We get asked how to replace cow’s milk pretty regularly. There was a time when I (Dr Robyn) drank milk by the large glass, sometimes with Nesquik added to it. But when we decided to give up using cow’s milk, we were really only using it to make our oatmeal and in “smoothies” (They were basically dairy with some fruit). We stopped making smoothies and for our oatmeal we switched to almond milk for a couple of weeks and then just started making it with water. Now we only use plant milk for a few recipes. And even those I have made with water without a problem.

But, if you are wanting to know what is the “best” plant milk, I came across a long article from the Food Revolution talking about the environmental and health risks of cow’s milk and why switching to plant milk is a good idea (link at the bottom). This is the Notes and Quotes summary of what you need to know to choose the best plant milk for you:

  1. Always read ingredients. You’re going to want to avoid Carrageenan (often in almond milk), guar gum (can be anywhere) and most likely, sugar. Of course, if you make your own plant milk you can avoid all the preservatives and extra stuff they add to make it shelf stable.
  2. Look of organic or GMO free to avoid the extra toxin load. This is particularly true for soy milk.
  3. You can make a version of buttermilk out of any plant milk by adding lemon juice.
  4. Adding cow’s milk or soy milk to your tea block the benefits of drinking the tea (other milks not tested)

Soy Milk

  • Along with pea milk (which sounds awful), soy milks have the most protein of all plant milks
  • Good for baking, cooking and drinking
  • Always get organic or non-GMO

Almond Milk

  • Less than a gram of protein per cup (this was news to me)
  • Has 50% more calcium than cow’s milk
  • Rich source of vitamin E
  • Commercial brands can be watery – it’s better if you make your own
  • Works well for baking

Cashew Milk

  • Unsaturated fat (good fat)
  • Has lutein and zeaxanthin (good for your eyes)
  • Is a good base for creamy soups and sauces

Coconut Milk (Not the cream used in Asian dishes)

  • Saturated fat
  • Very little protein
  • Will add a coconut flavor to things

Hemp Milk

  • Naturally contains calcium
  • Good option if you have a nut allergy
  • Often has thickeners and flavorings
  • Not good for coffee

Quinoa Milk

  • Naturally gluten and nut-free
  • Limited nutritional value (most of the quinoa nutrients are lost in processing)
  • Has a distinct flavor some may find off-putting

Oat Milk

  • Hard to find with low or no sugar
  • Often has gums and oils added
  • Froths well for lattes and pureed soups
  • The greyish color can be disconcerting

Rice Milk

  • Non allergenic
  • High glycemic index
  • May contain arsenic
  • Often very thin and watery with little flavor

Pea Milk

  • High in protein (like soy)
  • Has a bit of an aftertaste
  • 50% more calcium than cow’s milk

Flax Milk

  • Not actually a thing
  • Is made with flax oil and added flavors and thickeners
  • Some packaging claims high protein – it has pea protein added to it

If you’re ready to bridge the gab between wanting to eat healthier and actually doing it, email Health@RnRJourney.com or send a text to 302-307-3091 to start the conversation about how we can help

Read the full article here:

Dr Robyn is a former competitive volleyball player turned psychologist with continuing education in nutrition. Russ is a former competitive bodybuilder and trainer on the Mr. Olympia Tour. They are the co-founders of Whole Food Muscle and the authors of How to Feed a Human The Whole Food Muscle Way. To work with them one on one to improve your health and fitness or to have them speak at your event or organization email them at Health@RnRJourney.com.