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The 4 best cow’s milk alternatives : Pros and Cons

The 4 Best cow’s milk alternatives

Vegan, lactose intolerant or just keen to try something new, here are the 4 best cow’s milk alternatives.

They have different health and nutritional Pros and Cons that we review in this article.

Those milks have a really nice nutty taste and are perfect to replace cow’s milk in your favorite recipes (pancakes, muffin, cake…)

 

Almond Milk

Pros

  • Almond milk is free of saturated-fat
  • Low energy count (30-60 calories per cup for unsweetened or original).
  • High in vitamin E, both from what’s naturally present in almonds as well as what’s added by manufacturers.

Acting as an antioxidant to help lessen oxidative damage in the body, higher intakes of vitamin E may help improve brain function and muscle recovery in those who train hard.

Cons

  • As with most other nondairy drinks, almond milk typically contains emulsifiers such as carrageenan, a polysaccharide extracted from seaweed, which are added during the manufacturing process to keep ingredients from separating and improve texture.

 

Soy Milk

Pros

  • Good source of plant-based protein. Each cup delivers protein levels nearly on par with regular milk, or 6-8 grams per cup. This can make soy milk more satiating than others with significantly less protein.

Because of lower levels of the anabolic amino acid leucine, soy protein does not promote the building of muscle but it can still help you meet overall protein needs for the promotion of lean body mass.

  • Soy milk is also a source of potassium, which is necessary for muscle function and keeping your blood pressure numbers from simmering over.

Cons

  • Muscle men have long worried about consuming too many processed soy products because of their possible estrogen-mimicking effects.  So if you want to maximize your testosterone to help build muscle like a pro, keep your soy-milk intake in check.
  • Some brands also add cheap oils that can unnecessarily drive up total calories.
  • A group of digestion-resistant carbohydrates in soy called oligosaccharides are noshed on by bacteria in your gut and produce gassy side effects.
  • Since most of the soy grown in America is genetically modified, you’ll have to splurge for organic if you’re concerned about GMO food.

 

Cashew milk

Pros

  • Cashew milk is often fortified with a range of useful nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, and zinc. Zinc plays a role in thousands of different enzymatic reactions in the human body.
  • Both the original and unsweetened versions of cashew milk have few calories per cup which can be useful for people who are watching their calorie intake as part of a weight-loss plan

Cons

  • The low calorie count of cashew and other nut or seed milks speaks to the fact that you’re essentially paying for a watered-down product. A cup of whole cashews contains nearly 800 calories, so to get a glass of cashew milk down to 25 calories, manufacturers skew the nut-to-water ratio greatly toward the latter.

The upshot is that you shouldn’t expect to obtain nearly the levels or range of naturally occurring nutrients found in whole nuts or seeds when you drink these products.

 

Rice milk

Pros

  • Rice is considered hypoallergenic, the drink it produces is a safe option for those with food sensitivities to dairy, nuts, or soy.
  • Rice milk is now often fortified with calcium and vitamin D to help maintain strong bones.

Cons

  •  Rice milk tends to have higher levels of carbs than other types of milk.
  • Depending on where it’s grown, rice can contain concerning amounts of arsenic, a chemical linked to health concerns such as heightened cancer and heart-disease risk.

 

The Bottom Line

Each milk can serve a unique function, but due to the overall lack of protein in the nondairy milks you need to make sure you’re obtaining enough muscle-friendly protein from other sources in your diet.

 

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