While traditional cow’s milk still dominates the market, research shows the demand for non-dairy, plant-based milk is growing significantly.
One of the prime reasons why most people prefer plant-based milk products is to avoid symptoms of cow milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance. Moreover, folks believe plant-based milk is more ethical, sustainable, and healthy as compared to cow’s milk.
In this section, we have listed the benefits of drinking plant-based milk products and cow’s milk products. The taste and nutrition of different milk vary considerably, so it might take a while to find the one that’s best for you.
Cow milk is the primary animal milk consumed by humans. It is high in protein, vitamin B, vitamin D, various minerals, and antioxidants. Cow’s milk mimics human breast milk more closely than any other type of milk; and thus remains the most popular type of milk.
Popular Plant-Based Milks
Soy Milk – produced by soaking and grinding soybeans
Soy milk is the most common substitute for cow’s milk. Whenever a child or adult is diagnosed with CMPA (cow’s milk protein allergy) or lactose intolerance, this is advised.
Compared to almond milk and coconut milk – this plant-based milk has the highest amount of protein per serving. Most brands of soya milk are fortified with calcium and vitamin D in order to increase the nutritional value of the drink.
Oat Milk – made by blending water and oats
Mild and creamy in flavour – oat milk provides more riboflavin, or vitamin B-2, than cow’s milk. However, this milk has the highest amount of calories and carbohydrates of all plant-based milk varieties. Since oat milk contains natural sugar, it can be easily included in a child’s diet plan or a pregnancy nutrition plan.
Almond Milk – made by blending almonds with water
Almond milk is one of the most widely consumed plant-based milk variety. Lightly sweet with a very slight nutty flavour – this plant-based milk is vegan and naturally lactose-free.
It’s low in calories and contains no saturated fat.
Coconut Milk – made of water and coconut cream
Coconut milk is high in saturated fat. It has some protein, but does not provide a significant amount of vitamins or minerals. It is delicious and has almost no cholesterol. The biggest drawback of coconut milk is the flavour of coconut. In case one does not cherish the coconut smell, it can be difficult to consume it.
Pea Protein Milk – made from yellow peas
Pea milk or Ripple milk, is the newest plant-based milk. It is vegan, soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free and lactose-free. It is a good source of protein and omega 3. It is also fortified with some nutrients. Creamy and light – it is marketed as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to almond milk.
All these milk varieties are easily available in the market. The many types, brands, flavours, and quality of milk can make it overwhelming to select something that tastes good and that contains adequate nutrition. However, if you need precise information on which type of milk can be included in a pregnancy diet plan, lactation diet plan or a child diet plan, consult a qualified dietician. Depending on your needs and cravings a recognised dietician will give you honest, clear and concise advice on your desired diet plan.