Healthy Milk Alternatives

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Question: Which is better for me- soy or almond milk? Provided I have no allergy issues, should I incorporate one more than the other?

Answer: Soy milk and almond milk are great substitutes for cow’s milk. Both are cholesterol-free, lactose-free and have less saturated fat than traditional milk. There are also other milk substitutes like rice, peanut and hemp milk that you can find in specialty markets (which means they’re a bit pricier). All are dairy-free. Here is a run-down on the differences.

  • Soy milk is made from ground, soaked soybeans. The taste and texture is similar to cow’s milk but has an off-white or yellowish color to it. Soy milk is typically fortified with vitamin D and calcium (always read the labels) and also contains protein, vitamins A, thiamin and riboflavin. There has been some controversy surrounding overconsumption of soy – your best bet is to do so in moderation.  Soy flour and soybean oil are used in so many foods and small quantities add up. Stick with a maximum of one cup of soy milk per day.
  • Almond milk is made from ground, soaked almonds.  This milk has a similar texture to low fat (1%) cow’s milk and has a sweet aroma. Almond milk tastes wonderful by itself and even better in whole grain cereal (it’s usually the most preferred from the milk alternatives). Almonds are packed with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and calcium—all making it a healthy alternative to cow’s milk.
  • Rice milk is made from unsweetened brown rice. It has a mild flavor and watery texture, similar to skim (fat free) milk. It’s very low in fat and is fortified with vitamins A and D, numerous B-vitamins, iron and calcium in order to enhance its nutritional benefits.
  • Hemp milk is made from ground, soaked hemp seeds and has a creamy, nutty flavor. It’s a wonderful source of protein and heart healthy omega-3 fats.

Be Aware…
Many of these milk alternatives are sold as plain or flavored (i.e. chocolate or vanilla). The flavored varieties contain added sugar—choose the unsweetened plain varieties to keep calories and sugar under control.

TELL TOBY: Which milk alternative is your favorite?

Filed under Ask Toby, Food Facts  |  Comments: more


2 Comments on “Healthy Milk Alternatives



alisha Says:

What about coconut milk??? I was talked into doing a Paleo Challenge for a month and now take my coffee with a bit of coconut milk, which is surprisingly very good!



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