8 Best Plant Based Milk Varieties for Health

Plant-based milk is one of the health trends here to stay, and we don’t mind. One may choose to avoid dairy for many reasons, including veganism, lactose intolerance, and much more. Plant based milk is not only incredibly delicious, but they are also very healthy and way less fattening than dairy milk.A lot of plant-based varieties exist on the market in many forms. You can buy them in stores or even make some at home! Some plant milk, like soy milk, is standard due to its popularity, but many others, like spelled milk, are barely known. For someone entering the world of plant milk for the first time, finding the perfect plant milk for your needs may be intimidating. To make the process easier, we have listed the 17 best plant-based milk varieties that you need to try at least once. Read on to find the best one for you regarding texture, taste, price, and availability. You will also find some of the best plant based milk brands

Best Plant-based milk varieties of 2021 and their benefits

Soy milk benefitsSoy milk

Soy milk is the original plant milk. It is perhaps the most popular milk alternative, and for a good reason. Being made from soybeans, most brands fortify their products with vitamins and minerals to increase their nutritional value. It is rich and thick with a smooth mouthfeel. Its foam is much more airy and dense than other milk varieties, making for great coffee and lattes.

Nutritional information:

There are many soy milk varieties found in the market. Each one will have a different number of calories according to the manufacturing process. Some may be fortified with additional nutrients, while others may not be. Your best shot is checking the label on the package of your soy milk variety. if you want a general idea, we have provided the most common nutritional information for organic and unsweetened soy milk

  • Calories: 85
  • Fat: 4 grams (g)
  • Saturated fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugars: 1 g (no added sugars)
  • Protein: 7 g

Soy milk, therefore, has a lot of nutritional benefits in a small cup. It is much lesser in calories than cow’s milk and has much more protein. It also has some fiber for your digestive health.

Benefits:

Soy milk has a plethora of health benefits. It is perhaps one of the healthiest plant-based milk varieties. Some of its health benefits include

  • Soy milk is the best source for omega-three fatty acids, which reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimers.
  • It is rich in potassium (both fortified and nonfortified varieties) which is excellent for cardiovascular health, reducing blood pressure, and maintaining a regular pulse. Also great for limiting cholesterol.
  • It helps to limit the symptoms of menopause due to some phytoestrogens present in it. These act as a weak form of estrogen in the body, which helps balance the estrogen levels in the body and reduce symptoms like hot flashes.
  • Soy milk has a very high nutritional value. Many minerals and vitamins are added into fortified varieties, which keep your body healthy. These may include Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Potassium, Calcium, Retinol, Folate, and Choline.
  • It increases fertility in women due to the isoflavones found in it.
  • It prevents the leaching of calcium from bones during menopause and increases bone strength in older women.

Risks:

No study conclusively proves any health risks associated with the consumption of soy milk. However, there are some speculations.

  • The isoflavones found in soy milk have health benefits but are also thought to reduce thyroid function. No studies do not back up this claim. Having enough iodine in the diet will diminish any risks associated with this compound.
  • Some people also believe that soy milk is made for men. This is NOT TRUE! The phytoestrogen found in soy milk does not affect a man’s testosterone levels at all. It is 100% safe when consumed in moderate amounts.

Almond milk benefitsAlmond Milk

Almond milk is another trendy drink in the United States. Nearly everyone has tried it at least once in their lives. Compared to whole almonds, it lacks the fiber associated with them and is watered down; Despite this, it is loaded with nutrients and is incredibly healthy. Almond milk is made by blending almonds with water and straining the mixture. It can also be caused by adding water to almond butter. Having a thick, creamy texture like cow’s milk., it is loved by most as a substitute and consumed either on its own or in latte and other beverages.

Nutrition

Despite being nutritious, almond milk does not compare to regular cow’s milk in terms of nutrition. However, the fortified varieties come quite close. Almond milk has very few calories compared to cow’s milk. However, it has less protein than cow’s milk while containing almost the same content of fat. Here is a quick overview of the nutritional facts of 1 cup of almond milk

  • Calories: 40
  • Protein: 1.05g
  • Fat:2.5g
  • Carbohydrates:3.5g

Almond milk has that cow milk doesn’t is Vitamin E. Vitamin e is an incredible antioxidant and prevents many more diseases. However, the body does not absorb some minerals found in almond milk as well as it does in other dairy milk varieties. This is because almond milk contains phytic acid, which is an antinutrient. It prevents the uptake of nutrients by the body. Since almond milk lacks nutrients compared to breast milk, it should not be used as a milk substitute for babies.

