Alternatives to dairy milk - the pros and cons

Nowadays, browsing the dairy section at the grocery store has never been more confusing. Do you remember when the choices that we've had were related to its fat content: skim, low fat or whole milk? Today, they shelves are lined with a huge variety of milk alternatives made from nuts, seeds, and beans that all promise to offer great benefits to your organism. Considering that youre lactose intolerant, vegetarian, vegan or simply seeking for a break in dairy, these milks can be a considerable option to embrace your morning routine. 

However, before you jump into it, you'd like to do your due diligence to understand the nutritional nuances of each type of milk. Let's begin by taking a closer look at the macros in milk, and dive into the main macros benefits of the varieties of milk. You'll be surprised to realize that some alternatives aren't all that refreshing!

Milk Type Calories (gr) Protein (gr) Carbs (gr) Sugar (gr) Fat (gr) Saturated fat (gr)
Skim 83 8 13 13 0 0
Low Fat 122 8 12 12 5 3
Soy original 110 8 9 6 4.5 0.5
Cashew milk 60 1 9 7 2.5 0
Coconut original 70 0 8 7 4.5 4
Almond Original 60 1 8 7 2.5 0
Hemp original 80 2 7 6 5 0.5
Rice original 120 1 23 10 2.5 0

Almond milk

Almond milk is made from peeling the almond skin off, then grind them finely with water, and filtering them to remove solids. It is one of the least expensive milk options, and its mild nutty taste can enhance post-workout shakes, breakfast meals, or to even make pastries.

Pros – It is free of saturated fat and a real appeal to calorie-conscious consumers for its low energy count (60 calories per cup). It is also typically high in vitamin E from the nature of almonds, which help improve brain function and muscle recovery. It acts as an antioxidant to help conjure oxidative damages to the body.  

Cons – comparable to other dairy alternative milks, almond milk typically contains emulsifiers, which are added during the manufacturing process to keep ingredients from separating and improve texture. Additionally, it is currently unknown how much you’d have to consume to potentially sour your health.

 

Soy milk

Soy milk was the first non dairy milk to become mainstream to the market, and most likely the most controversial. It is prepared by soaking, crushing and cooking soybeans, and extracting the liquid.

Pros – Soy milk is high in protein content, at about 6 to 8 grams per cup. It is a great source of potassium, which is necessary for muscle function and keeping the blood pressure numbers from simmering over.

Cons –Some brands would add cheap oils that can add up the total number of calories. Since most soy of the soy grown in the United States is genetically modified, you will have to splurge for organic if you’re concerned about GMO food.  

 

Cashew milk

Among the most recent additions to dairy alternative beverages, cashew milk is the closest to matching the creamy texture of regular milk.

Pros – Cashew milk is often fortified with a range of useful nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, B-12 and zinc. The latest, zinc, plays a key role in thousands of different enzymatic reactions in the human body.

Cons – The low calorie content in nut or seed milks speak to the fact that you’re essentially consuming a watered-down product. Essentially, a cup of whole cashews contains around 750 calories, thus a glass of cashew milk down to 25 calories would require manufacturers to water down.

 

Hemp milk

This fashionable non dairy is made by blending hemp seeds with water, to produce a distinctive earthy and nutty flavor.

Pros – Hemp milk delivers very high levels of omega-3 fat compared to other non dairy milks. Although not as potent as the omega-3 found in fatty fish, plant-sourced omega-3 fats, such as those in hemp, can still improve the health of your ticker. Nowadays, hemp milk has been a great alternative option for vegans looking for non-meat sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Cons – One of the pitfall is that, as the majority of non dairy milks, are weighed down by added sugars (like rice syrup and cane sugar).

 

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is prepared by blending together filtered water and coconut liquid squeezed from coconut flesh.

Pros – the unique medium-chain-fatty acids (MCFAs) found in coconut milk are thought to increase metabolism, though fat loss impact is an actual debate.  

Cons –Coconut milk lacks protein composure, which makes it less filling. Although coconut meat in itself is a great source of fat-fighting dietary fiber, the beverage it produces isn’t.

 

Conclusion

In trendy scenes, while you can often find these milk alternatives in natural food stores and healthy food sections at your groceries, they shouldn’t be considered healthy or “whole foods” in the same way nuts, seeds, vegetables or milk are. While it is fine to consume them in moderation, consider that each milk can serve a unique function, however due to the overall lack of protein, we are still willing to cry over real spilled milk!

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