Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, or simply fancy tasting other milk alternatives than dairy milk, you’ll be pleased to know that you have a variety to choose from. From peanut to almond, soy to oat, cashew to rice milk, it can be tough to pick the right milk for you. Below, we’ve compiled the good and bad of three types of popular kinds of milk – almond, soy, and oats. We compare their nutritional value and health benefits to help you make the right choice.

Almond Milk

Raw almonds are excellent sources of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and important vitamins. This explains why almond milk has gained popularity in recent years. Almond milk is made by adding water to almonds, and then blending and straining the mixture.

Store-bought almond milk contains sugar and has been fortified with vitamins and minerals, such as calcium. Other brands add vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin B12, minerals that are naturally found in cow milk.

Almond milk has the lowest calories than other types of milk, particularly if unsweetened. The milk also tends to be free of saturated fat and is naturally lactose-free. It also contains high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, a type of healthy fat that’s said to aid in weight loss.

Almond Milk Nutritional Value:

  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Calories: 30-60
  • Carbs: 3.5 grams
  • Sugar: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 0.5 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Calcium: 35 percent of the daily recommended value
  • Vitamin E: 110 percent of the daily recommended value
  • Vitamin D: 18 percent of the daily recommended value
  • Potassium: 4 percent of the daily recommended value

Pros:

  • Low Sugar Content (Unsweetened Variety). Almond milk is naturally low in sugar, making it a great alternative for people trying to lose or manage weight. We know that eating too much sugar is to blame for various chronic diseases. While you can sweeten your almond milk, it’s advisable to take it as it is to reap more health benefits.
  • High in Vitamin E. With more than 100 percent of the daily value, almond milk is a rich source of vitamin E. This is a fat-soluble vitamin that protects your cells from free radical damage. Vitamin E also promotes good eyesight and healthy skin and has been found to play a role in protecting us against chronic conditions like heart disease.

Cons:

  • Low in Protein. Almond milk contains only one percent of protein per cup (240ml) compared to soy and cow’s milk which supply 7 and 8 grams, respectively. We need protein for major bodily functions like muscle growth, bone and skin structure, as well as, production of hormones and enzymes.
  • Some Brands Contain Additives. Store-bought almond milk is processed and may contain additives, like gums, sugar, salt, flavors, and emulsifiers. While the gums and emulsifiers are used to give almond milk texture and consistency, they may have certain side effects on your body in the long run.

Oat Milk

Oat milk has a creamy consistency and is widely used as a dairy substitute in many recipes. It’s made by soaking and blending oats with water and straining the pulp to leave behind a smooth drink that looks and tastes like dairy milk.

Oat milk contains more carbohydrates than most other options and can be a good post-workout drink. It also contains more fiber than certain plant-based milks, such as rice and almonds milk.

Store-bought oat milk may contain fortified nutrients, water, oil, preservatives, and sweeteners.

Oat Milk Nutritional Value:

  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Calories: 120
  • Carbs: 16 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 3 gram
  • Sugar: 7 grams
  • Calcium: 25 percent of the daily recommended value
  • Vitamin A: 20 percent of the daily recommended value
  • Vitamin B12: 50 percent of the daily recommended value
  • Potassium: 4 percent of the daily recommended value

Pros:

  • Vitamin D: With up to 20 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin D, oat milk can help build and maintain strong bones.
  • Calcium: Oat milk supplies 25 percent of the daily value of calcium, which is needed for maintaining strong bones and teeth.
  • Dietary fiber: Oat milk contains 3 grams of fiber, which is essential in digestion and preventing constipation.
  • Riboflavin: Riboflavin (vitamin B12) helps the body convert food into fuel and is required by the liver, eyes, hair, and skin for proper functioning.

Cons:

  • High-calorie count: Oat milk has 120 calories per cup. Combined with calories from other foods, it can surpass your caloric intake.
  • High in carbohydrates. Oat milk has the highest amount of carbs than almond and soy milk. This might not be a good alternative for those eating a low-carb diet.
  • It may contain gluten. Some manufacturers that process oats also process wheat, and harvesting equipment may be shared between the crops.

Soy Milk

Soy milk has been used in many kitchens for decades and was the first plant-based milk alternative to be sold in the U.S. Soy beverages are great options for those with lactose intolerance and contain the highest amount of protein per serving than almond and oat milk. If you buy processed soy milk, opt for a brand that’s fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

Soy Milk Nutritional Value:

  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Calories: 60-90
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Protein: 4-7 grams
  • Calcium: 20-45 percent of the daily recommended value
  • Potassium: 300mg

 Pros:

  • More protein contents. Soy milk has the highest protein levels than almond and oat milk. It’s a good protein source for vegans who don’t get protein from meat sources.
  • It’s cholesterol-free, making it a good option for those concerned about heart disease.
  • Soy milk contains isoflavones which are said to protect against some cancers.

Cons:

  • Contains antinutrients, such as trypsin inhibitors that reduce the efficiency with which the body digest protein. Other antinutrients include lectins, phytic acids, and indigestible oligosaccharides.
  • It’s harder to make and time-consuming than the other two.

Almond Milk Vs. Oat Milk, Vs. Soy Milk: Which Is Best for You?

If you’re looking for a low-calorie option and aren’t concerned much about taste, almond milk takes the crown. Oat milk has more proteins and fiber that help keep you full for longer, a good option for weight management. Soy milk, on the other hand, contains complete protein, meaning it has all essential amino acids. It also contains antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation.

All images by Shutterstock

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

About Author

No Comment

Leave A Comment

Please enter your name. Please enter an valid email address. Please enter a message.