Benefits:

  • Almond milk is deficient in calories compared to all milk varieties. It is therefore great for weight loss. It has excellent nutritional value for the caloric content that it possesses.
  • Unsweetened almond milk is great for diabetic people. This is because it has a shallow carbohydrate content compared to its fat and protein levels. Therefore, it does not cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Almond milk will also aid those on a low carb or keto diet.
  • Enriched almond milk is an excellent source of calcium and strengthens bones and teeth. It may contain up to 35% of an adult’s daily need compared to 25% in cow’s milk. However, both of these values depend a lot on the brand of milk.
  • Almond milk may prevent some types of cancer since it is high in vitamin e, an antioxidant.

Risks:

  • Almond milk is very low in protein compared to soy and cow’s milk. It only has about 1g of protein per 250ml compared to the 7-8g found in other varieties.
  • Almond milk is low in nutritional value, so it should never be given to infants. You should refrain from giving it to younger children as a milk substitute too.

coconut milk benefitsCoconut Milk

Coconut milk is one of my personal favorites! It is so rich and creamy and not watery at all, unlike most plant milk. It is thick, flavorful, and an opaque white liquid. The delicious fruity taste of coconut makes it one of the best-tasting plant milk. Do not confuse coconut milk with coconut water. Coconut milk is made using the flesh of a ripe brown coconut with water. Coconut water, on the other hand, is found naturally in green coconuts. Both are incredibly delicious, but coconut milk is far more nutritious than coconut water.Coconut milk comes in both wide and thin varieties. Thick coconut milk is made from straining the coconut flesh from a cheesecloth. The meat left inside the strained cheesecloth is mixed with warm water and strained again to make thin coconut milk.

Nutrition

Thick coconut milk is much more nutritious than thin varieties. But it also contains a much higher fat content. Coconut milk is naturally high in soluble fat content, which makes it a very calorie-rich food. Canned coconut milk is usually very different from coconut milk drinks and has a much higher fat content. The nutritional content of raw, canned coconut milk is as follows.

  • calories: 440
  • protein: 4.57 g
  • fat: 48.21 g
  • carbohydrates: 6.35 g

On the other hand, coconut milk drinks have such a nutritional profile in general:

  • calories: 74
  • protein: 0.50 g
  • fat: 4.99 g
  • carbohydrates: 7.01 g

As you can see, much of the fat content is removed in processing, making the drink far less likely to cause weight gain and such. Coconut milk is also high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin C. Many coconut milk varieties are also fortified with vitamin A, B-12, and D2, making them even healthier.

Benefits:

  • Despite being high in caloric content, coconut milk has been linked to weight loss. It contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which significantly affect weight loss and a reduction in waist size. These compounds stimulate the production of energy which helps weight reduction.
  • Coconut milk may help people with diabetes because it has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity.
  • Coconut milk helps boost immunity. It contains a substance called lauric acid, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. This ensures a healthier lifestyle with more minor diseases.
  • It may prevent some types of cancer because lauric acid is known to cause cancer cell death, especially in breast and endometrial tissue.

Risks:

  • Consuming too much coconut milk with a high carbohydrate diet can lead to weight gain.
  • Coconut milk may cause problems for those with IBS since it contains fermentable carbohydrates.
  • Very rarely, people may be allergic to some proteins found in coconut. One should keep an eye out for any allergic reactions

oat milk benefitsOat Milk

Oat milk has been skyrocketing in popularity for a few years. With its rich and creamy texture, oat milk is perfect for making lattes and other drinks. It also has a great froth! Oat milk also tastes similar to cow’s milk for anyone trying to make this switch. It does have an oat-y aftertaste to it. Compared to other plant milk. Oat milk is on the sweeter side and hence, will be great for those with a sweet tooth.

