Cow milk is a common beverage and key ingredient to many recipes. It is rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, and high-quality proteins. But while it is very nutritious, there are just some people who can’t or choose not to drink milk. This can be due to an allergy to dairy products, lactose intolerance or dietary preferences.
1 Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is squeezed from the white flesh of brown coconuts. It is very easy to make at home and is sold in the market in pure or diluted/watered versions. Compared to cow’s milk it contains half the fat, a third of the calories and very little to no protein and carbohydrates.
It has the least protein and carbohydrates among available milk substitutes and is the best choice for those with a low-carb diet. According to some studies, the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut milk can reduce appetite and help aid weight loss.
2 Soy Milk
One of the most common plant-based milk that can be seen in most supermarkets is soy milk. It is made of soybeans or soy protein isolate and usually has a mild and creamy flavor. In terms of nutrient value, it is very similar to milk. It has the same amount of protein at half the amounts of fats, calories, and carbohydrates.
However, though there is no concrete evidence, there are concerns on possible health hazards of soy. It has high amounts of isoflavones which can affect the functions of hormones. Still, there is no harm to consuming small amounts.
3 Almond Milk
If you want something light with a little sweet and nutty flavor, almond milk is the best on the shelf. It is made with whole almonds or almond butter and water. It is one of the nondairy kinds of milk with the lowest calorie so it is a good choice for those with a low-calorie diet.
But because it is watered down, with some brands having as less as 2% almonds, it also contains much less fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Almond also has phytic acid, which can decrease the absorption of nutrients such as calcium, iron, and zinc in the body.
4 Quinoa Milk
Another nondairy milk made from water and quinoa grains. Quinoa grains are a good nutritional source of high-quality proteins. Quinoa milk is mostly diluted, with 5-10% quinoa grains.
It has well-balanced nutrients with low fat and moderate numbers of calories, protein, and carbohydrates. However, it is more expensive than other nondairy milk products and is harder to find.
5 Oat Milk
This is one of the current popular food trends this year. Simple, home-made oat milk can be made by just oats and water. On the other hand, manufactured brands may contain oils, salt, and other ingredients to adjust taste and texture.
Comparing to a regular cow’s milk, it contains up to twice the amount of carbohydrates, the same amount of calories and about half the amount of fat and proteins. A little extra about oat milk, it contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan which can reduce cholesterol absorption.