There is a large variety of plant-based milks available on the market. Whether it is oat milk, hemp, cashew, coconut, pea, soy milk and others, we are spoilt for choice!
What better time to raise awareness of the benefits of plant-based milk and to give them a try, today, on World Plant Milk Day?
Like dairy milk, plant-based milk is also packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium. Some plant-based milk brands are fortified with more additional nutrients than others, so looking at the nutritional values and ingredients list can help you decide which plant-based milk is right for you.
Sonja Svensek, Head of Nutrition at FOUR PAWS
How healthy are milk alternatives?
You want to ensure you are making the healthiest choice out of all plant-based milk available, and that they are fortified with additional nutrients such as calcium, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. The daily recommended amount of calcium for most adults is about 1,000 milligrams, so a glass of dairy milk gives you about 30%.
Studies generally conclude that soya milk is the most adequate substitute for cow’s milk in terms of protein content. According to manufacturers, pea milk, which has a protein content of 3.33 grams per 100 millilitres, can also serve as a good source of protein. In contrast, beverages made from hemp are low in protein. Gluten free or soy-free versions are recommended for consumers with an allergy or intolerance.
Is plant milk more climate-friendly than dairy milk?
All plant-based milk is more animal and climate-friendly than animal milk, with oat milk being considered the most environmentally friendly. In terms of water, a litre of oat milk requires 48 litres of water to produce. This is significantly lower compared to the water used to produce dairy, soy, and almond milk.
How popular are plant-based milk alternatives?
With more people becoming aware of the cruelty behind dairy factory farming as well as the environmental implications it entails, it’s not a surprise that more consumers are choosing plant-based foods also for health reasons. This in turn triggered a surge of brands entering the market. The fact that different brands cater to different tastes and needs means there are many plant-based kinds of milk available that provide a variety of flavours, textures, and nutritional value.
Sonja believes some of these kinds of plant-based milk are better with cereal, some for baking and others as drinks but this is dependent on personal choice. “Organic soy milk and oat milk for example tend to be the creamiest and can make a delicious latte. Coconut milk, which is less creamy, can be great in cold cereal or used as a milk substitute in baking.”
Look for plant-based milk that is organic. This also ensures that you are not consuming genetically modified organisms.