Nutrition:

Oat milk is very nutritious compared to most other plant varieties like coconut, cashew, etc. It does not correspond to the value of soy and cow’s milk but is still a great source of some nutrients. One cup of oat milk has roughly the following nutritional information:

  • calories: 130
  • carbohydrates: 15g
  • fat: 2.5g
  • Saturated fat: 0g
  • fiber: 2g
  • protein: 4g

Oat milk is higher in caloric content compared to other plant milk varieties. It also has a much higher carbohydrate content and a low-fat content with no saturated fats. Therefore, it is not keto-friendly and should not be consumed by people with diabetes because it will cause a spike in their blood sugar levels. Oat milk also boasts a calcium and vitamin D content that fulfills 35% and 25% of your daily need, respectively, through a single cup.

Benefits:

Oat milk is a very healthy drink that may provide many health benefits. We have mentioned some of them below:

  • Oat milk is free from most allergens and is excellent for nuts, soy, gluten, and lactose allergies.
  • It is an excellent source of Vitamin A, D, and B-12 when fortified. It also contains minerals like phosphorous, calcium, potassium, and iron.
  • Oat milk contains beta-glucans which are great for lowering cholesterol levels. This leads to improved heart conditions due to less LDL cholesterol.
  • The fiber in oat milk is excellent for maintaining gut health and reducing constipation.
  • Fortified oat milk has a lot of calcium and vitamin D added, which improve skeletal health.
  • Oat milk is usually fortified with more B vitamins which drastically improve moods and hair, nails, and skin.

Risks:

  • Many varieties in the market may contain added preservatives and flavoring, making the milk even higher in carbohydrates.
  • Some commercial varieties may not be completely gluten-free, so those with allergies need to be careful.
  • Oat milk may not be a good substitute for breast or cow’s milk for infants and babies. Despite this, it is safe for everyone.

Hemp Milk:hemp milk benefits

Hemp milk is considerably newer in the plant milk industry, but it has quickly gained popularity due to its rich, creamy texture. Most plant-based milk may feel watery and grainy. This has a nutty flavor which is not bland in the least. It is naturally flavorful and slightly sweet, unlike other varieties like rice or oat milk. Due to its creamy nature, hemp milk is excellent for making lattes, cappuccinos, and other milk beverages. It won’t split and separate its solid from the liquid when left waiting or added to hot drinks.

Nutrition:

Hemp milk is incredibly nutritious. It is lower in calories, fat, and carbohydrates than cow’s milk, making it a good choice for many. Although it is less in caloric content than cow’s milk, it may be more than other plant-based milk types. Let us look at the general nutritional information of hemp milk per cup:

  • Calories: 130
  •  Protein: 4 grams
  •  Fat: 3 grams
  •  Carbohydrates: 20 grams
  •  Fiber: 1 gram
  •  Sugar: 15 grams

Compared to other nondairy milk, hemp milk has all the essential amino acids, which provides a well-rounded protein source. Moreover, all of the fat in hemp milk is unsaturated and very healthy. These are omega 3 and 6 fats produced by the body but are needed for biological processes. Hemp milk is also a great source of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, D, B12, Iron, Phosphorus, Calcium, and Zinc, although many of these are added by manufacturers themselves.

Benefits:

  • The fiber in hemp milk is excellent for maintaining gut health and reducing constipation.
  • Hemp milk helps produce nitric acid in the body, which aids in vessel relaxation and hence, leads to healthier blood pressure.
  • It contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are great for skin health, reducing diseases like eczema.
  • The same fatty acids are also responsible for improving cognitive function and boosting brain health. They reduce the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • Hemp milk may also improve immune function owing to the fatty acid varieties found in it.

Risks:

  • Very rarely, people may have Hemp allergies which may be triggered by hemp milk.
  • Some varieties of hemp milk may contain added sugars which increase the risk of diabetes. Always look into the product information before buying.
  • Hemp milk contains compounds called tannins and saponins, which cause stomach aches in some people.

hazelnut milkHazelnut Milk

Hazelnut milk is perhaps a milk alternative that is not only delicious but also very creamy. It is made by roasting hazelnuts, soaking, blending, and straining them. This mixture is then watered down. Hazelnut milk is nutty and flavorful, and for anyone who likes hazelnuts, it will be a treat. Its flavor is more apparent as an aftertaste and therefore is barely detectable in coffees or lattes.

