Which Dairy-Free Milk Is Best For Me?

Which Dairy-Free Milk Is Best For Me?

Gone are the days where vegans had to hunt high and low just to find a supermarket selling one brand of soya milk, nowadays we are lucky enough to be able to walk in to all major supermarkets and find a whole aisle dedicated to plant based milk alternatives!

How lucky are we!

If you are transitioning to a plant based lifestyle, this can be overwhelming; you might be wondering which one tastes the most similar to regular milk or you may be interested to know if these plant based milks are actually good for you?

Fear not, here at Planta Force we have tried and tested pretty much every brand and each kind of vegan milk available and we are here to give you the low down on our favorites and the health benefits of each and every one!

WHY SWITCH FROM DAIRY MILK TO A PLANT BASED ALTERNATIVE?

Just quickly, it would be good to explain why many people are choosing to move away from regular dairy milk:

  • BONE HEALTH – The media has led us to believe that we need the calcium from milk to keep our bones and teeth nice and strong. Research actually shows that the countries who consume the highest levels of dairy products suffer more fractures and osteoporosis (weakened bones)

  • CANCER  Dairy products have been linked with various forms of cancer including prostate, breast and ovarian. A study in Sweden revealed that women who eat 4 or more dairy products a day more than double their chance of suffering from ovarian cancer!

  • LACTOSE INTOLERANCE – It is reported that more than 65% of people in the UK suffer with lactose intolerance and even more of the population find it hard to digest milk products.

  • DIGESTIVE ISSUES / BLOATING  Many people are now avoiding dairy because they experience discomfort and bloating after consuming

  • ACNE – Scientists have proven that the hormones within milk can make your skin more oily and prone to acne. People who suffer with eczema and other skin conditions have also noticed a positive difference when eliminating dairy from their diets

  • HEART HEALTH – Just one serving of milk can contain 24mg of cholesterol, in comparison plant milks contain 0mg. High levels of bad cholesterol can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Dairy milk always contains saturated fat which has also been linked to heart problems.

  • HORMONES –  Cattle are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones and unfortunately this ends up in the milk that people consume. Milk also contains natural hormones including estrogen and cortisol.

  • WEIGHT GAIN  –  The hormone cortisol is linked to holding fat around your lower belly, the part people often find hardest to tighten up.

  • ENVIRONMENT   Plant based milks are more eco-friendly as providing land, water, housing and food for cattle produces the majority of the world’s carbon emissions. 1020 liters of water is required to make 1 liters of dairy milk in comparison to 297 liters of water to make 1 liters of soya milk!

  • ANIMAL CRUELTY –  For a cow to produce milk they must be artificially impregnated, the baby calf is then cruelly taken away from the mother so that humans can consume the milk. Cows are often kept in small confined spaces and pumped full of antibiotics as they experience multiple infections.

WHICH MILK ALTERNATIVE SHOULD I CHOOSE?

Whilst finding the right “milk” for you will often come down to personal taste, here are the benefits and disadvantages of the most commonly used plant based alternatives on the market.

MILK

TASTE

TEXTURE

CALORIES

PROTEIN

GOOD FOR

Soya

Sweet

Creamy

33

3.3

Protein shakes

Almond

Nutty

Light

13

0.4

Cereal

Oat

Sweet

Creamy

40

0.2

Hot drinks

Hemp

Earthy

Light

45

0.5

Savoury meals

Coconut

Fruity

Creamy

14

0.1

Currys/desserts

Rice

Neutral/watery

Very light

60

0.1

Cereal

Cashew

Nutty

Very creamy

34

1.1

Desserts

Hazelnut

Nutty

Creamy

29

0.4

Hot drinks

Pea

Neutral

Light

44

3.2

Protein shakes

 

SOYA MILK

BENEFITS

  • Easy to find in most supermarkets and cheap

  • Can be a direct swap for dairy milk in recipes

  • High in protein – 7gms per cup

  • Protects against breast cancer

  • Improves bone health

  • Lowers cholesterol

  • Can help with menopausal symptoms

  • Full of vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium and iron

DISADVANTAGES

  • Not suitable for people allergic to soy

PLANTA FORCE TOP TIP : Soya milk is perfect to add to your protein shakes as it is low in calories and high in protein!

