7 Healthy Milk Alternatives
Wondering if it’s time to swap your milk? Our nutrition team, Stephanie Clarke, R.D., and Willow Jarosh, R.D., run you through the pros, cons and nutritional stats of almond, coconut, flax, hemp, rice, skim, soy and sunflower milk.
Pros: The cow comes out ahead of the herd if you’re in the market for satiating, muscle-building protein.
Cons: It’s high in natural sugar from lactose (12 g). And some brands use synthetic hormones, so consider choosing organic.
Nutritional Stats: 90 calories, 0 g saturated fat, 8 g protein, 30 percent calcium, 25 percent vitamin D
All nutritional information is for 8 ounces of unsweetened milk. Information is based on the milk varieties in general, not particular brands.
Pros: Almond milk has a nutty hint, but its flavor is fairly neutral overall. It works in both sweet (cereal) and savory (soup) dishes.
Cons: For some reason, it can be tough to find the unsweetened plain version, which has 0 g sugar, in grocery stores.
Nutritional Stats: 40 calories, 0 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 45 percent calcium, 25 percent vitamin D
Pros: If you love whole milk and cream, you’ll dig the thick texture. And even in the unsweetened type, the coconut flavor supplies sweetness.
Cons: Like coconut meat, the milk is high in saturated fat; it packs nearly a third of the daily limit for women on a 1,600-calorie diet.
Nutritional Stats: 50 calories, 5 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 10 percent calcium, 30 percent vitamin D
Pros: Flax milk is the lowest in calories, making it the perfect base for a slimming smoothie snack.
Cons: You won’t find any energizing protein here, so it’s not the best beverage when you want a sip that gets you going.
Nutritional Stats: 25 calories, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g protein, 30 percent calcium, 25 percent vitamin D
Pros: Hemp seeds have a sweet, nutty flavor, and they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can hydrate skin and may boost heart health.
Cons: It’s super pricey, at about $4.60 for a 32-ounce bottle. Otherwise, we have no complaints, so if you have the cash, bottoms up.
Nutritional Stats: 70 calories, 1 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 30 percent calcium, 25 percent vitamin D
Pros: This sweet choice is best for those with soy and nut allergies, but it’s sometimes processed with the allergens, so check labels.
Cons: It’s too watery for coffee or tea. Plus, you don’t get much nutritional bang (protein, omega-3s) for the calories.
Nutritional Stats: 90 calories, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g protein, 30 percent calcium, 25 percent vitamin D
Pros: Soymilk is the only nondairy variety that’s high in filling protein, so it’s good for vegans and folks with lactose intolerance.
Cons: Scientists are still investigating soy’s potential link to breast cancer. If you’re worried, consult your doc before sipping regularly.
Nutritional Stats: 80 calories, 1 g saturated fat, 7 g protein, 30 percent calcium, 30 percent vitamin D