5 Best Milk Alternatives for Your Coffee

Milk alternatives are plant-based and free from animal cruelty (Image via Unsplash/Dhanya Purohit)
Milk alternatives are plant-based and free from animal cruelty. (Image via Unsplash/Dhanya Purohit)

Milk alternatives can prove to be a safer and more convenient substitute for dairy for people who suffer from lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. They're also ideal for those who want to get into a plant-based or vegan diet.

Milk alternatives can be used to prepare several dishes, including tea, coffee, porridge, and vegan milkshakes. They're usually extracted from plant sources using industrial machinery and purified and packed for consumption.

In this article, we will discuss the five best milk alternatives along with their nutritional values and health benefits.

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Why Choose Milk Alternatives?

One cup of whole cow milk provides 146 calories, eight grams of fat, eight grams of protein, and 13 grams of carbohydrates, which makes them extremely nutritious. However, dairy can cause health issues in some people. Meanwhile, they are avoided by many due to ethical or religious reasons. The reasons why milk alternatives are better are:

  • Milk allergy: It has been found that some people get allergic reactions whenever they consume cow milk. That could be due to certain components of milk like lactalbumin.
  • Lactose intolerance: Roughly around 75% of the world’s population cannot tolerate lactose present in dairy. They have a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, which is required to digest lactose in the gut. Lactose intolerance can cause bloating, stomach pain, gas formation, and discomfort.
  • Ethical and social restrictions: Some people do not consume dairy due to ethical reasons. For example, vegans do not consume products derived from or produced by animals. Some religious groups around the world also avoid dairy.
  • Health risks: The presence of hormones, antibiotics, and contaminants can pose health risks. That can be prevented by consuming plant-based milk.
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Milk Alternatives to Consider

Considering all the nutritional and health aspects, you can choose between the following five milk substitutes for your coffee and porridge:

1) Soy Milk

Soy milk is extracted from soybeans or made from soy protein isolate powder. It's one of the most commonly available milk alternatives in the market.

It also contains thickeners and vegetable oils to maintain taste and consistency. Artificial flavors are also used in many products. Soy milk made is not recommended for people with a FODMAP-restricted diet.

That can cause bloating and gut irritation in people with irritable bowel syndrome. The nutritional value of soy milk is:

  • Calories: 100 kcal
  • Fat: 4.9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Calcium: 380 mg
  • Iron: 1 mg
  • Potassium: 289 mg
  • Sodium: 96 mg
  • Vitamin D: 453 international units (IU)
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Soy milk is controversial, as it's known to affect estrogen level in the body.


2) Almond Milk

Almond milk is a low-carb plant-based milk that's allowed in a keto diet, paleo diet, and Mediterranean diet. In comparison, milk obtained from dairy contains 4.6 grams of carbs. Hundred grams of almond milk contains:

  • Calories: 15 kcal
  • Carbs: 0.3 grams
  • Fiber: 0.3 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Fat: 1.2 grams
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin D
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus

You can check out the health benefits of almond milk.


3) Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is popular among keto milk alternatives. It has a creamy texture and contains healthy fats, known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Saturated fat in coconut milk is also beneficial for health. It can give coffee an amazing taste and texture.

Hundred grams of coconut milk contains:

  • Calories: 30
  • Fat: 3.2 grams
  • Sodium: 2 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0.4 g
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugars: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0.3 grams
  • Manganese: 0.12mg
  • Copper: 0.03 mg
  • Iron: 0.5 mg
  • Magnesium: 6.9 mg
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Coconut milk is also one of the best home remedies for men to get healthy hair.


4) Oat Milk

Oat milk is popular among milk alternatives for weight loss. It has all the nutrients from the oats and has a light taste. A cup of oat milk contains:

  • Calories: 120 kcal
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Carbs: 16 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 50% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Riboflavin: 45% of the DV
  • Calcium: 25% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 20% of the DV
  • Vitamin D: 20% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 20% of the DV
  • Potassium: 8% of the DV
  • Iron: 2% of the DV
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Check out the nutritional facts and health benefits of oat milk.


5) Cashew Milk

It's a lesser-known milk alternative. Cashew milk has a creamy texture due to the flavor of cashews.

A cup of unsweetened cashew milk contains:

  • 25–50 calories
  • 2–4 grams of fat
  • 0–1 gram of protein
  • 1–2 grams of carbohydrates

Check out the nutritional facts and health benefits of cashews.


Bottom Line

Several milk alternatives are available with varying nutritional values. They're available in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties. It's advisable to check the nutritional labels before choosing a product.

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Edited by Bhargav