Whether you are a veggie lover, vegan, lactose intolerant, have a milk hypersensitivity or a general food lover, we can all but assume that you are familiar with some of the plant-based milks accessible in today's market. To guide you on your way to picking a plant-based milk, we reveal some insight into what each milk brings to the table.

Fortunately, plant-based milk provides a convenient and healthful alternative to cow's milk. And if you are currently making the transition to a dairy-free diet, you will find that going dairy-free has never been easier. Soy, almond, hemp, coconut, and rice milk, among others, are taking over the dairy aisles—and claiming supermarket aisles all on their own. There are dozens of plant-based milk brands and hundreds of options to choose from to meet everyone's tastes and nutritional needs. So how do we choose the best dairy-free milk for your diet? Read on to find out.

Soy Milk

Made from soybeans, soy milk is the nearest plant-based milk to cow's milk in terms of structure. For those following a plant-based diet, consuming soy milk provides nutrients, vitamins and minerals such as:

  • Potassium  
  • Often fortified with vitamins A, B-12, and D and calcium.
  • Soy milk contains as much protein as cow's milk, yet is lower in calories than whole milk 
  • It contains very little saturated fat

Almond Milk

Like most other nut-based milk, almond milk needs sustenance. One cup (250ml) of almond milk, contains approximately four almonds.  Almond milk is:

  • Low in Calories and Sugar
  • High in Vitamin E
  • A Good Source of Calcium
  • Often Enriched with Vitamin D

Coconut Milk

Coconuts are high in fat. When utilised for coconut milk, this nutritive quality helps with loaning a characteristic of lavishness and surface in flavour that is ideal for puréed soups and curries.

  • Coconut milk contains fatigue fighting electrolytes 

Cashew Milk

Cashew milk has a somewhat creamier consistency when contrasted with other nut-based milk. It makes cashew milk an incredible element for non-dairy, frozen yoghurts and smoothies.

Cashew milk is lower in calories than dairy milk and coconut milk. It can be fortified to include a variety of important vitamins, such as:

  • Fat soluble vitamins A, D and E
  • Calcium
  • Iron 

Oat Milk

Oat milk offers a characteristic of a marginally sweet flavour that is ideal for coffee drinks.

As one of the newer assortments on supermarket racks, oat milk is acquiring notoriety since it steams and froths in a better way than other plant-based milk. The oats offer a naturally sweet flavour and it's benefits include:

  • Vegan, as well as lactose, soy, and nut-Free. 
  • Great Source of B Vitamins. Oat milk is often fortified with B vitamins, such as riboflavin (B2) and vitamin B12. 

Take Away

Choosing dairy-free milk may also be influenced by how someone plans to utilise the milk. In general, most recipes calling for cow's milk can easily be substituted with any plant-based milk. Almond, hemp, soy, coconut, and rice milk can easily be used in baked goods. Soy, coconut, and hazelnut milk are great substitutes for cream in coffee due to their thicker consistencies and flavours. Soy and rice milk are wonderful additions to sauces and soups. Again, most choices come down to personal taste preferences, so feel free to experiment to find the perfect dairy-free milk for individual needs. 

No matter what non-dairy milk we choose, our health will benefit. While shopping from in-store and online sources, be sure to read food labels and ingredient lists for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Also note the per cent daily values for calcium, iron, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Percentages may vary depending upon your caloric intake and diet plan. 

We hope that you enjoyed your daily Nutrition Fix. 
With love, Beautifully Nourished x 

Dr Ayesha Gulzar, PharmD, Doctor of Pharmacy, Research and Medicine
Editor and Founder: Katherine Elyse Blake, BSC Nutrition, ANutr


Katherine Blake