Comparing Non-Dairy Milks

There’s a fair variety of non-dairy milks available in the market. The five milks that I’ll be comparing are soy milk, hemp seed milk, almond milk, oat milk and rice milk.  But which one to choose?  Which one’s best?

Well, that depends on what you’re looking for.

Soy Milk: It’s protein content is comparable to that of cows milk, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should jump on the soy band wagon.  For more information on soy, see my previous post.  Allergies to soy are quite common, so this also might not be the milk alternative for you.  However, if you aren’t allergic and you drink it in moderation this is one of the best milk alternatives out there.  A lot of the brands are fortified now, giving it the full benefit of traditional cows milk but without it being an animal product or having lactose in it.  It has also been proven to lower cholesterol.

Hemp Milk: Rich in omega fatty acids, this milk alternative is a little bit more heart healthy than soy milk, but not by much.  Protein wise it is definitely lacking.  Again, it depends what you’re looking for.

Almond Milk:  If calories are a concern then almond milk is your best bet.  It has the lowest caloric content, but along with that is the lowest protein and other beneficial nutrients.  However, it does really well as a skim milk replacement in baking, and is the closest in taste to cows milk that I have tried.

Oat Milk: As this milk is produced from a grain it has a higher sugar (carbohydrate) and caloric content than the other milks.  Yet its moderate protein and high fibre content may make this milk appealing to some.  This one can upset a gluten intolerance, so those of you out there with this concern be wary.

Rice Milk: This one is the milk that you are the least likely to be allergic to.  That’s where the benefits stop, unfortunately.  The protein and nutrient content is quite low, where as the sugar and caloric content is quite high.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up and have a few different milks available in your fridge.  If you need a little extra protein that day, pick soy or hemp.  If you’ve already had a few servings of soy in your diet, maybe opt for almond milk.  Mix it up, experiment, and you’ll find the right one for your needs.

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