The Best Milk Alternatives

Wipe that mustache off your face. With milk blamed for a growing list of health issues, we put the leading alternatives to the test.

girl milking cow

A Dutch girl poses while milking a cow circa 1933.     Photo: Nationaal Archief/Wikimedia

MAKE YOUR OWN: Hemp Milk

Ingredients:
½ cup shelled hemp seeds
4 cups water
3 tablespoons sweetener
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions:
Combine all -ingredients and blend until frothy. Strain through cheesecloth.
Keeps for three
to five days in
the refrigerator.

EVERY YEAR, NEW RESEARCH ratchets up doubt about the health benefits of milk, including a 2012 study linking dairy consumption to Type 1 diabetes. Even more troubling: the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders estimates that some 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, a condition that causes everything from minor bloating and cramps to inflammatory bowel disease—and helps explain the booming market for nondairy alternatives. Last year, soy and almond milk brought in nearly $1 billion in combined sales, a 30 percent increase since 2010. But not all milks are created equal, and many are low in calcium and protein. Here's how the most popular alternatives compare.

 

THE ORIGINAL

 

COW
ORGANIC VALLEY GRASS-FED 2%
COST PER SERVING* $1.25
CALORIES 130
PROTIEN 10 g
CALCIUM 35 percent of RDA
PROS A prime source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin D, all of which your body needs.
CONS Doesn't have the right ratio of carbs to protein for optimal recovery; some studies suggest milk protein could -actually contribute to bone loss.





THE BEST ALTERNATIVES

 

GOAT
MEYENBERG LOW FAT
COST PER SERVING* $1.35
CALORIES 142
PROTIEN 8.4 g
CALCIUM 30 percent
PROS Calcium and protein content are comparable to cow’s milk, but it's easier to digest, thanks to lower levels of lactose; the best alternative to cow's milk.
CONS Expensive; higher in fat; can be hard to find (get it fresh at your local farmers’ market); some find the taste, like feta cheese, a little off--putting.







hemp milk

HEMP
LIVING HARVEST TEMPT ORIGINAL
COST PER SERVING* $1.25
CALORIES 100
PROTIEN 2 g
CALCIUM 30 percent
PROS Abundant in -omega-3 fatty -acids, magnesium, beta-carotene, and iron; has all essential amino acids; the best nondairy -alternative to cow’s milk.
CONS Omega-3’s sourced from hemp are not as readily absorbed as those from other sources like salmon; taste is harsh for some.







THE BIGGEST SELLERS

 

hemp milk

ALMOND
PACIFIC ORGANIC ORIGINAL
COST PER SERVING* $1
CALORIES 60
PROTIEN 1 g
CALCIUM 2 percent
PROS High in vitamin E, low in cholesterol, no saturated fats.
CONS Unless -fortified, low in both protein and calcium; off-limits to people with nut allergies.







hemp milk

SOY
SILK ORGANIC ORIGINAL
COST PER SERVING* $1.25
CALORIES 100
PROTIEN 7 g
CALCIUM 30 percent
PROS Nearly as much protein per cup as cow’s milk but significantly lower in saturated fat (0.5 grams versus 3 grams).
CONS Low in leucine, so the body doesn’t absorb the protein as easily; phyto-estrogen in the milk may lower testosterone.







hemp milk

COCONUT
SO DELICIOUS ORIGINAL
COST PER SERVING* $1
CALORIES 70
PROTIEN 0 g
CALCIUM 10 percent
PROS Medium-chain -fatty acids (MCFAs) are thought to increase metabolism; lower in sugar, which helps prevent insulin spikes.
CONS No protein, and studies have shown an increase in cholesterol among those who consumed a diet high in MCFAs; contains fortified calcium, which absorbs poorly.

*SERVING SIZE: EIGHT OUNCES

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Comments