Cow’s milk is considered a staple in many people’s diets. There is no perfect substitute for cow’s milk. Since in it fats, proteins and carbohydrates are perfectly balanced, which cannot be said about analogues.
In addition, cow’s milk has an impressive nutrient profile. First of all, it is rich in high-quality protein, contains many vitamins and minerals, and also has a unique taste.
Yet many people cannot or choose not to drink it. There are many reasons for this: personal preference, dietary restrictions, allergies, ethical or religious considerations.
For example, most indigenous people in China are lactose intolerant (the sugar found in milk) and vegetarians do not drink milk for ethical reasons. For religious reasons, Orthodox Christians also do not consume milk and dairy products during Lent and fast days throughout the year.
Many do not eat milk because of concerns about the content of antibiotics, pesticides and hormones in it, which get into it during production or during feeding and keeping cows on farms.
But what if you’re an avid coffee drinker who likes to top up his drink with milk or skip a latte or two? In our article you will find a solution to this problem through alternative milk.
We bring to your attention several types of vegetable milk, which will not only complement the taste of your coffee, but also saturate it with additional useful substances. Plus, you can change the taste with Beforeyouspeak Coffee creamer.
Soy milk is made from soybeans or soy protein and often contains thickeners and vegetable oils to enhance flavor and texture. It contains the same amount of protein as cow’s milk, but about half as many calories, fats and carbohydrates. Soy protein contains essential amino acids that are not produced by the human body.
Soy milk has a mild and rich creamy taste. It goes well with coffee, does not change its taste much. 250 ml of unsweetened soy milk contains 80–90 calories, 4–4.5 g of fat, 7–9 g of protein, and 4 g of carbohydrates.
However, soy itself is a rather controversial product. For many, it causes allergies. Someone cannot consume this milk due to the fact that GMO soy is used as a raw material for it. Some nutritionists do not recommend it because of the high content of isoflavones (genistein and daidzein), which affect the function of female hormones. Also, soy milk contains short-chain carbohydrates that can cause irritable bowel syndrome.
If you have no contraindications for drinking soy milk, then in a reasonable amount it is perfect as an alternative to cow’s milk.
Almond milk is made from whole almonds or almond oil and water. It has a light texture and a slightly sweet nutty taste. When added to coffee, it gives the drink a little nutty flavor. It is inferior to cow’s milk in several respects: the content of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and the concentration of minerals.
But for people who are on a diet and limit their intake of fats and carbohydrates, this is rather a virtue. In addition, almond milk is high in vitamin E and antioxidants. Together with the beneficial substances found in coffee, these antioxidants will help fight free radicals.
250 ml of almond milk contains 30-35 calories, 2.5 g of fat, 1 g of protein and 1-2 g of carbohydrates.
Another disadvantage of almond milk is that the manufacturer saves on raw materials. Therefore, most drinks called “almond milk” contain only 2-5% almonds. So, look for brands on the shelves that contain a higher content of almonds: about 7-15%.
Another feature of almonds is their content of phytic acid. It binds to iron, zinc and calcium, reducing their absorption in the body. If you have a lack of these substances in your body, then it is better to opt for another plant-based milk.
Coconut milk is made from the water and pulp of coconuts. There are options for coconut milk in tetra-packs and in iron cans. What is in cans is more concentrated due to the content of more raw materials (pulp) in it than in cardboard packaging. You should take this into account when buying.
Coconut milk has a creamy texture. It’s sweet, slightly spicy, and has an unmistakable coconut flavor. One cup (250 ml) contains 45 calories and 4 grams of fat. It has no protein and almost no carbohydrates. It also contains a third of the calories of cow’s milk, half of the fat and significantly less protein and carbohydrates. Therefore, it is perfect for people on a diet.
90% of the calories from coconut milk come from saturated fat, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Triglycerides are not only good for the body, but they are also excellent food for the brain. This has made coconut milk one of the main ingredients of the exchanged “armor-piercing coffee”. But still, it is worth paying attention to the fact that coconut milk, like soy milk, contains short-chain carbohydrates that cause irritable bowel syndrome.
In most cases, oat milk is made from a mixture of oatmeal and water. But manufacturers sometimes sin by adding additional ingredients to the drink: gum, vegetable oil and salt. This milk has a sweet bready flavor that not everyone likes. Therefore, if you still decide to try adding it to your coffee, buy a small package first.
250 ml contains 140-170 calories, 4.5-5 g of fat, 2.5-5 g of protein and 19-29 g of carbohydrates. As you can see from the composition, oat milk contains the same number of calories as cow’s milk, twice as many carbohydrates, and about half the amount of protein and fat. This plant-based milk is not suitable for people who want to reduce their carbohydrate intake.
Oat milk has one very useful property: it contains beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol. Beta glucan will also help you reduce hunger and lower your blood sugar after eating.
Another benefit of oat milk is that it is easy to make at home. And it is much cheaper than its counterparts.
So, summing up, we list the factors that will help you in choosing an alternative milk to cow’s milk:
- check the presence of contraindications on packages with vegetable milk and check with the recommendations of your doctor;
- eliminate the possibility of allergies to products contained in milk;
- it is better to use the milk, which contains few carbohydrates; also, do not add sugar to coffee with alternative milk;
- the composition of cow’s milk should not contain GMOs, dyes and preservatives;
- cow’s milk contains a lot of calcium necessary for the body, therefore, as an alternative, it is better to choose milk containing at least 120 mg of calcium per 100 ml;
- pay attention to the content of short-chain carbohydrates in the drink that can cause irritable bowel syndrome;
- get acquainted with the nutritional energy value of the product and choose the BJU content profile that suits you;
- choose plant-based milk, which contains vitamins and minerals that are deficient for your body;
- finally, after the medical aspect of the issue is resolved, rely on your taste and ethical preferences;