What is the healthiest vegetable “milk”?

¿Cuál es la “leche” vegetal más saludable?

Currently, when you walk the dairy aisles of the supermarket you can find a wide variety of “vegetable milks” such as soy, almond milk, coconut, rice, oats, among many others that you do not know which to decide on. We give you a guide to know what is the best option and what to look for on the label.

Do you need to drink milk?

There is no reason for adults to drink cow’s milk unless you like itsays Vasanti Malik, a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Although milk contains nutrients that include calcium, vitamin D protein and vitamin AAdults are likely to consume them from other foods. Good non-dairy sources of calcium include cabbage, bok choy, fortified soy milk, baked beans, and supplements that contain calcium and vitamin D (a better option than taking calcium alone).

Is vegetable milk better than cow’s milk?

For the adults who drink milkMalik points out no (nutritional) reason to switch to a plant-based option and suggested choosing low fat varieties.

The nutrition specialist noted that plant-based milks may not always be healthier than cow’s milk since they can contain added sugars. Although they are a best option in terms of environmental impact (less carbon emissions and greenhouse gases than cow’s milk, in addition to using less land and water).

What to look for in a vegetable milk?

If you have decided to consume replacing cow’s milk in your diet with vegetable milk, whether for taste, allergy, or lactose intolerance, you should know that the quality of vegetable milks varies greatly in terms of nutrients.

Some vegetable drinks contain practically the same amount of vitamins and minerals as cow’s milk; others have very few.

  • Read the label and look for good amounts of protein, vitamin D, iron, and calcium.
  • That the milk has at least 8 or 9 grams of protein per serving.
  • Make it low in added sugar.

For added security, you can take a calcium supplement if necessary.

Which vegetable milk is better?

Soy milk

Photo: Pxhere

Soy milk provides a significant amount of calcium and has more protein than other vegetable drinks. As for fat, it is half as fat as cow’s milk

The Harvard School of Public Health notes that unlike some plant proteins, soy protein is considered a complete protein, which contains the nine essential amino acids that the body it cannot produce and must be obtained from the diet.

There was concern that soy, which contains isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen that is similar to human estrogen, could fuel breast cancer and endocrine disorders. Malik says that “experts are no longer worried about soy” The only downside is if you are allergic.

Almond milk

What is the healthiest vegetable "milk"?
Photo: Pxhere

Almond milk provides a good amount of calciumIt can be the same amount as soy milk. However, it is much lower in protein than cow’s milk and soy.

Coconut milk

What is the healthiest vegetable "milk"?
Photo: Shutterstock

It is the less nutritious according to a McGill University study. It does not contain proteins and its calcium contribution is below of other vegetable drinks. It’s low in calories, but most are fat according to a study.

Rice milk

Rice water.
Photo: Shutterstock

Sweet taste and little nutrition. It provides calcium, but few proteins and has a high carbohydrate count.


Type of milk Calories Fat Proteins Carbohydrates Calcium

Cow milk 158 9.05 g 8.11 g 11.5 g 294.2 mg

Soy milk 95 4.5 g 8 g 4 g 330 mg

Rice milk 130 2.5 g 1 g 26 g 315 mg

Coconut milk 45 4.25 g 0 g 1 g 220 mg

Almond milk 35 2.5 g 1 g 1 g 330 mg

* McGill University Study Data

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