Because November is Vegan Awareness Month, it’s a good time to talk about the milk substitutes available in the dining halls. A person may seek a dairy milk alternative for a variety of reasons, including veganism, lactose intolerance, and potential health issues (antibiotics, pesticides, and hormones).
Cow’s milk has an amazing nutrient profile from a nutritional standpoint. It’s high in protein, has a good balance of key minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, folate, and vitamin B12, and is vitamin D fortified (the sunshine vitamin). What milk alternative(s) compares or comes closest to the nutritional content of dairy? Soy and almond are the two most popular choices, and both are accessible at North and South Dining Halls.
For instance, a cup of low-fat dairy milk contains about 100 calories and 8 grams of protein. Soy milk comes the closest, with 95 calories and 7 to 12 grams of protein per cup. Almond milk has the fewest calories (30 to 50), as well as the least protein (1 gram per cup). Isoflavones, a type of phytonutrient found in soy milk, have been shown to have cancer-fighting qualities. Soy milk is high in polyunsaturated fat, which is good for your heart. Almond milk, on the other hand, is high in monounsaturated fats and vitamins A and E, which are good for your heart. Calories are the lowest, as mentioned above, but with fewer calories comes fewer nutrients. “It is fairly evident that nutritionally, soy milk is the greatest choice for replacing cow’s milk in the human diet,” according to a recent research published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology. They do admit, however, that almond milk is more popular than soy milk in terms of flavor.
It all boils down to personal preference and balance in the end. Calcium and vitamin D are routinely added to both milks. They’re both sweetened and unsweetened, and while they don’t have quite the nutritional punch that cow’s milk has, they can be excellent substitutes if you read labels and seek out other foods to make up for the nutrients you’re missing.
Is it preferable to drink almond milk or soy milk for protein?
Soy milk has a higher protein content than almond milk. Soy milk has higher polyunsaturated fats, which are good for your heart. Almond milk is lower in calories and contains more heart-healthy monounsaturated fats than soy milk. Almond milk has a slightly higher salt content than soy milk, although neither milk includes lactose.
Which milk has the highest protein content?
Dry milk has the largest protein level 26.32g protein per 100g serving for whole dry milk and 36.16g protein per 100g serving for nonfat dry milk but when you rehydrate the concentrated dry milk with water, the protein amount drops.
Is it healthier to drink soy or almond milk?
Both are relatively healthy choices for any omnivorous or plant-based diet. Soy milk has a few more calories, but it also has a lot more protein and antioxidants. Although some people prefer the taste of almond milk, soy milk has a much creamier and richer texture.
What is the best high-protein milk?
Milk from a cow Cow’s milk is the most popular dairy milk, and it’s also a wonderful source of high-quality protein ( 8 ). It’s high in calcium, B vitamins, and a variety of minerals.
Is almond milk a high-protein beverage?
Some minerals in almond milk are not absorbed as well as they are in milk. This is mainly due to the presence of phytic acid, an antinutrient that inhibits iron, zinc, and magnesium absorption (4, 5, 6).
Almond milk is not acceptable as a milk substitute for infants since it is deficient in several nutrients.
Almond milk is naturally high in a variety of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin E.
It is low in calories
Despite the fact that almonds are high in fat and calories, commercial almond milk is a low-calorie beverage (1, 2).
This means you can consume a large amount of it without gaining weight. It also has a high nutritional value in relation to its calorie content.
Almond milk is made by diluting it with water to get a fat content equivalent to that of low-fat milk, which is roughly 1% fat.
A cup of almond milk has 39 calories, which is half as many as a cup of skim milk.
However, not all almond milks are created equal. Depending on how many almonds are in each cup, homemade almond milk and certain brands may have a much higher calorie count.
Furthermore, some products have added sugar, which people should avoid if they want to get the most out of their health.
Bottom line: Almond milk prepared in a factory may have less calories than skim milk. However, this may not apply to all brands, so read the nutrition labels carefully.
Unsweetened almond milk doesn’t raise blood sugar
Sugar-free almond milk, on the other hand, is a low-carb beverage with fewer than 2% carbs in 1 cup, or 3.43 g of carbs (2).
Low-fat cow’s milk, on the other hand, has a carb content of 5%, or 12 g per cup (3).
In comparison to its glucose level, almond milk is also heavy in fat and protein. As a result, it does not induce a surge in blood sugar levels, making it acceptable for diabetics and those on a low-carb diet.
However, study the ingredient lists carefully and choose items that are as natural as possible.
Bottom line: Almond milk is a low-carb beverage that is ideal for those on a low-carb diet or who need to keep their blood sugar levels in check.
It is dairy-free
Almond milk is a fantastic alternative for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk because it includes no cow’s milk or other animal ingredients.
