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.
What is the healthiest milk?
Hemp milk is prepared from crushed, soaked hemp seeds that are free of the psychotropic ingredient found in Cannabis sativa plants.
Protein and omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fats are abundant in the seeds. As a result, hemp milk has a somewhat higher concentration of these nutrients than other plant milks.
Although hemp milk is almost carb-free, some brands include sweets, which raise the carb count. Make sure to read the ingredient label and get hemp or any other plant milk that hasn’t been sweetened.
On the ingredient label, sugar may be described as brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, or cane sugar.
The seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant are used to make hemp milk. While the drink isn’t psychotropic, it does include more healthful fats and protein than other plant milks.
Is almond milk the healthiest type of milk?
Almond milk is a vegan product. It can help you improve your plant-based food intake, which may help maintain your heart healthy.
Some people advocate for plant-based diets because they may help to lower the risk of cardiometabolic disorders like heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes (47).
In a study conducted in New Zealand, 65 adults were divided into two groups. The intervention group ate a low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet, while the control group ate their regular diet (48).
When compared to the control group, the whole-food, plant-based group demonstrated a reduction in total cholesterol and a decrease in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) after 12 weeks (48).
HbA1c is a protein that attaches to red blood cells. HbA1c measures give you an idea of how well your blood sugar is controlled over the course of a few months (49).
Lowering your HbA1c and cholesterol levels can reduce your risk of heart disease (50).
Almond milk is a dairy-free, vegan beverage that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Fortified variants of fortified milk can be a rich source of vitamins A, D, and E, as well as calcium, and are a diverse healthy option to dairy milk.
What are some of the drawbacks of soy milk?
Because of the added sugar, some forms of soy milk have a significant nutritional disadvantage. Added sugars increase your calorie intake without adding nutritious value to your diet, and they can raise your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Is it true that soy milk is the healthiest option?
Cow’s milk is still the best complete and balanced supply of protein, fat, and carbs, according to the study. In terms of total nutrient balance, soy milk, a popular alternative for more than four decades, was determined to be the most comparable to cow’s milk. It also has the most protein of any of the alternative milks tested, ranging from 7 to 12 grams (and 95 calories) per 8-ounce cup.
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 soy milk beneficial to weight loss?
Weight-loss benefits: The most obvious benefit of soy milk over cow’s milk in terms of weight loss is the lower calorie and sugar content. Soy fat is helpful for weight-watchers, unlike milk fat, which is extremely saturated and prone to forming deposits.
Does almond milk cause weight gain?
Sweetened almond milk provides certain health benefits, but there are a few things to remember:
Protein content is low. The protein content of sweetened almond milk is lower than that of soy milk or cow’s milk. Each 8-ounce serving contains 1 gram of protein. If you switch to almond milk, be sure you’re receiving adequate protein from other sources.
Calorie content is higher. Sweetened almond milk is higher in sugar and calories than unsweetened almond milk. Drinking too much sweetened almond milk (or other sweetened beverage) can make you gain weight.
Not suitable for children under the age of three. Protein levels in sweetened almond milk are minimal. It is not suggested for babies under the age of one year.
Almond milk that has not been sweetened is healthier than almond milk that has been sweetened. Enjoy sweetened almond milk in moderation if you desire it.
Almond milk has only 1 gram of protein per cup (240 ml), compared to 8 and 7 grams in cow’s and soy milk, respectively (16, 17).
Protein is required for a variety of body processes, including muscular growth, skin and bone construction, and the generation of enzymes and hormones (18, 19, 20).
Beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, and hemp seeds are among the high-protein dairy-free and plant-based foods.
If you don’t mind eating animal products, eggs, fish, poultry, and beef are all good sources of protein (21).
Unsuitable for infants
Cow’s or plant-based milks should not be given to children under the age of one year because they can inhibit iron absorption. Until 46 months of age, breastfeed or use infant formula exclusively until solid meals can be introduced (22).
Offer water as a nutritious beverage option in addition to breast milk or formula at 6 months of age. Cow’s milk can be given to your infant’s diet after the age of one (22).
Plant-based drinks, with the exception of soy milk, are inherently low in protein, fat, calories, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin D, and calcium. These nutrients are necessary for development and growth (23, 24).
Almond milk has only 39 calories per cup, 3 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein (240 ml). This is insufficient for a developing infant (5, 24).
Continue to breastfeed or see your doctor for the best nondairy formula if you don’t want your kid to swallow cow’s milk (23).
May contain additives
Sugar, salt, gums, tastes, and lecithin and carrageenan can all be included in processed almond milk (types of emulsifiers).
Texture and consistency are achieved by the use of emulsifiers and gums. Unless ingested in really large quantities, they are harmless (25).
Despite this, a test-tube study indicated that carrageenan, which is often used as an emulsifier in almond milk and is generally considered harmless, may disturb intestinal health. Before any judgments can be drawn, however, further thorough research is required (26).
Despite these issues, many companies avoid using this ingredient entirely.
Furthermore, many flavored and sweetened almond milks include a lot of sugar. Sugar consumption can lead to weight gain, tooth problems, and other chronic illnesses (13, 14, 27).
Almond milk is low in protein, lipids, and nutrients necessary for an infant’s growth and development. Furthermore, many processed kinds contain sugar, salt, flavors, gums, and carrageenan, among other things.
Can we consume almond milk on a regular basis?
Almond milk has seen a major surge in popularity over the last decade, owing to its popularity among millennials (via Refinery29). Whether you ask for almond milk in your Starbucks cup or add it to a smoothie, it’s simple to incorporate into your diet. Almond milk’s popularity is due to a variety of factors. Many lactose-intolerant people use it as a milk alternative, which can add up to a lot of people, especially since the National Institutes of Health estimates that 65 percent of people have difficulty digesting lactose.
Almond milk is an excellent dairy substitute for vegans, which is becoming increasingly popular (via Forbes). Furthermore, people enjoy the flavor. So, what happens if you add almond milk to your diet on a regular basis? It’s completely fine to drink unless you’re allergic to almonds (via PopSugar).
It is nutritious
Although almond milk does not compare to cow’s milk in terms of nutrition, enhanced products get close.
They usually contain extra vitamin D, calcium, and protein, making them nutritionally comparable to ordinary milk.
Almond milk, on the other hand, is naturally high in various vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin E.
The table below compares the amounts of a few nutrients, vitamins, and minerals found in a cup of enriched commercial almond milk versus a cup of low-fat cow’s milk, as well as some daily values (DV) (2, 3).