Nutrition:

Hazelnut milk is very nutritious. Being very low in carbohydrates when left unsweetened, it is great for people following a keto diet or diabetics. Although the exact nutritional information will depend on the product, here is a quick overview of the nutritional information of hazelnut milk:

  • Calories: 70-100
  • Fat: 4-8g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 1g

Benefits:

  • Hazelnuts contain antioxidants that prevent many types of cancer. The antioxidant content is much higher than walnuts, dark chocolate, and many other types of plant-based milk.
  • Hazelnut contains vitamin E that is an antioxidant, and improves the health of hair, skin, and nails.
  • The consumption of hazelnuts reduces LDL cholesterol which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Hazelnuts also reduce insulin resistance, being especially beneficial to those who have diabetes.
  • It is a good source of folate, which is used for the manufacture of blood cells.

Risks:

  • People with tree nut allergies may have allergic reactions to hazelnut.
  • Many hazelnut varieties in the market may contain additives and added sugars. Keep an eye out for the nutritional information.

macadamia milkMacadamia Milk:

Macadamia milk is one of the thicker and flavorful milk varieties. It is creamy and smooth and is, therefore, closer to cow’s milk It is made from macadamia nuts that are soaked, blended, and then strained to obtain the milk. It is also sweet enough in terms of taste even without the added sugars and additives, so you can try drinking it as is. Owing to its creamy nature, it is excellent for all milk-based beverages, including coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, and smoothies.

Nutrition:

  • Calories: 50-70 cal
  • Fat: 4-5 g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 1g

It has a higher fat content than most other plant-based milk varieties. This is what gives it its creamy texture. It is shallow in carbohydrates which makes it very suitable for a keto diet. It is also rich in vitamin b-12 and D and iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Benefits:

  • Macadamia nuts are a great source of monounsaturated fats, which are the healthy fats needed by your body.
  • These monounsaturated fats are great for heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering the LDL cholesterol levels in the body.
  • Macadamia milk tastes much more like regular milk than most other plant milk varieties.

Risks:

  • Since the milk is high in fat, consuming a lot of it with a carbohydrate-rich diet may lead to weight gain
  • People with nut allergies may face a reaction

tiger nut milkTiger Nut Milk

Contrary to what the name suggests, tiger nut milk is made from a vegetable called tiger nut, which is not a nut. The vegetable is soaked and then blended and strained. It forms rich, creamy milk that is slightly sweet and has a mild nutty aftertaste. It is the closest in taste to almond milk, in our opinion.

Nutrition:

  • Calories: 130
  • Carbohydrates: 24g
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Protein: 1.4g

Tiger nut milk is also rich in iron, manganese, potassium, and vitamin E to support a healthy body.

Benefits:

  • Not derived from nuts, so they are safe for people with tree nut allergies
  • The monounsaturated fat contained in tiger nut milk is excellent for cardiovascular health
  • Tiger nut milk boosts the immune system and fights off infections

Risks:

  • They contain some antinutrients which lower the nutrients absorbed by the body
  • The high level of carbohydrates may cause spikes in blood sugar, making tiger nut milk unsuitable for diabetics

Non-dairy Milk that You Can Buy Online:

Here are a few non-dairy milk products that you can find online.

Pacific Barista Series Original Soy Beverage (32oz)

p-soy-blender-plain_01We already mentioned above that soy milk is possibly the most popular alternative to dairy milk because of its smooth, thick, and airy texture. Its foam is perfect for making lattes and coffees. If you are looking for good quality soy beverage to buy online then look no more because the Pacific Barista Series Soy Beverage has everything you need. It has been specifically designed to withstand high temperatures. It creates the perfect velvety microfoam and it works even better than dairy for latte art. If we talk about its price, that is fairly reasonable as well considering the quality and quantity. You get 32 oz of a high-quality soy beverage for such a low price so it is a great buy in our opinion. If we talk about its ingredients, it has an organic soy base. By organic base, we mean water and whole organic soybeans. Moreover, it contains dried cane syrup, dipotassium phosphate, expeller-pressed canola oil, sodium citrate, natural flavor, sea salt, and carrageenan. If we talk about its nutrient composition, it contains 80 calories. The average soy milk contains about 85 calories so it is a fairly good composition. It contains 3 grams of fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 9g of carbohydrate, 1g of dietary fat, and 6g of sugars, 5g of protein, 230mg of sodium, 2% calcium, and 4% iron. 

