Whether you suffer from an unfortunate case of lactose intolerance or you just want to keep enjoying milk as a part of your diet but also want to slim down, you may want to look at plant-based milk products to include in your diet. They’re just as healthy and tasty as regular milk, while also containing less of what makes dairy quite bad for those who need a low-cholesterol diet: saturated fat . Here are a few you should look into.
When it comes to nut-based milks, almond milk is one of the more popular varieties, not just because of the reputation of its source nut for being delicious, but also due to its inherent subtle-sweet taste and silky, creamy consistency.
Compared to whole milk, it has way fewer calories and carbohydrates, making it easier on your waistline and lipid profile (especially when unsweetened). Being a nut-based milk, it is also a great source of unsaturated fat, which is essential in cardiovascular health. Finally, while it will never beat whole dairy milk when it comes to calcium and protein, many almond milk varieties being sold nowadays are enriched with calcium, making it a viable alternative beverage especially for those of us who just can’t stand lactose.
Another nut-based dairy alternative, walnut milk—as its name implies—comes from the walnut. As you may know, walnut is known for its tasty, earthy flavor that has made it popular for use in many confectionaries and savory cuisines. It is also hailed by studies in the past to be the “healthiest nut to consume,” due to having the highest antioxidant content among all nut varieties.
It’s reasonable to assume that these antioxidants would also be present in walnut milk, especially if it’s made using a technique called cold-milling—whereupon the milk is extracted out of its nut source without the use of heat. This allows for the nutrients inherent in the nut to be passed onto its milk completely intact. So, if you’re looking for a huge health boost with zero cholesterol and zero trans fats, walnut milk should be in your diet as soon as yesterday.
If you love oats but you’re getting a bit tired of consuming your daily bowlful of rolled oats, then you might want to consider drinking oat milk instead. While you may not be getting the same kind of belly-filling sensation that a bowl of oats can easily give you, a glass of oat milk still can still give you nearly the same amount of nutrients that you get with your daily oatmeal breakfast. And speaking of nutrients, oat milk is known for being a very good source of vitamin A as well as iron. So, if you’re suffering from night blindness or anemia, a glass of oat milk certainly wouldn’t hurt. Just like other plant-based milk alternatives, oat milk is easy on your waistline, having absolutely no cholesterol or trans fats.
Soy milk is arguably the most popular plant-based milk alternative out there, and the first one to ever be introduced commercially. Besides having all the benefits of being derived from a non-animal source, it also has the closest nutritional profile to actual dairy milk, meaning it’s high in protein, calcium, and B-complex vitamins. The only downside is that soy milk tends to have a bland and flat taste, unlike other plant-derived milk products, such as those derived from nuts. Besides that, though, soy milk is a great dairy milk alternative, especially for those who are seeking to build muscles while keeping clear of lactose.
Don’t let your lactose intolerance hold you back when it comes to enjoying milk. By including these plant-based substitutes into your diet, you can still get most of the essential nutrients and vitamins that usually comes with cow’s milk while also enjoying a healthy drink with a similar texture and taste. You can also use these milk alternatives to replace milk in recipes that call for dairy!