The reason we drink milk is either to get the health benefits it or maybe you just like it in your coffee, cereal or other things. If you are lactose intolerant, vegan and/or have a milk allergy, most likely you are using a milk alternative. Either way, many people have or are switching to milk alternatives.
If you walk into a store it is likely you’ll see many milk alternatives. There is soy milk, lactose-free, nut-based products (almond, cashew, coconut, hazelnut and macadamia milk), goats, rice, hemp and others.
Goats milk, like cow’s milk, it is derived from mammals. It has smaller fat molecules than milk, high in fatty acids, rich in calcium, contains selenium, an essential trace mineral that supports the immune system. Cow’s milk is a good source of protein but may be high in saturated fats. For some, it could be an allergy issue and for others, it could be a digestive issue to drive you away from cow’s milk.
- Hemp milk – has very little protein, but is rich in certain essential fatty acids.
- Soy milk – Soy milk contains no cholesterol and negligible amounts of saturated fat. A glass of soy milk provides the same levels of key nutrients present in cow milk, including calcium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D and potassium. Soy milk does have calcium, protein, and potassium. But soy milk is also fortified to be nutritionally comparable to cow’s milk.
- Nut milk – This kind of milk is based on a mixture of water and the particular nut (almond, hazel, etc.). Theses milks are lactose, soy, and gluten free. They have unsaturated fats in them (good fat), low in fat and calories. Nut milks have a thickening agent in them, approved by the FDA and is called carrageenan, which is a seaweed extract. If you would like to learn more, there is a study about nuts here to get specific nut information.
- Rice milk – This milk tends to be higher in carbohydrates than any other plant based milk. This milk is a good choice for those who have allergies to soy or nuts, or people with food chemical intolerances doing elimination diets.
- Oat milk – Contains soluble fiber beta-glucan, which has been clinically proven to reduce the bad cholesterol LDL. Oat milk has more protein than almond and less carbohydrates than rice milk.
- Flax milk – Has Omega 3’s (good fats), lignans and high in fiber.
- When looking for any of the above milks, my suggestion would be “whole”, “organic” or “non-GMO.” Depending on the milk, how much of that particular ingredient (nut, soy, rice, etc.) is in them. Several Brands that are NON-GMO include: Almond Breeze, Silk, Blue Diamond, Eden Soy and more. The best thing you can do is make your own and here are a few links to help: