I wasn’t looking into taking dairy milk out of my diet, but a couple of years ago Alessa convinced me into joining her on the Whole 30 diet. I wanted to loose a few pounds so I said “why not!’. One of the ingredients I had to take out of my daily intake was dairy. This is when I started looking into milk alternatives. Plant-based milk is lactose free making it great for those who are lactose intolerant. It’s also low fat, low cholesterol, and easy on the digestive track.
World Plant Milk Day is celebrated today, August 22nd. Plan-based milk provides key nutrients and minerals, and it’s a great alternative to dairy milk. World Plant Milk Day was created in 2017 by the co-founder of Plant Based News, Robbie Lockie. The day became a collaborative effort between PBN and ProVeg in 2018, with the campaign encouraging millions of people around the world to make the switch from dairy milk to plant-based alternatives. Some of the reasons people decide to switch to milk alternatives are due to milk allergies, lactose intolerance, vegan lifestyle, any inflammatory disease, and ethical concerns.
- Oat milk has almost as many calories as cow milk (130 vs. 148). Almond, rice, coconut, hemp, and cashew milk are lower in calories.
- Most have 25-63% of the fat of cow milk, with the exception of Hemp (8 g)
- All are lower in sugar (<3 g) except for Oat and Hazelnut (17 g and 13 g vs. 12 g)
- All are lower in protein except Soybean, Pea, and Flaxseed (9 g, 8g, and 8 g. vs. 8 g)
- All have comparable sodium except coconut, which is much lower (15 mg vs. 105 mg)
- Pea protein milk has more potassium than cow milk (450 vs. 322 mg); soy is comparable (390 mg)
- Almond, pea, and flaxseed milk have more calcium than cow milk (560, 560, 450 mg vs. 425 mg)
Years ago I tried soy milk and I didn’t like it at all, so that really put me off from trying other milk alternatives. Since I had to let go of dairy for a whole month, then I started looking into the alternatives again. I can’t live without my cafe con leche in the morning, and my cortadito in the afternoon! The first plant-based milk I tried was almond milk (the most popular one). I wasn’t really a fan of it. Even though I love almonds, the taste of almond in the milk was too overwhelming for me. Then coconut milk, again I love everything coconut, but not the milk. Third one, which I kinda liked, was macadamia milk. Since I wasn’t really into any of the ones I tried I went back to my usual 2% organic milk. But, then I found the Plain Extra Creamy Chobani Oatmilk. Made with the goodness of organic, gluten-free oats. A good source of calcium, vitamins A and D, without nuts, dairy, or lactose. Oh and so creamy … I was in heaven!
The consumption of plant-based milk has risen in recent years. The sale of plant milk gross more than $21 billion in global sales. The environmental impact on land to produce dairy milk is huge. Making plant-based milks better for the planet, but that doesn’t mean there’s no environmental impact.
Here are some stats from Global Citizen:
- Best for lowering your carbon footprint: Almond and Hazelnut
- Best for water conservation: Oat and Soy
- Best for land: Oat and Hemp
- Best practices: buy organic and diversify
Whatever milk alternative you choose, make sure to read the label as some plant milk may contain excessive sugar. Also almond milk is not suitable for children under two years of age, as it does not have high protein content. As always, do you homework before switching or trying anything new!