Top 3 Dairy Beverage Alternatives
Dairy beverage alternatives are on the rise.
Whether people are choosing to drink less milk for health, environmental or ethical reasons, consumer behavior is driving growth of dairy-free alternatives to cow’s milk. Sales of nut and plant milks grew by 9 percent in 2018, according to the Plant Based Foods Association.
The best way to find your go-to dairy beverage alternative is through experimentation – have fun tasting your way through the plant-based cow’s milk alternatives available at your grocery store.
For a preview of what’s available, here’s a peek at the top three dairy beverage alternatives:
Made from ground almonds and water, a cup of almond milk has a quarter of the calories, half of the fat and a fraction of the protein of 2 percent cow’s milk. One thing almond milk contains that cow’s milk does not is fiber.
Soy milk, the liquid extract of soybeans, is higher in protein than other dairy substitutes, containing nearly the same amount as cow’s milk, around 7 grams per eight-ounce serving. Soy milk also contains healthy fats and fiber, with about the same amount of calories as skim milk.
Thick and creamy, coconut milk is made from the liquid of grated brown coconut meat. Coconut milk from a can is very high in fat – one cup contains 550 calories – but coconut milk from a carton, usually found near a grocer’s selection of cow’s milk alternatives, is less caloric as it has been watered down.
Other dairy beverage alternatives include hemp milk, made from hemp seeds, cashew milk, made from cashews, oat milk, made from oat groats and rice milk, made from boiled rice. With growing consumer demand for nut and plant milks on the rise, the selection and availability of dairy beverage alternatives will continue to improve and grow. If a dairy allergy has led you to non-dairy milk alternatives, consult an allergist and registered dietitian nutritionist to determine which milk substitutes would work best for you.