Oct 11, 2022 Consider The (Milk) Alternatives

Though nondairy milk alternatives have been around forever (literally, since antiquity), most, with the exception of soy milk and maybe coconut milk, were not readily available in supermarkets until fairly recently.

Today, milk alternatives—for those who are lactose-intolerant or just want more options—abound. Some are nutrient-dense, others highly caloric with no nutritive value. A few have even been linked to higher risks of health problems like elevated blood sugar, digestive issues, fertility issues and respiratory problems, so do your homework before you buy. Milk alternatives generally come from one of these five sources:

  1. Cereals (rice, oats)
  2. Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts)
  3. Legumes (soy, peanuts)
  4. Seeds (hemp, flax)
  5. Ancient grains (teff, quinoa)

Popular milk alternatives include:

  1. Coconut Milk. This delicious plant milk contains healthy saturated fats, calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. Almond Milk. In addition to being nutritious, this rich, nutty milk may offer some heart-health benefits as well.
  3. Oat Milk. This trendy option is having a moment right now. Because it contains fiber, it’s more filling than some other milks, but it’s lower in protein and higher in calories and carbs than many.
  4. Soy Milk. While some studies point to health risks (such as decreased male fertility and thyroid problems), this controversial milk is a good source of protein and remains a popular option.
  5. Rice Milk. Rice milk may taste good, but it’s high in carbs and low in nutrients.

Learn more about Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center.