MPH Blog

Non-Dairy Alternatives to Milk

There is nothing like eating a spoonful of ice cream on a warm summer day or enjoying a nice bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning. However, dairy doesn’t sit well with everyone. If you are trying to eliminate dairy from your diet, it can seem like all your favorite treats turn into temptations you have a hard time avoiding. Luckily, there are many non-dairy alternatives that allow you to indulge in your favorite treats while still adhering to your dietary restrictions! Which dairy milk substitute is best for you will depend on the reason for the change.

Are you 1 of the 50 million Americans who are lactose intolerant? Do you not like the taste of milk from cows? Are you trying to reduce the amount of animal-based products you consume? Whatever the reason may be, remember that there are plenty of alternatives to choose from. Check out some popular non-dairy alternatives to milk below.

Almond Milk

One of the most popular dairy substitutes is almond milk. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and is generally low in calories. Many people prefer it for the taste. Though not high in protein (with only 1 gram per cup), it does offer more vitamin E and calcium than traditional cow’s milk. When purchasing almond milk from the store, be careful of cartons marked with “lecithin,” which is a starch used to thicken the drink to match the average milk consistency.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is another great alternative to cow’s milk. It became a staple for many non-dairy drinkers, appearing in popular drinks at Starbucks and in ice cream. Soy milk is most similar to cow’s milk nutritionally. One cup of soy milk provides 7 grams of protein and plenty of calcium. If you buy the unsweetened variety, you can also reduce your sugar intake. However, as one of the most genetically modified produce items, you should be aware of where the soybeans came from. Choose non-GMO, organic brands to avoid harmful chemicals or pesticides.

Coconut Milk

Fans of coconuts flock to this milk option, preferring the sweet flavor. Often used in curries and desserts, it can serve as a good alternative to cow’s milk. However, it does not offer much in terms of nutrients. It lacks both protein and vitamins, compared to other options. While some manufacturers may fortify the drink with added nutrients, be careful of any additives or sweeteners. Some brands could be stocked with sugars, making it just as bad as grabbing a soda or other sugary drink.

Hemp Milk

Made from hemp seeds, this milk serves as a great alternative to dairy. High in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, hemp milk is both nutritious and delicious. Vegans and vegetarians, in particular, will benefit from its nutritional value. Find hemp milk that is unsweetened and fortified with vitamins and calcium for a great, healthy, and balanced drink.

Eliminating dairy doesn’t mean you have to give up flavor and nutrition. Given the increasing number of lactose intolerant individuals and health-conscious individuals, more non-dairy alternatives are emerging now than ever before. You can now find ice cream and milk without any harmful dairy in them! So how about that bowl of ice cream or cereal this weekend?

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.