Nutrition: Plant-based milks
Navigating non-dairy milk
By Hannah Dentry, WAC Dietitian
Soy, almond and coconut milk are just a few of the options that can replace dairy milk in everything from smoothies, to baked goods, and your morning coffee.
Why make the switch?
- Plant-based milks are safe for people with dairy allergies and lactose intolerance.
- Plant-based milks fit perfectly into vegan diets.
- Plant-based milks are better for the environment.
Why stick with dairy?
Dairy milk provides nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of your body:
- Calcium: Needed for building bones and teeth and in maintaining bone mass.
- Vitamin D: Dairy milk is fortified with vitamin D which maintains proper levels of calcium and phosphorous, helping to build and maintain bones.
- Potassium: Helps maintain healthy blood pressure.
- Protein: The building blocks for everything in the body from muscles to hormones. Protein also helps you feel full and satisfied.
What to look for?
Select plant-based milks that are:
- Fortified in Calcium and vitamin D
- Non-dairy milks can have as much as 5 teaspoons of sugar per cup. That constitutes 42 percent of your daily limit.
- Not rice milk. Rice milk can contain arsenic, a human carcinogen.
- As nutritionally similar nutritionally to dairy milk as possible. (See chart below)
|Calorie||Added Sugar (tsp)||Protein
*This chart includes estimates based on popular brands of plant-based milks
—Posted February 20, 2019