Many people are lactose intolerant, meaning they can’t entirely digest it. Undigested lactose goes down to the colon, where it is fermented by the indigenous bacteria, causing excessive gas, bloating, diarrhea, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Because almond milk is dairy-free, it contains no lactose, making it a good milk substitute for lactose-intolerant persons.
Bottom line: Almond milk is a dairy-free substitute for vegans and anyone with lactose intolerance or milk allergy because it is an imitation milk that contains no dairy.
Enriched almond milk may strengthen your bones
Calcium is found in the highest concentration in dairy products. Almonds, on the other hand, are a poor provider of this vitamin.
Calcium is commonly added to almond milk to make it more akin to genuine milk. Depending on the type and brand of commercial almond milk, a cup may provide 37 percent or more of your daily need.
A cup of cow’s milk, on the other hand, may contain up to 23 percent of your daily calcium need, depending on the type and brand.
As a result, fortified almond milk is a good source of calcium for people who don’t eat dairy, such as vegans and those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk.
Calcium is necessary for the formation and maintenance of bones. As a result, consuming enough calcium lowers the risk of osteoporosis, a disorder marked by weak bones and fractures (7).
Bottom line: Almond milk is frequently fortified with calcium, making it a good source of the mineral. Those who do not consume dairy products may minimize their risk of osteoporosis by drinking enhanced almond milk on a regular basis.
It may reduce the risk of heart disease
Regular eating of nuts has been related to a lower risk of heart disease in observational studies. This is mainly due to their high content of beneficial fats (8).
Almond oil’s major fatty acid, oleic acid, has been associated to positive changes in blood lipids in studies (9).
In one study, healthy adults who consumed 66 grams of almonds or almond oil daily for six weeks saw their levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, drop “Cholesterol was lowered by 6%, and triglycerides were reduced by 14%. It also improved their HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol “It’s a wonderful thing,” cholesterol by 6% (10).
These positive alterations in blood lipid profiles have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease (11).
Although fat accounts for around half of the calories in almond milk, it is a low-fat product that is unlikely to have a substantial impact on your blood lipid profile.
Many of the health advantages of almonds are attributed to vitamin E, as well as bioactive plant chemicals such as polyphenols, according to nutritionists. These substances are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which are beneficial to heart health (12).
Almond milk is strong in vitamin E and includes healthy fats, so it’s a good choice. It may be beneficial to your heart if you drink it on a regular basis.
Enriched almond milk is high in vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency affects a large number of people. Brittle bones, tiredness, and weak muscles are more likely as a result of this (13).
In the human diet, there are few good sources of vitamin D. As a result, adding vitamin D to particular foods is a typical public-health practice. This is especially true with dairy products.
Almond milk, like ordinary milk, is frequently fortified with vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D in each product varies. One cup of almond milk, for example, may contain 2.62 micrograms, or 13% of your daily value. A cup of vitamin-fortified cow’s milk has a same amount of vitamins (2).
As a result, fortified almond milk is a good source of vitamin D that, if consumed frequently, can help prevent insufficiency.
Bottom line: Almond milk is frequently fortified with vitamin D, and drinking it on a regular basis may help avoid vitamin D insufficiency.
What’s the big deal about soy milk?
Soy also contains phytates, which are anti-nutrients that can prevent minerals like iodine, zinc, iron, magnesium, copper, and chromium from being absorbed. If you drink a lot of soy milk and eat a lot of soy-based processed goods, you’re more likely to develop nutritional deficiencies.
Soy milk or milk with greater protein?
MAYO CLINIC, DEAR: I’ve always preferred a glass of milk with most meals, but there are now so many alternatives to cow’s milk available. Are plant-based milks like soy or almond milk healthier alternatives?
ANSWER: Cow’s milk (dairy) and other plant-based beverages, such as soy milk and almond milk, are both nutritious options. However, depending on the type of product and the brand, there are significant nutritional differences. In general, studying the nutritional facts for each beverage can help you break down the benefits. Fat content, protein, calcium, and the quantity of added sugars, if any, in each food are all crucial considerations.
Skim milk has very little fat, yet the amount of cholesterol-raising saturated fat increases as the percentage of fat increases from 1% to 2% to whole milk. This is crucial to remember because the American Heart Association suggests that saturated fat be limited to no more than 7% of total calories in your diet. Soy and almond milks have roughly 2 to 4 grams of fat per cup, but those fats are mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are good for you.
When it comes to protein content, dairy milk comes out on top with just over 8 grams per cup. With about 7 grams per cup, soy milk is a close second. With only 1 gram per cup, traditional almond milk falls behind. Pea protein has been added to several modern nut milk variants.
When it comes to calcium, dairy milk naturally contains roughly 300 milligrams per cup, and dairy products are typically thought to be the most easily absorbed calcium source. Many soy and almond milks are calcium fortified to match the calcium content of dairy milk. However, because soy includes a natural component (phytate) that hinders calcium absorption, your body may not absorb all of the calcium in soy milk.
