What’s the deal with dairy-alternatives?
Many people are exploring non-dairy alternatives on the market for various reasons including allergies to dairy. It is important to note, however, that there are differences in regards to the nutrition profile of these different options.
There are a few important components to keep in mind when evaluating which non-dairy choice might be the best fit for your needs:
Calories: The calories vary quite a bit depending on the non-dairy selection. The lowest calorie choice on the market tends to be almond milk (Average=30 kcals per 8oz) while soy, rice and oat-based milk options (Average=100-120 kcals per 8oz) tend to contain more calories.
Carbohydrates: Individuals monitoring carbohydrate intake might want to stick to almond milk as one of the lowest carb choices. Soy, oat milk and rice milk options are all much higher in carbohydrates per serving.
Protein: Protein aids in satiety or the feeling of fullness that one experiences. The amount of protein varies with soy, pea protein and flax milk options being the best choices for the grams of protein per serving. Rice and almond milk provide minimal protein.
Percentage daily value of calcium: Non-dairy milk options are often fortified with calcium and the percentage daily value meets and sometimes even exceeds that provided by cow’s milk.
Taste/Culinary purpose: The taste and texture of non-dairy milk options vary and personal preference often determines which options might be the best fit. Oftentimes keeping at least two different types of non-dairy milk options for different purposes can be useful.