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Pacific Barista Series Original Coconut Beverage (32oz)

If you are not a fan of soy milk, here is another product by Pacific Barista that you can try out. This is coconut milk and it comes with all the goodness of coconut milk but since it is canned, it has lesser fat and calories. If you are one of those people who like the waterless texture of coconut milk but are trying to cut out calories, the pacific barista series coconut beverage is your best buy. Its contents have been carefully put together to complement the taste of your coffee or espresso. You can also use this coconut milk for latte art because of its smooth microfoam texture. If we talk about its ingredients, it contains water, coconut cream (coconut milk, water, xanthan gum), Natural cane sugar, natural flavors, tripotassium citrate, sodium citrate, sea salt, carrageenan, gellan gum. The xantham gum is quite an interesting ingredient as it thickens the beverage. It also keeps the ingredients together and prevents them from separating. The price of the Pacific Barista Series Coconut Beverage is also more or less the same as the Pacific Barista Series Original Soy Beverage. The package size is the same as well which is 32 oz. So, if you are not a fan of soy milk, you can always opt for the Coconut one and find the favorite taste. 

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Pacific Organic Almond Original Non-Dairy Beverage (32oz)

If you are a fan of almonds, you are in for a treat. Pacific Organic Almond Original Non-Dairy Beverage is the most demanded product in the market all thanks to its healthy ingredients and fulfilling nutrients. One may think there is no alternative to milk which is better than milk itself but do not worry we have found the one for you. Pacific organic almond original non-dairy beverage is a treat in itself. The mouth-watering blend of coconut cream with sugar cane extractions is all you need in your morning coffee and as your daily dose of absolute satisfaction of joy. This 32 oz packaging has a lot more than what other companies may offer. It will fulfill your daily need for dairy. If we further explore the yummy ingredients of this Pacific Organic Almond Original Non-Dairy Beverage we will find nothing but organic, natural, and healthy products that do not have any side effects. The ingredients include a good and appropriate amount of Coconut cream which is made out of coconut milk and diluted Xanthan gum. Other than coconut cream it also has Natural sugar cane syrup which provides the natural and organic flavors of the sugar cane, Tripotassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, and Sea Salt are the important and harmless chemicals that are added in the Pacific Organic Almond Original Non-Dairy Beverage for preservation and protection purposes. Lastly, the product contains Carrageenan and Gellan Gum which are best known to provide the thick consistency and beautiful frothing of the milk. This beverage can be enjoyed with coffee, tea and it can be taken as a beverage itself. Once you start taking this beverage there is no coming back to dairy. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Plant-based/ Non-dairy milk?

It is the milk that is free from all dairy and animal products. It is usually made from some plant or nuts.

Is almond milk plant based?

Yes! Almond milk is completely dairy-free. It is hence suitable for vegans and people with lactose intolerance

How is plant milk made?

Plant milk is usually made by soaking the plants in water and then blending them. Later, the mixture is strained and fortified with the essential nutrients

Does almond milk have iron?

Almon milk may not be the best choice for you if you have an iron deficiency. An antinutrient in almond milk prevents absorption of iron in the body if any of it is present.

Is there estrogen in Almond milk?

No, there are no hormones or other animal substances in almond milk.

What is the healthiest plant based milk?

well, they all are healthy in their own ways. All of the plant milks we mentioned have their own merits, so it is only a matter of your preference and your health conditions.

Conclusion: Value of Non-dairy milk

Plant-based milk is an excellent substitute for cow’s milk and is incredibly nutritious. Different varieties are suitable for people of different ages and health conditions. It may sometimes be slightly more pricey than normal milk, but trust us, it is definitely worth it. Just look into which type has all you need and drink away!

 

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