Then there are the sugars that have been added. There are no additional sugars in unflavored white dairy milk, unsweetened soy, or almond milk. The taste of unsweetened soy or almond milk, on the other hand, may be a concern for some. A sweetened or flavored beverage may contain 4 to more than 20 grams of added sugars. The easiest approach to choose a flavor you like with little added sugars is to look at the Nutrition Facts label. Remember that sugar is indicated on the label of unflavored white dairy milk, but it’s lactose, a naturally occurring milk sugar.
In conclusion, dairy milk is difficult to beat for balanced nutrition, with nonfat skim milk being the best option for most individuals. However, not everyone can take dairy milk, and some people may opt to forego animal products altogether or simply want to experiment. Unsweetened soy milk is the closest nutritional equivalent, plus it contains a few grams of beneficial fats that skim milk lacks. While almond milk is not unhealthy, it is less nutrition rich, particularly in terms of protein content. Check the Nutrition Facts labels on soy or almond milk for appropriate calcium and minimal added sugars. (Reprinted with permission from the Mayo Clinic Health Letter) Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, Endocrinology/Nutrition
- Published 2/18/19 in Infectious Diseases A-Z: Raw milk, cheese linked to brucellosis
- How to Get Calcium Without Dairy Products (Mayo Clinic Minute) published on September 19, 2018
Is soy milk a high-protein beverage?
Soy milk’s vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants may have significant health benefits. Vitamin B types present in soy milk, for example, are crucial for maintaining nerve cells and DNA in your body. They can also aid in the prevention of anemia, which can lead to exhaustion and fatigue.
Protein is also abundant in soy milk. Soy milk protein is nutritious, plant-based, and can aid in the maintenance of healthy muscles and organs.
Soy milk is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are “good” fats that the body cannot produce on its own. The consumption of omega-3 fatty acids has been associated to a lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Soy milk’s influence on various disorders is still being researched, however soy is one of the greatest non-animal sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Soy milk can also improve your heart and circulatory system. Soy milk, whether fortified or not, is a good source of potassium. Potassium is essential for maintaining a healthy blood pressure and pulse. Soy milk has also been related to reduce cholesterol levels, particularly in those with high cholesterol.
Isoflavones, a type of molecule known as phytoestrogens, are found in soy milk. In the body, these isoflavones work like a weak kind of estrogen. As a result, studies have indicated that soy milk and other soy products may help to alleviate menopause symptoms like hot flashes.
Which milk is the most effective for weight loss?
For most people, cow’s milk is the ideal option because it provides a good source of protein and calcium.
Switch to reduced-fat or skim milk if you’re attempting to lose weight.
Lactose intolerant people should choose lactose-free milk.
Soy milk is recommended for those who have a cow’s milk protein allergy or who eat a vegan or plant-based diet because it contains the majority of the nutrients found in cow’s milk.
Calcium and vitamin D are essential in all types of milk, so pick calcium- and vitamin D-fortified versions whenever possible.
Why Lite n’ Easy?
Ashleigh Jones is a Registered Dietitian with over 10 years of experience in hospitals, corporate health, private practice, and the food sector. She is a published researcher who has worked in a variety of fields, including genetics, multiple sclerosis, and sports nutrition. Ashleigh is an expert in endocrine problems, having a special focus in weight loss, pituitary and thyroid disorders, and diabetes management. Ashleigh is passionate about encouraging healthy habits, particularly among busy people, and she provides simple and long-term nutrition solutions.
Is it safe to drink soy milk on a daily basis?
If you consume fewer than three servings of soy milk per day and do not have a soy allergy, it is not harmful to your health.
Soy milk and other soy products have long been thought to be harmful to one’s health. This is partly due to animal studies that have painted soy in a negative light. The estrogen content of soy was thought to be a risk factor for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society, on the other hand, has stated that while the isoflavones found in soy may act like estrogen, they also have anti-estrogen qualities. According to some studies, a high-soy diet has no effect on breast cancer. Even in cancer patients or survivors, current research does not support reducing whole soy foods.
Men can also consume soy products, such as soy milk. Because of the presence of isoflavone, it was thought that eating soy products was linked to the development of feminine features in men. Human studies, on the other hand, have found no substantial evidence linking the two. Consumption of soy isoflavones has been shown in several studies to lessen the risk of prostate cancer in men. Soy isoflavones have a structure comparable to estrogen, although their activity is less potent.
Soy meals are high in protein and are also healthy for pregnant women. They can be used to replace high-fat foods like red or processed meat. They’re also a great choice for vegans. Soy meals may help lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease by acting as a low-fat replacement and a source of antioxidants.