When it comes to buying milk, you usually pick the one with most nutrients, the tastiest, with minimal processing and which can be used in most of your cooking.
Nowadays, plant-based milk substitute is gradually taking over and there is no sign of slowing down. There are dozens of brands and options to choose from. It is just a matter of meeting your preferences.
What Is Plant-Based Milk?
Plant-based milk refers to non-dairy milks and is usually processed from plants alone. They provide a convenient and healthful substitute to cow’s or goat’s milk.
Are You Getting Enough Nutrients From Plant-Based Milk?
Generally, this alternative varies widely and notably in nutrients — vitamins, minerals and macronutrients such as protein, carbs and fat content. And if you have specific needs, or require a higher amount of a certain nutrient, you should know what plant-based milk you’re going to drink.
The most important nutrient to focus on when you talk about milk is the bone-building mineral calcium. And usually milk can provide 300mg/250ml of calcium.
Most of us get our calcium from dairy products. And if you’re in transition towards dairy-free products or adapting a plant-based diet, you have to make sure you’re getting enough calcium elsewhere (tofu with calcium salts, greens like kale, collard, mustard greens; and tempeh) or choose a plant-based milk fortified with calcium.
Common Plant-Based Milk Alternatives:
Almond Milk – low in calories, contain about 1g of protein/cup, rich in antioxidants including Vitamin E, with omega-6 fats and fortified with some calcium (less than 300mg of calcium/250ml)
Rice Milk– high in carbs and are usually fortified with 300mg of calcium/250ml
Soy Milk– with 8-10g of protein/cup, fortified with calcium and Vitamin D
Oat Milk– with 5g of protein/cup, less carbs, high amount of fiber and; decent amount of calcium and iron
Coconut Milk– very high in calories and fats but are rich in essential minerals like manganese, copper; low in sugar and a good source of calcium. Go with coconut milk formulated for drinking and with cautious moderation.
Flax Milk– rich in alpha linoleic acids, omega-3 fatty acids and moderate amount of calcium
Hemp Milk– great source of omega-3 fats, low in protein, contains 10 essential amino acids and reasonable amount of calcium
Cashew and Macadamia Milk– very rich in protein and calcium