This Article is From Nov 03, 2022

6 Non-Dairy Milk Options Vegans Can Add To Their Diet

Vegan diet: In this article, we compare different kinds of milk and understand which one might be the best for you.

6 Non-Dairy Milk Options Vegans Can Add To Their Diet

Vegan diet: Oat milk contains more protein than almond milk

Various people opt for non-dairy milk for various reasons. The main reasons for opting for vegan milk would be if someone is lactose intolerant, allergic to regular milk or want to practice veganism. Whatever the reason may be, it is important to opt for the alternative that best fits one's requirements. Soy, almond, cashew, oat, and coconut milk are among various non-dairy milk alternatives. While one may be thicker, the other might have a high content of certain nutrients as compared to others. In this article, we compare different kinds of milk and understand which one might be the best for you.

Vegan Diet: Non-dairy milk alternatives

1. Almond milk

Almond milk contains higher unsaturated fats and less saturated fat when compared to cow's milk. Almond milk's beneficial lipids may aid in weight loss and maintenance. Due to its low calorie and protein content, almond milk may not be suited for everyone, particularly young children.

People who are not trying to shed pounds will need to increase their calorie intake and choose protein sources that are healthy in order to fulfil their daily demands. To more closely match the nutritional profile of cow's milk, many manufacturers add calcium to almond milk. People should make sure to consume lots of alternative calcium sources, such as dark green vegetables, as they might not be able to absorb this calcium as well as they would from dairy.


Almond milk contains higher unsaturated fats and less saturated fat
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Soy milk

Unsweetened soy milk has 4 grammes of carbs, 7-9 grammes of protein, 4 grammes of fat, and 80-90 calories per cup (240 ml) (8, 9). Soy milk is a near non-dairy alternative to cow's milk in terms of nutrients. It has around half the calories, lipids, and carbohydrates but about the same amount of protein.

Soybeans or soy protein isolate are used to make soy milk, which is frequently supplemented with thickeners and vegetable oils to enhance flavour and consistency. It usually tastes light and creamy. But flavours can differ between brands. When used in place of cow's milk in savoury recipes, with coffee, or on top of cereal, it performs best.

3. Coconut milk

Water and the white meat of coconuts are used to make coconut milk. Coconut milk has a creamy consistency and a mildly sweet flavour of coconut. 45 calories, 4 grammes of fat, little protein, and nearly no carbs are included in one cup.

Of all the non-dairy kinds of milk, coconut milk has the least protein and carbohydrate content. It might not be the ideal choice for people who need more protein, but it would work for people who want to consume fewer carbohydrates.

Medium-chain triglycerides, a particular form of saturated fat, make up about 90% of the calories in coconut milk (MCTs). MCTs may aid with appetite control, weight loss, and blood cholesterol more than other fats, according to some research. However, a recent assessment discovered that compared to unsaturated oils, coconut oil may have a stronger tendency to increase levels of total and "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

4. Oat milk

Oat milk has some amount of fibre, which can be beneficial given that most people don't consume enough fibre in their diets, It also contains more protein than almond milk but not as much as soy milk.

Furthermore, oat milk is more environmentally friendly than dairy or almond milk since it uses less water and emits fewer greenhouse gases. The mild, creamy flavour of oat milk makes it suitable for cereals, hot drinks, and standalone consumption. People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity should avoid oat milk. The greatest quantity of calories and carbs are found in unflavored oat milk.


Oat milk is rich in fibre and can aid weight loss
Photo Credit: iStock

5. Hemp milk

It's a little strange and doesn't bring much attention to itself, but it actually offers more to offer than you may realise. Hemp milk seems to have more protein than almond milk, albeit still just half as much as dairy milk, so you should be careful with added sweets. It also contains a tonne of additional minerals and vitamins. While some define hemp milk to taste earthy and nutty, others might find it too dirt-like. Try for yourself by buying a small batch.

6. Cashew milk

Cashew nuts, cashew butter, and water are combined to create cashew milk. It has a sweet and delicate nutty flavour and is creamy and thick. It works well as a creamer in coffee, a thickener for smoothies, and a substitute for cow's milk in desserts.

The nut pulp is filtered from the milk, as it is with the majority of nut-based kinds of milk. This implies that the full cashew's fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals are lost. Only 25–50 calories, 2-4 grams of fat, 0–1 gram of protein, and 1-2 grams of carbs are found in one cup of unsweetened cashew milk.

Less than one-third of the calories, half the fat, and much less protein and carbs are found in cashew milk compared to cow's milk. Cashew milk might not be the ideal choice for persons with higher protein needs due to its low protein level.

Now that you understand the various aspects and nutritional value of non-dairy kinds of milk, pick which suits best for you.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.