Milk is considered as one of the most healthy products which is included in everyone’s daily diet. We consume milk in different forms like adding it to our tea, coffee, having plain milk, smoothies, yogurt etc. Some people love drinking milk, while others avoid having milk due to dietary restrictions, allergies, intolerance or simply their personal preference. In this post, we talk about Healthy Milk Substitutes.
In the past, there were very few options or alternatives to milk, but today we have many healthy substitutes which are also very popular. Some of the main reasons for trying out other options vs milk are :
- Milk Allergy.
- Vegetarian or vegan diet.
- Lactose Intolerance.
- Dietary restrictions.
Healthy Milk Substitutes
1. Soy Milk.
Soy milk is made from soybeans or soy protein isolate. It is very close to the nutrition level of cow’s milk. It is creamy and mild in taste. Sometimes thickeners, vegetable oil or flavors are added to improve its taste and consistency.
It contains almost the same amount of protein but gives half the amount of fats, calories and carbohydrates. However, there are some concerns about consuming soy milk. Soybeans contain a high level of phytic acid which restricts the absorption of minerals like calcium, iron, zinc etc in the body. The only way to decrease the phytate level is via sprouting and fermenting. In short, drinking soy milk regularly on a daily basis may not be good for you.
While choosing a soy milk, always buy organic soy milk to get the best nutritional benefits.
2. Coconut Milk.
Coconut milk is made from white coconut and water. All you need is freshly grated coconut and mix the same with a little water and blend it. Then take a smooth cloth and separate the coconut milk from the pulp. It is one of the most healthy options used in different types of cuisines like Indian or Asian cuisines.
Coconut milk has healthy fats which can be easily digested and so the same can be consumed in moderation. Coconut milk is creamy in texture and sweet in taste. It contains 1/3 the calories and 1/2 the fat of cow’s milk.
Further, it also contains less amount of protein and carbohydrates. Research has also indicated that coconut milk helps in reducing one’s appetite, thereby helping in weight loss. It is fine to consume a moderate amount of fresh coconut milk. Fresh coconut milk is used in Indian and South Asian cuisines.
3. Rice Milk.
In India, rice milk is eaten as a poor man’s staple diet. It is made from white or brown rice boiled in water. These days you can find rice milk which is thick and good in taste and texture. It has a natural sweet flavor and is watery in consistency. It is one of the least allergic of all non-diary milks. It is safe to consume in case of any allergies or intolerance, especially in the case of small children.
Rice milk is similar in the number of calories but double in carbohydrates as compared to cow’s milk. It also has fewer fats and proteins. Further, rice milk has a high glycemic index and thus it raises the blood sugar level. Hence it might not be a good option for people suffering from diabetes.
4. Almond Milk.
Almond Milk is made from whole almonds or almond butter and water. It is sweet and nutty in flavor. It is normally added to coffee, tea and smoothies and acts as a substitute to cow’s milk. It is low in calories and fat. Further, it is a natural source of vitamin E which helps in preventing diseases caused by free radicals.
Almond Milk is mostly made of water and blanched almonds, which has less nutritional value. Further, it also has phytic acid which helps in reducing the absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium in the body. You can have almond milk which can be made at home with almonds, which has the skin on it. It will have more fiber and other nutrients.
5. Oat Milk.
Oat Milk is a mixture of oats and water. It can be freshly made at home. It is naturally sweet and mild in flavor. It is mostly used in cereals and smoothies. Oat’s milk is rich in carbohydrates but low in fats and proteins.
Research has indicated that it helps in reducing the cholesterol levels as it helps in reducing the absorption of cholesterol in the body. Therefore it helps in the prevention of heart diseases.
These are some easy options which can be used for substituting milk in your diet. Before buying substitutes or other options for milk, ensure the following things are kept in mind –
- Avoid buying added sugar or sweetened or flavored variety of substitutes.
- Look at the cost.
- Ensure that calcium, minerals and other nutrients are available in the product.
- Check whether you are allergic to plant-based products like soy or nuts like almonds.
It is good to have other options for milk but ensure that you have a balanced diet which fulfills all your nutritional requirements.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article on Healthy Milk Substitutes.Tags: Healthy Milk Substitutes, soy milk