These days, we hear a lot about non-dairy milk. Plant-based milk made from oats,milk,almond, cashew,even rice are trending. People perceive plant-based milk to be a healthier alternative to milk since it has less calories. They taste delicious and sweet, don’t they? But what is the truth? Let's dig!
1] SOY MILK
Cow's milk has been shown to be the healthiest choice, followed by soy milk, which offers the highest protein and is tied for the most calcium per serving among non-dairy options. Did you know, however, that soy includes anti-nutrients? Soy includes a lot of antinutrients, which makes it difficult to absorb a lot of nutrients.
The irony is that certain antinutrients in soy actually hinder protein digestion by suppressing the action of proteolytic enzymes.Although soy has more protein than other plant-based milks, it lacks proteinogenic sulfur-containing amino acids such as methionine. Even if these are added from outside sources, they still include a lot of sugar and preservatives.
Soy is one of the common eight allergens. It can also cause bloating, intestinal discomfort, lethargy, headaches, and skin responses in persons who are soy intolerant or sensitive. Nonetheless, when compared to other plant-based milks, Soy milk is a "better" alternative for a vegan.
❝Although soy has more protein than other plant-based milks, it lacks proteinogenic sulfur-containing amino acids such as methionine. Even if these are added from outside sources, they still include a lot of sugar and preservatives.❞
2] ALMOND MILK
Unsweetened almond milk can provide as few as 30 calories per cup and just one gram of carbohydrates. But These aren’t really “milks” but rather liquids that mix ground nuts and water. Almond milk is low in protein as compared to cow's milk and lacks some essential nutrients.The sad truth is that almond milk is mostly water..
Although you must’ve heard almonds are abundant in 2nd class protein (about 20%), the protein content is filtered away along with the pulp in industrially manufactured almond milk, leaving just around 0.5 percent protein. And, because almond milk is heavily diluted with water, it is low in calories but also much lower in nutrients.
And it’s found that it stresses honeybees and contributes to colony collapse. So not only is almond milk lacking in the health department, it’s not great for the environment, either.
❝Plant based milks are not milks at all but just ground nuts/seeds blended with 99% water and several unpronounceable preservatives and additives and are highly processed unlike good ol’milk .❞
3] RICE, PEANUT & CASHEW MILK
Plant-based milks like this are uncommon, although they do exist. Rice milk's nutritional composition varies greatly, placing newborns at danger of malnutrition. Rice milk is low in protein and fat, with the majority of its calories coming from carbs
Rice milk is a rice-based plant milk commonly made using brown rice and brown rice syrup, sweetened with sugar or sugar alternatives and flavored with common ingredients like vanilla.
It is not an excellent protein source. Inorganic arsenic levels in rice products may offer a health concern to newborns and children who consume too much of it. Because it is loaded with carbs, it is the least ideal option for diabetics.
Cashew milk lacks the vitamins, minerals, and protein contained in a handful of cashews since the pulp is removed from the milk.
Peanuts, on the other hand, are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Inflammation and obesity may be linked to an excess of these fats that are not balanced with omega-3s.
❝ Not an excellent protein source. Inorganic arsenic levels in rice products may offer a health concern to newborns and children who consume too much of it. Because it is loaded with carbs, it is the least ideal option for diabetics.❞
4] OATMILKOat milk is a plant milk made by extracting the plant material from entire oat grains with water. Nowadays Influencers advocate oat milk as a healthier alternative to dairy milk. The bro science community considers oat milk to be a good source of protein! Let us break this to you. Your healthy oat milk is nothing but 1% oats blended with 99% water and a long list of additives & preservatives.
Oats are primarily a carbohydrate source and not a protein source. To improve the taste and shelf life of oat milk, most companies add hidden sugars and several preservatives during the manufacturing process, which is not clearly revealed on product labels.
As oat milk is not as nutrient dense as cows milk, it makes sense that it will not be a safe milk alternative for children who are depending on those nutrients to grow properly. Also,oat milk changes texture when heated. For this reason, milk from oats cannot equally replace the dairy counterpart in recipes that require heat.
The sugar in oat milk is a specific type called maltose, which is unique in that it has a high glycemic index. That means it raises blood sugar rapidly, compared to other types of carbohydrates.
❝Oat milk is a plant milk made by extracting the plant material from entire oat grains with water. Nowadays Influencers advocate oat milk as a healthier alternative to dairy milk. The bro science community considers oat milk to be a good source of protein! Let us break this to you. Your healthy oat milk is nothing but 1% oats blended with 99% water and a long list of additives & preservatives. .❞
When it comes to nutritional content, cow's milk still reigns supreme. Dairy protein is also a more 'complete' protein source, or 1st class protein, which means it has the entire amino acid profile.
Dairy milk is high in calcium, potassium, and B vitamins, as well as being fortified with vitamins A and D. Finding a comparable replacement milk might be difficult. The combination of these critical elements found naturally in cow's milk helps to maintain a healthy immune system as well as strong bones. Plant-based milk replacements are usually fortified to mimic what cow milk has to offer.
One cup of milk contains 25% of the vitamin D you need every day, plus plenty of B-vitamins , including thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), and vitamin B12 and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc.Removing dairy from a person’s diet without sufficient replacements could have a negative impact on health and nutrition.
Benefits of Cow Milk
- Potassium: Contributes to a healthy blood pressure level.
- Phosphorus: Enhances bone strength and energy production.
- Vitamin D: Helps maintain bones.
- Calcium: Builds healthy bones and teeth; maintains bone mass.
- Protein: Serves as a source of energy; builds/repairs muscle tissue.
- Most optimum Milk source as it contains 1st class proteins.
These are the only options left for a vegan. That's okay for them because something is better than nothing. For others, however, Plant milk is still a good choice if they want to skip the nutrients and add sugar to their diet.
Aside from added sugars, plant milks may also contain things like carrageenan or other thickeners, which may cause inflammation or other stomach problems in some people. While many plant-based milks include some nutrients present in cow's milk, not all of them do. And many of them are deficient in important nutrients such as protein, potassium, and vitamin D. They usually have a lengthy ingredient list(which they will never disclose), which includes thickeners, sweeteners and seed oils. These additives can cause inflammation in people with certain conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, or trigger symptoms in those with food sensitivities.