ALMOND MILK

BENEFITS

  • Light texture – great for cereal

  • High in calcium and protects your bones

  • Rich in Vitamin E – great for glowing skin

  • Low calories

  • Protects your heart

PLANTA FORCE CHIA PUDDING RECIPE:

Mix 200ml of almond milk with 1 scoop of Planta Force vanilla complete vegan protein powder, 25g of chia seeds, and 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder and a sweetener of your choice and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

COCONUT MILK

BENEFITS

  • Sweet taste – great for curries and dessert recipes

  • High in good fats

  • Weight loss – coconut milk contains MCT’s linked to helping you lose weight

  • Boosts immune system – contains lauric acid which helps fight infections

DISADVANTAGES

  • Distinctive flavor – if you do not like coconuts you will not enjoy

PLANTA FORCE TOP TIP:

By mixing coconut milk with 1 scoop of Planta Force coconut flavour complete vegan protein powder, almond flour and coconut flour, you can make a great korma style curry sauce!

OAT MILK

BENEFITS

  • Great for hot drinks – froths up easily and does not separate

  • Tastes slightly sweeter than other alternatives

  • High in fibre

DISADVANTAGES

  • Not suitable for celiac or gluten intolerance sufferers

RICE MILK

BENEFITS

  • Very light texture – great for cereal

  • Low in calories

  • High in antioxidants linked to better skin

HEMP MILK

BENEFITS

  • Thin texture – great for savoury recipes

  • High in protein

  • Rich in calcium

  • High in Omega 3’s – helps prevent inflammation

  • Rich in arginine – great for muscle building and heart health

CASHEW MILK

BENEFITS

  • Extra creamy texture – great for baking and in hot drinks

  • High in protein

  • Contains antioxidants linked with better eye health

  • Improves blood sugar control

  • Anti- cancer properties

DISADVANTAGES

  • Can be more expensive than other milk alternatives

PLANTA FORCE NUTELLA SMOOTHIE RECIPE:
Blend 200 ml of cashew milk with ½ an avocado, 1 scoop of Planta Force Hazelnut complete vegan protein powder, 1 tablespoon of cacao powder and a handful of ice!

PEA MILK

BENEFITS

  • High in protein

  • Rich in calcium

  • Full of Omega 3’s

  • High fibre

DISADVANTAGES

  • Hard to find as a relatively new plant based milk alternative

UNSWEETENED VS SWEETENED

If you are used to drinking cow’s milk, you may wish to start off by transitioning to a sweetened variety of plant based milk. This is because dairy milk is naturally higher in sugar and the lactose content gives it a sweeter taste. On average even the sweetened varieties of dairy free milks contain less sugar than regular milk so are healthier for you! If you are trying to lose weight, the unsweetened versions are your best option!

FORTIFIED MILKS

The dairy industry will have you believe that we need cow’s milk in order to get enough vitamins and minerals into our diets. Many plant based milk manufacturers fortify their milks with added vitamins and these are actually much more easily absorbed in a plant based milk form.

MAKING YOUR OWN

If you have a high speed blender it is actually very easy to make your own milk alternatives. It is quick and easy and will save you money; you will also know exactly what goes in to the end product! Various recipes can be found online, why not try adding a scoop of Planta Force protein powder for extra health benefits and a yummy flavour!

FUN OPTIONS

If you are finding it hard to transition to plant based milk, you may find it easier to begin with the tastier options. Lots of brands now make flavoured milks including chocolate, coffee and strawberry flavours!

IN CONCLUSION

Soya and pea milk alternatives come out on top in terms of protein content; however coconut and cashew are the best options for cooking! Almond milk and oat milk seem to be the preferred choice for hot drinks, whereas rice and hemp milk have the thinnest texture of them all and are often used with breakfast cereals and in savoury baking!

As we see the rise of plant based milk alternatives, there are more and more options popping up, from peanut milk to tiger nut milk, brown rice milk and pistachio milk have all been spotted! We suggest you give them all a try and find your personal favourite! Here at Planta Force we have even been known to have a few options on the go in the fridge depending on what we plan to use the “milk” for!

Finally, no matter what plant based milk you choose you will be having a positive impact on your health and the environment in comparison to drinking dairy milk!


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