A recent survey has shown that the number of people taking cow milk has declined over the years. This is attributed to several reasons, including intolerance, allergies, and an increasing interest in the vegan lifestyle.
Luckily, there are numerous excellent-tasting and nutritious plant-based drinks one can substitute with.
How do you pick the right option for you? Here are some considerations to have in mind.
1. Sugar Content
Sugars are at times added to milk alternatives to add texture and flavor. This can be in both flavored and unflavored varieties.
While you may want to cut down on your sugar intake, treating yourself with some sweetened almond milk coffee creamer can be a great choice you make.
2. Milk Additives
While most plant-based milk options taste great, they often tend to be thinner than cow milk. To thicken them and add texture, additives such as carrageenan, salt, and vegetable gum are often added. This makes the milk thicker, adds more texture, and helps lengthen its shelf-life.
While these additives are not necessarily detrimental to your health, some people might not tolerate them very well. In some people, thickening agents will cause gastrointestinal problems and inflammation. These issues negate the need for an attempt at a healthier, plant-based diet.
If you switch to a plant-based drink and suffer through some of these problems, check for these additives in your milk, and try and find milk without them. If your symptoms ease up, eliminate those brands.
3. Nutritional Content
The most common plant-based milk options are almond, oat, soy, coconut, and rice milk.
These drinks will offer different nutrients, so your choice of milk should be made with your eating habits in mind. For example, if you are mainly vegan, be sure to pick an option high in protein, like soy milk. Sufficient calcium is also key for bones and teeth.
When making your purchases, ensure to look at the ingredient list and ensure the milk type you are getting will deliver the required nutrients to avoid deficiencies.
Nutrition aside, if you want a milk substitute that will froth, check for a higher fat and protein content.
Plant-based diets have been proven to be very beneficial to one’s overall health. If you have to go this route for medical reasons or enjoy better health, it helps to know that you will have numerous nutritious, great-tasting options.