Have you tried dairy-free milk? Whether it’s because of the low calories, diet restrictions or personal flavor preferences, this dairy-free fad has grabbed the attention of many-a-health-centric folks in recent years. If this is news to you, keep reading to learn how some non-dairy alternatives stack up to their Bessy counterpart. PFC Director of Nutrition, Jessica Janc weighs in on each dairy alternative with a taste test, nutrition facts and different ways you can incorporate dairy-free milk into your daily routine!
1. Almond Milk
Why it’s good for you: This is a good alternative for lactose free needs. It is high in vitamin D, high in Omega’s, low in calories and lower in sugar than regular milk. You need fat in your milk to absorb your fat soluble vitamins that include A,D, E, and K.
Taste Test: It doesn’t taste like milk but has a nice nutty flavor to it.
Uses: Smoothies, in cereal, in coffee. They even have an almond milk creamer that is delicious!
2. Rice Milk
Why it’s good for you: Its another lactose free alternative if you have issues with lactose. It is higher than sugar than almond milk but about the same as milk.
Taste Test: Very mild flavor. Consistency of skim milk.
Uses: Cereal, coffee, smoothies
3. Soy Milk
Why it’s good for you: Another lactase free alternative that you can find at any coffee shop. Studies show that 25gms of soy protein is great for you. Make sure you get the organic option so that it isn’t Genetically modified.
Taste Test: The taste is fabulous. Very nutty and creamy.
Uses: Smoothies, coffee, baking, cereal. A lot of kids tend to prefer the taste of soy over almond or rice milk.
4. Coconut Milk
Why it’s good for you: Another lactose free alternative that more and more coffee shops are starting to carry. It has healthy fats that your body needs to burn fat and is the closest taste to milk. Coconut has been shown to have Lauric acid in it to lower the LDL “bad” cholesterol and raise the HDL “Good” cholesterol.
Taste Test: Probably the closest taste to milk. It doesn’t have a strong coconut flavor but you havet to be careful and look at labels to make sure they don’t add a lot of sugar to it. Not all brands are equal.
Uses: Baking, cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, coffee
5. Cashew Milk
Why it’s good for you: Another lactose free alternative. Gives you healthy omega fats that will help you absorb your vitamin D in the milk.
Taste Test: Very nutty. If you like cashews, you’ll love the milk!
Uses: Smoothies, cereal, coffee
Why a lot of nutritionists want most people to go dairy free: Studies show that a lot of people are lactose intolerant and don’t even realize it. If you have weight on you this may be caused by dairy, causing an inflammatory response in the body. Other signs: runny nose every morning, stomach ache after consuming it, a cough that won’t go away, weight that won’t budge. Giving up dairy or at least not drinking cows milk and taking down your dairy consumption is a great way to start and see if you begin to lose weight or if any of these symptoms subside. Try it for a week and take note of your bodies responses! You just might feel a whole lot better!