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Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives: Nut Milks

Nut milk! The alternatives to cow’s milk! Consumers are choosing plant-based milks to avoid industrial-scale dairy production or because they simply cannot digest lactose, a sugar in cow’s milk or have IBS. But what’s the best nut milk for every occasion? These tips can help you cut through the confusion to find the best nut milk for you.

Choose soy milk if you’re looking for protein
Most “nondairy milks” are low in protein and calcium compared to cow’s milk. The exception is soy milk. These non dairy milks have a similar protein content compared to cow’s milk. Many nondairy drinks are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. You can also get calcium from yogurt, cheese, broccoli, kale, almonds, beans, and calcium-fortified foods such as orange juice.
In a 1-cup serving, there are roughly:
-131 calories
-8 grams of protein
-4 grams of fat
-15 grams of carbs
-10 grams of sugar

Choose almond or cashew milk if you’re calorie-conscious
In a 1-cup serving of almond milk, there are roughly:
-39 calories
-1 1/5 grams of protein
-3 grams of fat
-1 1/2 grams of carbs
-0 grams of sugar

In a 1-cup serving of unsweetened cashew milk, there are roughly:
-25 calories
-0 grams of protein
-2 grams of fat
-2 grams of carbs
-0 grams of sugar

It depends on the brand, but almond milk is typically lower in calories and fat compared to soy. Cashew milk is also low in calories and fat: A cup of unsweetened cashew milk contains 25 calories and just 2 grams of fat.
But many brands have added sugars to improve taste in their “original” formulas, so reach for “unsweetened” versions if you want less of the sweet stuff. Plus, many brands use man-made and natural additives to make beverages creamier and to improve the mouth feel. These additives may be bad for health.

Choose macadamia milk if you’re a latte lover
In a 1-cup serving of unsweetened macadamia milk, there are roughly:
-50 calories
-1 grams of protein
-5 grams of fat
-1 gram of carbs
-0 grams of sugar
Macadamia nut milk lattes might be pricy, but the nut milk adds a subtle buttery, nutty flavor that results in a deliciously rich coffee drink. It is closer to the smooth and creamy taste of cow’s milk.

Choose peanut milk if you live for peanut butter
In a 1-cup serving of peanut milk, there are roughly:
-150 calories
-6 grams of protein
-11 grams of fat
-5 grams of sugar
This milk tastes like the sweet milk that’s left over after eating a bowl of nutty-flavored cereal.

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist
Beirut, Lebanon

 

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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian