“Soy and nut milk have more healthy fats profiles than cow’s milk,” Dr. Walter Willett, a professor of epidemiology and diet on the Harvard T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Well being, stated. Coconut milk, like cow’s milk, is excessive in saturated fats, which raises levels of cholesterol. Soy milk and the varied nut milks with out added sugar — corresponding to almond, walnut, peanut, cashew, hazelnut or macadamia nut milk — in addition to hemp and flax milks are increased in heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and in addition are inclined to have fewer energy than cow’s milk. Oat milk, with out added sugar, is excessive in fiber, and energy are corresponding to cow’s milk.
Soy milk is among the solely nondairy options that matches cow’s milk’s eight grams of protein per cup. However protein deficiency just isn’t a priority in america, Dr. Willett stated, particularly for adults. If, nonetheless, you wish to get a major quantity of protein from milk, examine the labels on completely different merchandise, as quantities range broadly among the many options to cow’s milk.
Each Ms. Romano and Dr. Willett additionally recommend checking labels to search for options which can be fortified with calcium and vitamin D, which can assist with bone well being. “We positively want vitamin D,” Dr. Willett stated, although we in all probability don’t want the excessive ranges of calcium that many People suppose they want. “Once we take a look at dairy instantly, we don’t see that top dairy consumption reduces fracture charges when it comes to the proof,” he stated.
Additionally they advise watching out for plenty of added sugar in flavored milk options. Ideally there can be no added sugar within the product, however typically goal for beneath 10 grams per serving.
One final consideration: the planet. “It’s essential to have a look at all the things by each a well being lens and an environmental lens at this time limit,” Dr. Willett stated. Dairy manufacturing is tied to excessive ranges of greenhouse gasoline emissions and requires numerous water. “So for the environmental footprint, different milks are literally fascinating.”
Sophie Egan is the creator of “Easy methods to Be a Aware Eater: Making Meals Decisions That Are Good for You, Others, and the Planet” (Workman, 2020).