We are getting increasingly concerned about cow’s milk. It’s not only if you are lactose or gluten intolerant. Many people turn vegan and pull away from animal source foods. Others like me, a reformed vegetarian, are conscious about animal welfare and the conditions they are kept in. Whatever your reason, there is number of milk alternatives available that can successfully replace dairy-milk and greatly improve your diet. In this article we’ll focus on the milk substitutes and list their surprising and little-known benefits.  

1. Perfect Post-Workout Beverage

Non-dairy milks are packed with nutrients your body craves after the exercise. The vitamins and minerals found in the non-dairy milks make them the most recommended muscle recovery source. What are key ingredients of the perfect post workout meal? Foods rich in Vitamin E, proteins and carbohydrates help replace muscle glycogen and aid in protein synthesis. Taking solid meal to the gym is not always viable, so milk shakes are the most convenient and popular option. Most recommended post-workout dairy free drink is soy milk, with 8g of protein and 9g of carbs matches the regular reduced-fat milk (2%).  

2. Cholesterol Free

Milk substitutes are often recommended for those with high cholesterol. Especially almond milk, full of healthy omega-6 and unsaturated fats, is the most popular non-dairy beverage of choice for people with high cholesterol and heart problems.  

3. Rich in Anti-Oxidants

Milk alternatives are packed with nutrients and vitamins to enhance your everyday diet. They are also praised by people intolerant of gluten and lactose. But did you know that apart from all these goodness, plant based milks are also full of anti-oxidants? Yes, almond, macadamia and oat milk in particular contain high levels of vitamin E and anti-oxidants fighting free radicals, responsible for the aging process. Oat milk is notably beneficial – it is an optimum source of folic acid, vital in repairing DNA, producing red blood cells and preventing anemia.  

4. Hypoallergenic

Majority of milk substitutes are perfectly safe to consume on dairy, gluten and lactose free diet. Those of us with nut allergy can pick nutritious coconut, soy, sheep or oat milk. Furthermore, rice as being hypoallergenic, produces milk perfect for those intolerant of soy, dairy or nuts.  

5. Can Enhance Your Cooking

Yes, the creamy textures and nutty hint of almond, macadamia and flax milks make them perfect choices for milk shakes, pancakes and coffees. Try the flavored vanilla, chocolate or strawberry variety with your morning cereal. If you love Thai cuisine, you’ll be glad to add creamy and rich coconut milk to enhance the rich palate and smooth texture. Remember, always store the coconut products in a room temperature, as they turn solid when kept in the fridge.  

6. Perfect on a Diet

Dairy-free milks are proved to support us on a weight loss. Low in fat and calories, they are perfect and filling base for cooking, adding to tea or coffee or preparing delicious flavored low calorie slim shakes.  

7. Packed with Vitamins

Dairy-free milks, although less generous with protein when compared to a regular milk (soy milk is the only exception), are an abundant source of other vitamins and minerals. Soy and almond milk both have 45% of calcium – compared to 30% in dairy milk – while coconut milk can supply over 30% of Vitamin D – while cow’s milk has only 25%.   Dairy-Free Milks – Nutrition Facts (per cup)
Milk Calories Calcium Fats Sugars Proteins Carbs Vitamins
Dairy nonfat 90 30% 0 13g 8g 13g B12, D
Dairy 1% 110 30% 2.5g 13g 8g 13g B12, D
Dairy 2% 130 30% 5g 12g 8g 12g B12, D
Soy 100 45% 3.5g 6g 6g 9g B12, D, E
Almond 60 45% 2.5g 7g 1g 8g D, E
Coconut 80 10% 5g 7g 1g 8g C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6
Rice 120 2% 2.5g 10g 1g 23g A, B12, D