Healthy milk alternatives

I’ve heard arguments from different experts on which type of milk or milk substitute is the best for your body so I thought I’d write a little about my opinion.

Some say that soy is bad for your thyroid, your heart, and even causes breast cancer. Many people argue that cow milk is bad for everyone even if you aren’t lactose intolerant. Also if you’re a vegan then cow milk is out for you.

They’re all pretty close as far as nutrients. What one lacks in one category, it makes up for in another. I personally cancel out soy and cow milk because there seems to be the most variance in opinion on whether the positives of those outweigh the negatives. I knocked out rice milk because it has significantly more calories than the others. What’s left is coconut and almond milk so I’ll buy whichever organic one is on sale. I’ll usually have a few stocked up in the fridge so I can rotate through them.

I’ve come to the conclusion that what matters most is which one tastes best to you. It doesn’t really matter which one is best for you if you don’t like the taste and you’re not going to drink it.

When I first started drinking them I wasn’t instantly in love. They tasted like watered down real milk. I grew up drinking 1% milk and I think that’s what my body was used to so drinking whole milk tasted a little heavy to me. When I tried milk substitutes they tasted a little too light. After drinking them for a few months I got used to them and now 1% milk tastes a bit heavy to me. I feel the same way about eating healthy in general. I think if you make a habit of eating certain foods, in a few weeks you’ll begin to crave them and it kinda sets a baseline for your body. I also grew up not drinking soda of any kind and I really appreciate that (thanks mom) because now soda tastes absolutely disgusting to me. It’s like a poisonous sugary overload. I can’t handle more than a splash of root beer in a root beer float maybe twice a year. Of my friends that drink soda I noticed that most of them grew up having it in the house, so it had become part of their diet.

I did a chart with the pros and cons for one serving (1 cup) of each so you can see it a little better.

1 Cup Calories Sugar Protein Calcium Fat Iron
Whole Milk 150 11g 8g 0.3 8g 0
2% Milk 130 13g 10g 0.35 5g 0
Almond Milk 40 0g 1g 0.3 3.5g 0.04
Rice Milk 120 10g 1g 0.3 2.5g 0.04
Soy Milk 80 1g 2g 0.3 4g 0.06
Coconut Milk 50 0g 1g 0.1 5g 0.04

Here’s my favorite recipe for a yummy (healthier than most) hot coco that works with any milk substitute. Heat the milk, chocolate and maple syrup together in a small pot. Next pour it in a mug and add the cinnamon and marshmallows on top.

2 cups of your favorite milk

2 shakes cinnamon

3 table spoons carob chips

3 table spoons maple syrup

A small handful of mini vegan marshmallows (Chica Go Vegan Foods makes some good ones)



By: Zoe Abel


Instagram: @zoeabel

Snapchat: @thisiszoeabel
Twitter: @zoeabel

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  • Reply
    Ryan Williams
    October 16, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Been struggling with finding a good milk substitute for a while now. I’ve been trying to cut as much sugar out of my diet as possible, and when I found out how much sugar milk had I was pretty shocked. The only problem is all the substitutes don’t have nearly the amount of protein per cup as normal milk does. Such a trade off…

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    December 13, 2016 at 8:01 am

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