alternatives to cow’s milk

Do you want alternatives to cow’s milk but are confused by all the options?  So was I.  I did a comparison of all the options and was very surprised at what I learned.  We hope the following information is helpful.

Type of Milk (1 cup)

Calories

Fat

Sat. Fat

Chol.

Protein

Carbs

Sugars

Whole cow’s milk

 150

 8 g

 5 g

 35 mg

 8 g

 12 g

 12 g

2% cow’s milk

 130

 5 g

 3 g

 20 mg

 8 g

 13 g

 12 g

1% cow’s milk

 110

 2.5 g

 1.5 g

 15 mg

 8 g

 13 g

 12 g

Skim cow’s milk

 90

 0 g

 0 g

 <5 mg

 8g

 13 g

 12 g

Soy, unsweetened

 80-90

 4-4.5 g

 0.5 g

 0 mg

 7-9 g

 4-5 g

 1-2 g

Soy, plain/original

 70-130

 2-4 g

 0-0.5 g

 0 mg

 5-8 g

 8-16 g

 6-9 g

Almond, unsweetened

 30-50

 2.5 g

 0 g

 0 mg

 1 g

 1-5 g

 0-1 g

Almond, original

 50-60

 2.5 g

 0 g

 0 mg

 1 g

 6-8 g

 5-6 g

Hemp, unsweetened

 70

 6 g

 0.5 g

 0 mg

 2 g

 1 g

 0 g

Hemp, original

 100-140

 5-6 g

 0.5 g

 0 mg

 2-4 g

 8-20 g

 6-14 g

Rice, plain

 80-130

 2-2.5 g

 0 g

 0 mg

 1 g

 16-27 g

 8-14 g

Oat, original

 110-130

 1.5-2.5 g

 0 g

 0 mg

 4 g

 24 g

 19 g

Hazelnut, original

 110

 3.5 g

 0 g

 0 mg

 2 g

 18 g

 14 g

Coconut, unsweetened

 50

 5 g

 5 g

 0 mg

 1 g

 1 g

 0 g

Coconut, original

 80

 5 g

 5 g

 0 mg

 1 g

 7 g

 6 g

Chart from www.sparkpeople.com.

  • None of the non-dairy milks have as much protein as dairy milk.
  • The non-dairy milks are fortified with additional Calcium and Vitamin D which makes them equivalent to dairy milks in those categories.
  • Almond milk is very nutritious.  It has magnesium, manganese, selenium, potassium and Vitamin E, but not as much protein as almond nuts.
  • Rice milk is the most hypoallergenic of all the non-dairy milks but contains a high level of carbs.
  • Oat milk is another plant-based milk so it is cholesterol and lactose free. Like rice milk it is high in sugar.
  • Hemp milk was new to me and gets high marks.  If you have nut and/or soy allergies this might be a good alternative.  It contains more protein than almond or rice milk. It’s also a good source of Omega-3 fats.
  • Coconut milk looks like it would be high in calories because of its creamy consistency.  It’s fat is ‘good’ fat but it does have a high level of saturated fat.
  • Hazelnut milk is smooth and creamy.   It would be delicious as a base for smoothies or soups.  It has a nutty flavor.
  • Make sure to check the calories on the flavored versions of the non-dairy alternatives.  They tend to be higher.