk is grain milk, mostly made from brown rice. This is the grain milk which you’re least likely to be allergic to, though compared to the other alternatives it had the lowest protein and was higher in sugar and calories.
Soy Milk, one of the most commonly known and used cow’s milk alternative is the highest in protein. Providing between 8 and 11 grams of protein per cup it is the most comparable to cow’s milk. On the down side, soy is a very high allergen and has some speculations around pregnancy. Some information out there also suggests soy contains anti-nutrients, compounds in soybeans which can impair your ability to absorb other nutrients. In saying this, if you do enjoy your soy, try stick to no more than 2-3 cups a day.
If you are after fibre, than oat milk is the way to go. This milk will give you fibre and a moderate amount of protein. It does contain one of the higher amounts of sugar and calories.
The new kid on the block is hemp milk which provides you with a good amount of omega-3. One single serving of hemp milk can give you a whole day’s RDI of omega-3. If you think about it as, 4 times the amount you get in soy milk, and 6 times the amount you get from cow’s milk! Wow!
Last but not least, is my favourite… Almond Milk. Almond milk tends to be lower in calories and sugar, so if you’re counting calories this one’s for you. Not to mention the monounsaturated fats, these are your heart healthy fats found in olive oil. It is also low in protein.
So there you have it. If you choose to stay away from cow’s milk for whatever reason it is we hope you found this article helpful in choosing your new alternative.
Like I mentioned earlier, we use almond milk. The taste is excellent, you can even add some vanilla to spice it up. When cooking and baking we substitute cow’s milk for almond milk and the end result tastes excellent. You can even make your own almond milk just click here for the recipe .