My Favourite Milk Substitutes – Oat Milk, Almond Milk, Coconut Milk and More

Regular milk intake is associated with 20 percent reduced risk of dying from stroke and coronary heart disease. While these statistics seem impressive as it is proof of the many health benefits of milk, not all people are glad to know about this fact. There are individuals who are diagnosed with lactose intolerance and food allergies. Luckily, there are plenty of milk substitutes and some of them are the following:

Oat Milk

Oat milk is a wonderful milk alternative for individuals with food sensitivities and dietary restrictions. One reason why oat milk is perfect for people with food sensitivities is that it is gluten free. Oat milk does not contain lactose, nuts and soy. It is also one of the best dairy free milk substitutes.

However, one must read packaging labels before buying. See to it that it is not produced in facilities where other types of grains are also manufactured. Oat milk contains higher amounts of carbohydrates and calories compared to other plant-based milk alternatives.

It is also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin A, calcium and vitamin D. Note that commercially produced oat milk may contain canola oil, which may not be good if you are trying to lower your fat intake. Therefore, read product packaging first before buying.

blankAlmond Milk

Almond milk contains a smaller number of calories, carbohydrates, protein and fats than cow’s milk. This kind of milk is made of almond butter or whole almonds, mixed with water. Many people love the nutty and sweet taste of almond milk. You may use this milk alternative for preparing and baking desserts and goods.

Almond milk contains healthy fats, protein and fiber, although in less concentrated amounts compared to whole almonds. A 240ml of almond milk that’s unsweetened is more likely to contain up to 35 calories. It also contains vitamin E and lots of antioxidants.

Choose almond milk brands that have higher almond content. Some almond milk products contain as much as 15 percent of almonds.

blankCoconut Milk

Coconut milk contains more fats and proteins compared to other milk alternatives. One cup of coconut milk contains about 5 grams of saturated fats. This milk alternative is great for use as a heavy cream substitute. In fact, coconut milk is considered to be the best dairy free substitute for heavy creams.

Choose a full-fat coconut milk if you are planning to have it as a heavy cream substitute. If you are looking to have it as a milk substitute, choose the lighter version of coconut milk. The texture of coconut milk is almost the same with that of whole milk. Coconut milk is also among the best dairy free milk substitutes for people who have food allergies.

blankRice Milk

Rice milk is another good option to consider if you are looking for a dairy free milk. People who are allergic to nuts, soy and gluten may choose rice milk as a substitute. However, this is not suitable for children, elderly and athletes since it has very low protein content. Rice milk can be mixed in smoothies, oatmeal and desserts because it tastes naturally sweet.

Note that rice milk is among the highest in carbohydrate content in all dairy free milk substitutes. It is also among the foods listed under high glycemic index, with a GI of 79-92. Its sugar content can be absorbed quickly into the bloodstream which makes this bad for diabetics.

blankCashew Milk

A cup of unsweetened cashew milk may contain 2 grams of fats, about a gram of protein and 25 calories. It is best to choose the fortified version of cashew milk, such as those that contain vitamins A, E and D, calcium and iron. However, this type of dairy-free milk substitute is low in protein content so it may not be ideal for those looking to increase their protein intake.

Cashew milk can be made either from cashew butter or from cashew nuts. If you are allergic to tree nuts, then it is best to steer clear from cashew milk. Cashew milk comes in many varieties. Some may contain thickeners while others may also have salt or canola oil. So, don’t forget to read the labels.

blankMacadamia Milk

This one isn’t just a coffee barista’s favourite. Anyone looking for a delicious milk substitute would love this one that’s produced from macadamia nuts. Macadamia milk will serve as a good dairy free milk alternative. Some macadamia milk products are made from 3 percent macadamia nuts mixed with water. For each 240 ml of Macadamia milk, you will get about 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs, up to 5 grams of protein and about 55 calories.

Macadamia milk is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. It also contains monounsaturated fats, calcium, vitamin B1, manganese and magnesium. It is also a source of iron and potassium. If you want to have a creamy coffee every morning but don’t want to suffer from the side effects of dairy creamer, macadamia milk is the way to go.

blankHemp Milk

Hemp milk is among the list of good milk substitutes for people who are into vegan or vegetarian diet. One reason for this is the fact that hemp milk is known to be an excellent source of complete protein, as it contains all the essential amino acids.

This dairy free milk alternative also contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp milk has low carbohydrates content. So, if you’re on a low-carb diet, taking hemp milk will not hurt your fitness goals. Make sure to choose the one that’s unsweetened if you do not want to increase your low carb intake. One cup of hemp milk may contain as much as 80 calories.

Note that this isn’t an exhaustive list of milk substitutes. There are many other dairy-free milk out there that you may choose. Whether you use it for baking, cooking or as an important addition to your daily diet, it is important that you choose your kind of milk well. This way, you won’t have to see yourself suffering from unwanted side effects.