Battle of the Milks
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
If you are following a plant-based lifestyle, you will have no issue finding dairy alternatives for milk. However, there is a lot of debate on which one is healthiest for you, and the best for the environment. So, let’s dive right into it! There is more than just almond, soy and oat milk, but I thought I’d save you from discussing the atrocity that is rice milk!
I love the nutty taste of almond milk, but apparently environmental experts advise against it. It takes over a gallon of water to grow one almond and the irony is that most of the almonds are grown in California, a drought ridden state!
As well, California is home to a substantial number of honeybees, and almond trees depend on the bees to pollinate them. BUT the pesticides from these trees is killing our bees, making them even more endangered.
Almond milk of course also presents a problem for a lot of the population because of nut allergies. So... maybe not the best choice, especially considering that I’m cutting back on my dairy intake for the purpose of helping the environment.
Also, a lot of the health benefits of almonds aren’t even apparent in the milk version because a lot of the antioxidants have been removed and very watered down. BUT before I totally shut down the possibility of almond milk, there are *some* health benefits that I should mention. It has omega 3, vitamin E, and often contains added vitamin D, calcium and protein. As well, it is low in calories and sugar (if you get the unsweetened version!)
Oh soy milk, the milk that was in grocery stores before the vegan lifestyle picked up. With soy milk comes genetically modified ingredients. But it also has the highest protein of these three milks and is low in sugar and fat. But there are also studies that say there are hormones in soy milk that can cause hormonal imbalances, and even cause cancer! Many people have started to steer away from soy milk because of all of this. Also, if you are already following a plant-based diet, chances are you are eating a lot of soy-based proteins already...
So, the new fav is oat milk. The great part about oat milk is there is significantly less allergens than almond and soy milk – Oat milk is soy and nut free! However unfortunately oats are not naturally gluten free, so that’s definitely a drawback for my celiac peeps. Oat milk is often enriched with vitamins, quite similar to the other milks. Calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin A and D are typically added. There are far less drawbacks with this milk than the previous two. However, for those following a calorie conscious diet, this milk is generally higher in calories. But who’s counting?!