By: Sarah Casciato, RD, MHSc
With so many different plant-based milk alternatives on the market, it poses the following question: which plant-based milk alternative is the healthiest? This week, Mint Nutrition Clinic is taking a closer look at the nutritional composition of plant-based beverages. Check out what a Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist) says below.
According to Nielsen Research, 43% of Canadians are looking to include more plant-based products into their diet. Additionally, about one third of people are now choosing plant-based milk alternatives over cow’s milk. Whether your reason for choosing to consume plant-based milk alternatives is related to lactose intolerance, a milk allergy, or moving towards a more plant-based lifestyle, Canadians are looking for the tastiest and healthiest option now more than ever.
From soy milk, to almond milk, to oat milk, there are so many different options to choose from. Plus, how do these options compare to cow’s milk anyways? When it comes to taste, everyone has their own opinion regarding which milk alternative is the best.
Nutritionally, however, we can closely take a look at and compare products. Plant-based milk alternatives tend to be lower in calories compared to cow’s milk, but can also be lower in protein, Vitamin D and calcium. Make sure to choose an alternative that is fortified with Vitamin D and calcium. Soy milk is the most similar nutritionally to cow’s milk, as it has the highest amount of protein per serving of the plant-based milk alternatives out there.
Be sure to look for the ‘original’ versions of products, as the sweetened or flavoured versions are often higher in sugar. For a full nutritional breakdown and comparison of each milk alternative, take a look at these charts:
Bottom line: Choose the plant-based milk alternative that fits your needs best! Talk to your Registered Dietitian to find out which plant-based milk alternative is best for you.
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- Consumer Reports. (2019). Are Plant Milks Good for You? Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/plant-milk/are-plant-milks-more-healthful-than-cows-milk/
- Nielsen. (2017). Plant-Based Proteins Are Gaining Dollar Share Among North Americans. Retrieved from https://www.nielsen.com/ca/en/insights/article/2017/plant-based-proteins-are-gaining-dollar-share-among-north-americans/